People

Uncle Phil and My Greatest Gift Ever

by M.C. Antil on January 7, 2017

The Syracuse of my youth had something for everyone, especially when it came to music. For whatever reason, even though the city was only about the fourth or fifth largest in the state, it produced a disproportionate number of musicians, many of whom would become working professionals, and a few of whom would go on […]

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A Bad Year for Rock and Roll

by M.C. Antil on January 2, 2017

A few years ago, I posted a piece on a Chuck Prophet tune called Summertime Thing that I’d heard one Memorial Day and fallen in love with. And like so many of my silly little essays, I just posted it on my site not knowing what impact, if any, it might have had on anyone who […]

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One of the most poetic things about Auld Lang Syne is its delicate blend of hope and melancholy. For all the song’s hope for the year ahead, is a very real sense of mourning for the one about to fade to memory. And, not to go all numbers geek here, but I’d say the song is something like 60% […]

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Song of the Season: If We Make it Through December

by M.C. Antil on December 25, 2016

By Christmas 1979, America was not just staggering, it was reeling. The Iran hostage crisis. The skyrocketing price of oil, the rationing, the crushing demand, and the endless lines at the gas pump. And, perhaps worst of all, the offshoring of hundreds of thousands of American jobs and the closing of countless American factories. Former California […]

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Song of the Season: Peace Piece

by M.C. Antil on December 24, 2016

Eventually pianist Bill Evans would become a jazz legend. In time, he would emerge as one of the pioneers of cerebral, contemplative form of the genre called modal jazz, one based less on chord progressions than a handful of atmospheric tones. And just a year later he would serve as the backbone of the most influential jazz […]

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Song of the Season: Christmas Blues

by M.C. Antil on December 21, 2016

It remains, for my money, the greatest film noir ever made. I put it up against Laura, Out of the Past, Sunset Boulevard, Maltese Falcon, Double Indemnity, any of them. What’s particularly amazing is that it was made 40 years after noir’s heyday and shot, not in that genre’s traditional black-and-white, using ultra-dramatic shadows and light, but in […]

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Song of the Season: Driving Home for Christmas

by M.C. Antil on December 20, 2016

Gravelly voiced British slide guitar virtuoso Chris Rea was at the crossroads. His career was going nowhere. His label was about to drop him, and the records he’d released in his native England had flopped. What’s more, while in London to finish the album that would satisfy his contract, when he asked the label for […]

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Song of the Season: I’d Like You for Christmas

by M.C. Antil on December 19, 2016

To many late Boomers and early X’ers, she was little more than the middle-aged ER nurse in Emergency, the two-dimensional Jack Webb procedural from the 70’s. But to their parents, she was something else altogether. Throughout the late 40’s and 50’s she was the leggy, smoky actress/singer who doubled as the better half of jazz pianist and actor, Bobby […]

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Alan Thicke: From Moment to Memory

by M.C. Antil on December 14, 2016

I was standing outside of the Staples Center in Los Angeles, near one of the quasi-upscale restaurants that lie just east of the place. A group of people, some from the restaurants, some from the Staples Center, were waiting at the taxi stand for a cab. That’s when I saw him. I’d been told more times […]

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Song of the Season: Baby It’s Cold Outside

by M.C. Antil on December 14, 2016

Frank Loesser’s particular genius was that he could put conversational English to music, whether it was the everyday English of colorful, street-educated hustler types (Guys and Dolls) or the English of ambitious and manipulative three piece suit types (How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying). For today’s song of the season, I bring you […]

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