Cabinet Of Wonders: Episode Two
An incredible feast of music, stories and comedy on this episode of John Wesley Harding's Cabinet of Wonders. There are songs both intimate and raucous, from Craig Finn (of the Hold Steady), Rosanne Cash, John Darnielle (of The Mountain Goats), and Hamilton Leithauser (of The Walkmen). Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Paul Harding reads an evocative, unusual tale about life on the Nigerian oil fields. And comedian Eugene Mirman reads secret messages he leaves on bar napkins, to surprise customers he'll never meet.
Rosanne Cash is a Grammy-award winning, country music singer and songwriter. Cash has recorded 15 records and had her writing published in books and magazines.Cash published a memoir, Composed, in 2010. A collection of cover songs picked from a list of her father, Johnny Cash's, "100 Essential Country Songs" resulted in the Grammy-nominee album, The List.
Singer-songwriter John Darnielle founded the indie rock band the Mountain Goats. He is touring with his band during Spring 2012 and touring solo on the West Coast during the summer.
Russian-born comedian Eugene Mirman regularly appears on Comedy Central and the shows Flight of the Conchords and Delocated. He has published a book, hosted a radio show, and released two comedy albums. Mirman puts on a weekly comedy show "Pretty Good Friends" in Brooklyn.
(SOUNDBITE OF LIVE MUSIC)
JOHN WESLEY HARDING, HOST:
Welcome to the CABINET OF WONDERS from NPR. We're recording at Manhattan's City Winery. And in tonight's Cabinet, a feast: Mr. John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats; Craig Finn, holding steady with The Hold Steady; and lead singer of The Walkmen, Hamilton Leithauser.
They're all here. Paul Harding showed up without a guitar. But that's good, because his debut novel "Tinkers" won a Pulitzer Prize. He's here to read. More wonders yet. A man so funny, he named a comedy festival after himself: Eugene Mirman. And the earthly representative of the greatest family in American musical history, Rosanne Cash.
HARDING: Ladies and gentlemen, I'm John Wesley Harding. Stay put. The CABINET OF WONDERS is open for business.
(SOUNDBITE OF LIVE MUSIC)
HARDING: It's the CABINET OF WONDERS. Words sung, spoken; jokes told; vaudeville, variety and vivisection.
UNIDENTIFIED AUDIENCE MEMBERS: Oh!
HARDING: When the children have been good, that is - be it understood - good at mealtimes, good at play, good at night and good all day, they shall have the pretty things this CABINET OF WONDERS brings. But naughty, romping girls and boys, who tear their clothes and make a noise, spoil their pinafores and sheets, and deserve no special treats. Such as these shall never yet enjoy this pretty cabinet. The door is locked. Your money is spent. May I present the cabinet, its contents and its discontents?
HARDING: I'll tell you something. This is the first ever show that is being taped by NPR.
HARDING: See what that does to the energy? Here we go.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Two. One, two.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG "SING YOUR OWN SONG")
HARDING: (Singing) Long ago, I had a dream. A man came up to me. Well, he gave me paper and a pen and a cast-iron guarantee. He said write six words and make the next lines rhyme and learn four basic chords. When you've got the third line, well, in next to no time, you'll be wanting more.
(Singing) I didn't want to know about a quid pro quo or why he was picking on me. Well, I guess he didn't know that I was tired of school and bored of poetry. So I played along, stifled a yawn. Perhaps he was wrong in the head. And when I woke, I found a note and this is what it said.
(Singing) You can write your own words. You can sing your own song. And it doesn't really matter if you're out of tune or if no one sings along. 'Cause if you write your own words, you can make your own rules. And it doesn't really matter how cool you are or what grades you got at school, when you sing your own song.
(Singing) So I took the advice, and suffice it to say that the rest is mystery. And if anyone out there's nervous or scared, I suggest you listen to me. Write your own words. Sing your own song. And it doesn't really matter if you're out of tune or if no one sings along. 'Cause if you do what you like and you like what you do and someone calls you then and the world may come to you, when you sing your own song.
