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Letter to George Gerdes

I have been corresponding in recent days with the great George Gerdes, a hero of the '70s/'80s Greenwich Village folk scene and one of my biggest influences as a songwriter. After releasing a couple of major-label albums ("Obituary" and "Son…

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My New Guitar

If you've been to a show in the past 3 months you've seen me playing Lady Butterscotch, the brown-sunburst HJ-45 built by Seattle's own Dave Haxton that I fell in love with late last year. This is unusual. In a…

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Computers and music

I'm at the Vermont College of Fine Arts this week for another residency in my quest for a Masters degree. My mentor and friend Michael Early gave a demonstration last night of the work he has been doing with computers…

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Levon

A good guy, but complicated. I always thought the great feud with Robertson was the result of a fundamental misunderstanding on Levon's part. Remember, he left the Band for almost two years in '65-'67 and hen he came back rock…

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here's a good read

The Ghost of Teen Spirit Why we should let Kurt Cobain rest in peace. By Simon Reynolds Posted Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2011, at 3:20 PM ET Nostalgia for the '90s—and Kurt Cobain—is in full force For the final night…

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David Crosby

This particular rant has been sitting in my rant box for years and years, mostly because slagging David Crosby seems so much like shooting fish in a barrel. He is, after all, the archetypal self-indulgent, bloviating, undertalented rock star, to…

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No Hands

I saw a guy riding his bicycle no-hands today, and decided that there is no physical attitude I've ever seen cooler than riding a bicycle no-hands. To keep your balance you need to sit back in a slight slouch, with…

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Peter Serkin in Seattle

I went to hear Peter Serkin last night in a subscription concert with the Seattle Symphony. For my money, no other major soloist equals Serkin at communicating the freshness and emotional truth of the 20th-Century modernist repertory. And he's one…

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Eminem's Super Bowl

Was I the only person surprised to find the Detroit rapper Eminem in two different Super Bowl commercials? The one he did for a sugar drink was literally a cartoon and the one he did for Chrysler was dressed up…

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Tiger Moms Raise 'Fraidy Cats

Everyone has heard of Amy Chua by now, whose "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother" recommends denying your children play dates and sleepovers, calling them "garbage," throwing handmade birthday cards back in their faces if they don't show sufficient effort…

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feedback

Every day I get two or three entries for the discussion board, most of them in the Cyrillic alphabet or touting various financial, online, or erectile products. About once a week I get one which reads, "I really like this…