Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Bob Seger’ Category

SOUNDTRACK: A VERY SPECIAL CHRISTMAS (1987).

I remember when this album came out.  I think it was one of the first Christmas albums in which a lot of very popular musicians contributed to it. Of course proceeds went to charity.  By now, 30 years later, many of these songs are deemed classic enough that you will hear them regularly at Christmas.

Suffice it to say I hated this when it came out.  Now, I have grown to appreciate (some of it) it more.

THE POINTER SISTERS-“Santa Claus Is Coming to Town”
I really didn’t like this song back then.  I think it has grown on me enough that I just don’t mind it any more and it is certainly a staple.

EURYHTMICS-“Winter Wonderland”
I really like Annie Lennox’s own Christmas album.  This song is fine, it’s a little too 80s sounding, but over all its enjoyable.

WHITNEY HOUSTON-“Do You Hear What I Hear?”
People really like to overdo this song.  This version is okay.

BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN AND THE E. STREET BAND-“Merry Christmas Baby”
This is a classic Christmas song by this point, but boy do I dislike the sax.

PRETENDERS-“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”
This version I don;t thin I hear too much.  Probably because it’s understated and quite nice.

JOHN COUGAR MELLENCAMP-“I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”
I don’t particularly like this song.  I love the musical style that JCM plays, although I don’t like the way he sings it.

STING-“Gabriel’s Message”
I don’t know this at all, I guess everyone skips it.  It’s rather pretty if you can get past the fact that it’s Sting at his more pretentious.

RUN-D.M.C.-“Christmas in Hollis”
This is an all time favorite.  The song is fantastic and must be heard every year.  I live that I write a Christmas card that goes to someone in Hollis.

U2-“Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)”
I’ve heard this a million times.  I don’t particularly like this song, but I do like this version.

MADONNA-“Santa Baby”
My most hated Christmas song, done by Madonna at her most grating.  Ugh.

BOB SEGER & THE SILVER BULLET BAND-“The Little Drummer Boy”
Can Bob Seger ever do anything that doesn’t sound like him?  I don’t really like this song, but this version is kind of fun given how over the top it is.

BRYAN ADAMS-“Run Rudolph Run”
Never liked this song either.  It’s a lame lyrics to make into a rock n roll Christmas song.  All versions sound basically the same to me.

BON JOVI-“Back Door Santa”
I do not know this song at all.  Is it always skipped because it’s so bad?  Man the synths are awful.  Although it makes me realize just how unfair it was to both Bon Jovi and heavy metal that they were lumped into the same category.

ALISON MOYET-“The Coventry Carol”
I think Alison Moyet is the only artist here who most people probably don’t know today.  Her voice is really great though and this song is very cool.  Not exactly my favorite here, but certainly the most interesting.

STEVIE NICKS-“Silent Night”
It’s entirely possible that Stevie Nicks forgot how to sing on this song.  She seems really flat and then doesn’t even do most of the lead vocals half way through the song.  The “grace notes” are appalling too.

So it seems that the songs that were pretty good have stayed with us, the rest have faded away.  And there are a couple that need to be brought into rotation again.

[READ: December 23, 2017] “How to Be a Slut”

Once again, I have ordered The Short Story Advent Calendar.  This year, there are brief interviews with each author posted on the date of their story.

Hello. Welcome. It’s finally here: Short Story Advent Calendar time.

If you’re reading along at home, now’s the time to start cracking those seals, one by one, and discover some truly brilliant writing inside. Then check back here each morning for an exclusive interview with the author of that day’s story.

(Want to join in? It’s not too late. Order your copy here.)

This year I’m pairing each story with a holiday disc from our personal collection. (more…)

Read Full Post »

dec2014SOUNDTRACK: TORRES-“A Proper Polish Welcome” NPR Lullaby SXSW (March 21, 2015).

torresFrom March 17-March 21, the SXSW festival raged on. And my friends at NPR Music were there so I didn’t have to be. In past years they have had a nightly recap of their favorite shows of the day. This year they upped the ante by inviting a musician to sing a lullaby.  Most of these lullabies occurred in some unexpected outdoor location at 2 or so A.M. after a long day of music.

The final lullaby comes from new to me singer Torres. She has one of my favorite songs from the NPR Austin 100 “Strange Hellos.” It starts slow and builds and builds.  This is not that song (which would never work as a lullaby).

This is the only lullaby to feature an electric guitar.  And even though it is played quietly you can hear her fingers sliding up and down the strings squealing away.  This is a song from her new album Sprinter.  And it’s quite lovely.  I’m looking forward to hearing the full album when it comes out.

Check it out here.

[READ: March 23, 2015] “Hammer Island”

This issue of Harper’s featured five essays (well, four essays and one short story) about “Growing Up: five coming of age stories.”  Since I knew a few of these authors already, it seemed like a good time to devote an entire week to growing up.  There are two introductions, one by Christine Smallwood (who talks about Bob Seger) and one by Joshua Cohen who talks about the coming of age narrative.