(Singing) Now I'm married and I have two kids and we sing songs all the time. My 4-year-old just makes them up sometimes with explanatory mime. And no one's told her that it's difficult yet, that isn't in her head. So we sing her song all evening long and write till it's time for bed.
(Singing) You can write your own words (write your own words), you can sing your own song (sing your own song). And it doesn't really matter if you're out of tune or if no one sings along. 'Cause if you do what you like (do what you like) and you like what you do (like what you do), yeah, and someone somewhere knows you're there and the world may come to you.
(Singing) Yeah, you can write your own words (write your own words). You can sing your own song (sing your own song). And it doesn't really matter. Oh no, it doesn't really matter. You can write your own words (write your own words). Sing your own song (sing your own song). And it doesn't really matter, doesn't really matter, oh no, it doesn't really matter at all. Ooh.
HARDING: Ladies and gentlemen, Eugene Mirman. Look who's here.
EUGENE MIRMAN: Hello. How are you?
UNIDENTIFIED AUDIENCE MEMBERS: Whoo!
MIRMAN: All right. Let's joke around... about society. Where shall we begin? I was recently asked to do an audition for something set in the 1920s. And they were, like, hey, would you wear something from the 1920s?
I don't know what that means. So I wore a suit with a sign that just said Irish need not apply.
I was in an elevator - not to brag, I have the money - and it was very small. It was like, this big. It was really small and it was very crowded. And this guy sarcastically goes, there's probably bigger elevators than this in Russia. Probably. That's not one of the pre-agreed-upon stereotypes of Russia.
You can't just make up random information and say it sarcastically to replace actual information. You're going to be, like, oh, I went on a date with this French girl. She was more rude than a wolf cat. The animal I made up and decided was rude.
Wes and I tour this show a lot and one of the things we do is - 'cause we'll often be at bars and clubs and, when you order a drink at a club, there's a pile of napkins. And what we like to do is, we'll take the napkins and we'll write little notes on them and then we'll put them back. So in, like, a week or two, somebody gets a cute little message. And we found some napkins that we had written stuff on but never put back, so we wanted to share them with you.
HARDING: It's a nice surprise.
MIRMAN: It's a nice little treat for people as they get a beer. So this is the first one that we meant to leave for someone.
HARDING: It's OK to lie to old people.
MIRMAN: This napkin gives you permission to talk about politics, even though you're drunk and uninformed.
HARDING: You are an alchemist who can turn six beers into an awkward three-week relationship.
MIRMAN: Lastly, have a baby - it'll save your marriage.
HARDING: Nice surprises for people.
HARDING: Ladies and gentlemen, he'll be back. Mr. Eugene Mirman.
MIRMAN: Good day.
(SOUNDBITE OF LIVE MUSIC)
HARDING: And up next: Sweden is famous for ABBA. Denmark for Carl Nielsen. But if you want really great music, you have to go with a Finn. Ladies and gentlemen, from The Hold Steady, Mr. Craig Finn.
CRAIG FINN: This is a song called "Jeremiah's Blues." It's about Jeremiah. He's not present in the song, but he's still got a lot of reasons to have the blues.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG "JEREMIAH'S BLUES")
FINN: (Singing) I didn't come to California to have a cup of coffee. So if you don't mind, I'll get right to the point. I heard about the baby from Sarah when I saw her. I heard that Jeremiah's in the joint.
(Singing) I know you came out west to just start over. But it seems like the life you left in Kansas, with a baby in your bed and a man up in the pen and no way to make it work except for dancing.
(Singing) The lawyers bleed you dry and then he's guilty. You wore your best dress to the courthouse, and then he's gone. What really broke your heart was, when you got back to his car, the radio played his favorite song.
(Singing) I know I've had some problems. I know I'm far from perfect. And there's some things about my past that I'm not proud of. But after I left Kansas, I accepted my lord Jesus and, since then, I've been mostly off the stuff.
