Monday, July 28, 2008

Im in love.....

I have very odd tastes when it comes to music......VERY odd. I am a big Tom Waits fan, love Leonard Cohen, Lisa Gerard, Nick Cave, Suzanne Vega, Frank Sinatra, Bjork, all sorts of stuff. I'm probably the only guy you will ever meet who likes Greek and Arab dance music, Punk Rock (old 80's stuff, not this new jive) the 5th Dimension, Earth Wind and Fire, Slipknot, System of a Down, and has a huge addiction to Polka music and anything from Louisiana.

But mark my words, not matter how psychotic my tastes in music might be, if I like something alot, I'm going to tell you about it. I cant help it, I used to write music reviews for a local newspaper, I have been a DJ, as well as a roadie and a bouncer for a very large rock club. I adhere to the Nietzsche opinion that: "Without Music, life would be a mistake" So it is with this in mind that i want to tell you to check out Ingrid Michaelson. All I can say is Wow!! I feel the same way about her as I did the first time I heard Suzanne Vega's "Small Blue Thing". She has a sweet, utterly addictive voice, but don't take my word for it, just go to her site and check out her music, you wont be sorry.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

A Southern porch.....

As if I dont have enough blogs already, I started a new one today called "A Southern Porch".
It will mostly be my poems, photos, anything involving the south....Just thought I'd let ya know!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

A Journey into God....Questions....

The Journey Into God~A Forty-Day Retreat with Bonaventure, Francis and Clare
by Josef Raischl, S.F.O., and André Cirino, O.F.M.

I have questions about this book; has anyone read it before? If so, what were you're impressions of it? I got into week 5, and just felt it was too complicated, especially since it was supposed to be mostly based on the examples of St. Francis and St.Clare. I was reading it as part of a SFO group on Yahoo groups, and didn't really communicate very well with the other members, so perhaps I just had a bad attitude about the whole thing. I think I'm going to pick it back up and start over again, see if I can "get it" this time. Still, if anyone has read it, please let me know, I'd like to get some input on this book and your experiences with it -or any like minded books- and any pointers you might give me to get more out of it.

In retrospect, I think I need to read more books like this anyway. I've pretty much been on a steady diet of history books for the past year, and I think I need to balance my system out with more spiritual fare. In as much as I enjoy history -especially WWII history- I think it tends to harden one after a while, I've gotten more cynical in the past year or so, and I really don't like that very much. So, if anyone has any suggestions for me, by all means, post em in my comments page, I'm open to suggestions!!

No static at all......

Okeedokee artichokees, I know ya didn't ask for it, but here it tis anyway; my most listened to radio stations on the internet for this 4th of July weekend,2008. Usually, topping the list would be The Catholic Channel on Sirius, and rest assured, it is still up there, but I'm concentrating on four music stations today, so with out further delay.....

Topping my list right now, is KRVS 88.7, Radio Acadie ,despite their morning programming being mostly in French, this is a true slice of Americana. Located in Lafayette, Louisiana, this Public Radio Station plays Cajun music, Zydeco, Blues, Jazz, Swamp Pop, Swamp Rock, Louisiana singer/ songwriter music, and many other types of music created and played in Louisiana. This is the toe tapping music of the Louisiana heartland, not the standard schtick played in every tourist trap in the French quarter. If you like accordions in any way shape or form, you'll like this station.

Speaking of accordions, you really don't have to look any further than WALN~ The Polka Station
for great accordion music. Located in Allentown Pennsylvania, it is a welcome addition to internet radio station phenomena, and yes, it is also broadcast in a mixture of English and other languages, predominantly German this time . I have to say, that not one weekend in the past 5 or 6 years has gone by where I did not tune in WALN for at least a couple of hours.

Let's bop back below -WAY below- the Mason/Dixon line to Louisiana again, this time to WWOZ . Now, WWOZ is called the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Station, broadcasting live from the famed New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival annually. Their governance board is appointed by the
New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival Foundation., and they are a listener-supported, volunteer-operated radio station, currently operating out of the French Market Corporation Offices.
In the aftermath of Katrina, they moved all their vinyl, all their equipment, and broadcasted out of the second story of a coffee shop until new digs could be acquired. Again, a vital, essential chunk of Americana that also should never be placed in the position of ceasing to be. WWOZ plays music that you positively will not hear anywhere else in the world, oftentimes music that was recorded the night before, live at The Maple Leaf. One word of warning for those leaning towards the political right; there is no love loss or lack of heated comments in New Orleans for "W", his administration, FEMA, and anyone else connected to the blunders after that witch katrina came ashore, and it is oftentimes voiced by the DJ's on this station. But it is really a great station that should not be overlooked.

And finally, we get a little closer to home (for me at least). WNCW, is a gem of a station, situated in lovely Spindale, North Carolina. This station is situated snugly in the foothills of the Appalachain's, and it's format oftentimes reflects that down home, rural lifestyle. Now, I will say that they have a tendency on weekday nights -especially Wednesday's- to play a whole lot of Grateful dead (which I loathe), but on the weekends, they have the best bluegrass and Celtic programming you will ever find anywhere. Fiona Ritchie's "Thistle and Shamrock" program hasn't got a thing on WNCW's "Celtic winds" and their show their bluegrass show "Goin Across the Mountain" (Every saturday from 11am-7pm) is 2nd to none.

I hope that you find at least one station in the motley bunch that piques your interest, I certainly find a little time for all of them here and there as my weekend progresses. I have, over the years, found that I rather enjoy denying the TV it's assumed sway over me, and these stations are another defense against just that. Enjoy

Friday, July 4, 2008

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

What price freedom?? ( aka,Book Review #2)

Have any of you read this? Let me first say that I did not read this because Oprah told me to. In fact, I didn't even notice her taint on the cover until now. If I'd seen it earlier, I probably would have mulled over not reading it, based on her recommendations alone ( My disdain for the "cult of Oprah" is a story for another day)...

This is -mercifully- a very short book, and I say mercifully, because I don't know if my heart could have taken much more of this sad, sad story. I dont know what is sadder, the content of the book, or the fact that it is a true story. I knew from my WWII "history fetish" about the holocaust, but I never knew what great lengths the Nazis went to when it came to their cruelty and inhumanity, and quite frankly, I kind of liked it that way. sort of my own little "see nothing, hear nothing, say nothing" rule.
But I digress...... Remember the first 20 minutes of "Saving Private Ryan", where you just kept wanting the killing to stop, kept praying that it would be over soon? I got the same feeling with this book, and it affected me so, that I even intended on putting it down and not picking it back up-EVER- but, I pulled myself back together again, and decided I really needed to finish reading it.

I highly reccomend this book for those of us with small children who, inevitably, will have to learn of the Holocaust some day in school. This book is now essential reading in alot of schools and IMSHO, I feel that it behooves me to be ready for the questions that will someday come along as a result of having to explain to them those blackest of days in humanities history. A very important read, well worth your while, and cheap to boot! I picked up a copy in Target for $7.00 and some change.