The Memory Palace

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Episode 45:
Heard, Once

Jul 25, 2012

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Music, Footnotes & Ephemera

Since folks’ve asked, here’s the music used in episode 45, Heard, Once:

The song I talk about is “A Girl’s Tool-Box,” by a band called Tattle-Tale. It was Jen Wood [url]\[/url] (who’s got a bunch of solo records) and Madigan Shive in a cello punk band thing called Bonfire Madigan that I saw a few times back in the day. There’s a version of the song on their Kill Rock Stars full-length but it’s faster and kind of indie-popped out in a way that is perfectly acceptable but kind of bummed me out when I heard it, having thought I’d found the song I’d been looking for. You can google around and found the cassette version on your own, if that’s the way you want to play it.

Score wise:

It’s “Bible Silver Corner” from Rodan’s album, Rusty, which was about all I listened to for months on end in 1994.

Some version of Debussy’s Sarabande II (or II. Sarabande, I don’t know how those things go) comes next and circles back for a sec at the end.

A piece called “Arm Drawing” from the 500 Days of Summer score (chopped up and looped and whatnot) does a lot of the heavy lifting.

The opening theme of Please Give, the (very good) Nicole Holofcener movie has become the memory palace’s unofficial theme for anytime PT Barnum shows up in a story.

OH: the thing under the intro is “Old New Bicycle” by Helvetia. It’s often the music under show intros.

There’s also a snippet of Beatles in there that I don’t know if anyone else will actually be able to hear.

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20 Comments | Leave a Comment

20 Comments on Heard, Once

  1. Lancelot Hogben says:

    Wonderful as always, Nate. But I have to ask – what’s the band and song that you mention rediscovering?

  2. admin says:

    Well, Lancelot, if that is indeed your real name (and, if that is indeed your real name: way to go, Mr. and Mrs. Hogben!), the song is “A Girl’s Tool-Box” by a band called Tattletale

  3. Kyu says:

    Another beautiful episode, Nate. Like a lot of them it gets at the very meaning of history–events which have past, people who lived and are gone, moments which will not come around again and can only be experienced at time’s remove.

    Long time listener, etc. Thank you so much for these. My life is a little bit better because for five minutes every so often I get to be informed, entertained, and moved by your work.

  4. Lancelot Hogben says:

    Alas, Nate, my parents don’t get the credit. The Mr. and Mrs. Hogben who deserve the plaudits are the parents of mid-twentieth-century biologist, socialist, scientific humanist and-all-round-dude Lancelot Hogben: . I stole his name as my nom de clavier. Thanks for the music tip – will track it down.

  5. sarahalyse says:

    For the sake of all that’s holy, alleviate my suffering. I have Googled in vain; all I can find is the ‘Sew True’ version of “A Girl’s Toolbox.” Share the file, or a link to where it’s available?

  6. jayallencampbell says:

    Thank you for this!! I am new to the show, finding it through Maximum Fun, but an intro referencing Tattle Tale is a great introduction- I’m looking forward to keeping up with it!

  7. Dulcie says:

    I still have my Tattle Cassette! Nice show, as always. Sorry that your band sucked. At least you had one, once upon a time in the olden punk rock days.

  8. Blaize says:

    Just reading the rest of the lineup of that show on wikiscum. I don’t know if you still have it, but here’s the flyer for the show, if it was in fact this one:

  9. Brian says:

    First time listening to The Memory Palace and it was amazing, can’t wait to dig through the archive!

  10. Tae says:

    This is my introduction to the MP and such a lovely episode to start with, and one that resonates with me personally. I was in the band Kicking Giant and toured with Tattle Tale many times, your bare description instantly resounded a moment in my mind and I knew exactly who you were talking about. I wonder if we were there at the show you described, it was a house show in Santa Cruz, the cops came to shut us down but we stayed and everyone sang “She’s Real” a cappella in the dark, it’s one of my most treasured memories.

  11. Bob Geary says:

    This was the first Memory Palace podcast I heard – I immediately downloaded every other episode, because I loved it, I’ve loved them too. Thank you, Nate.

    It reminded me of something that I read years ago, but I couldn’t remember any details – just that sense of grief when transcendent beauty goes away, and of needing to try, however imperfectly, to hang on to any little shred of it.

    I finally found it today – it’s from the biographical introduction to _The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson_. This is the passage I dimly remembered:

    There is an unconscious pathos in Stevenson’s fondness for his flageolet. He played it so badly, so haltingly… Looking back, I can recall how constantly he spoke of music. He would recur again and again to the dozen or so of operas he had heard in his youth, repeating the names of the singers … in a zest of recollection; and he would talk with the same warmth and eagerness of the few great instrumentalists he had heard in London concerts. And it was always, of course, with an air of finality, as of a man speaking of past and gone experiences that could never be repeated.

    He bought an extraordinary amount of printed music — Chopin, Grieg, Bach, Beethoven, Mozart — and would pore over it for hours at a time, trying here and there, and with endless repetitions, to elucidate it with his flageolet.

    To-day when I see on every side those wonderful mechanical devices for the reproductions of vocal and instrumental music, I feel an almost unbearable regret that they have come too late for Stevenson… and what a surpassing joy and solace they would have been to him.


  12. Mary says:

    My granny had a portrait of Jenny Lind hanging on her bedroom wall until the day she died. It was the first thing she ever saved up to buy as a young woman and she treasured it. I loved your story and she would have, too. Thank you.

  13. John Oliver says:

    Mr. DiMeo. I have to tell you that you have talent that I wish I had. You are a wonderful story teller who with a few well chosen lines, really got to me. The part about the kids sitting on the floor like story time in the library and the line “I could see friends I wish I had kept in touch with and the ones I’m better off without.” Thanks for letting spend a few minutes as a 21 old with the best friends I’ll ever have.

  14. Jane Gottlieb says:

    Heard the Jenny Lind podcast on NPR and couldn’t shut off my car until it was over even though I arrived at my destination. I grew up in Bridgeport CT where every July 4th there is a huge parade, various civic events and among other things a “Jenny Lind” contest as P.T.Barnum once called Bridgeport home. To understand the history of the time Jenny Lind lived and how music was heard was illuminating. I thank you for this wonderful piece and will continue to learn from your podcasts now that I know they exist. Just spellbound!

  15. Alexis Jensen says:

    For Sarahalyse:

    Download for the album with the coveted song on it.


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  18. tim says:

    I stumble across the show on air a couple years ago! Back then I was quite blown away by the show. Just a few days ago, I started a hunt to local the website, and it took me probably more than 2 hours to finally find it 😀

  19. sartrewasamoron says:

    Spent the morning listening to your podcasts while I worked.
    This one is a gem. To think that for most of human history, you may only hear a song once in your life, it’s mind blowing.
    Most of your stuff though, it’s well done but it isn’t my thing … from a myers briggs perspective i think you may be a sf working for the sensibilities of those sf out there … nothing wrong with that, but i am an nt. i’ll stick with those podcasts made for my type.
    enjoyed your podcasts overall.

  20. Lauren says:

    Alexander Chee wrote a book that came out this year that is loosely based on Jenny Lind called “The Queen of the Night” ( I just started listening to this podcast over the weekend and when I heard this episode I got really excited because I love it when random things in my life come together like this 🙂