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Music Notes

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On August 7, 2020
I haven’t seen any shows in five months, which is terrible. But I have read a lot and that has included a few books about music. Might as well discuss them. First, I read Stephen Foehr’s Waking Up in Nashville, which is a 2002 book that was both good and extremely frustrating in equal measures. […]
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Tonight’s film is the 1935 Duke Ellington vehicle Symphony in Black: A Rhapsody of Negro Life. Directed by Fred Waller, who was a director of short films, it highlights Ellington’s new composition and is also the screen debut of Billie Holiday. It was Ellington’s intention to capture parts of black life in this composition and […]

Music Notes

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On May 18, 2020

Let’s talk tunes! I didn’t really spend enough time last week talking about the life and impact of Little Richard. But you really need to read Bill Wyman on his astonishing life. Jason Isb

Music Notes

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On May 9, 2020

There are two huge names in the music world who died this week. But I want to focus on a third: Wussy’s guitarist John Erhardt. This is a devastating loss for lovers of that great cult band. Erh

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Music Notes

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On May 2, 2020
Willie Nelson turned 87 this week. In honor of that, Texas Monthly ranked all 143 of his albums. This is truly the list we all need. Things that are correct about this list: #1 is Phases and Stages and #2 is Red Headed Stranger. Yes, Red Headed Stranger is a great album. But Phases and […]

Music Notes

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On April 25, 2020

It is Fiona Apple’s world and we are just living in it. I review her album below, but there’s plenty of great material on her in recent days and weeks. Apple is the peak of the tortured ar

Music Notes

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On April 11, 2020

The loss of John Prine is, for me, the biggest loss of COVID-19 thus far. I don’t have that much to add beyond what Scott and Simon wrote. I saw Prine in 1999, just after he came back from his f

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Music Notes

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On March 31, 2020
The last show I saw before the coronavirus restrictions was Bill Frisell, at the Shedd in Eugene, Oregon. This is a good time to talk about Frisell’s role in my musical life. When I was in college, I really started exploring new and experimental music in a fairly serious way. Somewhat surprisingly, I got quite […]

McCoy Tyner, RIP

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On March 6, 2020

The great jazz pianist is gone, at the age of 81. Tyner’s famous for his legendary work with John Coltrane at the peak of the saxophone master’s career between 1961 and 1965. Somewhat oddl

Music Notes

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On March 3, 2020

This goes out to everyone who wants to talk about something else than politics on Super Tuesday. This is going to be a very heavy Drive-By Truckers based post. Album review is below. I saw them twice

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