Latest Blog Posts

by Dan Barrett

12 Mar 2014


Above: Garth Williams original illustration.

Laura Ingalls Wilder had a hard life. Her family was always moving, and they lived in fear of attacks. Bobcats were a threat. Mom and Dad had to build at least one house, from the ground up. Mom badly injured her foot when she dropped a log on it. In those days, people thought you had to put an injured foot in a certain kind of water—which was exactly the wrong kind of water for an injured foot. So Mama Ingalls’s foot swelled and began to resemble a turnip.

That’s not all. For example, Laura’s sister, Mary, lost her sight at an early age. And a major treat for Laura was a trip to a housing wares store—can you imagine? How boring! But, to Laura, who rarely had the opportunity to see anyone other than her nuclear family, a trip to a nails-and-plywood store was like a trip to Disney World.

by Raymond E. Lee

8 Oct 2013

“The dangerous time when mechanical voices, radios, telephones, take the place of human intimacies, and the concept of being in touch with millions brings a greater and greater poverty in intimacy and human vision.” So wrote Anaïs Nin in her diary in the years directly after the great war.

Decades before the internet and its myriad entertainment traps, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and all the other social media platforms which have come to crowd out and clog our email in-boxes, creating their own two dimensional universes on the basis of binary code; so too go our thoughts. Paired down to 140 characters, a soundbite, or a catchphrase it becomes increasingly difficult for the old long form, the indepth and subjective rationalization of subject matter, to compete with the fizz and pop of trending tastes. Social media has become a world within our world, and Nin’s prophetic sentiment remains valid, perhaps moreso than when she penned it.

by Renata Cossio

17 Jun 2013


Lenny Bruce

While reading How to Talk Dirty and Influence People, I grew to enjoy Lenny’s stream of conscience style, which becomes clear and concise by the end of the book (where he rants on about sex, religion and politics). Just when you think he has completely gone off subject, and maybe when you yourself have forgotten what he was originally writing about, he finds his way back. Chapter 27 on morality clauses come to mind; I might have to read it again:

“Recently I was offered a writing gig on a TV series (…).  But after two days, negotiations went right into the can. The company’s legal department killed it. Because of the morality clause.

(…)

by Ted Pillow

30 Oct 2012


Brett Helquist's rendition of a dog that is not a dog, from Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

At first, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark doesn’t sound like a very scary book. The title is awfully benign, conjuring images of campfire ghost stories that end with an overexcited “Boo!”

Frankly, it sounds pretty lame.

by Carl Schonbeck

5 Jan 2012


Among the various source quotes on the back cover of Here, There and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of The Beatles is one by David Letterman sidekick and bandleader Paul Shaffer. Lauding the book as a dream come true for Fab music scholars, he reminds readers that its author (in the recording studio at least) was that rarest of things” a true Beatles insider. “The cat was there!” Paul exclaims.

Indeed, the “cat” in question, recording engineer Geoff Emerick, was that and much more. A fixture behind the recording console for a large part of The Beatles’s career, Emerick did much to shape the ground-breaking sounds of The Beatles’s post-touring studio years (1966-1970). Revolver, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heats Club Band and Abbey Road all benefited from the sonic innovations of the young man known as “Mr. Golden Ears” by his EMI colleagues (though reading the book one can suspect the nickname was served up with generous helpings of English taking the you-know-what).

//Mixed media
//Blogs

St. Vincent, Beck, and More Heat Up Boston Calling on Memorial Day Weekend

// Notes from the Road

"With vibrant performances by artists including St. Vincent and TV on the Radio, the first half of the bi-annual Boston Calling Festival brought additional excitement to Memorial Day weekend.

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