Seven-Twelfths Recap


Joan Shelley: First of August

The last time I filled space on this blog with links to things that I’ve written elsewhere was in April, and so here we are, seven-twelfths through a truly crappy year, and I decided that it was time to do it again.  Because what’s better during an oppressive pandemic summer than asking readers to read old posts, right?

As usual, most of my blogging is at Star Maker Machine.  We reached into the SMM Storehouse of Theme Ideas for “Musical Mysteries,” and I finally got to write one of my personal favorite posts, about Thin Lizzy’s “The Boys Are Back In Town” (Who are these boys? Where have they been?  Why are they coming back?  And why do you have to let them fight?  Among other mysteries…), as well as R.E.M.’s “What’s The Frequency, Kenneth?”

Continue reading

Posted in Downloads, General | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

In Praise of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Really.


Martin Sexton: Diner

I know that I should be writing about the wave of protests sweeping the country and the underlying systemic racism that has burst into mainstream consciousness, but who wants to hear about that from a middle-aged white guy without any particular expertise on the issue? (Much better, I think, to read and learn from the experts, right?)  Or I should be writing about our horrific president and his gang of fascist-wannabe enablers, but I’ve done that, and I don’t have anything new to add that hasn’t been said better elsewhere.  Or, maybe I need to write a review of Jason Isbell’s excellent new album, Reunions, but considering that it was recently the number 1 album on most of the relevant Billboard charts, and has been reviewed everywhere, I’m not sure what new insights I have  (It’s good.  Not Southeastern good, but that’s a damn high bar).

So, instead, let’s talk about the television equivalent of the most comforting of comfort foods, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.  I’d argue that during this period of home sheltering and increased binge watching, “Triple D” is the perfect way to pass time.

Continue reading

Posted in Downloads | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

You’d Think


You’d think that being stuck at home with diminishing work to do would have resulted in more writing on this blog, but you’d be wrong.

When it became clear that I’d be back to working from home–this time, with my wife doing the same–and with the gym and most other places closed, or reduced to takeout, or uncomfortable to be in, we started off with a head of steam.  We reorganized some cabinets and drawers.  We cleaned.  My wife baked and baked and baked.  I continued to work, and do some light music blogging, although I spent much of my time helping to organize a series of Zoom meetings of my Princeton classmates.  I learned how to use Zoom, Slack and Spotify.  And we binge watched TV like crazy.

A couple of weeks ago, the vision in my left eye, which had successfully stopped a hard shot on the soccer field back in the fall, was partially obscured, resulting in a diagnosis of a torn and detached retina.  After getting pneumatic retinopexy, where a gas bubble was injected into my eye, followed by getting blasted by lasers, I’m on the mend, but I have to spend much of the day with my head tilted–and the easiest way to do that is to lie in be or on the couch, watching TV or sleeping.  I guess that if I had to have to go through this, now is not a bad time.

Between that and the general malaise that has come from the long period of home stay, where taking a masked walk by the Hudson is the highlight of the week, and grocery shopping is both risky and frustrating, I’ve settled into a state of ennui.  I tried writing an alternative history piece about what would have happened if Trump were president when Pearl Harbor was attacked, but that bogged down (ultimately, of course, the answer would have been, German would be our national language, and I’d never have been born, since my family would have been killed by our Nazi overlords or, more likely, their American collaborators).  And, as you’ll see, I’ve continued to bang out music writing for the other blogs, because it isn’t that hard.

One thing that I’ve learned from blogging is that sometimes you just need to write something, and it opens the floodgates.  So, I figured that a roundup of writing and other stuff since my last one in November might just prime the pump for some more interesting pieces.  And stay to the end (or scroll to the end now, if you are already bored) for some more COVID themed Spotify playlists.

Continue reading

Posted in General | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

COVID Playlists 1 & 2

Tiger music fan

For the past few years, my college class, the Princeton Class of 1982, has celebrated ’82 Day on the 82nd day of the year, with small gatherings of classmates around the country.  It is a good way to keep in touch with college friends, and an excuse to wear our crazy Reunions jackets and have some fun.

This year, of course, we had to cancel the events, but are planning to try a Virtual ’82 Day on the appropriate day, which this leap year falls on March 22.  We’ve lined up some classmates to lead presentations during the virtual event–journalists and a doctor to discuss the pandemic, but also some fun stuff, like a movie executive to make suggestions on things to watch while stuck at home, and an astrophysicist to give us pointers on stargazing.

