John Kessler

All Blues Host

John has worked as a professional bassist for 20 years, including a 15 year stint as Musical Director of the Mountain Stage radio program. John has been at KPLU since 1999 where he hosts “All Blues”, is producer of the BirdNote radio program, and co-hosts “Record Bin Roulette”. John is also the recording engineer for KPLU “In-Studio Performances”. Not surprisingly, John's main musical interests are jazz and blues, and he is still performing around Seattle.

His most memorable and satisfying KPLU radio moment was getting an email from Jimmy Lane, a bluesman and the son of blues legend Jimmy Rogers, who said something like “You’re playing the good stuff, keep it up!”

Ways To Connect

Heaven or Hell

May 19, 2011
janale2 / Flickr

“Stairway to Heaven” or  “Highway to Hell”. Take your pick. Yep, this Saturday you may be going somewhere.

Bugs!

May 12, 2011
HUSO / Flickr

Bugs are so cute and lovable except when they’re crawling on you. Or in your food. Or the bathtub. Come to think of it the only time bugs are okay is in song, and this week’s Record Bin Roulette celebrates some of our most beloved chitinous arthropods in melody.

Nick Smarto / Flickr

If you’ve ever danced around a Maypole, you’re taking part in a ritual that goes back 1000’s of years, before the invention of the nuclear family but after the invention of alcohol and sex.

NJ Tech Teacher / Flickr

Pop stars and Nuns. They don’t usually go together, with some notable exceptions.

But in 1973 Sister Janet Mead, a Roman Catholic nun from Australia had an international smash hit on her hands with her single “The Lord’s Prayer”. Selling over two million copies, Sister Janet donated all the sales proceeds to charity and continues to record to this day.

But she wasn’t the first nun to strike pop gold...

DoubleM2 / Flickr

What do we sing about when we sing about the body?

The folks at Fleshmap have analyzed 1000’s of songs in 11 genres and found which parts of the body show up most often. It’s not what you’re thinking…at least it’s not what we at Record Bin Roulette were thinking.

sanchom / Flickr

Truth be told, we at Record Bin Roulette can barely tie our shoes, let alone a taut-line hitch, so we never became Webelos, although we have toasted a few marshmallows…

JBlazeB / Flickr

A recent Princeton University study found that “happiness” peaks when a person’s income is about $75,000. But you have to make a whole lot more to actually feel “rich”.

Another study found that 42% of millionaires don’t feel wealthy. It turns out, you have to have about $7.5 million before you can feel both happy and rich.

Just once, we would like the chance to prove that money can’t make us happy.

Herewith, some of our favorite sayings about money and happiness…

fengergold / Flickr / Flickr

The world’s most widely consumed alcoholic beverage, and the third most popular drink overall.

The invention of beer is argued to be responsible for humanity's ability to develop technology and build civilization. Think about that for a moment the next time you crack open a cold one. Those early Neolithic humans were tipsy.

The 27 Club

Mar 17, 2011
el frijole / Flickr

A startling number of influential musicians have died at the age of 27, including Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, and Janis Joplin. Strangely, they all knew each other, and their deaths happened within a 10 month period. The list goes on…Kurt Cobain, Brian Jones, Robert Johnson, Mia Zapata…all members of The 27 Club

scorpiusdiamond / Flickr

Sometimes it seems most of life’s problems can be solved with proper application of high velocity projectiles.

Take the “Chicken Gun”, operated by the US Air Force. It solved the problem of testing bird impacts on airplanes. It was too hard to fly around looking for a flock of birds to fly into, so they invented a cannon to fire freshly killed chickens at expensive airplanes. And in a pinch, it can be used as a weapon. While it might not create smoking craters, it would totally gross out the enemy.

Onkel_Wart / Flickr

Flight has always inspired humans, from the days when Icarus flew his wax and feather contraption too close to the sun. An accident like his could never happen today. We have learned too much about the mechanics of flight, and Strategic Air Command would have vaporized him once he left controlled airspace.

Icarus could never have imagined that his dream of flight would be an inspiration to anyone who has ever tied 75 helium balloons to a lawn chair.

At the Oscars

Feb 24, 2011
NMCIL ortiz domney / Flickr

And the winner is…

Music and movies have pretty much always gone together. What would Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid be without “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head”? Try to imagine The Wizard of Oz without “Over the Rainbow”. Or Blue Velvet without “Blue Moon”. Okay stop imagining now.

It doesn’t take a good movie to produce an Oscar winning song. For example, The Poseidon Adventure produced the Oscar winner “The Morning After”, and Towering Inferno gave us “We May Never Love Like This Again.”

Now that we have your attention…it’s time for another romp through history in honor of this weekend’s big President’s Day Holiday. It’s a day to pay tribute to those brave men who served their country, and to enjoy deep discounts on furniture and appliances that honor their memory.

Record Bin Roulette takes this occasion to review the popular music Presidents have chosen for their formal celebrations. The biggest, baddest of all is the Inaugural Ball.

AP

The Grammys have been awarded since 1959, when Henry Mancini's "Peter Gunn" was the hit of the year. Some of the greats have been honored along the way, from Frank Sinatra to The Beatles to Quincy Jones.

Some not-so-greats have been honored, too. Milli Vanilli had to give theirs back-- seems they weren't actually on their award-winning record.

It's the unlikely history of the biggest halftime show on the planet: the Super Bowl. Sunday's game between the Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers will be  Super Bowl XLV - yes, 45 years of the Big Game - and among the millions watching some will be hanging on to see what passes as entertainment for the masses.

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