Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Boys not being boys

 Jonathon Haidt is increasingly worried about boys. From American Institute for Boys and Men:

Boys are in trouble. Many have withdrawn from the real world, where they could develop the skills needed to become competent, successful, and loving men. Instead, many have been lured into an ever more appealing virtual world in which desires for adventure and for sex can be satisfied, at least superficially, without doing anything that would prepare them for later success in work, love, and marriage.

Saturday, November 11, 2023

Since we're talking music

 Let's talk about the greatest: Prince.

And his impact on that gal Travis Kelce is dating.

“Swift seems to have studied Prince and learned some invaluable lessons.”

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

From the bookshelf ...

 What I'm reading: An Ed McBain 1969 novel "Fuzz: An 87th Precinct Mystery". Only 95 bucks at AbeBooks, but I got my paperback edition for $4 at my bookstore.

What I'm reading next: The great Larry McMurtry's "Boone's Lick"

Just a reminder, you don't need to drop $28 on the newest 2023 release. You can go to a used book store and pick from volumes of great books from great prolific authors for $3-$4 each. The ones below from my most recent visit to my local used book store were written in 1957, 1960 and 1969.

Or, at least, mix it up a little. Give a new author a look AND check out the old masters too. 

Monday, November 6, 2023

Chris or Jamey? Who ya paying to see? (UPDATED)

 Chris Stapleton is coming to my neck of the woods for a concert this spring. I'm not trying to be contrarian here, but I haven't bought in (especially at 200 bucks a ticket) to all the hype. For my money and my Alexa time, I prefer Jamey Johnson.

They both have interesting back-stories, song-writing backgrounds and paid their dues to become stars. Stapleton is the hotter commodity right now, but outside of "Tennessee Whiskey" there's not a lot there for me. Lots of the same sound, same voice. While his CMA duet with Justin Timberlake was fun to watch, his song "Parachute" belongs in a middle-school play. 

Stapleton seems like a really nice guy, a good man, and I'd rather listen to him than any of the Bro Country Justins and Jasons, but for as hot as his star is burning right now it's got to burn a lot longer and with a more diverse catalog of songs than just growly, sad blues. 

Johnson, a former Marine, comes off the opposite to me. I'm guessing he's a nice guy, but seems grouchy and distant in the concerts I attended. He shut one down a couple songs early in Deadwood because a couple guys got into fisticuffs at the front of the stage. Come on, man, toughen up, don't be such a wimp. Think Waylon or George would've fled from the stage? I expected more from the "Somewhere between Jennings and Jones" singer.

Yet I find Johnson's voice better with a better range of songs. I had a friend tell me, when Johnson sings about the ups and downs in life you know he's been there.

Whichever you prefer, they're still in the 90-plus percentile of the rest of the performers out there. 

UPDATE: Here's a story singing Stapleton's praises.