Pop Culture

Walter Becker: An Appreciation

by M.C. Antil on September 20, 2017

Author’s note: This is a rather long-winded tribute to a recently-fallen idol. So consider this brief caveat, if you will, my geek alert. If you’re a Steely Dan nut, as I; indeed, read on. You may actually enjoy the ride. But if you’ve never been baptised in the cool, healing waters of Walter Becker and […]

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A Don Williams Sampler

by M.C. Antil on September 9, 2017

In the 1970’s, the traditional rhinestone country music the world had come to know and love for decades – a honky tonk/my-girl-left-me-and-stole-my-truck brand of popular music that relied as much on raw emotions and cheatin’ hearts as it did on rhyme, rhythm and twang – had become all but passé. What began replacing it was […]

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Jerry Lewis, an Appreciation

by M.C. Antil on August 23, 2017

I was maybe 9 or 10 years old. My father was in the other room watching TV and called out excitedly, “Quick. Come in here. I want you to see something.” Just as I walked into the TV room, onscreen, comedian Jerry Lewis was likewise walking into a room. It looked like maybe an executive […]

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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: The Lord’s Bright Blessing

by M.C. Antil on December 22, 2016

I suppose around his house, at least when it came to singing, Jack Cassidy must have been thought of as something of a slacker. After all, for years his wife Shirley Jones was the first lady of the Hollywood musical. And sons, David and Shaun, had both grown up to teen pop idols of the highest magnitude. […]

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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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