Miley Cyrus and Mark Ronson featuring Sean Ono Lennon with ‘Happy Xmas (War Is Over)’

An inspiring performance from this superstar collaboration. The Electric Lady Studio Jimi Hendrix wall painting frames the setting.

Miley Cyrus’s vocal is captivating in its ascension. I love her War is Over green and white baseball t-shirt 🙂

Mark Ronson’s Wall of Sound reveres the original song’s producer, Phil Spector.

By Source, Fair use, Link

Miley’s endearing admiration for Sean Ono Lennon is evident. Sean stays focused as he sings the counter melody, paying homage to his Father and Mother’s timeless creation.

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Rock Critic Law: 101 Unbreakable Rules for Writing Badly About Music By Michael Azerrad

This is when best of music book lists appear to help readers with holiday gift suggestions.

I read these best music book lists to see if my purchases appear on critics radar screens. These lists point out valuable music books I have missed and wish to add to my music library.

I have read several best of 2018 music book lists in the past two weeks. I keep returning to  The 2018 Music Book Gift Guide from Paste Magazine Top 10 list.

The first music book on Paste’s list is, “Rock Critic Law: 101 Unbreakable Rules for Writing Badly About Music” written by rock journalist, Michael Azerrad

Michael Azerrad uses Twitter to cultivate his readership, https://twitter.com/RockCriticLaw I follow him primarily to improve my music writing skills.  His book helps recognize and avoid music writer tropes which impact effective communication.

If you are a music journalist you will appreciate this book’s tongue in cheek approach. (I’m sorry was that a cliche’?)  The use of illustration and narration create a novel method of writer reinforcement.

Grace Jones: Bloodlight and BAMI

I am fortunate to have WPKN-FM/Bridgeport hosting the Music on Film series right in my  backyard.  I have previously attended films about the blues, Sidemen, Long Road to Glory and Chasing Trane  about John Coltrane.

This week Music on Film presents Grace Jones: Bloodlight and BAMI on Thursday December 6th at 7:00 p.m. at the Bijou Theatre in downtown Bridgeport.

A portion of the ticket sales benefits WPKN-FM my favorite public radio station.

I’m eager to learn more about Grace Jones 🙂


Eric Dolphy, Musical Prophet

Record Store Day specialty recording, the 3LP, Eric Dolphy – Musical Prophet: The Expanded 1963 New York Studio Sessions on Resonance Records.  A must-have for any serious free jazz collection. Zev Feldman Co-President at Resonance curated this holy grail project. 

Eric Dolphy will also be featured as Downbeat Magazine’s January 2019 cover story, watch for its publication.


Bobbie Gentry’s Reissues

Record Store Day, Black Friday 2018 shopping yielded this 1967 classic reissue.

This Bobbie Gentry song brings back memories of summertime listening to the transistor radio while “Ode to Billie Joe” became a natural number one hit.

According to Mojo Magazine (January 2019 issue), the Reissue of the Year is Ms. Gentry’s extensive eight CD box set, The Girl From Chickasaw County: The Complete Masters by Bobbie Gentry

Bobbie Gentry- The Girl From Chickasaw County box-set cover art by David Downton



The Band’s With Me By Sally Mann Romano

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Photo by Baron Wolman

Sally Mann Romano, an attorney in her native Texas, is the proprietor of an animal sanctuary and deep-pocket money pit known as Rockit Ranch Rescue. She came to the law after her marriage to Spencer Dryden, drummer for Jefferson Airplane, having also spent a number of years working for, traveling with, and tending to Frank Zappa, the Grateful Dead, Grace Slick, Ten Years After, Stephen Stills, The Band, and other characters of similarly dubious repute.

Sally has been featured in a number of photo essays of so-called “groupies” and women in rock by Baron Wolman, Henry Diltz, Jim Marshall, and other renowned rock-and-roll photographers. She is the subject of paintings by artists as diverse as Jim Bama and Alice McMahon, both of whom based their works on the iconic photo by Baron Wolman that originally appeared in Rolling Stone, and countless interviews and magazine articles.

Her memoir, The Band’s With Me, available on Blurb with a foreword by Grace Slick and photographs by Baron Wolman, Henry Diltz, Herb Greene, Rosie McGee, and others, chronicles her escapades in the kaleidoscopic world of music and entertainment in the late 1960s and 1970s, comes clean on affairs of the heart and otherwise, and offers a wry, unsparing take on some of the more unforgettable musicians who marked an equally unforgettable era. There are over 100 photos, many previously unpublished.

Paul Winter’s Winter Solstice

9th Annual Winter Solstice Celebration at New York’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine will take place on December 20, 21, and 22. This is the first time in seven years that the event will be on the actual weekend of the solstice (which occurs at 5:23pm EST on the 21st).

Where: The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, 1047 Amsterdam Ave., NY, NY 10025

When: Thursday, Dec. 20 at 7:30pm; Friday, Dec. 21 at 7:30pm; Saturday, Dec. 22 at 2pm and 7:30pm

Screening: Horn From The Heart

Last year I wrote about the Paul Butterfield documentary Horn From The Heart. I am pleased to share that there will be a screening at The Fairfield Stage One on November 27th in Fairfield CT. It will be followed  with a Q and A with filmmaker Sandy Warren and musician Mark Naftalin.

Mark played keyboards in The Butterfield Blues Band on the first five albums. Mark hosts a blues radio hour on WPKN-FM. He also plays twice a month with various musicians at the 323 Restaurant Bar in Westport, CT.

Patti Smith at the Minetta Lane

I love when Patti Smith narrates her audio books. There is something about her voice that soothes the passion in my soul. Her latest title is Patti Smith at the Minetta Lane. It is available from Audible. You can download it and listen for free if this is the first time you are getting an Audible trial account.

I just finished reading Will Hermes article about Patti’s performance in the New York Times this morning. He is a superb music journalist and I am glad to see him writing for the Times. 

Her stage patter has always been its own entertainment, part stand-up comedy, part populist sermonizing.

Patti Smith at the Minetta Lane features live audio of performances captured over three evenings in September of 2018 at the Minetta Lane Theatre in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village, woven into a single, one-of-a-kind audio event. Pioneering artist and writer Patti Smith commands the stage to perform original spoken-word stories from her life, interwoven with the music of her beloved catalogue, played live by Smith, her son and daughter–Jackson and Jesse Paris Smith–and longtime collaborator Tony Shanahan. What transpires is a personally revelatory showcase, an intimate portrait of an icon, focusing on family and taking stock of a near to 50-year career devoted to artistic integrity.

©2018 Patti Smith (P)2018 Audible Originals, LLC.