Category Archives: Books

1,000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die ~ Tom Moon ~ The Almanac Singers

The Almanac Singers, Folk Activism

I had access to an album circa 1941, reissued in 2011 titled “State of Arkansas”. The leftist folk group included at one time or another the likes of Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, Sonny Terri and Brownie McGee. Included were these two tracks specifically identified by Moon

First “Hard, Ain’t It Hard” sounds like Seeger picking and Woody singing. A nice lament for love not reciprocated. Then there’s “The Dodger Song”. Not about the baseball team. I’d nominate it for the campaign theme song for Der Mitt.

Lotsa union songs. But you had to temper the leftist activism with songs like “Round and Round Hitler’s Grave.”

Then there’s this little tidbit: Seeger actually coined the phrase “Hootenany” which was picked up as the name of the of the folk music show on ABC in the early sixties. Ironically, Seeger was banned from appearing on the show that he essentially named. Ouch!

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Waiting for Sunrise ~ William Boyd

Review on Booker page

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Tale of Genji: Week 20, Chapter 20 (The Bluebell)

Latest Chapter

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New Stuff

Getting ready for a few things, I’ve done some archiving and added two new pages:

  • BOOKER 2012 – Key dates, announcements and reviews for this year’s Booker Road Race. I’ll be reading any eligible books of interest, until the long-list list is announced and previewed. After that, I’ll limit my reading to the long-list nominees. The same applies to the short list announcement.
  • TIFF 2012 – This page is the place that I’ll be posting news, movie selections and reviews for this year’s Toronto International Film Festival

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Tale of Genji: Week 19, Chapter 19 (Wisps of Clouds

Next Installment here

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1,000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die ~ Tom Moon ~ Mose Allison

MOSE ALLISON: Allison Wonderland, The Musings of a Hipster Cynic

I really do take exception to the characterization of Mose as a “cynic”. That really misses the point. When he sang “I don’t Worry About a Thing (cause nothings gonna be alright) in 1962, this was merely Mose offering some  sage advice for getting on with your life. Don’t sweat te details. When he argued that some people minds were on vacation, who could argue? I picked up a vinyl copy of that 1962 album in the summer of 1963 between my HS graduation and my freshman year in college (1963). I never looked back and I was constantly quoting The Word (the word from Mose) in those days.There are two great American music philosophers: Mose Allison and Bob Dylan. Period.

Mose, born  in Mississippi in 1927 is an ageless hipster who found a unique and perfect blend of jazz and blues, and never wavered from it. Yet it’s as fresh, rocking, and ebullient as ever.  His clever and witty lyrics are a treasure. I often thought that if I could play the piano that effortlessly, then I’d certainly be a happy man.

That’s what comes from being able to play by ear. What a gift! Allison was the first musician I can remember that made me think of the voice as an accompanying instrument, when, as on many of his songs, he grunted right along with his piano playing. Pair up Young Man’s Blues with Old Man’s Blues – and you’ll see how long he’s been talking the talk.

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1,000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die ~ Tom Moon

Pure Junkie Menace: Alice in Chains ~ Dirt, Released 1992

I own this disc, but I’ve never listened to it until now. After all, I have part or all of 14,822 albums. Gimme a break! You think it’s hard to listen to 1,000 albums before I die? Howzabout nearly 15,000?

So I gave it a shot. Conclusion? This is just not my thing? Most of the cuts did nothing for me. About all I can say is that several cuts had multiple tempos and time changes – the only thing that kept the music from exhibiting an extraordinary sameness. Back in the day there were certain albums that you just had to listen to stoned. You know who you are. Is it possible that this album just has to be experienced with a spike in your vein?

Between “not too bad” and “tolerable”: “Down in a Hole”.

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