Nelson Algren Week

by Douglas Cowie on 23 August 2016

The week of 12 September is, for me at any rate, Nelson Algren Week, with two great events featuring the documentary, Nelson Algren: The End Is Nothing, The Road Is All and yours truly. Here’s further information:

13 September, Hamburg, Germany: Nelson Algren Day, Amerikazentrum, Am Sandtorkai 48, 18:00-20:30. Film Screening, Reading and Q&A with Ilko Davidov, co-director of Nelson Algren: The End Is Nothing, The Road Is All.

RoadIsAllFlyer copy

15 September, Brighton, UK: Film Screening and Q&A, Waterstones Brighton. £15/£10(concessions), includes a glass of wine and a signed copy of Noon in Paris, Eight in Chicago.

 

AlgrenBrighton copy

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Each Friday I pick a song–new, old, borrowed, blue–that’s been on my mind and in my ears, and write a short post about it.

This is “The Woodchuck” by Billy (The Kid) Emerson:

Sometimes I forget I own a copy of this record, which was made in 1954, and then I’m shuffling through my singles and find it, and put it on. I never regret it.  It’s a perfect blend of meaning and nonsense and a stomping blues riff.

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Each Friday I pick a song–new, old, borrowed, blue–that’s been on my mind and in my ears, and write a short post about it.

This is “Incense and Peppermints” by Strawberry Alarm Clock:

When the aliens show up and ask me what song I can play to let them know what the 1960s sounded like, I’m going to play them “Incense and Peppermints” by Strawberry Alarm Clock. The aliens will say, “Strawberry Alarm Clock?” And I’ll answer, “No, me neither.” Sha-la-la.

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Song of the Week: “Rise Above” by Black Flag

by Douglas Cowie on 5 August 2016

Each Friday I pick a song–new, old, borrowed, blue–that’s been on my mind and in my ears, and write a short post about it.

This is “Rise Above” by Black Flag:

This week I went to see Flag, which is a kind of revival of Black Flag formed by guys who were once in Black Flag.  You can read more about them here. It’s hard to overestimate how important Black Flag is to the culture of rock music in the United States and to punk rock in particular.  The Atlantic published a good assessment of Black Flag’s legacy back in June, which you can read here. One of the great things about the Flag show on Tuesday was just how much fun Dez and Chuck and Bill and Keith and Stephen seemed to be having, old guys performing these old songs for other old (and young) guys (and a few women), who were stage diving and crowd surfing and singing along. There’s a risk, in this kind of show, of the whole thing becoming an exercise in nostalgia or cynical moneymaking, but the guys in Flag hurdled those obstacles and made their revival into exactly what it should be: joy.

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