Ma Rainey’s Small Axe

The “Lovers Rock” episode of Steve McQueen’s “Small Axe” showed me again why I love reggae. (The series premiered on November 20, 2020 on Amazon Prime Video in the U.S. It won the Los Angeles Film Critics Award for 2020’s Best Picture.) I admit I was once pretty insufferable about reggae.  “How about some Allman … Continue reading Ma Rainey’s Small Axe

Enough, enough, e-fucking-nough

Identify Criminals Use police, news and civilian video and facial recognition systems to identify criminals Use cell-phone locator functions to identify criminals Clean the Capitol Sweep all spaces for electronic audio and video surveillance devices; also phone and intercom bugs Fumigate and disinfect for COVID Reset all communications networks and computer services Sue all criminals … Continue reading Enough, enough, e-fucking-nough

“…a ticket into the woods, onto still waters and meandering brooks…”

The West Branch of the Sacandaga River winds in close curves, a tunnel of steep grassy banks. Its roof blooms overhead, a calming blue streaky-tattooed with feathery cirrus clouds. It’s narrow, one twist right after another, so you come upon another boat in a hurry and have to paddle in a laughing rush to miss … Continue reading “…a ticket into the woods, onto still waters and meandering brooks…”

Wise-ass Wednesday

Well, sort of… Even a wise-ass feels grateful, like now. When… When I lean over my plate to savor the aroma of handmade pasta with vodka sauce and discover, when the condensation fog on my glasses clears, that some kind soul at the table has filled my wineglass. When I walk through an alley in … Continue reading Wise-ass Wednesday

RIP Hal and Marianne

I don’t know if it’s worse or better that neither Greenwich-born country-folk singer-songwriter Hal Ketchum nor music super-fan Marianne Higgins Peruzzi Barone died from the damn plague. Whatever; we just sadly lost both. Marianne and I had been Facebook friends for years when we met just once, at an after-party for her high school reunion … Continue reading RIP Hal and Marianne

Empty Seats, Full Hearts

The Facebook photo caught my eye: I know that place. In stark black and white, it showed the empty Starlite Music Theater, posted with the ask/challenge to recall shows in the place. The Colonie Tent Theater, Coliseum Theater and Starlite looked forlorn. The chairs were gone, exposing dusty rings of terraced floor rising from the … Continue reading Empty Seats, Full Hearts

An American Tune

Casey Seiler’s column this morning (Sunday, Nov. 1) knocked it out of the park. Now editor of the Albany Times-Union, he’s written about nearly everything a reporter can, including concert reviews, where we’d occasionally meet up. For more than 20 years, I’ve joined the same crew of music-crazed friends to meet in the dead of … Continue reading An American Tune


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