Screaming Jets

March 10, 2018 | Posted by Lesley Jakobsen | Modern Music, MUSIC |

Songs in Our Heart # 90 Screaming Jets (Johnny Warman) (written by Johnny Warman; released June 1981) [A one-hit wonder par excellence, Warman’s fable of a nuclear dawn still resonates (“there’s a ring around the sun…and it looks if we’re going back to where it all begun…”) and the sound effects are sensational, including some inspired back-wailing by Peter Gabriel.  A great one-off.] x

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What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?

February 1, 2018 | Posted by Peter Jakobsen | Modern Music, MUSIC |

Songs in Our Heart # 89 What’s the Frequency, Kenneth? (by REM) (written by Bill Berry, Peter Buck, Mike Mills and Michael Stipe; released September 1994) [Out of a rich array of REM songs, we like this best because it is an authentically crazy rocker and the guitar sounds providing punctuation are eerily reminiscent of the backwards coda to I’m Only Sleeping by The Beatles, and the repeated licks on bass roll like thunder.  It was inspired by a random attack on TV newsman Dan Rather in New York City, when he was King-Hit, kicked and punched as he lay…

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Gold Dust Woman : The Biography of Stevie Nicks

(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 |

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 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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