The Foul Evil Deed I Had Done

The Killer Inside Me
(Crime Novels: American Noir of the 1950s, A Library of America Volume)
Jim Thompson

I know when to say “Uncle.” The Library of America (LOA) has beaten me.

Not in any serious way, mind you. But a bruised ego is still a bruised ego and I don’t acknowledge failure easily. Who’d have thought that the Continue reading

Alabama Getaway

Like many another Irishman my spectator sport of choice is politics. So I could not let the results of yesterday’s special election for US Senator in Alabama go unremarked upon.

I’m reasonably certain the usual media channels will undertake what passes for analysis. So I’m going to actually confine Continue reading

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

Tunes on the Dunes 2017

The Duke Robillard Band
At Misquamicut Beach, RI, August 9, 2017

Every so often I’m able to deliver on what might otherwise be just a well-intentioned promise.

A short time ago, in the J. Geils post, I mentioned a band and guitar player I’ve been listening to since 1979. That’s when the  self-titled Roomful of Blues album appeared, seeming to land Continue reading

June 5, Birthday of Laurie Anderson (b. 1947)

Reblog: Laurie Anderson (by Kurt Nemes)

Laurie Anderson and her dog Lolabele.
(© Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times no infringement intended.)

Something different from a blogger I follow. Kurt Nemes, a man far more knowledgeable about music than I, and someone I learn from regularly, today focused on Laurie Anderson.

Laurie and her husband, Lou Reed, were never my cup of tea. This is worth reading, though, especially the lovely tribute to Kurt’s parents.

The music is worth exploring, too. I added a comment with links to two songs I like which weren’t in the original post. Happy listening.

Kurt Nemes' Classical Music Almanac

When I heard “O Superman” in 1982, I became an instant fan. “Big Science” was like nothing I had ever heard–witty spoken word pieces that commented on absurdism in the US set to haunting and sometimes minimalist inspired music. Next came “Mr. Heartbreak,” which still mesmerizes me. But I stopped there, though I knew she continued to write, tour and perform. When I heard that she had married Lou around 2008, I went, “What?” I thought he was gay. After that, I rarely listened to her.

Then in October of 2013, Lou Reed died, and I thought about her. Having lost both my parents since 2008, when people fall in love and marry and then one dies, it really makes me sad. My father was married to my mom for 67 years and took care of her until she became obstreperous at the age of 92. Even after that, he…

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Dig That Jazz Band Ball

Snoopy jazzMusic  gets me through the day and I can be a bit fascistic, especially when it comes to breadth. My kids don’t even get much TV since I think the radio is a better alternative. And the station they listen to most often is WBGO, the jazz station hereabouts.

I might be the most improbable person to listen to jazz since, in musical terms, I don’t know what I’m listening to. I just followed Continue reading

The Living is Easy

DE_Beach_codeEndless Summer

Comes the middle of August, when the days are noticeably shorter and the light is longer and yellower, I yearn for the beach.  With the water at its warmest and the crowds beginning to thin there’s no better place to be.

Maybe next year I’ll kick  summer off with music. This year, I was set to thinking by a Mark Spitz post on Salon. Spitz has a late summer ritual built around a Continue reading

Could Spark Up Nostalgia

FramptonFrampton Comes Alive 
Peter Frampton
Originally Released: 1976

More than a few decades back it seemed like every high school-aged white kid in America was issued the same five albums. On Long Island, there was a bonus sixth record.

I owned most of them but even if you didn’t you couldn’t escape. None of us could and in certain precincts of the FM dial you still Continue reading

Everybody Eats (When They Come to My House)

McWilliams_RevolutionA Revolution in Eating: How the Quest for Food
Shaped America
James E. McWilliams

New England Boiled Dinner. Can there be four more fearsome words in the English language? I grew up in a boiling household and the idea of enshrining that flavor-destroying technique  in the name of the meal strikes terror in my tummy.

So you can imagine my confusion when confronting a litany of the typical New England kitchen garden circa 1700 or so. This is just a patial list of things I didn’t expect to see: leeks, currants. mint, asparagus. artichokes, basil, garlic, Continue reading

Brothers (in Arms)

In some arenas, brotherhood works.

In some arenas, brotherhood works.

I find it hard to concentrate these days. I’m unable to finish even the simplest book. And the meaty stuff is stacking up ever higher. All signs of drawing too close to the borders of darkland, which is understandable but undesirable.

So I turn for solace, as ever, to music. And what prompts me to attempt writing today is a post from back in May on Every Record Tells a Story. That piece brought to my attention an incident I didn’t know about: a dust-up between Dave Davies and Mick Avory Continue reading