I’m not sure why Wells Tower submitted fiction rather than an essay (he comfortably does both), but I’m glad he included this story as I think it’s a really interesting one.  And yes it does cover growing up–and may even be based on fact, who knows.

This is written from the point of view of a seventeen year old girl, Maxine.  She has been invited to Hammer Island (of the coast of Maine) for the summer to watch the (frankly wicked) daughter of famed film producer Morris Walls.  Walls terrifies people in Hollywood, but when he comes to Hammer Island he is treated like everyone else.  I loved this example:

Morris flicked a cigarette butt over the boardwalk rail. A teenage boy walking behind us retrieved it. He jogged up to Morris, tapped him on the shoulder, and slipped the cigarette butt into his palm. “No littering,” said the boy. “I know you’re new here, but we take it pretty seriously. Technically, there’s a three-hundred-dollar fine. I’m not going to report you, but just so you know, most people would.”  In California or New York, threatening Morris Walls and handing him garbage would have been a sure way to get sworn at, slapped, doused with hot coffee. But Morris understood that attacking the boy would be pointless. The boy was of the island, and he spoke with the full authority of the place behind him.

And I loved the general pretension of the island:

Whenever anybody walked by, you had to call, “Hello! Come up, come up! We’re picking crabs!” Or you had to say that if you owned the house and the person passing by owned a house on Hammer, too. If you had been coming to Hammer Island for thirty summers, renting the same house for $4,000 a week, you did not get summoned to a porch for crab picking. You were still looked upon as an interloper and a thug.

Interestingly, this is all just set up for the real story which has little to do with Walls and nothing exactly to do with the island.  For this story is about Maxine and a teenaged boy, Todd Greene.  When Maxine is able to get a way from Lola (the brief story about Lola is hilarious), she would watch Todd play tennis.  He was masterful.  And after his matches he would talk with her.  And soon enough he invited her onto his boat.

When she arrived at the dock, a short, dwarfish man was polishing the boat and Todd was nowhere to be seen.  The man seemed to have nothing but admiration for Todd, talking about what a good sailor he was and making the boat perfect for the young man.  When Todd finally arrives, he takes the keys, says nothing to the man and he and Maxine head out to open waters, where “Todd talked me out of some but not all of my clothes.”

Two days later, Maxine was invited to the Greene’s house where she discovered that the “dwarf” was actually Todd’s father.  Todd’s mother and brother are, like Todd, gorgeous, and she can’t figure out the father’s place.  But it seems that his place is simply to serve everyone.   And when he makes a mistake with dinner, the whole family reams him out.  But this time, having had enough, the father storms out and is not seen on the island again that summer.

Maxine is surprised that Todd keeps in touch over the year with quarterly updates on his exploits.  And they both plan to return to Hammer Island next summer.  When they do return Todd’s father is there waiting (and he has a plan).  The end of the story is exciting and emotionally complicated.  It’s a very satisfying story indeed.

I’m looking forward to more fiction from Tower.

Read Full Post »

dec2014SOUNDTRACK: LAURA MARLING-“Walk Alone” NPR Lullaby SXSW (March 19, 2015).

marlingFrom March 17-March 21, the SXSW festival raged on. And my friends at NPR Music were there so I didn’t have to be. In past years they have had a nightly recap of their favorite shows of the day. This year they upped the ante by inviting a musician to sing a lullaby.  Most of these lullabies occurred in some unexpected outdoor location at 2 or so A.M. after a long day of music.

This late night lullaby was actually recorded much earlier than most (around 9:30P.M) because one of the gang had to leave early.

Marling has become one of my favorite new (to me) voices. I love the way she sings. It feels unconventional or unexpected somehow.  The way she doesn’t follow the melodies of her guitar playing is really cool and exiting. And when she drops into a nearly spoken word it’s quite arresting.

This song is from her soon to be released new album Short Movie, and it is as enchanting as anything she’s done.  You can check it out here.

[READ: March 23, 2015] “Nina”

This issue of Harper’s featured five essays (well four essays and one short story) about “Growing Up: five coming of age stories.”  Since I knew a few of these authors already, it seemed like a good time to devote an entire week to growing up.  There are two introductions, one by Christine Smallwood (who talks about Bob Seger) and one by Joshua Cohen who talks about the coming of age narrative.

This is a story of meeting a bad person and getting sucked into her life.  There’s nothing terribly original about this.  However, the characters (her name has been changed) are not your typically teenage angsty college students.  Set in 1981 at NYU, the narrator is Indian and the girl sitting next to him is Latina.  It’s cool to have a familiar story told with slight differences like this one does.

