The Loser, by Thomas Bernhard

The rambling, obsessive, internal thoughts of a bitter loser... who'd have thought they'd make such good reading? The Loser is about three piano virtuosos who meet in their early 20s at a music school. All three have great talent, but one of them is Glenn Gould (a real piano virtuoso--this story mixes some fact in …

The Last Samurai, by Helen Dewitt

No, it has nothing to do with the 2003 Tom Cruise movie (which came out 3 years after this novel was released)--and that I need to make that distinction at all is an illustration of the sad state of American culture, because this book was flipping amazing and I can't believe I've never heard of …

Eva Cassidy, high above the chimney tops

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2rd8VktT8xY I don't usually write about music, but this song and Eva's story have never let go of me.  I remember the first time I heard this song, I was looking for a version of the Judy Garland classic that was better produced than all the originals I'd been able to find. But any new …

is love just imagination?

I was listening to some classical music on my local classical station on the way in to work today, and one song was said to have been composed for a play about a sculpture who fell in love with his statue. After some googling, I think this is Pygmalion, in Greek mythology. This made me wonder …

A different brain

I was out at a karaoke bar recently and someone sang 'What It's Like' by Everlast. This somewhat cheesy, quintessentially 90's song came out when I was a teen, and I've always known all the words but somehow I've never really heard them before. Or maybe it's that, being older and having a bit of …

Old music

Been listening to some old songs I haven't heard in a while and it's strange how much music draws you back into the past. What you were doing when listening to the music the first time, with supreme clarity sometimes, can come flooding right back with just a few notes...

AI takeover

I was listening to the radio the other day, and on the pop stations there is a surprising amount of robot-voice or 'auto tune' or whatever you want to call it. I find it strange that this sound could be appealing to anyone, but it seems to be so. What is interesting to me, is …