Category Archives: The Arts

Got Soul?

This summer, I’ve been trying to go to concerts again. It’s one of my favorite things to do, but the pandemic messed it all up. I’ve seen the Tedeschi Trucks Band (TTB), Los Lobos, the Gabe Dixon Band, and Al Foster so far. Every summer, TTB calls their tour “Wheels of Soul”, so I saw […]

A Possible Fix for the Pop Culture Oligopoly

I’m really not a snob, but I’m afraid I’m going to sound like one in this essay. People can, and should, like whatever they like. I don’t believe in guilty pleasures. I just wanted to warn everyone. Pop Culture is an oligopoly. It is in the traditional, business sense; there are only a limited number […]

A Fantastic Song

Earlier today, I listened to Just to Be with You by Johnnie Johnson. In fact, I listened to it twice. It was so good that I went back and listened again. It’s originally an old Muddy Waters song written by Bernard Roth. This version features Phoebe Snow on vocals and Buddy Guy on lead guitar. […]

To Kill a Mockingbird

I recently read To Kill a Mockingbird for a class I was taking. I first read it in high school. I liked it. I could relate to Jem and Scout. I found the social justice themes exciting. Reading it again thirty years later, though, was way better. There are several reasons why, I think, the […]

Contemporary Covers

I recently picked up a copy of The Rolling Stones’ Tattoo You: 40th Anniversary Edition. It has a remastered version of the original 1981 album and a bonus disc of never before released songs recorded throughout the 70s. One of those songs is “Drift Away” recorded in 1974, just one year after Dobie Gray had […]

The Humble Harmonica

There’s something I’ve been thinking about lately. It might sound strange to some people, but why isn’t the harmonica a more popular instrument? It’s often seen as a kid’s toy or lame or dorky. People dream of becoming a guitar hero, a pyrotechnic drummer, or a groovy bassist. They fantasize about being a hot DJ, […]

Some Things I Hate (Arts & Culture Edition)

I’m not exactly sure why I’m writing this. I think I mostly just feel like arguing about some really low stakes stuff. I’m looking for fun arguments. So, if you respond, please keep it fun. I should also note that this is not an exhaustive list and I’m not going into a lot of detail. […]

‘Tis Always the Season

I love Christmas- the spirit, the music, and the joy it inspires especially in children. You wouldn’t be able to tell from my living space though. I don’t put up decorations because it’s such a hassle. And at the top of that hassle list is the Christmas tree. We had a rather ornate tree when […]

If I Had a Boat

The Holmes Brothers‘ “If I Had a Boat” has been stuck in my head for about a week now. It’s fantastic. It’s one of those songs I could listen to on repeat and not get sick of it. I’m writing about it for a few reasons. First, I just want to share. It’ll make your […]

Cool (Christmas) Blues

Charles Brown is a fascinating figure in American music. He’s great, first of all. Absolutely great. He’s legendary in the blues and traditional R&B worlds, but most people now probably don’t know him by name. He was a singer, pianist, and songwriter. The easiest way to describe Brown’s sound is he is where Ray Charles […]