Monday, January 26, 2015

Song of the Week: That's the Way

For the past week, I've been listening to the complete Led Zeppelin discography from beginning to end. After listening to Led Zeppelin III, I felt I had to share "That's the Way".  It's not the typical song you think of when you hear the words "Led Zeppelin", but it shows off their great musical abilities.


Monday, January 19, 2015

Song of the Week: Dirty Water

The final season of Justified premieres tomorrow night.  It's consistently been one of the best shows on TV during its six year run.  This week's song comes from one of last year's episodes.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

God Save the Child, by Robert B. Parker

The second book in the series, God Save the Child has private eye Spenser looking for a missing teenager. Good, not great.  We know what happened to the kid, but some of the motivations are a bit muddled.  You definitely sympathize with Spenser's exasperation toward his clients.  If you were the kid, you'd probably run away yourself.

This is the book that introduces long time love interest Sarah Silverman.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The Barbed-Wire Kiss by, Wallace Stroby

When Harry walked in the door, Bobby was sitting at the end of the bar, watching a redhead take off her clothes.

Harry Rane is an ex-cop living at the Jersey Shore.  His old buddy, Bobby, is in deep to a local crime boss to the tune of fifty large.  Bobby asks Harry to get him more time to repay the loan.  Harry helps out and gets more than he bargained for; especially when he finds out the boss's wife is an ex-flame he hasn't seen in over a decade.

The Barbed-Wire Kiss is the first novel of Wallace Stroby.  It had been on my to-read list for a while, but I didn't pick it up until I saw Stroby on an MWA panel in Chatham, NJ. Before becoming a novelist, Stroby was an editor at The Star-Ledger. His deep knowledge of New Jersey comes through.  He captures the feel of the real Shore; the desperation of an area of the state whose survival rests on a few summer months, not the glitzy partytimes of the eponymous MTV show.

There are many scenes whose sights and sounds (and smells) jump right off the page. You'll hear seagulls overhead and feel the sand between your toes, but this ain't no summer picnic. The Barbed-Wire Kiss is hard-boiled to its core, full of the kind of down-on-their-luck losers and sleazy schemers that these stories were made for.

I'm definitely going to check out some more of Wallace Stroby's books.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Song of the Week: What is Life

During my time off around Christmas, I finally got around to seeing the George Harrison documentary Living in the Material World. It was really well done; not a straight biography, but rather a series of remembrances from his friends and family. I recommend checking it out.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Song of the Week: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

To close out this year's Christmas songs, let's hear from my boy Kenny Wayne Shepherd.  This version of Rudolph is from an album called Merry Axemas.


Monday, December 22, 2014

Song of the Week: God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

Jars of Clay have recorded two versions of this song:  one on their EP Drummer Boy and one on the full album called Christmas Songs.  I always preferred the Drummer Boy version because it shows off their guitar work more.

Here is that version: