Heigh Ho Heigh Ho

Labor Day 2017

(C) Walt Disney Company
no infringement intended

And so another summer comes to an end. Around here, the weather gods have jumped early into autumn (58 degrees when I awoke) even as Houston starts to rebuild from a hurricane. September can be puzzling in a continent-spanning country. Continue reading

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Dancin’ in a Ring Around the Sun

Love is the Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-1970
Varrious Artists Boxed Set

I hesitate to write about music. In part that’s because I know others do a far better job of it than I ever will. It’s also in large part because I am skeptical of treating commercial products as though they  belonged among the great art works of western Continue reading

Like a Christmas Tree on Boxing Day

LPThe Year in  music: A Titular Playlist

It’s time for my annual listing of the songs from which I borrowed my post titles. And in keeping with an old C-90 era custom I’ve also provided a Spotify playlist.

This year, I toyed with the idea of adding a blurb to each song listed below. But I think some things ought to just speak for themselves. These are all really great albums, Continue reading

When Your Bird is Broken

That Girl from Arizona

LRWhen it comes to writing about music I seem to find myself stuck in the 70s. Maybe it’s easier to make sense of the songs I’ve been listening to  for most of a lifetime.

Or maybe I just can’t stand today’s Swedish-produced pop music.

In any case, no female performer from my teen years stands out more than Linda Ronstadt. More than once I’ve referred to her as the first Mexican-American girl I ever had a crush on. That ethnic bit is true. The Ronstadts were immigrant farmers from Continue reading

It’s Memorial Day: A Six Pack and Playlist

Park_Ridge_Memorial_Day_Parade,_May_2012On Monday morning, like many Americans in many towns, I’ll wander down the block with my son to watch the Memorial Day parade. For him it will be about the candy the paraders throw at the crowd (and it is a crowd). For me, though. it’s always about something more profound.

War is an ugly word. It draws out the worst in us and Continue reading

(Ain’t but) One Way Out

Wendell_HolmesWendell Holmes
1944-2015

In my current suburban dad existence the things I used to be on  top of take longer to find me. So it was almost two months before word of Wendell Holmes‘ passing made its way onto  my radar screen. He was only 71.

Wendell was the guitar player in The Holmes Brothers, a blues trio–sometimes a Continue reading

Rocket Man

It's always best to begin at the beginning. Sun Ra and co in 1955.

It’s always best to begin at the beginning.
Sun Ra and co in 1955.

What did rebels do before Elvis? And what happened to them once he arrived? Some, I think, reconnected with their home planet.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

The place to start is Birmingham, Alabama in the second decade of the 20th century. In the year that Europe began its descent into madness, the Blount family welcomed their Continue reading