(Singing) We both know Jeremiah really loves you. We also know it's years till he gets out. And your daughters need a father and if we could be together, I could be the man around your house. I could be the man around your house.
HARDING: So, tell us about this next song, Craig. Your choice.
FINN: This - this song is a song I chose. It's a song off a Mick Jagger record - solo record, produced by Rick Rubin. But don't let that scare you. It's a good song. It's called "Evening Gown."
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG "EVENING GOWN")
FINN: (Singing) People say that I'm high class. But I'm low down all the while. People think that I'm so crazy when I flash that California smile. Yeah, but I can still paint the town all the colors of your evening gown while I'm waiting for your blonde hair to turn to gray.
(Singing) People say that I'm a drinker, but I'm sober half the time. People think that I'm a loser, but I get lucky on the side. Yeah, but I can still paint the town all the colors of your evening gown while I'm waiting for your blonde hair to turn to gray.
(Singing) All my life, I've waited for someone who could show me where the bliss is. All my life, I've waited for someone who could take me past the kissing.
(Singing) People say that I'm a loner. I like to get lost in the crowds. People call me a dresser. I wear my sports clothes way too loud. Yeah, but I can still paint the town. Well, I can shake it and turn it upside down, while I'm waiting for your blonde hair, while I'm waiting for your blonde hair, while I'm waiting for your blonde hair to turn to gray.
HARDING: From The Hold Steady, Mr. Craig Finn.
We're going to take a breather, because I'm exhausted and need a cup of tea. The CABINET re-opens shortly with John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats and Rosanne Cash of Rosanne Cash.
(SOUNDBITE OF LIVE MUSIC)
HARDING: I'm John Wesley Harding and this is the CABINET OF WONDERS. My CABINET OF WONDERS.
HARDING: Who could possibly be up next? And who wouldn't want to hear this first and - and wouldn't want to applaud hugely afterwards? So you can - no, no, no. Please, afterwards. If you want to know the serious facts, open up a browser. You can check them right now on the iPhone in the pocket of your trouser.
I'm simply here to tell you he's a rasping rabble rouser and please don't cyber-stalk when it's time for The Walkmen's lead singer, Hamilton Leithauser.
HARDING: Hamilton Leithauser.
HAMILTON LEITHAUSER: Thank you all very much for having me. This is one - this is a classic by The Kinks here.
This is a Dave Davies song.
AUDIENCE MEMBER #1: Yeah!
AUDIENCE MEMBER #2: Beauty!
HARDING: And it's not even "Tears of a Clown."
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG "STRANGERS")
LEITHAUSER: (Singing) Where are you going? I don't mind. I've killed my world and I've killed my time. So where do I go? What do I see? I see many people coming after me. So where are you going to? I don't mind. If I live too long, I'm afraid I'll die. So I will follow you wherever you go, if your offered hand is still open to me. Strangers on this road we are on. We are not two; we are one.
(Singing) So you've been where I've just come, from the land that brings losers on. So we share this road we walk. And mind our mouths and the way we talk. Till peace we find, tell you what I'll do. All the things that I own, I'll share with you. And if I feel tomorrow like I feel today, we'll take what we want and give the rest away. Strangers on this road we are on. We are not two; we are one.
(Singing) Holy man and holy priest. This love of life makes me weak at my knees. And when we get there make your play, 'cause soon I feel you're going to carry us away. In a promised lie you made us believe. For many men there is so much grief. My mind's proud, but it aches with rage. And if I live too long, I'm afraid I'll die. Strangers on this road we are on. We are not two; we are one. Strangers on this road we are on. We are not two; we are one.
(Singing) Strangers on this road we are on. We are not two; we are one. Strangers on this road we are on. We are not two; we are one.
LEITHAUSER: Thank you all for having me.
HARDING: Hamilton Leithauser.
LEITHAUSER: Been nice seeing you.
HARDING: This is the introduction to the next writer. We share little except the same surname. We're writers. He answers to Paul. He won a Pulitzer for his debut and I've won very little, but I was nominated for The Guardian First Book Award. Will you please welcome Mr. Paul Harding.
