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Five Questions

2 May 2007

Stew asked me five questions, and here are the answers:

You know a lot of music. How do you keep up with it?

Internet radio! This is a valuable source for new music, old music, and world music that just doesn’t make it onto the Clear Channel playlist (Clear Channel is the octopus that owns an incredible number of radio stations across the 50 states —they literally own the airwaves in some markets. I spit on them *ptui*).

When I need to concentrate, I listen to Groove Salad, the somaFM station that plays electronica.

When I don’t need to concentrate so much (say, when doing a 600-entry Reference section, or knitting, or sewing), I listen to RadioParadise.

Thanks to these two, I have been introduced to (and now own) music by Emiliana Torrini, West Indian Girl, Zero 7, Cesaria Evora, Ane Brun, Belle & Sebastian, Garmarna, Gotan Project, Grant-Lee Philips, Jess Klein, Kings of Convenience, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Mindy Smith, Neko Case, Ray LaMontagne, Telepopmusik, The Decemberists, The Innocence Mission, Feist, … to name but a few.

I highly recommend listening to these internet radio stations. You might want to hurry and do it because there is a battle in Washington right now about the future of internet radio, and if they lose, they’ll probably go off the air. The music companies want these stations to pay royalties on a per listener/per song basis, which would increase their fees to over $1 million (currently, they pay a percentage of their revenue—since these are small family outfits, there is no way they could pay fees higher than their income [did I mention they are commercial-free?]). For comparison, over-the-air broadcast radio stations pay no royalties (since they are for all intents and purposes advertising media for the big music companies). You can read all about the issue at SaveNetRadio.org.

I also visit calabashmusic on a regular basis. They offer a free single each week, and provide a stage for small, independent, world musicians to garner a larger audience. That’s how I learned about Sara Tavares and Pau D’Agua.

I’m always very impressed with your craftability. How did you learn to sew/knit/etc, and have you been teaching Impera and Trixie?

My mother taught me to sew. My godmother taught me to knit. I had no time for either of these during my late teens/early twenties, but started sewing again after college. A friend “reminded me” how to knit when Impera was about two. I taught myself to crochet about three years ago. I like having something to do with my hands that I can then use (hence, no painting, scrapbooking, etc.).

Yes! The girls do both. Impera has made some blouses for herself (I put in the collar), and Trixie just two days ago helped make a prairie skirt for herself (I’ll post pics soon, I’m sure). And they both knit:

How did you meet the IC?

In a class at Georgetown called “Scientific Worldview” taught by the fabulous Joe Early. It was a experimental class, science for non-science majors, but with a real lab section, and serious books (we read Richard Dawkins and Alfred North Whitehead). Both of us went into the class sure that we were going to ignore our previous science teachers’ pleas to continue our science education in college (the Consort in Chemistry, me in Physics) and stick to liberal arts instead (the Consort in Political Science, me in English literature). We came out of that class energized, and as double majors in our respective science and liberal art.

Oh, did I mention the Consort was engaged at the time? (I am such a bad, bad girl.)

If I’m remembering correctly, you may be part or all Belgian. The wonderful mix CD you sent me has a few songs in French on it. Do you speak French yourself? If so, how well?

I’m 100% Belgian, thank you very much. Born in Liege. I read and speak fluently, but my written grammar is not so good. (Really, though, what kind of a silly language adds a silent “x” to pluralize things like birdx, owlx, and pebblex?) We spoke it at home, I spent 4-6 weeks visiting relatives every summer, but I took Spanish in school. Therefore, when I need to write something in business French, I ask for help.

If you could return back to visit one era of your life so far, just for a little while, which one would it be and why?

That’s a tough one. If it’s just to relive it, I think I’d pick the first few months of getting to know the Consort. My god, we were so shy! But there’s nothing like that time when you’re getting to know someone, feeling butterflies when they call, or when you see them out and about; visiting in their dorm room; taking long walks; chatting until 3 in the morning; the first touch, sitting closer and closer (I’m telling you, we were shy!); finally thinking that yes, there does exist someone who really understands you—that time is precious. And the intensity! It doesn’t happen again. Once you’re really a couple, it mellows to a warm constant comfort. That’s very very nice, too, but it is a different sort of feeling. You can’t ever recapture the first few months (with the same person, that is!).

Now, to continue the meme, I add this:
So if you want to play along and now be interviewed by me, please leave me a comment or send an email saying: “Interview me.”
* I will respond by asking you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
* You will update your blog with the answers to the questions. (If you don’t have a blog, I’d be happy to have you do it in the comments)
* You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
* Then others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions and so on.

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