Someone with my proclivities has to be reminded that happiness requires him to “stay close to home:” that is, to keep the greater part of his attention on things that are personally important to him, and to hold the “big stuff” that occupies the attention of the talking heads at a good distance for …
Mar 21 2023
Things Are Looking Up
Mar 17 2023
Something Beautiful For Your Friday Afternoon
Because there’s more than enough ugliness to go around: Enjoy.
Mar 11 2023
Saturday Afternoon Music
I’d been thinking about the many changes that have come over my neighborhood since I moved in here, forty-four years ago. I expected few of them. Fewer still have struck me as improvements. But the only constant in life is change, until life ends and one changes no more. Dire Straits, in its …
Feb 25 2023
Music For A Snowy Saturday Afternoon
If you’re around my age, you might remember the original version of this: I’ve heard a lot of denigrations of The Association. They may have been “pop for the masses,” but their songwriters were among the best of the AM-Radio era…and Pat Metheny has taken their classic tune and done it full justice. …
Feb 07 2023
Greg Lake, originally of King Crimson and later of Emerson, Lake, & Palmer, was a multi-talent of the first water. Along with his instrumental and vocal skills, he was an occasionally irritating, occasionally brilliant lyricist. The following, from EL&P’s magnificent first album, captures my mood too perfectly for me not to post it. Just …
Jan 25 2023
Hey, Where’s The Music?
It’s been a while, hasn’t it? And thinking about it, I find myself in a mood for Bob Seger’s darkest, most contemplative hit: Members of my generation should know the feeling well. *** The longer I live, the more Bob Seger strikes me as the bard for my generation. We came …
Jan 07 2023
How About Something…Strange?
This is the final track of Earth Opera’s first album. Listen at your own peril: once you’ve heard it, it will stay with you for days: I decree that her death be by rumor the skull gleamed And creaking sat back in its chair In agreement the room full of white teeth all clicked …
Oct 29 2022
Sometimes a song about the loss of love can be a soothing thing: I doubt that there’s anyone of my age who hasn’t suffered at least one such loss. Don’t forget it or try to gloss it over. There’s value in there…as painful as the extraction can be.
Sep 27 2022
And some refuse to: Nothing grows without roots. Giorgia Meloni understands. Donald Trump does, too. Do you?
Sep 26 2022
Because I’ve Been A Depressing Asshole
…and because really good music is always a spirit-lifter: That is what we must recover: the spirit of an indomitable people for whom nothing is impossible. Are you an American? Then act like one! Illegitimi Non Carborundum, baby!
Aug 23 2022
Just Because I Feel Like It
…and because too many fail to remember, and too many have never known: Now the flames they followed Joan of Arc As she came riding through the dark; No moon to keep her armour bright, No man to get her through this very smoky night. She said, “I’m tired of the war, I want …
Jul 23 2022
The saddest things on Earth, for my money, are the ruins of things that could have been great. That excludes archaeological ruins, of course; at one time they were legitimately impressive structures, or so we’re told by the “authorities.” What I have in mind here is a bit different: art, or music, or fiction …
Jun 04 2022
The Poet Of Today
…is likely to write song lyrics rather than straight prose poetry. Today, “poets” who proclaim themselves to be such tend to be indifferent to the rules and traditions of poetry. Worse than that, the majority of them are no-talents whose “poetry” is more masturbatory than evocative. Eliot, Tennyson, and Goethe would cross the street …
May 08 2022
For Mothers’ Day 2022
A Happy Mothers’ Day to all my Gentle Readers, all mothers, and anyone who had a mother! Mothers, as most of us are aware, are vital to the continuing of the species…and you’ve just got to love our species. Especially the members who wear “pronoun pins” and insist that men can give birth. But …
May 07 2022
Things Lost And Things Misplaced
Time was, there was a kind of space reserved in pop music for the ballad. Harry Chapin was one of the better known practitioners of the form, but there were many others. Being a storyteller by inclination, I have a soft spot for ballads and balladeers, and I miss them. Way, way back …
Apr 25 2022
Because Today My Years Are Weighing Heavily Upon Me
I hit the big Seven-Oh recently, and it’s had me…remembering: Stood there boldly Sweatin’ in the sun Felt like a million Felt like number one The height of summer I’d never felt that strong Like a rock I was 18 Didn’t have a care Working for peanuts Not a dime to spare But I …
Apr 21 2022
Some American Music
Yes, I’m old. Yes, my tastes are “fossilized,” even “petrified.” But I know what I like – and I claim I have good reasons to prefer it to the modern crap, even if I decline to discuss them. Accordingly, have a terrific tune from the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s classic album Uncle Charlie …
Apr 06 2022
We’ve Lost Another One
You have to be my age or older to appreciate the loss of certain artists. Indeed, being my age or older is no guarantee that you’ll remember them at all. Like Paul Siebel, who passed away just last night at age 84: Siebel’s 1970 Elektra album, Woodsmoke and Oranges, is a treasure few …
Jan 17 2022
A Little…Afternoon Music?
I have a great fondness for the folk artists of the Sixties, particularly for the ones who started out with nothing but a guitar and a folder full of song lyrics. Most faded away and were forgotten. A couple of them became famous. A handful failed to reach Dylan’s heights but retained a following. …
Jan 10 2022
We Need Some Music Around Here!
And so we shall have some: Last night I dreamed about you I dreamed that you were older You were looking like Picasso With a scar across your shoulder You were kneeling by the river You were digging up the bodies Buried long ago Michelangelo Last night I dreamed about you I dreamed you …