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The Essay
Show #85
Beware The Macarena!
David Gunn
Sir Isaac Newton, born on this date many many many years ago, was one of the most notorious figures in the history of music. While also noted for significant contributions in the fields of physics, astronomy, mathematics and dental hygiene, Newton is best known for his Second Law of Musical Refutation, which remains the foundation upon which most contemporary classical compositions are based. The law, which he formulated in 1687, soon after the Great Plague forced him to abandon a budding career as a plagiarist, turned the musical world on its ear, inserted a cleaning rag, disgorged untold piles of restrictive otic wax, then re-righted the ear ... metaphysically speaking, of course. Reduced to its simplest, least pedagogic terms, the rule is this: Ab incunabulis ô gauche brutum fulmen a votre santé dies faustus en avant ami ex nihilo nihil fit, or, "Beware the macarena." Sillier than a gavotte, more ankle-hazardous than the fandango, harder to grasp metrically than a plagal minuet, this faux-dance swept late 17th century ballrooms like lopsided locusts -- which, coincidentally, were likewise fox-trotting full-bore across Europe at that time. Badgered by fun-loving benefactors, indentured composers were compelled to write hundreds of the nasty little tunes, which are fortunately rarely heard today -- Bachís B Minor Macarena, Beethovenís Missa Macarena, Mendelssohnís A Midsummer Nightís Macarena, Berliozís Macarena Fantastique, Richard Straussí Also Sprach Macarena, Orffís Carmina Macarena, Mahlerís Kindermacarenalieder, and Sibeliusí The Swan of Macarena, to name a few. Fortunately, with the exception of John Adamsí The Chairman Dances the Macarena, the phenomenon seems at last to be fading, much like gravitation is wont to do when threatened by disturbing and illusory patterns in the time-space continuum, patterns which we here in the radiophonic studio are delighted to present to you on behalf of the 85th episode of Kalvos & Damianís New Music Bazaar.

Whoa! Feel that gravitation slipping away, inch by inch, Algonquin Hole by vaporous Algonquin Hole? Thatís the Law of Macarena for you. Donít fight it. Let it draw you into a fluid state of non-objectivity, where only the sounds emanating from these vacuum tubes matter. In essence, let us entertain you! On the other hand, donít give in to it. Donít let a force which you donít understand -- which protogrammarians have only recently identified as the second pluperfect rule of verbal ellipsis, or le flambeau oriange -- allow yourself to be entertained and enlightened for the next two hours without express written consent from ... well, from us. Either way, the choice is yours. And choice is certainly a darned good description of the show we have for your listening pleasure today, because it features music that you simply wonít hear anywhere else without a prescription, Newtonís Second Law of Musical Retaliation notwithstanding.

Speaking of prescription, this just in. The group "Doctors Without Borders" has admitted to being a front for a consortium of propertied physicians with rooms to let. Details follow.

Likewise following, and obviously none too soon, is the logical conclusion to this alliteratively parasyllabic sequence: cattle-crossing, kettledrums, Kitty Hawk, cotton-pickin, cuttlefish, and ... Kalvos.