this week in citybeat, i wrote about this wacky little thing called the radio8ball show, coming to town next tuesday and wednesday.
the creator and host of the show is andras jones (that's him above; photo by david scherer), who now resides in olympia, washington, but used to be in l.a. with his band mr. jones & the previous. i wrote about them in my "alternate currents" column for the late, lamented rock mag BAM somewhere around a million years ago. when we talked on the phone for the citybeat story, he said he still remembered the thrill of it, his first article.
the radio8ball show is a kind of musical-divination theater, a take on the old magic 8-ball toy that involves audience members asking questions and an artist answering them by playing a song chosen at random by the asker.
"i’ve always loved playing with synchronicities," jones told me (in a part of the interview that didn't make it into CB), "and when i used to tour with the band, we played with them a lot. like when going into a town, we’d put the radio on scan and get eight seconds of each radio station. so we’d get these amazing sentences from stringing each line together -- the theme of our visit to that town."
there are synchronicities attached to me writing this piece, as well. jones e-mailed me about the show less than 12 hours after i whimsically added a link (at right) to an online version of the magic 8-ball (it uses all the original answers from the toy). he also mentioned he'd become pals with my longtime friend barbara mitchell, a kickass writer who contributes to seattle's excellent weekly the stranger and also used to live in l.a.
toward the end of the interview, he mentioned the whole "2012" thing -- you know, the notion that the world will end that year -- and said that in some ways he wonders if the type of thinking his show calls on people to do is a way of preparing for what might come next. he's not so sure that everything will cease to exist, per se. "it might not be the end of the world but of a certain way of looking at the world," he mused. (i believe alan moore explores this version of the end of the world in the comic book promethea. also, R.E.M. had something to say on the subject.)
jones mentioned that his dad, richard m. jones, wrote a book called the dream poet and used to conduct seminars in the '60s and '70s at places like UC santa cruz, brandeis, harvard, and evergreen in which participants would interpret each other's dreams. he said that people occasionally come up to him and ask about the connection. "i sort of thought this was my idea," he said of his concept. "and then i realized it wasn’t my idea. it’s sort of an interesting juxtaposition with my father’s thing. so i think i’ve been training for this all my life."