(SOUNDBITE OF LIVE MUSIC)
HARDING: Paul Harding.
PAUL HARDING: Oh, thank you kindly. So this is just, you know, like, Nigeria, right? The Nigerian Delta. There's oil companies there and people try to get the oil and everything blows up, right, you know? So this is a - a short piece called Speed of Light.
(Reading) We lived in the delta. The fingers of the delta reached into the ocean. The ocean took the fresh water and salted it. Oil lay beneath the delta, beneath the water and beneath the earth. A network of pipes crisscrossed the delta. The pipes were large enough for a man to walk upright inside them. People lived inside abandoned sections of pipe in remote areas. We called them pipers.
(Reading) Sometimes we took turns climbing on one another's shoulders in order to put our ears to the pipes, to hear the flowing oil, even though it didn't really seem to work. At night, lights on the pipes glowed over the water and the land. At night, people sabotaged the pipes and stole the oil.
(Reading) Then we went to the lakes of oil left by the thieves and scooped the oil up with cans and buckets and bedpans. We did this before the army arrived. Every time we collected the oil, someone, somewhere, somehow made a spark and the delta erupted in fire and was scorched bare. And our mothers and brothers and cousins perished again and again.
(Reading) Someone, somewhere has made a spark. We all knew it would happen. We all hoped we would be in the village when it happened. I was not in the village. I was here, scooping oil. And now someone has made a spark and I am in the middle of a pillar of fire.
(Reading) This is what the fire is like. It is a swaddling of light. I am crouched on my heels and the bedpan I used to collect the oil is in my two hands. It is angled downward. I am in the middle of putting it into the oil, which is now not oil, but fire. The fire is swirling around my thighs and my arms. It is a crown around my head. It is a mantle over my shoulders.
(Reading) I cannot feel the fire. Perhaps I will never feel it. Perhaps it will consume me before my nerves send their signals of burning to my brain.
(Reading) One night, my friend Christopher and I went out to spend the little money we had on beer. He was just back from the university, living with his mother again. His sisters had taken jobs in Europe to help pay for his classes, but no one had heard from them since they had left and no money had come either, so now he was back. He had wanted to study astronomy.
(Reading) When the bar closed, Christopher and I lurched, arm-in-arm, out into the street, laughing and singing angrily. The night was uncommonly clear and full of stars. Christopher said, Jonathan, my friend, consider the stars and the age of their light. In my drunkenness, I missed Christopher's tone in saying the age of their light, the age of their light. No, he said, look.
(Reading) But first I looked at him. His face was turned toward the sky. His eyes moved across the stars as if he were reading a book or a musical score. He pointed. Jonathan, do you see those three stars, the ones that make a triangle right there? Yes, my friend, I see them I think, I said. I didn't see the triangle, but I didn't think it was important for what Christopher wanted to tell me.
(Reading) Fine, he said. The light you are seeing now from the star at the top of the triangle was made the year you were born. The light from the star on the bottom left was made when the Portuguese first sailed into the delta. The light from the star on the bottom right was made a thousand years before any of us saw a European.
(Reading) Our own history is in the sky, preserved for us in light. When you wake tomorrow with your head pounding and your stomach flopping like a fish suffocating in the bottom of a boat, the light from the fires of the sun that sizzles your bloodshot eyes will have been made 8 minutes before you awoke to your hangover.
(Reading) For all you will know, the sun will have gone out and the light you curse 7 minutes and 59 seconds from the past. I am thinking of Christopher now. Wrapped in my chrysalis of fire, taken up and held in this instant before my dispersal into ash. I wish I could ask him, Christopher, what is the light that I see now? What is preserved in the light of this, the briefest of stars? Thank you.
HARDING: Paul Harding.
(SOUNDBITE OF LIVE MUSIC)
HARDING: I didn't want to pronounce his last name wrong. I'm the host and that wouldn't be right. So I emailed the singer in question so I'd get it right on the night. And then I gave this poem a subtle rewrite.
