Mystery Train

Summer Soft

I found these guys resting in the shade in the High Falls Gorge this afternoon. They're not contemplating the change of season today, but a lot of us are.


Mark Murphy blows

Jazz Fest starts in one week! With the caveat that I don't know every last act featured on Day One, my must-see pick would have to be Mark Murphy. I first heard him in my college years at SUNY Fredonia, 1986, the year his album Keroauc, Then and Now came out.

One Wing

We once belonged to a bird

Who cast his shadow on this world

You were a blessing and I was a curse

I did my best not to make things worse

for you



Murder By Mistletoe

I'm a sucker for this sound. It's The Felice Brothers. I'd recommend it for just the piano break alone, for the way it starts to tip over, but the lyrics are interesting too. There's a man drifting off to sleep in an "attic full of make believe" while carolers sing in the street. Later he watches a woman smile on TV and ends up "laying with last year's love, high as the moon above."


The Waking

When I was first planning out what Mystery Train would sound like, I wanted lots of different genres hooked up together like freight cars. But I didn’t just want to play songs at random, not that that can’t work. I wanted a reason for one tune to follow another. The obvious and unoriginal solution was to put together theme blocks...songs about rain or love or the color blue...and give each set a connector, usually a common composer or musician.



“Things fall apart.”

So begins the New York Times review of the Guggenheim’s Ad Reinhardt exhibit. It’s about art preservation, about “the moment when it becomes clear to the eye that a thing of beauty, while always a joy, will not last forever, at least in its original form.” It gets a bit academic, but the central questions are interesting. How do you arrest gravity? How do you freeze time?

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