Everything old is new again

One of the first books I read in 2023 was The Year of Less by Cait Flanders, which chronicles a year in which she put a moratorium on buying new stuff and, in the process, reduced the amount of stuff she owns by 70 percent. It got me to thinking about all my things. I’veContinue reading “Everything old is new again”

the return of w.p. bluhm

In my younger days I fancied myself a singer-songwriter. I banged out chords on a nylon-stringed guitar and, later, a 12-string guitar that I bought with $59 (or was it $79?) I scraped together from my first full-time job in the summer of 1975. Over the years, in part through the miracle of multi-tracking —Continue reading “the return of w.p. bluhm”

Searching for a new way

I am haunted from time to time by a song I have never completed — or perhaps the first two lines are the whole song — A sus 4 to A, A sus 4 to A  — “I am a-searching for a new way; The things I’ve done don’t seem enough …” I am fairlyContinue reading “Searching for a new way”

Philco 41-290X

This sturdy old beast of a radio — once it sparked and poured forth words and sounds and music and adventure — do these tired old vacuum tubes wait for electricity to surge again and carry voices from a world away back into this life? If I turn the knob, will a forgotten announcer springContinue reading “Philco 41-290X”

Lists pros and cons

I had an interesting exchange Friday after I posted yesterday’s post (“Joni’s foreground music”) to Facebook.  One of my closest we-should-be-friend-friends-not-just-Facebook-friends friends, Sam Kujava, responded, “I would say she is my favorite female musician but that is considered sexist now, right?” And added, “I cried happy and sad tears watching her perform here,” talking aboutContinue reading “Lists pros and cons”

Joni’s foreground music

I stayed up past my bedtime the other night watching videos from the “Joni Jam’ at Newport Folk Festival, where friends surrounded Joni Mitchell and helped her perform some of her most memorable songs. Everyone was crying with happiness to see this 78-year-old woman doing her best to do her best. It was a struggle,Continue reading “Joni’s foreground music”

Listening: Rethinking a master work

Listening to Bruce Springsteen’s masterpiece album Born to Run the other day, I was suddenly struck by the thought that it might be even better if the songs were in the exact opposite order. In his autobiography he talks about the hopeful optimism of the opening song, “Thunder Road,” and in “Jungleland,” the closer, thoseContinue reading “Listening: Rethinking a master work”

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