Latest: Ron Sexsmith – “Saint Bernard”


Reviews

Cerys Matthews – A Child’s Christmas, Poems and Tiger Eggs

What the heck is a tiger egg?

Well, once, in an interview, Dylan Thomas said of himself (as a younger poet):

I wrote endless imitations, though I never thought them to be imitations, but rather wonderfully original things, like eggs laid by tigers.

Those tiger eggs might not be so well known, but A Child’s Christmas in Wales most certainly

Posted on December 22nd, 2014

Bob Dylan Live at the Beacon Theatre, New York

Last night Bob Dylan played the first of a series of five concerts at New York City’s Beacon Theatre, the final stand of his current tour.

Posted on November 29th, 2014
Dylanosophy

Bob Dylan Talks (Post-Speech Hoopla) to Bill Flanagan

Many of the remarks Dylan made in his MusiCares speech a week ago are still echoing around the solar system, upsetting some as much as they’ve been entertaining and/or fascinating others. He covered a lot of ground and he named names, not always in a complimentary fashion. He said himself at the end of the speech: “I probably left out a lot of people and said too much about some.” That was a pretty good bet. So, obviously in the spirit …

Posted on February 13th, 2015

Kris Kristofferson in Bob Dylan’s MusiCares Speech

It would be remiss not to make note of the very special tribute that Bob Dylan paid to Kris Kristofferson in the speech he gave last Friday, February 6th, at the MusiCares benefit. (Transcript “from Bob’s notes” now at this link.) After speaking about how the Nashville scene was once “sewn up in a box” by a collection of songwriters and power brokers, he goes on:

Posted on February 10th, 2015
Commentary

Insult My Mum and I Will Punch You

Having objected to his comments in this space at the time, it behooves us to follow up on how Pope Francis’ frankly stupid remarks regarding free speech and respect for religion have already been bearing bitter, if predictable, fruit. It was less than a week after the massacre at the office of Charlie Hebdo last month when Pope Francis, discussing those broader issues with reporters, helpfully explained that if someone insulted his mother “he can expect a punch. It’s normal. You cannot provoke. You cannot insult the faith of others. You cannot make fun of the faith of others.”

Posted on February 14th, 2015

Frank Sinatra – “Some Enchanted Evening”

“Some Enchanted Evening,” by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, is not a song owned by Frank Sinatra, in the sense of him having recorded a version so definitive that others wilt before it. It’s been recorded by way too many singers and sung on far too many stages in productions of South Pacific for that to possibly be true. However, Sinatra recorded it on three separate occasions during his career, qualifying it at least as a special number for him.

Posted on January 31st, 2015

Frank Sinatra – “Where Are You?”

“Where Are You” is the title track of the first of the two dark albums that Frank Sinatra recorded during his 1950s’ artistic peak with arranger Gordon Jenkins (the second being 1959’s No One Cares). It’s funny: Sinatra himself was known sometimes to refer laughingly to his loneliness-themed concept records as “suicide albums,” but when he was behind the microphone he was clearly nothing but totally serious about each syllable and every note, and was masterful at constructing these albums with almost terrifying emotional precision.

Posted on January 30th, 2015
Shorts

Ron Sexsmith – “Saint Bernard”

It’s darned cold, at least around these parts, and it’s been cold for far too long. The following song and video should warm, if nothing else, the cockles of one’s heart. Who else is gonna rescue me When I’m face down in the snow? No other dog looks so much like me And can fill […]

Posted on February 22nd, 2015

Bob Dylan Talks (Post-Speech Hoopla) to Bill Flanagan

Many of the remarks Dylan made in his MusiCares speech a week ago are still echoing around the solar system, upsetting some as much as they’ve been entertaining and/or fascinating others. He covered a lot of ground and he named names, not always in a complimentary fashion. He said himself at the end of the speech: “I probably left out a lot of people and said too much about some.” That was a pretty good bet. So, obviously in the spirit …

Posted on February 13th, 2015

Kris Kristofferson in Bob Dylan’s MusiCares Speech

It would be remiss not to make note of the very special tribute that Bob Dylan paid to Kris Kristofferson in the speech he gave last Friday, February 6th, at the MusiCares benefit. (Transcript “from Bob’s notes” now at this link.) After speaking about how the Nashville scene was once “sewn up in a box” by a collection of songwriters and power brokers, he goes on:

Posted on February 10th, 2015

Reactions to Bob Dylan’s MusiCares Speech; Plus The Blackwood Brothers Quartet

In his speech last Friday night, accepting the “Person of the Year” award from MusiCares, Bob Dylan remembered many old gratitudes, for such as John Hammond, the Staple Singers, Joan Baez, Lou Levy, Johnny Cash, and others, and then he also used the occasion to take issue with many of the tropes that music critics have employed when writing about him. And he also took …

Posted on February 9th, 2015
Dogs

The Wolf Shall Dwell with the Lamb

Dogs, we’re often told, are descended from wolves—or perhaps they’re more like cousins, from a common ancestor, depending on who you talk to. Whatever the case, sheep have little confusion over the issue: they recognize dogs as predators.

Posted on February 6th, 2015

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
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