From The Mountain Goats, it rhymes with tar heel. Let him know how you feel. It's John Darnielle.
HARDING: Tell them about that guitar, John, 'cause I only know about it because I have one exactly the same.
JOHN DARNIELLE: So this is a rain song. And the deal with rain songs is that, if somebody who is an - all love to baggage handlers around the world, but sometimes they get mad and have to jump up and down on your guitar. And if it's one of those guitars, your guitar is toast, right? But if it's my guitar, they can jump up and down because it's made of carbon fiber and I can beat the living god out of it, so, like, that's the deal with it.
It also has a little gooseneck microphone underneath, which I really like because of the word gooseneck.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG "YOU WERE COOL")
DARNIELLE: (Singing) This is a song with the same four chords I use most of the time when I've got something on my mind and I don't want to squander the moment trying to come up with a better way to say what I want to say. People were mean to you. But I always thought you were cool. Clicking down the concrete hallways in your spiked heels back in high school.
(Singing) It's good to be young, but let's not kid ourselves, it's better to pass on through those years and come out the other side with our hearts still beating, having stared down demons and come back breathing. People were mean to you. But I always thought you were cool. Clicking down the concrete hallways in your spiked heels back in high school.
(Singing) You deserved better than you got. Someone's got to say it some time 'cause it's true. People should have told you you were awesome instead of taking advantage of you. I hope you love your life now like I love mine. I hope the painful memories only flex their power over you a little of the time.
(Singing) We held on to hope of better days coming. And when we did, we were right. I hope that people who did you wrong have trouble sleeping at night. People were mean to you. But I always thought you were cool. Clicking down the concrete hallways in your spiked heels back in high school.
DARNIELLE: Hi, we're The Mountain Goats.
Thank you very much.
So in the first line of that song, I talk about how there's kind of four chords that I tend to default to if I have an idea that I want to get out of my body as quickly as I can, you know. And - and get it expressed before the feeling gets falsified, 'cause I think there's something about expressing yourself directly that involves a short duration of time. There's an honesty in the first expression, right? So this song has the same four chords and a couple of others.
And the other thing about it, it is - I hope I don't go on too long. I'm kind of a big talker when you get me going but - but, so I - when I first started doing this, I had a thing about, like, never playing any songs that had been released. I would, like, if you saw - came to see me and you yelled for me to play a song that had been on a record, I'd be no, it's been released, I'm not going to play it, right?
So - and I've sort of been sort of wanting to chase that energy back, so this is brand-new. And I don't really know for sure that I know all the words, so - but it's about - if you remember - or if you don't remember but have heard of Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers, who were a doo-wop group. A kid with an amazing voice. This is about Frankie Lymon's last hours. This is called "Harlem Roulette."
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG "HARLEM ROULETTE")
DARNIELLE: (Singing) Unknown armies underneath the city. Steam pushing up in billows through the grates. Frankie Lymon's tracking "Seabreeze" in a studio in Harlem. It's 1968.
(Singing) Just a pair of tunes to hammer out. Everybody's off the clock by 10. The loneliest people in the whole wide world are the ones you're never going to see again.
(Singing) I feel so free when I hit the avenue. Nothing like a New York summer night. Every dream's a good dream; even awful dreams are good dreams... if you're doing it right. Remember soaring higher than the clouds? Feel pretty sentimental now and then. The loneliest people in the whole wide world are the ones you're never going to see again.
(Singing) Four hours north of Portland, a radio flips on. And some no-one from the future remembers that you're gone. Armies massing in the dusky distance. Ghosted in the ribbon microphone. Leave a little mark on something, maybe. Take the secret circuit home.
(Singing) Nothing in the shadows but the shadows. Reaching out to sad, young, frightened men. The loneliest people in the whole wide world are the ones you're never going to see again. Yeah, the loneliest people in the whole wide world are the ones you're never going to see again.
DARNIELLE: Thank you so much. That was so exciting for me. Thank you.