Also for fun, I decided to create a playlist of 82 songs themed for what we are all experiencing in these crazy times, for the first time venturing onto Spotify.  It was fun to do, and when I shared it with classmates, and then my Facebook newsfeed, people seemed to like it, so here it is:

So, of course, I did another one:

As I noted, it probably isn’t as good as the first one, but most sequels, other than The Godfather II and The Empire Strikes Back, fall short of the original.

That being said, I’ve got a third one almost done, and will share it here when I release it to the public.  I do think it is better than The Godfather III, but maybe not Return of the Jedi.

Posted in General | Tagged | 1 Comment

My Favorite TV of 2019

Best tv 2019

Penguin Café Orchestra: The Ecstasy Of Dancing Fleas

Miles Davis: Bags’ Groove

Starting in January of last year, I began doing my real job mostly from a real office and not from home, which, I assumed, would mean that this list would be shorter than last year’s.

It isn’t, somehow.

And it is also the reason that this list is being published in late February.

As I noted last year, not everything on here is a gem, but all had something that made me put it on this list. Also, there are actually some other shows that that I watch that didn’t make this list.

Because of the ability to stream older shows, I also discovered one series from a prior year, so there’s a separate section for things that were “new to me” in 2019. But, if the show has a new season in 2019, it is in the main section.

One of the themes from 2019 were second seasons from shows that had amazing first seasons, which many critics argued should simply stand alone.  But TV is actually designed to make money, and one theoretically safe way to do that is to commission more of something that worked.  Unfortunately, for most of those shows, the second season was not nearly as good.

The big (although not only) exception, and my favorite show of 2019, was Fleabag (Amazon). To be fair, I also thought that season 1 was so good that a second season would only tarnish its luster, and I was wrong.  That’s what you get, it appears, from underestimating Phoebe Waller-Bridge.  It was funny, it was poignant, it was clever, and engrossing, and it made a relationship between a woman and a priest sexy.  And I’m glad that there are no plans for season 3.

Disclaimers:  (1) I know that there are shows that made many year-end best of lists that I didn’t watch, because you can’t watch everything, or because their premise didn’t seem interesting, or because I’m already too many seasons behind. Some of them I may watch down the line, and some I won’t.  A short list of those appears below.

(2) Because I haven’t seen every show, and because some of the shows aren’t “great,” but still enjoyable, I call this a list of “my favorites” not a list of “the best.”

Continue reading

Posted in Downloads, General | Leave a comment

End Of Third Quarter Review

third quarter

U2: October

I’m a little disappointed at the small number of views on my last Nostalgia post–I spent a fair amount of time on it and thought it was kind of interesting.  But then, again, when you don’t blog regularly, it is hard to generate readership.  Or, maybe it wasn’t all that great.

I haven’t done a summary post since March, so it seems high time for another one, before we head into the holiday season (although this year, October was the “Jewish Holiday” season).

My contributions at Cover Me have again been limited to participation in group posts, and I participated in the following:  Best Joni Mitchell covers— I wrote about No. 29, The Cantrells’ bluegrass inflected version of “You Turn Me On, I’m a Radio,” No. 25, Natalie Merchant’s faithful cover of “All I Want,” No. 18, Northampton’s Darlingside and Heather Maloney joining forces for a upbeat, folky take on “Woodstock,” No. 16, Adrienne Young and Little Sadie’s rootsy “Free Man in Paris,” No. 14, Okkervil River’s lugubrious and affecting “The Blonde in the Bleachers,” and No. 8, the mostly teenaged members of Fairport Convention’s version of “I Don’t Know Where I Stand,” which was released before Joni’s version.  Then, we did a Q&A addressing the question of whether artists can cover their own song (the answer, by the way, is “no.”)  I wrote about Nick Lowe’s various interpretations of his song, “I Knew The Bride.” 

We then did a Best Cure covers piece, and I wrote about No. 27, Luka Bloom’s heartfelt cover of “In Between Days,” No. 21, Scala and Kolacny Brothers’ choral take on “Friday, I’m In Love.” and No. 11, Kate York’s countrified “Boys Don’t Cry.  I participated in the blog’s Best Elton John covers roundup, contributing three: No. 22, The Indigo Girls’ very Indigo Girls sounding cover of “Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters,” No. 18, Bettye LaVette’s stunning, personal cover of the relatively obscure “Talking Old Soldiers” (which should be much, much higher on the list, IMHO–and was great when I had the chance to see her perform it), and No. 10, Time Timebomb (Rancid’s Tim Armstrong) and Friends-joyful, ska-punk take on “Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting.”

