6 June 2012

Margo Timmins of the Cowboy Junkies :: Florence Williams, author of Breasts:A Natural and Unnatural History

This week on Woman-Stirred Radio:

Margo Timmins of the Cowboy Junkies at 4:15

Florence Williams: Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History at 5:00

 The Cowboy Junkies
I first heard the Cowboy Junkies when I was a graduate student and working at The Poetry Center at SFSU. One of our staff was playing Lay It Down (1996), and I was intrigued by the repetitive gestures of the songs both lyrically and musically: the effect was mesmerizing, and organically beautiful and effortless. Margo Timmins's voice is splendid and the lyrics poetic.

The first time I heard The Trinity Session, I was hooked for good.  The Wilderness, does not disappoint. Volume 4 of the Nomad Series, The Wilderness is another elegant narrative of emotions in sync with reality; of human connection in a world of electronic emotion.

Since their beginnings in the 1985, the band has released more than 15 studio albums, and 7 live albums, 3 of which hit gold and 2 platinum in Canada. In the U. S., the 1988, Trinity Session, scored platinum on the charts and got the band on slot on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. As WGDR music director, Josh Hayes-High pointed out to me, you never see The Trinity Session in the used bin. Here's a clip of them playing on The Tonight Show, and here again with Jay Leno.

Florence Williams
So, please join us at 4:15 on Woman-Stirred Radio for an in-depth conversation with Margo Timmins, this Thursday, June 7th, at 4:15 PM. We'll be talking about their new album, The Wilderness and a host of other things... and of course, if you have a question call us at 802.454.7762.

Then at 5:00, I'll ring up Florence Williams. Her new book is Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History (WWNorton 2012). Terry Tempest Williams call the book "a smart, witty natural history of feminism by way of the body and health. At a time when all things female seem to frighten those in power...Williams offers an intelligent antidote."

One of my other favorite science writers, Mary Roach, writes: "Florence Williams's double-D talents as a reporter and writer lift this book high above the genre and separate it from the ranks of ordinary science....Breasts is illuminating, surprising, clever, important...."

Here are just a few fun facts you'll discover:

*  Breast milk is sold on the Internet for 262 times the price of oil

*  Breast milk contains substances similar to cannabis

                                                        *  The metabolic energy required to breastfeed a baby every day is the equivalent of walking seven miles.

                                                        *  Breasts are getting bigger, arriving earlier, and attracting newfangled chemical.

That last fact is neither fun nor surprising. Either is the troubling history of implants or the silicone used to replace them. Williams is seriously engaging in Breasts, and you will be fascinated.

As Williams writes: "The debate over breast evolution is important, because the creation stories color how we see breasts, how we use them, and how we burden them with our expectations. Because the dominant story has been all about the visuals, it discounts what's actually in breasts. How do they work? How are they connected to the rest of the body, and how are they affected by a larger ecology?"

So please join us this Thursday, June 6th, 4 to 6 PM on Woman-Stirred Radio. 4:15 Margo Timmins and 5:00, Florence Williams. Join the conversation! Call the air studio at 802.454.7762 or email your questions to merrygangemi@gmail.com. You can also comment below.


Woman-Stirred Radio is underwritten by Sinister Wisdom, celebrating 35 years of  lesbian-feminist arts and letters. Woman-Stirred Radio broadcasts live on WGDR 91.1 fm and WGDH 91.7 fm, Goddard College's community radio station located in Plainfield, Vermont.