HARDING: Please excuse us for a brief repose and keep your ears to your radio. You're listening to NPR.
HARDING: I think I've found a new voice. Think I've found a whole new identity in four words. You're listening to NPR.
(SOUNDBITE OF LIVE MUSIC)
HARDING: This is the CABINET OF WONDERS, where words, music and comedy get their 7 minutes in heaven, lipstick stains and all. Thank you.
HARDING: Townsmen, cast your eyes on Mirman. No Australian Bruce or warlike German. Of Russian stock. This comic sir, like Yakov Smirnoff, only funnier. Ladies and gentlemen, it's Eugene Mirman.
(SOUNDBITE OF LIVE MUSIC)
MIRMAN: Hello. Where shall we begin? I got a wake-up call. Not like, stop doing heroin! But, like, a regular one in a hotel. And normally what happens is, when you answer the phone, they're just, like, wake up. And you're, like, OK, I asked for this.
But this hotel, I answered the phone, and they went, it's May 5th, 2011. Why are you telling me the year? What do you think I did last night that I don't know what year it is? Unless it's, like, a coma-only hotel, where people wake up and they're like, why is the TV so flat?
So my parents very recently moved from my childhood home, where I grew up and they lived in for basically 30 years. And I had to go and save my childhood and get all my stuff. And I found a notebook recently and I don't know how bad of a student you were, but I was very bad. And I will just share some of the things that were found. Like, for instance, at my school - I grew up in Lexington, Massachusetts and...
MIRMAN: Yeah. This is awesome. This is a note card: Hard to follow history of vampires before a century because most of them didn't keep records. Agreed. That is one of the main reasons we don't have so much data on them.
This is a handwritten letter from a guidance counselor about my performance in school. And this is what it says: He is of average to above average ability and does not appear to have a learning disability.
My school wrote a letter to my parents that's, like, your son may be average, but we will throw in above average so we don't seem anti-Semitic.
HARDING: Eugene, you know, there's a lot of people listening on the radio right now. I wondered if you could paint, perhaps, a verbal picture...
HARDING: ...of - of the beautiful City Winery...
HARDING: ...and perhaps Manhattan.
MIRMAN: We're in a beautifully candlelit room made of wood and glass and dragon bones. And everyone is wearing a helmet with spikes on it. And, of course, everyone is wearing one of those masks from "V for Vendetta."
HARDING: And it's...
MIRMAN: Oh, and also, of course, for the people...
HARDING: Yes, that's important.
HARDING: Yeah, yeah. They can't imagine this, 'cause they're only listening to us talking about it. But you also can't imagine them...
MIRMAN: Yeah. They are...
HARDING: ...how they're listening to the show.
MIRMAN: ...sitting in their Volvos, low-end Lexuses. They went to Vassar, maybe. Stuff like that. They are liberal, but a little afraid of Latinos. And they're driving and they're - they're into it. They're, like, that must be about someone else. But it's about you.
Sorry, to a network I really like.
MIRMAN: Thank you all very much. Ladies and gentlemen, John Wesley Harding.
(SOUNDBITE OF LIVE MUSIC)
HARDING: Eugene Mirman. Eugene Mirman.
HARDING: My goodness, my goodness. Now, the poem about Rosanne Cash is faulty from the beginning, because she isn't from Nashville. But it's a limerick and people have to be from somewhere. And Nashville was doing much more for me rhyme-wise than any of the places she was actually from, which are dull.
There was a young lady from Nashville who grew up surprisingly bashful. But with top-10 singles, killer hooks and a best-selling book, she turned that old town into Cashville. Apparently her father was well-known too. Will you please welcome to the stage, Rosanne Cash.
(SOUNDBITE OF LIVE MUSIC)
ROSANNE CASH: Thank you.
Thank you. I realize that I couldn't be advertised for this show, because there was an ad embargo, because I played The Beacon last weekend. So I realize that not a single person is here to actually see me. It's very liberating.
