Category Archives: music

Stephen Stills—in the NYRB

Ever since Bob Silvers, the editor of the New York Review of Books, died in March, I wondered what would happen to the magazine. He had been the editor, along with Barbara Epstein (who died in 2006) since the magazine began in 1963: 54 years! His talents and diligence as an editor were legendary, and […]

“Old Man”

Just for grins, here’s a great Neil Young song. On the recorded version, from the 1972 album “Harvest” (here), James Taylor and Linda Ronstadt sang backing vocals, and Taylor played the banjo. I like this one better; it’s from his BBC live performance in 1971.

Is just quoting Beyoncé a form of cultural appropriation?

You know the answer to the question above. According to Black Lives Matter, it’s a strong “YES!”, although nobody would have batted an eyelash about this five years ago. What happened in March is that Niki Ashton, a New Democratic Party member of the Canadian Parliament, emitted a tweet announcing that she was going to […]

Google Doodle celebrates visual/musical art

Reader Dom called my attention to a new animated and interactive Google Doodle celebrating the life of the German visual artist Oskar Fischinger, who was born on this day in 1900 (click on screenshot below to activate the Doodle). By clicking in various places on the screen that appears when you press the arrow, you […]

The Barbarian of Seville

Nearly everyone on my Facebook feed is posting anti-Trump stuff, and in response I post kitten videos, which counteract the Bad Vibes of the Prez. But here’s one anti-Trump opera I find hilarious. It’s five minutes of political music. The credits: Believe it or not, in an aria with so many words, we actually still […]

Greg Allman died

According to CNN, one of my music heroes, Greg Allman, just died at the age of 69, The details: Gregg Allman, a founding member of the Allman Brothers Band who overcame family tragedy, drug addiction and health problems to become a grizzled elder statesman for the blues music he loved, has died. He was 69. […]

Thursday: Hili dialogue

by Grania Welcome to another glorious Towel Day! You can keep up with the other hoopy froods here or by following the hashtag #TowelDay on Twitter. 496 years ago on the history front, the Diet of Worms was still dragging on (Jerry was still in New Zealand when we last visited that era), and today […]

“Walk on the Wild Side” offends Guelph college students; Lou Reed friends incredulous

“Walk on the Wild Side” was a song written by Lou Reed and released on his Transformer album in 1972. If you were young then, you’ll surely have heard it, though perhaps not on the radio.  It’s about people making the journey to New York City, where Andy Warhol’s “Factory” attracted all manner of beats, proto-hippies, […]


Question: What pop song was written in part by a university professor? The answer is the song in this post: “Copperline,” written by James Taylor and Reynolds Price, formerly James B. Duke Professor of English at Duke University. Songfacts gives the details: Copperline is an area near Chapel Hill in North Carolina where James Taylor grew […]

Chuck Berry died

I was surprised he made it to this age, but Chuck Berry died today in Missouri—at 90. I haven’t time to write a long obituary, but of course he was one of the pioneers of rock and roll, one of the earliest black rock stars, and this was one of the songs that made him […]