Don Messerli’s Blog |

An exercise in self-indulgence.

Prairie Home in Miami

Thursday Feb 9, 2006

I’m not a liberal by any stretch of the imagination. However; I do listen to NPR. The key is to have enough brains to tell when they’re pushing their liberal agenda, which is 99% of the time. The other 1% of the time, they’re airing A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor. I really enjoy this show. It’s like an old-fashioned radio show. When I was a kid, there were still a few of them on the air and I would listen to them late on a Saturday night.

When we found out that they were going to be doing the show from Miami, I knew I had to see the show in person. The show was done at Bayfront Amphitheater which is… you guessed it… next to Bayside Marketplace. Oops! I almost said “Mall”. The weather was less than optimal. It was cloudy and rained a bit. It was as close as we could get to making the Minnesotans feel at home. You wouldn’t know the weather was so bad (relatively speaking) by listening to the show. Keillor told the audience that it was sunny.

The show was very entertaining. But, I experienced the same phenomenon that I do when listening to it on the radio. Just when you really start to get into it, its over. The music was good. Sort of dixieland style. There were two performers from Miami. Bianca Vallejo, an 11 year-old girl who sang a few Cuban songs in Spanish; “Guantanamera”, “Cuando Salí de Cuba”, and “Vacilon que Rico Cha Cha”. I’m not sure if “Guantanamera” is strictly a Cuban song; but it reminded me of that song “One Ton Tomato”.

The other Miami performer was Aymee Nuviola. She had her own band and Keillor kept referring to her as “Aymee Nuviola and her sister”. She did some more Spanish songs. There was a running joke that Garrison Keillor couldn’t pronounce her name. Once, when Keillor asked her help with pronouncing “Calle Ocho”, she responded “Aymee!”.

My favorite parts of the show are always “Guy Noir, Radio Private Eye” and “The News from Lake Wobegon”. They were both very funny at the show. However; the “News” stories were a bit stranger than usual. One of the stories about a woman who gets lost on the way back to Lake Wobegon from Phoenix leads you into the back woods with some kind of Ted Kaczynski character. You think he’s going to kill her or worse and suddenly, he tells her to follow her dreams to Florida, and then it ends. I guess he did the “or worse” part.

You can listen to the whole show here: A Prairie Home Companion

A Pleasant Surprise

Thursday Feb 9, 2006

The MatadorI hadn’t seen any trailers for The Matador; but I caught a glimpse of the movie poster on the way out of another movie. I like Pierce Brosnan; especially in his non-James-Bond roles. The storyline about a hitman who realizes after years in the business that he has no real friends sounded interesting. He befriends a down-on-his-luck businessman played by Gred Kinnear. I was more than pleasantly surprised by this movie. This is Brosnan like you’ve never seen him before. And IT’S REFRESHING!!! His character has the mouth of a sailor and no social skills at all. I loved it! Every time Brosnan said something crude, I felt euphoric. Sort of like catching your grandmother swearing.

This movie is one of my favorites of the last few years. No, it doesn’t deal with any lofty subjects like Middle -Eastern oil barons or racism in Los Angeles; but it does deal with something we can all relate to…life.

5 paws