Honoring the 50th anniversary of Woodstock, we collected the 50 best covers performed at the festival (and there were many, many covers performed at Yasgur’s farm).  I wrote about No. 39, Joan Baez’s cover of union song “Joe Hill” (featuring some a discussion about the unsuccessful assassination of a Tarrytown resident, whose mausoleum I saw last week during a lantern tour of Sleepy Hollow Cemetery), No. 25, Baez (with Jerry Shurtleff) turning the Byrds’ “Drug Store Truck Driving Man” from a revenge song into an antiwar anthem, No. 11, The Jefferson Airplane covering The Great Society’s “Somebody To Love,” which was also originally sung by Grace Slick, and No. 2, Joe Cocker’s legendary, John Belushi inspiring, cover of the Beatles “With A Little Help From My Friends.”

Next up was best covers of The Boss, and I wrote about No. 47, Shawn Colvin’s stripped down “Tougher Than The Rest,” No. 42, Graham Parker’s acoustic “Pink Cadillac,” No. 38, Two Cow Garage’s pedal to the metal “No Surrender,” No. 21, Lera Lynn’s twangy “Fire,”and No. 5, Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires’ haunting “Born In the U.S.A.”  Most recently, at my wife’s suggestion I proposed a Q&A about experiences with tribute bands, and wrote about my surprisingly positive attendance at a show by The Musical Box, a Genesis tribute band.  I’m about to start on my contributions to a Best R.E.M. covers piece, so stay tuned.

Continue reading

Posted in General | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


Cracker: Nostalgia

“Nostalgia is often the abdication of responsibility.”  Prof.  Eddie Glaude, Jr.

I’ve been thinking about nostalgia these days.  It isn’t as good as it used to be, though. (Insert rimshot).

I started ruminating about nostalgia when my wife and I watched Ken Burns’ Country Music series (which I have also discussed here and here).  It’s a monumental work, and was fascinating to me, despite the fact (or maybe because of the fact) that my knowledge of the genre is pretty limited.  I came of age listening to music in the late 1960s and early 1970s, when the type of music that you listened to was a political statement.  If you were a liberal, anti-war type, then you listened to long haired hippy rock and roll.  And if you were a conservative hawk, then you favored cowboy hat, Nudie suit wearing country.   Which, like most generalizations, is overbroad, of course, but there’s a lot of truth in it, and Burns addressed that in the documentary.

It is hard to argue that rock music didn’t branch off from country, when artists like Elvis Presley melded country with what was called “race” music, or rhythm and blues, creating something that was, predictably, rejected by the country music establishment.  Burns also made a big point about the fact that Johnny Cash was politically and socially progressive, even at the height of his popularity, and possibly at the cost of his popularity. It really wasn’t until much later, when I had started listening to more folk/Americana/alt-country music that I began to dip my toes into classic country music.

But what struck me the most about the series was the thread of nostalgia that runs through country music from its very early days.  So much of country music was based on looking back toward what was seen as simpler, better times,  which, to me, was a reaction to the various upheavals in the South and West (from whence this music mostly comes)–the end of slavery, the Great Depression and Dust Bowl poverty and migrations from rural areas to cities, Jim Crow and the Civil Rights movement, and so on.  When life now is hard, look back to when things were better (or at least seemed so, with the rose-colored glasses of nostalgia).  And often, the reaction to the perceived commercial and “inauthentic” forms of country music was nostalgic–a return to roots, old-time mountain music, bluegrass, and more stripped down, less glossy music.

Then, I went to Princeton over the weekend.  Visiting one’s alma mater makes it almost impossible not to engage in nostalgia, and Princeton is a champion at encouraging it.  Walking through the campus where you lived in your youth floods your brain with memories of that older, simpler time.  But, of course, it isn’t the same place.  New buildings have gone up in the decades since I graduated, and some have been razed.  And the campus is filled with young people, living their own college years, and, to the extent they even notice us alumni, thinking about how old we look.  Not to mention, if I were to assess my college years objectively, there were things that I certainly would have done differently, a realization that sometimes interrupts the warm orange glow of my memories.

