Friday, July 19, 2013

Clinic -- "Walking With Thee" (2002)

A million joys, a million joys here
You could set your watch
How untamed it was!

In the last 2 or 3 lines, I told you a little about the Mayo Clinic, which is a truly remarkable institution. 

While I was at Mayo's last month with my parents, I had time to take a look at the Plummer Building, which is the oldest Mayo Clinic building still in use.

Dr. Henry Plummer
The Plummer Building is named for Dr. Henry Plummer, who became a partner of the Mayo brothers in 1901, when he was only 27 years old.  Plummer created the first modern medical record system, was a pioneer in the use of X-ray diagnosis, and pushed to have sophisticated research labs at the Mayo Clinic.  He is perhaps more responsible for the development of the integrated group medical practice that the Mayo Clinic embodies than any other single individual.

Dr. Plummer oversaw the design and construction of the building that was later namer after him, which was the tallest building in the state of Minnesota when it was completed in 1926, and remained the tallest building in Rochester until 2002.

Here's a black-and-white photo showing the Plummer Building shortly after it was completed:

Here's an old postcard showing a view of downtown Rochester that is dominated by the Plummer Building.  The smaller building immediately to the left is the original Mayo Clinic building, which was demolished many years ago.  

The large white building further to the left is the Kahler Hotel, which is still operating.  I took this picture of the Kahler from the 15th floor of another Mayo Clinic building:

Here's a depiction of Dr. Plummer on the exterior of the Plummer Building:

Here's another depiction of him:

Here's a shot of the top of the Plummer Building.

Here's a closer look:

Here's a closeup of one of the gargoyles:

A carillonneur performs three concerts weekly on the Plummer Building's 56-bell carillon:

The lobby of the Plummer Building is so richly detailed that it almost overwhelms the eye:

The bronze elevator doors have panels depicting Greek gods and goddesses.  Here's Demeter, the goddess of the harvest:

Here's Hermes with a microscope:

Here's a photo of the lobby ceiling:

Here's a door handle.  (Virtually every part of the Plummer Building -- no matter how small or insignificant -- is a thing of beauty.)

Clinic is a group from Liverpool that released its first record in 1999.  I had never heard of Clinic before I discovered them when I looking for music that I could feature in a series of posts about the Mayo Clinic.

To say that Clinic is a little off-center would be an understatement.  The group routinely performs wearing surgical masks: 

Clinic once toured with Radiohead, and some people compare their music to Radiohead's.  That's not a ridiculous comparison, but Clinic's music isn't really like anyone else's.  The group relies heavily on unusual chord progressions and vintage electronic keyboards.

If Jim Morrison and Ray Manzarek of the Doors had been born 40 years later, the Doors might have sounded something like Clinic.  Or maybe not.

Here's the title track from Clinic's 2002 album, Walking With Thee:

That's a fabulous song, n'est-ce pas?  Here's the group performing it live on Late Show with David Letterman:

Click here to buy the song from Amazon:

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