The girl asks him for help with her computer.  He fixes her problem and she asks to get his number so they can keep in touch.  She is very pretty.  He couldn’t resist calling her, so he invited her to a play and she agreed. (more…)

Read Full Post »

dec2014SOUNDTRACK: MYNABIRDS-“All My Heart” NPR Lullaby SXSW (March 19, 2015).

mynaFrom March 17-March 21, the SXSW festival raged on. And my friends at NPR Music were there so I didn’t have to be. In past years they have had a nightly recap of their favorite shows of the day. This year they upped the ante by inviting a musician to sing a lullaby.  Most of these lullabies occurred in some unexpected outdoor location at 2 or so A.M. after a long day of music.

For this lullaby, the NPR gang met by Waller Creek, giving Laura Burhenn a perfect backdrop to her 2 A.M. lullaby. It’s just her and her tiny Casio keyboard (which is on an interesting setting that makes it sound more like a harmonium).

This is an as yet unreleased song.  It is simple and charming.  And I really like the way she plays an unexpected note in the chorus. Her voice is dusky and quiet and it all works so well in this setting. It’s a beautiful lullaby.

Check it out here.

[READ: March 23, 2015] “My Mother’s Apartment”

This issue of Harper’s featured five essays (well four essays and one short story) about “Growing Up: five coming of age stories.”  Since I knew a few of these authors already, it seemed like a good time to devote an entire week to growing up.  There are two introductions, one by Christine Smallwood (who talks about Bob Seger) and one by Joshua Cohen who talks about the coming of age narrative.

I don’t know Barrodale’s writing.  She says that she was 24 and took a writing class but only lasted for one day in the class.  She felt that getting an MFA was dishonorable.  Rather, she wanted to a have a real job but to write fiction on the side:  “I wanted to be like William Gaddis.  I wanted to work, drink, wear normal clothes, pay my bills and write.”

She was 31 when she realized her plans were not going to come true. (more…)

Read Full Post »

dec2014SOUNDTRACK: LULUC-“Star” NPR Lullaby SXSW (March 18, 2015).

lulucRecorded outside of Stubbs while the groundscrew was cleaning up the huge mess, Luluc play a beautiful quiet ballad.

Steve Hassett plays lead acoustic guitar and sings harmonies while Zoë Randell plays rhythm guitar and sings lead. Interestingly, his voice often goes in higher registers than hers.

I really like the solo that he plays that adds a bit of uptempo feel to this otherwise quiet song.

Check it out here.

[READ: March 23, 2015] “At First Blush”

This issue of Harper’s featured five essays (well, four essays and one short story) about “Growing Up: five coming of age stories.”  Since I knew a few of these authors already, it seemed like a good time to devote an entire week to growing up.  There are two introductions, one by Christine Smallwood (who talks about Bob Seger) and one by Joshua Cohen who talks about the coming of age narrative.

Here’s yet another piece by Karl Ove (like the recent essay in the New York Times Magazine) translated by Ingvild Burkey

It’s hard for me to imagine that Karl Ove (who has written literally thousands of pages about his life) could have anything more to say–any incident that he hasn’t gone over with a microscope.  And yet, here he is with a new incident.

As with most things from Karl Ove, it explains a minute detail which proves to be a big event.  He was 12 and in school and told to spit out his gum.  As he walked up to the wastebasket the attention made him blush.  The first time he can recall the burning shame making him more self-conscious which then kept repeating itself.   And then some one said “Karl Ove’s face is all red!” (more…)

Read Full Post »

dec2014SOUNDTRACK: TOM BROSSEAU-“Will Henry” NPR Lullaby SXSW (March 17, 2015).

tbFrom March 17-March 21, the SXSW festival raged on. And my friends at NPR Music were there so I didn’t have to be. In past years they have had a nightly recap of their favorite shows of the day. This year they upped the ante by inviting a musician to sing a lullaby.  Most of these lullabies occurred in some unexpected outdoor location at 2 or so A.M. after a long day of music.

Tom Brosseau was the first up. He has a long history with All Songs Considered, and he was game to play a song he has never recorded–a murder ballad about Will Henry.

Brosseau has a delicate voice. And with just him and his acoustic guitar (and the sounds of bird and traffic, this is a delightful lullaby.  Even if the words are a murder ballad.

The song is pretty consistent in its simple musical pattern, so that at around 3 minutes when he runs a riff, it’s quite stimulating.

Check it out here.

[READ: March 23, 2015] “Beeper World”

This issue of Harper’s featured five essays (well four essays and one short story) about “Growing Up: five coming of age stories.”  Since I knew a few of these authors already, it seemed like a good time to devote an entire week to growing up.  There are two introductions, one by Christine Smallwood (who talks about Bob Seger) and one by Joshua Cohen who talks about the coming of age narrative.

Russell’s essay is all about growing up in the age of beepers in Florida. For her 14th birthday she received a Motorola beeper.  She says the beeper was an evolutionary adaption for teenagers.  [I for one am not that much older than Russell, but I missed the whole beeper phenomenon and found them incredibly silly].  Before she turned 14 she was a solitary person but the beeper was a way to get hee out and mingling with people (more…)

Read Full Post »