CASH: And what else is liberating? Singing a song by a writer greater than me. Guy named Robert Zimmerman.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG "GIRL FROM THE NORTH COUNTRY")
CASH: (Singing) If you're traveling in the north country fair, where the winds hit heavy on the borderline. Remember me to one who lives there. She once was a true love of mine.
(Singing) If you go when the snowflakes storm, rivers freeze and summer ends. Please see she has a coat so warm, to keep her from the howling winds.
(Singing) Oh, I'm wondering if she remembers me at all. Many times I've often prayed in the darkness of my night, in the brightness of my days.
(Singing) So if you're traveling in the north country fair, where the winds hit heavy on the borderline. Remember me to one who lives there. She once was a true love of mine.
HARDING: Rosanne Cash.
CASH: Thank you.
It's a good show, Wes. You did a good job.
HARDING: You're good.
This is a song of mine that Wes and I are going to turn into a duet.
UNIDENTIFIED AUDIENCE MEMBER: Uh-oh.
CASH: I know, uh-oh, right?
HARDING: Where's my tape? There it is. Oh my God, I love this song so much.
CASH: Thank you.
HARDING: Which one are we doing?
UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: One, two, three, four.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG "SEVEN YEAR ACHE")
CASH: (Singing) You act like you were just born tonight; face down in a memory but feeling all right. So who does your past belong to today? Baby, you don't say nothing when you're feeling this way.
HARDING: (Singing) Oh, the girls and the guys saying who is this guy? But they don't tell nothing when they're telling you lies. You look so careless when you're shooting that bull. Don't you know heartaches are heroes when their pockets are full?
CASH: (Singing with John Wesley Harding) Tell me you're trying to kill the seven year ache. See what else your old heart can take. The boys say when is he going to give us some room? The girls say god, I hope he comes back soon.
(Singing) Everybody's talking, but you don't hear a thing. You're still uptown on your downhill swing. The boulevard's empty, why don't you come around? Baby, what is so great about sleeping downtown?
HARDING: (Singing) There's plenty of dives to be someone you're not. Yeah, you're looking for something you might have forgot. Don't bother calling to say you're leaving alone 'cause there's a fool on every corner when you're trying to get home.
CASH: (Singing with John Wesley Harding) Just tell them you're trying to kill the seven year ache. See what else your old heart can take. The boys say when is he going to give us some room? The girls say god, I hope he comes back soon. Tell me you're trying to kill the seven year ache. See what else your old heart can take. The boys say when is he going to give us some room? The girls say god, I hope he comes back soon.
HARDING: It's Rosanne Cash.
HARDING: Let's get everybody back on the stage. Hamilton Leithauser. John Darnielle. Craig Finn. Eugene Mirman. Where's that Eugene Mirman?
What on earth are you going to do in this song, Eugene Mirman? John Darnielle, he's back.
MIRMAN: Nothing helpful.
HARDING: Thank you so much for coming tonight. We had a fantastic time. Thank you very much for coming and the Cabinet is now ended. These, our actors, as I foretold you, were all spirits and are melted into air, thin air. And, like the baseless fabric of this beautiful Vivienne Westwood suit, the brilliant songs, the thought-provoking readings, the surly comics, the great City Winery itself. Yes, all which it inherit shall dissolve. And, like this insubstantial pageant faded, leave not a guitar pick behind.
We are such stuff as dreams are made on and our little life is rounded with a sleep. Ladies and gentlemen, the Cabinet is closed.
HARDING: Thanks for coming. This is how we like to finish this show.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG "SINGING A SONG IN THE MORNING")
HARDING: (Singing) Singing a song in the morning. Singing it again...
(Singing with Rosanne Cash) ...at night. I don't even know what I'm singing about...
(Singing) ...but it makes me feel I feel all right, yeah, yeah. It makes me feel I feel all right.
(Singing) Singing a song...
(Singing with Rosanne Cash) ...in the morning. Singing it again at night. I don't even know what I'm singing about...
(Singing) ...but it makes me feel I feel all right, yeah, yeah. It makes me feel... Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.