Something interesting happened on KEXP today. It was playing in the office, and I was only half listening in that way that you do when you are focusing on something else, and all of a sudden I realized I was listening to Kevin Cole talk about John Cage. I missed the introduction, so I have no clue why he brought it up, but he was talking about that eponymous piece, 4:33, which is four minutes and thirty-three seconds of silence. The details of Cage’s performance give it depth: he sits down at the piano, in silence, for the duration of the piece, opening and closing the top to designate movements. Why was Kevin Cole talking about this? I’m thinking to myself that there is no way he is actually going to play the piece on the air. And then he did.
Only, it was just the first movement, which is about four seconds long, and so I was immediately disappointed. The thought was there, Kevin, but you shoulda played the whole thing.
I was also thinking – and this was during Kevin’s set as well, I think – that I wish they played more mainstream music recorded after, say, 1992. Not that there should be an overwhelming amount, but it’d be OK to stick on some tunes that nevertheless fit into the scheme of things over there. What about Counting Crows, or Blues Traveler, or 10,000 Maniacs? What about some 90’s Sheryl Crow, Fiona Apple, even some of Jagged Little Pill? John Richards rocks the R.E.M. pretty much every day, which makes me very, very happy – but there is still much work to do. Shoulda played the whole thing.