Adele – “21” (Track-by-Track Interview – 2011)

October 28, 2011 at 1:41 am (Adele, Music)

Permalink Leave a Comment

President Obama’s Weekly Address (Oct. 22, 2011)

October 27, 2011 at 1:46 pm (Life & Politics)

Permalink Leave a Comment

“Under the Volcano” (1984)

October 20, 2011 at 10:32 pm (Cinema, Reviews & Articles)

A review of John Huston’s 1984 film, Under the Volcano, by Janet Maslin of The New York Times, June 13, 1984. Albert Finney gave a brilliant performance, filled with pathos, as well as humor…

By the time Malcolm Lowry had finished filling Under the Volcano with ”signs, natural phenomena, snatches of poems and songs, pictures, remembered books and films, shadowy figures appearing, disappearing, and reappearing,” according to Douglas Day, Mr. Lowry’s biographer, the book ”finally became not a novel at all but a kind of monument to prodigality of vision.” Certainly it evolved, as Mr. Lowry expanded his short story of the same name into the 1947 novel, into one of the most haunting and difficult works of modern fiction. 

That this densely allusive work is also tantalizingly cinematic has made it an Everest of sorts, from the film maker’s standpoint. The book, aside from an opening chapter that dissolves into flashback, spans only a 24-hour period (the Day of the Dead, in November 1938) and involves few principal characters: Geoffrey Firmin, an alcoholic former British Consul living in a small Mexican town; Yvonne, the Consul’s estranged wife, who has just returned to him, and Hugh Firmin, Geoffrey’s rakish young half-brother, with whom Yvonne has had an affair. Read the rest of this entry »

Permalink Leave a Comment

President Obama’s Weekly Address (Oct. 15, 2011)

October 20, 2011 at 10:23 pm (Life & Politics)

Permalink Leave a Comment

Van Dyke Parks – “Arrangements Volume 1” (2011)

October 20, 2011 at 12:25 pm (Music, Reviews & Articles, Van Dyke Parks)

This is actually not a Van Dyke Parks album, per se. It’s really a “various artists” compilation featuring Parks’ brilliant arrangements and orchestrations.
This review comes from the Pitchfork Media website, by Jayson Greene, Sept. 22, 2011…

In 2008, I had the opportunity to briefly interview Van Dyke Parks. It wasn’t long after his collaboration with Joanna Newsom on Ys. brought him some fresh headlines, but I mostly asked about his long, itinerant career as arranger for three decades of rock musicians, from Brian Wilson and the Byrds to Rufus Wainwright and Frank Black. After amiably answering my questions, he signed off, semi-sardonically, with “Thank you, Jayson, for celebrating a position that perhaps serves best in its anonymity.”

The remark seemed half self-deprecating jab, half mission statement: Parks has a career-long acquaintance with anonymity. His most well-known association is with a record that, for thirty-odd years, was famous for never coming out. His solo records, starting with 1968’s confounding Harry Nilsson-meets-Charles Ives opus Song Cycle, are subjects of fervent cult adoration but known to few. His arranging work, meanwhile, has put an inimitable stamp on American pop, though the vast majority of music fans have no idea when they are listening to his work. He is the quintessential liner-notes hero, in other words, which makes the overview of Arrangements Volume 1, on his own label Bananastan, that much more gratifying. Read the rest of this entry »

Permalink Leave a Comment

Dan Wheldon (1978-2011)

October 17, 2011 at 1:29 pm (Life & Politics)

Permalink Leave a Comment

John Fahey – “City of Refuge” (1997)

October 13, 2011 at 8:23 am (Music, Reviews & Articles)

This review comes from Salon, May 20, 1997. Gary Kamiya clearly doesn’t like this album. He, unwittingly though, makes it sound like something I definitely want to run out and buy…

There has always been something a little spooky around the edges of John Fahey’s music. The record that made the guitarist a bigger-than-cult figure around 1968 (it’s hard to say just how big he was; in 1968, everything was a cult), Blind Joe Death, seemed to come from an older, darker, more obstinate world than the rainbow-hued one that was blasting out of most of the speakers back then. His solo steel-string guitar — all iron-solid fingerpicking, shifting bass lines under an ominous Delta-blues attack — had a naked deliberateness, an almost Gothic quality.

Fahey’s 10-finger virtuosity helped bring the acoustic steel-string guitar onto center stage as a solo instrument and inspired numerous followers, most notably Leo Kottke. His own career has followed an idiosyncratic path, from versions of songs by Brazilian guitar masters Baden Powell and Bola Sete to traditional folk melodies to adaptations of orchestral themes. He’s even Read the rest of this entry »

Permalink 2 Comments

Mick Houghton – “Judee Sill: Spirited Away” (2005)

October 12, 2011 at 1:47 am (Music, Reviews & Articles)

Taken from an April 2005 issue of Uncut magazine comes this overview of the unjustly-forgotten Judee Sill. Written by Mick Houghton…


Until recently, Judee Sill and her two Asylum albums were all but forgotten. Her story is so tragic as to be nearly unbelievable, the antithesis of the Californian dream, even though she recorded for California’s dream label. But a resurgence of interest has prompted the appearance of the meticulous Dreams Come True, a collection of unreleased material that includes her final work-in-progress album, mixed by left-field auteur, Sonic Youth member and long-time Sill aficionado Jim O’Rourke. Finally, it helps tell Sill’s complete story, both through the eyes of those who knew her and through her own stunning music.

Sill signed to David Geffen’s newly founded Asylum Records — the label that epitomised mellow West Coast rock — in 1970. Asylum’s roster included The Eagles, Jackson Browne, Joni Mitchell and Linda Ronstadt, and Geffen had already masterminded the careers of Crosby, Still & Nash and Sill’s kindred spirit Laura Nyro. But unlike her distinguished labelmates, Sill’s career failed to ignite. Eighteen months after 1973’s Heart Flood, and having endured three Read the rest of this entry »

Permalink 1 Comment

Occupy Wall Street

October 10, 2011 at 8:34 am (Life & Politics)

We are the 99 percent.

We are getting kicked out of our homes.

We are forced to choose between groceries and rent.

We are denied quality medical care.

We are suffering from environmental pollution.

We are working long hours for little pay and no rights, if we are working at all.

We are getting nothing while the other 1 percent is getting everything.

We are the 99 percent.

Permalink Leave a Comment

President Obama’s Weekly Address (Oct. 8, 2011)

October 10, 2011 at 7:24 am (Life & Politics)

Permalink Leave a Comment

Next page »