I was on campus to attend the Thrive conference focusing on Princeton’s black alumni.  No, I’m not black (although I do have dark skin for a white guy), but Princeton invites back all of its alumni for all of its various affinity group conferences.  Actually, one of the great things about being a Princeton alumnus who lives reasonably close is that the university provides us with many opportunities to hear from professors, prominent and interesting alumni, and students throughout the year.

There was, of course, a good deal of nostalgia–people seeing old friends and talking about old times–but there was also a significant amount of discussion about how things had changed over the years, and whether it was enough change.  At least two of the sessions that I attended directly addressed the question of nostalgia.  The first was led by Professor Glaude, who spent the session mostly reading the first chapter of his forthcoming book, Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own, interspersing observations and comments along the way.  It was a tour de force.  A key point that Glaude raised was about Baldwin’s position that the nostalgic “American Dream” was, in fact, a lie for black Americans, and that failing to understand that results in a failure to understand the black experience in America.

And certainly, this dark side of nostalgia was the underlying basis of the Trump campaign, whose slogan, “Make America Great Again” was nothing more than an attempt to look backwards.  But it begged the question–when was America great, with the clear subtext that its supposed greatness was when white men ruled unquestioned, and the interests of minorities and women were of little or no importance — which is why the white supremacist movement burst back into prominence, when the President is a sympathizer who refused to denounce neo-Nazi violence.

Toward the end of the weekend, I attended a session devoted to a discussion of how Princeton was addressing some of its own less savory history, mostly related to race. Most of the session focused on the legacy of Woodrow Wilson, former University president, whose name is on two significant Princeton institutions.  In 2016, the Black Justice League, a student organization, occupied Princeton president Chris Eisgruber’s office for 33 hours, with a wide-ranging set of demands, including the removal of Wilson’s name, due to his racism.

After gathering comments from various constituencies and historians, Princeton decided, in light of its perception that Wilson’s legacy was mixed, both in his transformation of Princeton and in some of his policies as U.S. President, not to remove the Wilson name, but to take a number of steps to confront Wilson’s history and other problematic parts of its past.  One of those steps was to commission an installation, “Double Sights,” which is located on the plaza in front of the Wilson School for Public and International Affairs.  The designer of the piece, artist Walter Hood, an African-American who recently was awarded a Macarthur Fellowship and the Gish Prize, cogently explained how his project was intended to address Wilson’s legacy.  As President Eisgruber said at the dedication, which followed the session,  “It is disruptive by design. ‘Double Sights’ exposes the profound contradictions in Wilson’s life and character, and in so doing, it challenges us to confront the fault lines in our society and the tensions within the human soul.”  So, if you agreed with the university’s approach toward dealing with Wilson, the installation appears to be a good start.

However, it was clear that not everyone agreed with the way Princeton was acting, and most of the comments from the audience were negative.  One black alum who graduated in the 70s was adamant that Wilson’s name needed to be erased from its positions of honor, and he was joined in that sentiment by a recent alum who was one of the founders of the Black Justice League, and a current student, among others, one of whom pointed out that the Wilson School is literally the whitest building on campus.  It was a stark reminder of the power of history to affect current attitudes and passions, and the need to reassess the “good old days” when they actually weren’t all that good (for most people).

Our featured song, “Nostalgia,” by Cracker, references Stonewall Jackson’s arm, which had been amputated and buried and never reunited with the rest of the traitor’s body (although it has reportedly been exhumed and reburied).  Of course, the “Lost Cause” narrative is one of the most insidious examples of nostalgia in this country’s history, and it has resulted in a remarkable amount of memorializing of the rebelling traitors and as an excuse for continued oppression of black Americans.  Cracker, by the way, chose its name, in part, because they were making music “based on country, bluegrass and [a] good dose of ‘White boy blues-rock, southern rock, and soul influenced rock. Things like The Band, Little Feat even Lynyrd Skynyrd,” which someone suggested sounded like “Cracker Soul Music.”

People are always going to look backwards, but it is important to assess the past with a fresh eye, without fear of what that examination might find, and with a desire to improve what needs improvement.  As Representative Terri Sewell, an African-American member of Princeton’s Class of 1986, and the speaker at the Thrive closing dinner, stated in a New York Times op-ed, “Patriotism is not looking at our past through rosy glasses and a revisionist history; it is having the courage to examine more closely those areas that are broken, and it is believing in the power of the system to fix them.”

