In the Christmas episode of sf writer Spider Robinson's delightfully eclectic podcast (I'm running a little behind in my podcasts right now), Spider introduced the work of American bluesman Paul Pena, playing a couple of his tracks. I was blown away.
Pena, a blind musician, was captivated by the sounds of Tuvan throat-singing, which he encountered for the first time on a late-night shortwave transmission. He taught himself to throat-sing, and met with and befriended Kongar-ol Ondar, forming the band Genghis Blues, which merged throat-singing with Delta blues in a marvellous and haunting way.
Pena died tragically after a misdiagnosis of pancreatic cancer led to his being addicted to
-- and then brutally denied -- heavy painkillers, and subsequently died from pancreatitis and complications from diabetes. (Set sez, "He was never brutally denied painkillers -- after he found out that the first Dr. made a mistake in diagnosis, he finally found a competent and good Dr. who helped him manage his pain, quite compassionately, up until the end. ")
His music is a rich legacy, though. The combination of Tuvan throat-singing and the blues is not to be believed -- or missed.
MP3 link to Spider's podcast (Pena segment starts about 5:20),
Genghis Blues DVD,
Genghis Blues CD
Information on Genghis Blues,
Paul Pena homepage,
Paul Pena on Wikipedia,
Spider Robinson podcast
Jason Klamm stopped my office to interview me for his Comedy on Vinyl podcast, where I talked about the first comedy album I ever loved: Allan Sherman’s My Son, the Nut.
Superstar security researcher Dan Kaminsky (previously) wants to create a “National Institutes of Health for computer security” — a publicly funded research institution that figures out how to prevent and cope with large-scale security issues in networked devices.
I did an interview with the Changelog podcast (MP3) about my upcoming talk at the O’Reilly Open Source conference in London, explaining how it is that the free and open web became so closed and unfree, but free and open software stayed so very free, and came to dominate the software landscape.
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