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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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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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Amid Sox Buzz, a Slumbering Giant Stirs

by M.C. Antil on December 9, 2016

At MLB’s annual Winter Meetings this year, which recently concluded in the nation’s capital, it was the Boston Red Sox and Chicago White Sox that made all the headlines. But as far as I was concerned, it was baseball’s perennial 800-lb. gorilla, the New York Yankees, that made the most news — even if it wasn’t reported […]

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Cohen, Russell Now Belong to the Ages

by M.C. Antil on November 17, 2016

Within hours of each other this past week, my generation lost two of its greatest songwriters. Leonard Cohen was a brilliant and iconoclastic Canadian poet who went through life thinly disguised as a troubadour/folk singer. Leon Russell, meanwhile, was a one-time piano-playing prodigy from a red-dirt town in Oklahoma who over a half century ago moved to L.A. and reinvented himself as […]

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Ali and Me: A Moment Frozen in Time

by M.C. Antil on June 15, 2016

Susan Swain is one of those fiercely intelligent and incredibly wise people with whom, every so often in life, you’re blessed to cross paths. (And if you’re thinking intelligent and wise are redundant there, you may just be one for whom store-bought knowledge and hard-fought wisdom are destined to run on parallel tracks.) Whatever, the simple fact is […]

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Still Wild About Harry

by M.C. Antil on February 7, 2016

While watching the premiere of the Harry Caray special on MLB Network this week, I realized how lucky I’d been for having shared a few moments with the guy in the late 70s/early 80s, during the brief time he and I worked for the hand-to-mouth, Bill Veeck-era White Sox. And the more I thought about that larger-than-life, one-of-a-kind character, […]

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Tom Friedman is right. The world is flat. We have slowly but surely homogenized just about everything consumable to the point that there is, sadly (at least in those areas that add texture and color to life, like food and music) little left in the way of local or regional flavor. Corporate radio, food chains […]

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The following is the third in a series of profiles of sons and daughters of friends who have decided, at least for the time being, to follow their hearts and try to play music professionally — a decision that, I’d like to think, had at least a little to do with their parents’ (and my generation’s) inherent love of […]

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The following is the second in a series of profiles of sons and daughters of friends of mine who have decided, at least for the time being, to follow their hearts and try to play music professionally — a decision that, I’d like to think, had at least a little to do with their parents’ (and my generation’s) inherent […]

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