Posted in General | Tagged , | 1 Comment

America–Love It….or Try To Change It

The Beatles: Get Back

Hello, you may remember me, the guy who promised to write here more regularly, and then totally wrote less frequently.  I have my reasons, but if you are reading this, you probably don’t really care what they are, so I’ll just move along.

It is amazing to me that we are currently having a national “debate” over whether critics of the current government policies should “go back to where they came from.”  And that this debate was kicked off by a series of racist tweets and comments either cynically, or ignorantly (or both), issued by the President of the United States.  I mean, I shouldn’t be amazed by anything that comes out of the clearly compromised brain of the current holder of the presidency, a man for whom “bottom of the barrel” and “bar cannot be lowered” comments keep coming, as things just get worse and more unhinged.

Speaking of which, the hypocrisy from the party of Trump continues unabated.  The man ran for president on a platform of criticizing the existing government policies, but no one from the Democratic Party suggested that “if he didn’t like it, he should leave the country.”  No one suggested that he “go back to where he came from,” whether that be our common native borough of Queens, his mother’s native Scotland, or his brothel-owning, draft-dodging grandfather’s Germany (from whence grandpa was banished…OK, technically, Bavaria…for the crime of draft dodging, which apparently is genetic).  To the contrary, he was permitted to run his racist, nativist, generally incoherent other than self-aggrandizing and bullying, campaign, and got elected by appealing to the worst instincts of a portion of the electorate and, with Russian assistance, sneaking through a quirk in the Constitution that probably has the Founders spinning wildly in their graves.  At which point, like most authoritarians, he decided that dissent was only OK for him and his ilk, and his opponents were un-American and should go back to where they came from, despite the fact that most of those who were the targets of his ire have roots in this country that long pre-date his.

Not to mention that it is hard to really believe that someone who “hates America” would expend the time, effort and money that it takes to get elected to Congress.  I’d argue that, in fact, they love America so much that they want to be involved in running it.

Of course, he tried to use his rhetorical jujitsu, claiming that it was his critics who were bigots, and that his targets deserved to be silenced because they said things that were un-American, or anti-Semitic, or racist (all things, of course, that he, himself, has done regularly).  And this led to another fight, among his critics, about whether or not it was OK to criticize Rep. Omar, or Ocasio-Cortez, etc., leading to the kind of whataboutism and confusion that helps to obscure the fact that the President of the United States is a bigot.

My take on this whole situation is that the racist tweets, statements and tweets should be called out.  And that individuals have the right–even an obligation–to point to their disagreements with even other Democrats on policy or strategy, but to recognize that they have every right to have their opinions.  I’d argue that it is much, much less dangerous for a Congressperson to have an opinion about Israel that I might disagree with, or a belief that the United States is currently ready to pass sweeping environmental laws, which I think needs to be better explained and executed, than for the President to be attempting to stifle debate.  And to those who argue that publicly differing with fellow Democrats is a “win” for the racist tactics, I disagree.  I think that we can do both, and in criticizing the attempt to demonize dissenters, shine an even harsher light on what he said–it is both racist and authoritarian.  Or, to put it another way, un-American.

As for our featured song, I’m told by the Internet that it was originally more pointed, and was meant as a satire of anti-immigrant policies in Britain back in the day.  The more things change…..

Posted in Downloads, General | Tagged | Leave a comment

Happily Out of the Loop


Dexateens: Outside The Loop

The main reason to blog about stuff is to get your opinions out in the public, putting aside the simple joy of writing.  Doing so pretty much assumes that you believe that other people care about your opinions.  Over the past few years, here, and at other blogs, I’ve opined about music, television, politics, sports, and other things, but if there is one thing that is clear, it is literally impossible to keep up with all aspects of popular culture.  There’s just too much of it, and too little time.  And that is true, even if your actual job is to write about it, much less if it is a hobby that you do while trying to hold down a regular job and live a life.  There was a time in my life that it was important for me to be ahead of the curve, but that time has long past.  Although I’m still interested in new things, and don’t, for example, only listen to music that I liked in high school.  (For example, our featured song is by Dexateens, a rocking alt-country band featuring future Drive-By Truckers bass player Matt Patton, from a 2006 album co-produced by Trucker Patterson Hood and David Barbe).

