• Ladies Leading the Way

    Rock ’n’ Roll has grown into an intergenerational entity. Since its birth from the hybrid strains of Country & Western and Rhythm & Blues, it grows the most when rebelling against the previous mixture of alleles. However, now Rock ’n’ Roll is entering another phase of singer/ songwriters to push it along the genetic line.

  • The underdog of American Fiction: SCIENCE FICTION

     Science Fiction (to be abbreviated SF here) continues to be a misappropriated and misunderstood genre that for its complex history should at least merit a few more writers than George Orwell (“1984”), Aldous Huxley (“Brave New World”) and Ray Bradbury (“Fahrenheit 451.”)

  • Rifles, Rosary Beads and Remembering What Most of Us Try to Forget

    Still, the nation’s veterans are a group of brave individuals who no matter what soldier on. For her new album, “Rifles and Rosary Beads,” singer/songwriter Mary Gauthier (say “Go-Shay” ya’ll – as she likes to say) bravely sat down with several of the nation’s Vets and put their complicated feelings into simple, visceral songs.

  • Our Turntable, Your Travel Agent

    When the 12-inch 33 RPM record became more than a novelty in the 1950s, owning a few slabs of wax was a sign of being adventurous. Esoteric was the label given to forbidden realms of music that your phonograph would then bring to life. Suburbia bloomed out of the boom after World War II and LP's like Martin Denny's "Exotica" allowed listeners to scale vistas, descend into jungles and feel the sand of distant beaches all without leaving your sofa.

  • An Interview with Otto Penzler

    You may not be a fan of mystery and suspense.

    Honestly, it happens. However, in the late 1800s and early 1900s, these stories collected in "dime novels" provided the same sense of adventure and escape we obtain today from plunging into Netflix or wiping out a season of some show over the frigid weekend.  Otto Penzler is the proprietor of The Mysterious Bookshop in New York City, the oldest and premiere Mystery, Suspense and Espionage store in North America. Penzler took time from his busy store and schedule to offer a glimpse into his latest anthology

  • 10 Ways that You Can Better Music

    As 2017 draws to a close, columns will be festooned with lists and accolades. I myself will more than likely compose such a list. However, I can only urge you to read this or anything I write for that matter with two things: An open mind and a discerning ear. The other bombardment we suffer through daily are the traps laid known as "clickbait", where just the simple hook can drag you through a pond of muck you would barely glance at in reality. It is for that reason (and with a great deal of thought), I present this list.

     

  • The Weather Station

    Toronto's Tamara Lindeman is The Weather Station. After listening to her latest Paradise of Bachelors record, it clearly does not matter whether she is/is not or has/has not a band - Lindeman is a brilliant songwriter first and foremost. "The Weather Station" is that rare breakup album that captures the strange optimism of losing your past and the odd comfort of privately reveling in the best parts.

  • Novick, Burns team up for dream list project

    Photo from PBS

    Producer and director Lynn Novick speaks of the Vietnam War as most of us do, in a measured and reverent tone. She and Ken Burns have worked for the last 10 years developing the 18-hour PBS series, "The Vietnam War," now available on DVD and Blu-Ray.  Novick describes the war as "a festering wound of which most of us understand too little and misunderstand too much." The PBS series is their method of taking on this narrative with the care, concern and necessary perspective.

  • Band takes its name from Walt Whitman poem

    When Americana springs to mind, one thinks about those events and ideas that are uniquely American. However, that can be a broad stroke of the pen. Based on the history of this nation, you would think that the songs themselves (not necessarily just their instrumentation) would encourage both examination and conclusion.

  • The Potlikker Papers

    In John T. Edge's thoughtful history of Southern food and culture, the former emerges as a lingua franca used to carry the culture of the South all over the world. The Potlikker Papers offers an unobstructed view of the positive and negative events that led the South into its modern appreciation. His years of research and careful attention to detail truly make this book one that needs to be savored like a classic Southern dish.

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