Ten Influential Albums: Numbers 6-10

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Here is the second instalment of the list I drew up in May for the so-called Ten Album Challenge. In revising the text for these last five albums, I discovered a rather pressing urge to say something more about Billie Holiday and Captain Beefheart in particular. The first because her far-reaching shadow seemed to touch, … Read more

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Ten Influential Albums: Numbers 1-5

Album cover for Blues the Common Ground by Kenny Burrell.

Just as the Coronavirus settled in for its brutal, interminable visit, just as the remnants of life-as-we’ve-always-known-it shattered and collapsed around my ears, a friend nominated me for the Ten Album Challenge. In accepting this challenge, I agreed to post—on Facebook—the covers of ten albums that have influenced or inspired me in some meaningful way. … Read more

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Dylan’s Voice, Part Three

Nothingness made visible The cook at the halfway house where I worked was a Ukrainian woman named Connie. A widow in her sixties, she was loquacious, vain, and opinionated, a born storyteller. I could sit in the kitchen for hours and listen to Connie’s tales of the lumber camps where she worked in her youth … Read more

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Dylan’s Voice, Part Two

The elderly boy topic “Yeah, I’ve got lots of his poetry and every one of his records,” the woman said, smiling. She looked at me for a moment, then looked away and cocked her head wistfully. “His poetry’s really good, you know. There’s a lot of this in it.” When she said “this,” she tapped … Read more

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Dylan’s Voice

The old man—boy complex How could something originate in its antithesis? Truth in error, for example. Or will to truth in will to deception? Or the unselfish act in self-interest? Or the pure radiant gaze of the sage in covetousness? —Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil Or a grandfather’s voice in the body of a boy … Read more

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