Category Archive for 'Music'

The Critical Mass

What is a song, anyway? I’m a word guy. I love song lyrics. Greatest songs of all time? Billie Holiday singing “Strange Fruit.” Frank Sinatra singing “My Way.” Dusty Springfield singing “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me.” John Lennon’s “Imagine.” The Beatles’ “Let it Be.” Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song.” Hank Williams’ “Cold, Cold […]

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The Critical Mass

Taking Highway 61 Oops. I skipped out of The Critical Mass neighborhood for a while. Been spending too much time writing. And reading. Reading, as in On Highway 61: Music, Race and the Evolution of Cultural Freedom, Dennis McNally’s recent book tracing the effect that roots music has had on American culture. It’s very worthy […]

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The Critical Mass

Literature junkies While riding the No. 1 bus to downtown the other morning, I heard an out-of-place, yet familiar, clicking noise. I glanced around. A guy in a nearby seat was using a clipper to trim his fingernails. I decided I’d shift to a more-distant seat if he made a move for his toenails. What […]

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The Critical Mass

My inner Bukowski I finished off a 131,000-word manuscript Thursday evening – I use the word “finish” loosely; these things are never really done – and asked myself: “Now what?” More writing. Bathed in self-flagellating angst, writers love to act as if they’re making personal sacrifices on behalf of mankind. Monks and Joan of Allegories […]

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The Critical Mass

Evolution vs. creationism: A Ham on Nye sandwich A handful of science Grumpycats warned Bill Nye to not do it. Don’t get onstage and debate that creationist guy. It’ll lend credibility to the anti-science crowd. Nye went ahead with it anyway. Tuesday night he crawled into the den of ignorance, defending evolution against Ken Ham, […]

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The Critical Mass

A menace to society A couple of weeks ago, I’m strolling around downtown on my lunch break when I come across a bunch of cops in the the midst of breaking up a major threat to society. Loud R&B music. A car is stopped in the middle of the street, the driver already tucked away […]

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The Critical Mass

Mind if a shoot a video of you getting hurt or killed? Perhaps her vision was obscured a bit by the slight, misting rain. Could have just been carelessness. Maybe she was drunk or high, a lot of people in that neighborhood seem to be staggering around by 4:30 or 5 in the afternoon. But […]

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The Critical Mass

Like a Rolling Gnome You will hear beautiful versions of “Things Have Changed” by Jeff Riales and “Simple Twist of Fate” by Connie Deming and “Subterranean Homesick Blues” by Rita Coulter Saturday at the 26th Bob Dylan Night at Skylark Lounge. I suspect Fred Vine will present “Blind Willie McTell” in its proper blues setting, […]

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The Critical Mass

Tall buildings are beautiful and deadly. And so is Amanda Bynes. Urban architecture is one of civilization’s great accomplishments. And when it merges with nature, it can steal your breath. So it was yesterday evening, when New York City experienced what’s being called “henge.” The setting sun, in perfect alignment with the Manhattan streets. And […]

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The Critical Mass

Too Pig to Fail After last weekend, I’m swearing off pork. Beer. And whiskey. Until, oh, this weekend. I suppose the physical toll exacted on my body over Memorial Day weekend at the Roc City Rib Fest was ultimately worth it. The Smokin’ Dopes – the most-photographed team in the history of barbecue competitions, judging […]

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