Latest: James Garner 1928 – 2014


Reviews

Hendrick’s Gin

While utilizing juniper—the trademark botanical of all gins—Hendrick’s is marked most by the infusion of rose petal (Bulgarian Rosa Damascena) and cucumber. It is the flavor of this latter cylindrical gourd which is most obvious on first tasting. Cucumber is the unexpected note which defines the melody that Hendrick’s plays upon one’s tongue.

Posted on June 23rd, 2014

The Charlie Daniels Band – Off the Grid: Doin’ it Dylan

The “off the grid” part of the title refers to the fact that it is all acoustic; yet, do not be fooled into thinking that this is a quiet album. The Charlie Daniels Band are in high gear on this recording, and the best word for their overall approach to the material is rollicking.

Posted on April 8th, 2014
Dylanosophy

“Forever Young” at the 2014 All Star Game

The interesting thing about this to Dylan fans might be the evidence that “Forever Young” is one of those Bob Dylan songs that has insinuated itself into the national (and global?) consciousness to the extent that it can be referenced on such an occasion. Perhaps then it is one of those Dylan songs that will outlive even the memory of his name. That might seem an odd thought, but we don’t mind odd thinking around here.

Posted on July 17th, 2014

Regina McCrary Talking Bob Dylan

There’s a recently-added video on YouTube of singer Regina McCrary appearing for a talk at Belmont University in Nashville. (Thanks to Ronnie for the tip.) She is interviewed by Mark Maxwell. McCrary is a wonderful singer from a very musical family, and, when only about 21, she happened to be selected by Bob Dylan in late 1978 to be one of his backing singers on the album Slow Train Coming, and she went on singing for him both live and on record during what we call his “gospel phase.”

Posted on June 4th, 2014
Commentary

James Garner 1928 – 2014

It’s difficult to re-imagine my own childhood without The Rockford Files in it, and I daresay it must be the same for many others. Sure: it was just one of a bunch of detective shows on TV (and the 1970s produced some great television) but there was something special about Rockford. Who couldn’t relate to him? He was no superhero; he broke the rules, wisecracked his way out of situations, was unafraid to show fear for his own skin, worked for the pay-off but—you always knew—had heart of gold underneath his jaded exterior that prevented him from ultimately doing anything truly wrong and mean.

Posted on July 21st, 2014

The World Dithers While Israel Fights

In Nigeria, the jihadist group Boko Haram is reported to have massacred at least 100 people a few days ago while attacking, taking over and largely burning down a town named Damboa. They gunned people down as they fled their firebombed homes. The official death toll is naturally expected …

Posted on July 21st, 2014

Elaine Stritch and “Two’s Company”

The media is full of those paying articulate tribute to Stritch as a legend of Broadway and the stage, but I can’t do that, having never seen her perform live. I do have a lot of respect for those who pour their chief energies and talent into live performances that exist in the moment and live on only in the memories (and reviews) of those who saw them. Elaine Stritch did some other screen work (recently a role on a show I’ve never seen named “30 Rock”) but all I really know her from is this English sitcom …

Posted on July 18th, 2014
Dogs

A Man and His Dog

If you live in New York City, the odds are that you’re going to see famous people now and then. Even if you don’t go to their high society parties and clubs (and I for one toss every invitation in the trash on principle), you’re just fairly likely to run into them as they walk upon the sidewalk, something which even the famous must do if ever-so-briefly. Celebrities are no doubt bothered a lot less in Manhattan than …

Posted on June 2nd, 2014

Like Cats and Dogs

Two viral videos from the past couple of days provoke some commentary.

Posted on May 6th, 2014
Shorts

O Sacred Head, Now Wounded

Sincere wishes for nearness-to-God to all those who have been celebrating holy days this week, both Passover and Holy Week. Unusually, both Christians of the western churches and the eastern Orthodox ones are celebrating Easter simultaneously this year, and aligned with the Jewish Passover.

Posted on April 17th, 2014

Snow in April

New York City awoke this morning to freezing temperatures and something between a dusting and an icing of white stuff. At points west and north in the U.S.A. there are places that have been receiving more substantial quantities. But just for the record, we took a few photos.

Posted on April 16th, 2014
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