Sunday, August 31, 2014

Rockin' the Bronx

I just finished reading Rockin' the Bronx, written by Black 47's lead singer, Larry Kirwan.  If you enjoy Black 47's music, you will enjoy this tale of a young musician who has moved to the Bronx from Ireland in the '80's.  Larry paints such vivid pictures, with his writing, that you can almost feel the hard concrete sidewalks of the Bronx beneath your feet.
The book had a nice pace throughout, and as the book progressed, so did the tone.  I stopped reading for a few minutes, several pages before the end of the book, just so I could savor it a little bit longer.  I was hoping for a happy ending, but I got much more than that.  Now my thoughts are with the main character, Sean Kelly.  I wonder where he is and what he is up to now.
I look forward to reading more work from Larry Kirwan.
On a side note, Black 47 is in the midst of its final tour.  I can honestly say that they are my favorite band.  I have seen them perform live well over twenty times, and I plan to go see them again tonight.  They will be playing in Kingston, NY at the Hooley on the Hudson, at 7 pm.  You can get more information about the hooley on the Ulster County AOH page.  Admission is free!
For more information on Black 47, including music, CDs & books, and tour dates check out their website:

Friday, August 29, 2014

Lily & the Parlour Tricks

Margaret was listening to the radio this morning and she heard a band performing live. The singer's voice was fresh and fetching, and the music was smooth and sweet.  The band is Lily & the Parlour Tricks.  One of the songs they performed was The Storm.  Their music vaguely reminded her of an old tune that she enjoys by Mary Hopkin, Those Were the Days. Margaret suggests that you take a look at their website or Youtube to hear more from them, she is going to.

Lily & the Parlour Tricks
Mary Hopkin

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Motley Crue

In the late 80's I had the pleasure of seeing Motley Crue perform live a few times.  Seeing them again now was not the same, but I don't know if that is due to changes I have gone through in my life, or changes they have gone through, or maybe a bit of both.
I thought the song selection could have been better.  They played some songs that I did not recognize, and I used to know all their songs.  I think those songs were from their later albums.  However, they did play a lot of their good stuff; Live Wire, Wild Side, Girls, Girls, Girls, Smokin in the Boy's Room, etc.
Overall it may not have been the same, but it was still good to see them one last time.  They closed the show out strong playing some of their most popular tunes, and then returned to the stage for an encore with Home Sweet Home, which was very well done.
Alice Cooper opened up for them.  I had never seen him play live before and I am sorry I missed him on tour when I was younger.  He was entertaining and theatrical.
A very enjoyable evening.

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Angriest Man in Brooklyn - movie review

  • Robin Williams & Mila Kunis
A touching movie, hard not to think about Robin Williams' recent demise while watching it. Well acted, good cast. I enjoyed the beginning when they showed how angry he was, it was relatable, though Robin Williams expressed his anger in a much more animated way than I do. It was a simple story, a man is diagnosed with a brain aneurysm, and only has 90 minutes to live. Whatever he wants to do with the rest of his life, he must do it quickly. It had a good ending. The movie invokes a range of different emotions. (7)

RIP Robin Williams.  

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Lady of Shalott

Part I
On either side the river lie
Long fields of barley and of rye,
That clothe the wold and meet the sky;
And thro' the field the road runs by
       To many-tower'd Camelot;
The yellow-leaved waterlily
The green-sheathed daffodilly
Tremble in the water chilly
       Round about Shalott.

Willows whiten, aspens shiver.
The sunbeam showers break and quiver
In the stream that runneth ever
By the island in the river
       Flowing down to Camelot.
Four gray walls, and four gray towers
Overlook a space of flowers,
And the silent isle imbowers
       The Lady of Shalott.

Underneath the bearded barley,
The reaper, reaping late and early,
Hears her ever chanting cheerly,
Like an angel, singing clearly,
       O'er the stream of Camelot.
Piling the sheaves in furrows airy,
Beneath the moon, the reaper weary
Listening whispers, ' 'Tis the fairy,
       Lady of Shalott.'

The little isle is all inrail'd
With a rose-fence, and overtrail'd
With roses: by the marge unhail'd
The shallop flitteth silken sail'd,
       Skimming down to Camelot.
A pearl garland winds her head:
She leaneth on a velvet bed,
Full royally apparelled,
       The Lady of Shalott.

Part II
No time hath she to sport and play:
A charmed web she weaves alway.
A curse is on her, if she stay
Her weaving, either night or day,
       To look down to Camelot.
She knows not what the curse may be;
Therefore she weaveth steadily,
Therefore no other care hath she,
       The Lady of Shalott.

Monday, August 18, 2014

My Funeral

Do you ever imagine what your own funeral will be like? I imagine that mine will be solemn, just a handful of people there. The older I get, the less I need other people around. Besides, I enjoy my privacy, time to myself, my seclusion. Perhaps even a little reckless seclusion would be nice.
The wake, on the other hand, should be a celebration. I want to go out Irish wake style. My coffin in the living room, everyone with a pint in hand, celebrating, laughing, and maybe even a little dancing. Feel free to rest your pint on my coffin, but please don't forget to pour a bit o' Guinness on my grave when you bury me.
I would like to be set free into the river, or a lake, and then burned upon my wooden raft. Unfortunately, society's laws now probably deem this illegal, and thus I will have to settle for a simple cremation.
A lot of people have music played at their funeral. I have been listening to “If I Die Young,” by The Band Perry lately. It is an excellent tune, and fittingly appropriate for a funeral.
I think I will die at a fairly young age. Ernest Hemingway died at the age of 62, though my time will probably expire a lot sooner than that.  Alfred, Lord Tennyson lived to the ripe old age of 83, however.