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Idiot's Delight

Vin Scelsa's "Idiot's Delight" For August 23

by WFUV Staff
Johnny Cash's 'Bitter Tears' Cover

On "Idiot's Delight"® tonight at 8, Vin Scelsa highlights the new Joe Henry-produced Look Again To The Wind: Johnny Cash's Bitter Tears Revisited, a reworking of the original, ground-breaking Johnny Cash album Bitter Tears: Ballads Of The American Indian, released in 1964. This 50th anniversary tribute to Cash, America's champion of the rights of the powerless and abused, features Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, Kris Kristofferson, Rhiannon Giddens (of Carolina Chocolate Drops), Steve Earle, Norman Blake, Emmylou Harris and more, all backed by a fine "house band." Vin explores the original Cash recording too, along with the Smithsonian Folkways recordings of Peter La Farge, who was one of Bitter Tears' main songwriters and composer of "The Ballad Of Ira Hayes" and "As Long As The Grass Shall Grow." 

Vin Scelsa's "Idiot's Delight" For October 18

by Vin Scelsa
'Station Eleven' and author Emily St. John Mandel (photo courtesy of the author)

Tonight's "Idiot's Delight"® at 8 is centered around a brilliant new dystopian novel entitled Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, shortlisted this week for the National Book Awards. It is about the Traveling Symphony, a wandering group of actors and musicians who journey together, like an ancient caravan, through what used to be the northern middle states of America. They perform Shakespearean plays for small enclaves of survivors of a deadly, plague-like virus called "the Georgia flu" which decimated most human life on the planet a couple of decades before the main action of the book takes place. The virus spread with alarming speed after a plane from Russia landed in Toronto with several contaminated passengers ... hmmm. But the book, published by Knopf, is full of humor and plot, poetry and character. It is not about the plague per se, but about how those who survive can carry on in the face of such deadly tragedy. There is music that feels right for this novel too, from Agnes Obel, Brad Mehldau, Jeffrey Dean Foster and more.

Vin Scelsa's "Idiot's Delight" For October 11

by WFUV Staff
Zee Avi (courtesy of the artist, Facebook.com)

Are you a longtime acolyte or a new convert to Vin Scelsa's "Idiot's Delight"®? Wherever you may fall in that spectrum, tonight at 8 you'll have the chance to support Vin and his legendary freeform show. During this special FUV fundraising edition, Vin has set aside some eclectic selections from Malaysian artist Zee Avi, Grant McLennan, Karen O, Maggie Björklund, the Flying Burrito Brothers and much more ... reflections for an early autumn night. Please support FUV and "Idiot's Delight"® by calling 877-938-8907 or by contributing online at WFUV.org.

Vin Scelsa's "Idiot's Delight" For October 4

by Vin Scelsa
Jeffrey Dean Foster (courtesy of the artist, Facebook.com)

At 8 tonight on "Idiot's Delight"®, there are two exciting elements of the show for me: A new CD arrived at Studio V yesterday from Jeffrey Dean Foster, a songwriter from Nashville who I've admired since he was in a band called The Pinetops. His solo album Million Star Hotel was one of my favorite albums from the mid-oughts. I've been waiting for a follow-up since 2005 and it is finally here! It's entitled The Arrow and you can bet you'll be hearing lots of it this fall on "Idiot's Delight."® I'll also feature a more recent fave, L.A. songwriter John Isaac Watters; his three self-released albums Parachute Tramps, Casas and Companas are always at my fingertips. John will be making a few rare appearances in New York on October 7 and 14 at Pete's Candy Store in Williamsburg, on October 8 at Bowery Electric and on October 21 at The Bell House in Brooklyn, opening for our old friend Dan Bern. If you catch any of these gigs be sure to tell him you heard him here first!

Vin Scelsa's "Idiot's Delight" For September 27

by Vin Scelsa
Sean Rowe (courtesy of the artist, Facebook.com)

At 8 tonight on "Idiot's Delight,"® we open with a musical meditation centered on some old harmonicas and we hear new music from a band called Ataloft. We'll also explore music from Sean Rowe (pictured), Sharon Van Etten, Warren Zevon, John Smith, Booker T. Jones and The 442s. I'll share a Rosh Hashanah email from a friend in Israel who writes of his summer spent living in a shelter underground as rockets raged over his home in Ashdod, dreaming of going to London to see Kate Bush in concert. Find out if he makes it ... tonight on "Idiot's Delight."®