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Perceptions

This week:

Jethro Tull vinyl you may not know from 25 years ago.

Gentle Giant

OHO

New releases from Kati Mac and Rodriguez

Laura Nyro

Mountain

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What are perceptions? It can be a surprise when we learn Jethro Tull has played an amusement park in 1988. Or that actor Sherman Hemsley once danced to Gentle Giant on the Dinah Shore show--and he was serious about it. Or that Hispanic artist Rodriguez is as good as Bob Dylan--a musical hero in South Africa while presumed dead in the USA from false rumors due to obscurity. Thats for starters.

Sometimes we are aware of our own blind spots...and sometimes we’re not. It almost sounds like a Bradbury short story to have a band of Tull’s caliber play Kings Dominion in 1988. But its true. I was there. You don’t think its out of the ordinary for them to play Madison Square Garden--and how about the great comedic actor who gave us George Jefferson? Why do we react oddly when a black man loves progressive rock such as Giant, YES, and Gong? I never felt out of place being in an all black Bible school class in Jamaica/Queens, NY. And then there is the 70 year old living treasure we call Rodriguez. His lyrics are no less potent than Bob Dylan--yet he fell into such obscurity people thought he died ! Happy to say he’s very alive and well. After I locked in one of his songs for this week’s show I serendipitously saw him on Letterman doing the same music. Incredible performer.

Its way too easy to stereotype just about any aspect of life. The other side of this is to be gushingly self conscious to the point of ad nauseum--to be forcibly and annoyingly politically correct. What is it in human nature that makes us swing to one side or the other with the all too seldom proper balance?

Rod Serling was a master of gentle admonishment on the highest plateaus of theatrical television. In radio, we can hope to be inspired by music as its own message--and--as a portal to areas we might perceive as unsual, but really aren’t upon closer examination.

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The Electric Croude airs late Saturday night at the midnight hour EDT on WCVE Public Radio.

Communicate with the producer on Twitter: wcvegeorgemaida -- Facebook: Geo Maida  or phone: (804) 560.8177.