• 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.

  • Kelly Lee Owens, Sneaks using minimal music

    Women dominate the pop charts. Even though you know many of these artists by just one name, they are all multi-hyphenates spreading their talents across the entire realm of entertainment. However, Indie music seems to push women toward strumming guitars and trying to be the next Joni Mitchell. Sneaks and Kelly Lee Owens are two artists who seem to eschew guitars all together and pursue using minimal music to ensure that their artistry stands well above everyone else.

  • MOD: The creation and ongoing evolution

    "Fashion is what one wears oneself. What is unfashionable is what other people wear." - Oscar Wilde

    Mod Music and Mod Culture are simply inseparable. Like the twisted double helix which contains all of our necessary information, the ongoing traits and their continuing combination and mutation continue to recreate a style that is uniquely individual even as you see everyone trying to imitate it.

  • Paul Johnson is pushing toward his goals

     “It's hard to beat a person who never gives up.”
    – Babe Ruth

     

    Jones County born and bred, Paul Johnson is a hard rock Horatio Alger.  On the cusp of his new release, ‘Give Up The Ghost,’ this month, Johnson is unrepentant in his optimism and driving harder than ever toward his goals of musical recognition and stardom.

  • Take the journey

    As we begin this new year, we look (and listen) to everything with an undercurrent of optimism. A brief breather for the holidays and we dive back into the flood of music with passion restored. However, I would like to restore another facet of passion.

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