21 September 2020 -- Anton Ego's Review

Disney/Pixar's Ratatouille played on TV repeatedly this weekend. I've seen it several times now, and it is a marvelous movie working on many levels. But here's the part that leapt out at me this time: Anton Ego's review at the…

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20 September 2020 -- One Month In

Today is September 20th, so this website is now one month old, which is cause for celebration. 

It’s been busy here! Over the past month I have posted: 

31 blogposts – essays, really – one a day – for a…

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19 September 2020 -- RBG, Neil Gaiman, and Art

In May 2012, in his commencement address at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, Neil Gaiman said a number of wise and helpful things to his audience of young artists. I will come back to his several ideas in…

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18 September 2020 -- "The Drink Takes a Drink"

As I mentioned recently here, I was a huge fan of "The Midnight Special" back in the 70s. And one of the bands that frequently appeared on the show was REO Speedwagon, which played an enjoyable brand of power pop…

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17 September 2020 -- My First Band

My first band was actually playing music with my father and my sisters. 

Around the same time that I started playing guitar, my sisters became interested in playing music, too, mostly through their infatuation with The Hudson Brothers, who are…

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15 September 2020 -- A Loving Kick in the Pants

Last Wednesday, I had to cancel the semester abroad program I direct here at Virginia Tech. It’s simply not a safe time to travel, of course, and logically speaking, I fully appreciate all the good reasons for not going. But…

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14 September 2020 -- The Midnight Special

Back in the 1970s, before MTV turned “music television” into nothing but music videos, there were two remarkable shows on broadcast TV — Burt Sugarman’s Midnight Special and Don Kirschner’s Rock Concert — both of which provided 90 minutes of…

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12 September 2020 -- The (Al)lure of Gear

As I look around the house, I find the following guitars: my Les Paul, my Stratocaster, my Gretsch hollowbody, a Danelectro electric 12-string, an Epiphone Les Paul Special, a Jackson Dinky, my mother’s Martin, an Applause acoustic/electric, my Hohner beach…

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11 September 2020 -- The Souls of Guitars

My wife, Aileen, watches ghost shows, *lots* of ghost shows, on what remains of the Travel Channel. I’d like to chide her for this indulgence, but like her, I have had experiences that I cannot account for without resorting to…

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