Spirit (the band)

Fifty years later, the band still sounds great. Spirit has been in news in recent years related to a plagiarism lawsuit against Led Zeppelin over parts of “Stairway to Heaven”. I am not going to get into that, my focus will be on the classic period of the band. Randy California (real name Randy Wolfe), … More Spirit (the band)

Riffing: Music Artists Who Who Utilize the Technique

As a wannabe guitar player, I’m drawn more to smooth sets of chords forming an irresistible melodic progression. A catchy and inventive guitar riff is a thing of beauty for the soul. Riffs seem most closely associated with rock’n’roll, which I agree, but they can be found across musical genres. Riffs catch the ear, and … More Riffing: Music Artists Who Who Utilize the Technique

Belfast (2021)

I never understood the historical, religious and political conflict in Northern Ireland. At the time, all I saw was tragedy. No, I did not live there, so it is perhaps not fair to comment. I do not judge, and naïvely, I always wondered why everyone could not find a way to live in peace. When … More Belfast (2021)

Bernstein v. Barr

Memoirs are one of my favorite genres of books. Recently, I read Carl Bernstein’s Chasing History: A Kid in the Newsroom (Henry Holt and Co., 2022) and William Barr’s One Damn Thing After Another: Memoirs of an Attorney General (William Morrow, 2022). I read these books back-to-back. Dueling memoirs. What could these stories have in … More Bernstein v. Barr

Songwriters: 1960s

Until Buddy Holly and then The Beach Boys, Beatles, Chuck Berry and Bob Dylan, performers were less likely to write their own material. Songwriting was lucrative, but in those days, publishers and producers generally got the lion’s share of the profits as artists tended to lose control of their songs through poor publishing and management … More Songwriters: 1960s

Film Titles: Classics

I am a fan of film credits/opening sequences. In film history, they served to give the audience information and set the story, often in a very creative way. Three of my favorite opening sequence designers are Saul Bass (Alfred Hitchcock, Otto Preminger), Maurice Binder (James Bond) and Pablo Ferro (Stanley Kubrick, Steve McQueen). Film title … More Film Titles: Classics