Originality Born of Incompetence

In general, I think the people at NPR do a great job. From the days when I listened to Ray Suarez host Talk of the Nation every day, I recognized a standard of actually listening to what the guests say and responding appropriately. Technically, I guess you could say that Melissa Block (or is it Michelle Norris?) did that when she interviewed Bill Kirchen, but it's clear she wasn't listening to the clip of “Bump Wood.” Bill introduces it as a “good-to-be-alive song,” and then we hear an excerpt...

“I know in the morning that it's gonna be good when I stick out my elbows and they don't bump wood.”

That would be a reference to the ol' pine box, of course, but Melissa/Michelle has to clarify. Is it a good to be alive song because of the way it makes you feel? No, Bill says. “That's what it's about.”

It is good to be alive, especially in early June in Rochester, especially when Bill Kirchen is part of the line-up for the Jazz Fest.