Turning to television, it is clear from my year-end roundups, that I watch a lot of TV.  I watch things that are popular, I watch things that are critical favorites, I watch things that are not, and I’ve even caught up on a bunch of older shows that I missed out on for various reasons.

But one thing that I have never watched is a single episode of Game of Thrones.  And over the past few weeks, I am really getting tired of all of the attention that it is getting.  Why don’t I watch it?  I remember when it first came out, there were a bunch of negative reviews, I had never read the books, and it just seemed dopey.  Now, I’m not necessarily turned off by violent period dramas–I’m a big fan of Vikings and Deadwood, for example, or by science fiction–I love The Expanse–but I’ve never liked the sword and sorcery stuff–I never enjoyed Lord of The Rings, in either book or movie form, and it seemed like GoT was going to be like a more violent LotR, with nudity and dragons.  (Brief aside–for various reasons, I never watched some of the other consensus picks for top series from the current Golden Age of TV, including Breaking Bad, Mad Men and The Sopranos, and most of the ones that I’d be interested in just have too many seasons to go back and binge, but maybe I’ll hit the lottery some day and have the time.)

Despite the popularity of GoT, for years, it was relatively easy to ignore it–sure, I read enough TV news to recognize the names of some of the characters, and heard about the red wedding, but basically, it was not everywhere.  Now, as the show is in its last week, it has become impossible to ignore–it is all over the Internet, and everyone is making references to the show.  References that go right over my head.   And I get it–if the media is anything, it is willing to pander to popular taste.  But I am looking forward to the last episode, not because I care about how the show ends, but so that I don’t ever have to hear about it anymore.

And while we are at it, I’ve also heard enough about Avengers: Endgame.  I’ve seen a handful of the Marvel movies, but the idea of sitting through a three-hour movie filled with references that I won’t get, and backstory that I don’t know, or don’t remember, seems horrific.  (If you have read my Best TV pieces, you know that I do watch my share of superhero shows, but Endgame just seems like too much).

Now, get off my lawn.

Posted in Downloads, General | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

A Placeholder Post


Despite the new office, I’ve been writing here more (yay!) (or yay?)  Nevertheless, I did want to do another post where I collect my writing on other sites, since the last one of these.  It is sort of like the blog version of a TV clip show.

At Cover Me, I continue to not write any feature articles, although I’m thinking of one to pitch the team.  But I did contribute to two “Best Covers” collections.  We did Neil Young covers, and I wrote about: 50–Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit’s live rocking “Like A Hurricane,” 37-Gillian Welch’s mellow “Pocahontas,” 27–Elizabeth Mitchell’s gentle “Little Wing,” 19-Wire Train’s 80’s indie rock “Mr. Soul,” 17–Dala’s pretty “A Man Needs A Maid,” 14-Great Lake Swimmers’ atmospheric “Don’t Cry No Tears,” 10-Cassandra Wilson’s slow, jazzy “Harvest Moon,” and 7–the Pixies surprisingly poppy “Winterlong.”

Then we did Buddy Holly covers, and I wrote about 35–the Flamin’ Groovies fuzzy, scuzzy “That’ll Be The Day,” 24–Steve Hillage’s spacy “Not Fade Away,” 22–Justin Townes Earle’s rocking “Maybe Baby,” 19–The Beatles’ only “official” Holly cover, “Words of Love,” 14–The Bunch (a “supergroup” including Sandy Denny, Richard Thompson and Linda Peters, soon to be Thompson) doing a pretty “Learning The Game,” 12–Hot Tuna’s concise “It’s So Easy,” and a surprise at 9–Canadian singer Serena Ryder’s New Orleans influenced “It Doesn’t Matter Any More.”  Next up, Radiohead, a band that I don’t really like, so I’m opting out.

Star Maker Machine continues to be where I post most often.  This year, our holiday theme was “Unsainted Nicks,” and I contributed a piece about Nick Lowe’s “Christmas At The Airport.”  I was prolific in responding to the annual In Memoriam theme, writing about Roy Hargrove, Russ Solomon (the founder of Tower Records), Marty Balin and Yvonne Staples and Edwin Hawkins.

Continue reading

Posted in Cross-Post, Videos | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment