Gold Dust Woman : The Biography of Stevie Nicks

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(by Stephen Davis) That “The” in the title is pretty rich. This is not a definitive biography of Stevie Nicks. This is a pedestrian grab for cash. Davis didn’t interview Nicks – he’s taken his material from published interviews, the music, quotes, interviews with friends and colleagues. He may have spoken to Nicks when working with Mick Fleetwood on the latter’s 1990 memoirs, Fleetwood: My Life and Adventures in Fleetwood Mac (which Davis says was “an international best seller (and the foundation text for almost every book written since about this band).”  Gold Dust Woman isn’t a bad book, it’s just that…

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Look Homeward, Angel (Vale Della Reese)

December 30, 2017 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | Modern Music, MUSIC, RELIGION, Uncategorized |
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Della Reese (July 6, 1931 – November 19, 2017) had a 60 year odd career as singer, actress, TV host and Minister of Religion. These talents combined in her most most lasting work, as Angel-in-Chief Tess in the series Touched by an Angel. In the first episode of Touched by an Angel that I saw, the lovely angel Monica (Roma Downey) was talking to a troubled woman out the front of her house at night.  The woman’s sadly neglected child was inside playing with matches (we knew it but the mother didn’t and somehow the angel didn’t either).  When a handsome…

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O Glorious Jeremiad

December 20, 2017 | Posted by Guest Reviewer | Modern Music, MUSIC |
"The Nightingale is Singing" by Mikhail Nesterov

"The Nightingale is Singing" by Mikhail Nesterov

The Varnished Culture’s collection of Sad Songs As Elton sang, ‘sad songs say so much,’ and they serve a number of purposes – soothing the soul, topping-up our empathy tanks, putting a spring in our step because we’re not expiring near a roll of chicken wire. “Sad” in this context can mean melancholy, mournful or even wryly funny. Our preferred lamentations, in alphabetical order (key performer only credited), are: All By Myself (Eric Carmen) [He never needed anyone before but he does now.] All of These Things (Ed Kuepper) Allentown (Billy Joel) [Ode to a dying town.] Alone Again (Naturally) (Gilbert…

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Happy Birthday Hector!

December 11, 2017 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Classical Music, MUSIC, Opera |
Berlioz conducting (by Louis Reybaud)

Berlioz conducting (by Louis Reybaud)

Hector Berlioz (11 December 1803 – 8 March 1869) was treated shamefully by his countrymen.  His works were seminal and influential upon, among others, Wagner himself. He certainly didn’t get the best press in his career, and his somewhat doleful nature made him the butt of those with a skerrick of natural humour: Yet as his great memoir shows, Berlioz knew he had something and you only have to play a few of his recordings to appreciate that: For example,  the Symphonie fantastique. And his Faust. Even Les Troyens, with its Wagnerian length, is worth its salt. And then consider his overtures based…

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Workshy by Dave Graney

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(Adelaide launch, 10 November 2017) At Imprints on Hindley Street, The Varnished Culture attended the launch of Workshy: My Life as a Bludge, the modestly titled autobiography by the undisputed Funky King of the Lounge Lizards, Dave Graney. Mr Graney read excerpts with verve and wit and then thrilled the crowd with a couple of acoustic numbers, including “Night of the Wolverine.” Graney’s songs insinuate themselves into the brain till they become giant, lurid earworms.  Think “Rock ‘n’ Roll is Where I Hide.” His prose is similar.  His account starts with his childhood in Mount Gambier at the bottom of South Australia….

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