Song of the Week: “Transition” by DIRTYGIRL


The lo-fi punk band from London DIRTYGIRL offers “Transition,” a track with a tight power pop sound and vocals reminiscent of early Liz Phair.  It’s off their Junk Food EP released in October, and made known to my by The Sounds in My Head podcast.

Music Discoveries P-Funk, part 2 (1975-1978)


This second post in the series covers a period where Parliament-Funkadelic is exploding, releasing some of the bands’ most popular albums and singles, touring with an increasingly elaborate stage show, and branching off to form new bands and solo projects (although those bands and artists were frequently backed up by the same stable of P-Funk…

Beer Reviews: 21st Ammendment Toaster Pastry


Beer: Toaster Pastry India-Style Red Ale Brewer: 21st Ammendment Brewery Source: Draft Rating: **** ( 8.0 of 10) Comments: Beer pours with a gorgeous amber color, but no much head or carbornation.  Fruit and malts are apparent in the nose.  The taste is a balance of sweet and bitter with wood, nut, and strawberry favors….

Book Review: 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus by Charles C. Mann


Author: Charles C. Mann Title: 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus Narrator: Peter Johnson Publication Info: Minneapolis, Minn. : Highbridge Audio, p2005. Summary/Review: This book attempts to reconstruct what the world of the Native peoples of the Western Hemisphere was like before contact with the Europeans.  Often what the first conquerors and colonists saw was…

Book Review: The Great Bridge by David McCullough


Author:  David McCullough Title: The Great Bridge  Narrator: Nelson Runger Publication Info: Recorded Books (2006) Previously Read by the Same Author: John Adams, 1776, and The Wright Brothers Summary/Review: What’s the longest period that a book has been on your “to read” list before you actually read it?  For me, it may be 33 years as I got a copy…

Book Review: Who was Johnny Appleseed? by Joan Holub


Author:  Joan Holub Title: Who was Johnny Appleseed? Publication Info: New York : Grosset & Dunlap, c2005. Summary/Review: Another children’s biography that I read to my son that ended up teaching me about someone I knew little about.  John Chapman, Massachusetts born, moved to the frontier to raise apple orchards and sell seeds and seedlings to the…

#TopTenTuesday: Top Ten Books Set Outside the United States


Top 10 Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish.  This weeks topic is top 10 books set outside of the United States. Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll (England) Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maude Montgomery (Canada) The Complete Works of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle…

Photopost: Hall of Fame for Great Americans


The Hall of Fame for Great Americans is the nation’s first hall of fame opened in 1900 to honor prominent Americans and located on the campus of the Bronx Community College in New York.  It was originally part of New York University’s Bronx campus (NYU sold the campus to BCC in 1973) and for many years…

Podcasts of the Week


Here are the podcasts I recommend listening to from the past week. Code Switch – “No Words” This extra podcast reflects on the horrible week of atrocity and death in Baton Rouge, St. Paul, and Dallas. ProPublica – “How New Jersey Has Embraced ‘State-Sanctioned Loan Sharking’ to Students” The title really says it all, but…

Beer Review: Harpoon Trippel


Beer: Trippel Brewer: Harpoon Brewery Source: Bottle Rating: ** (6.9 of 10) Comments:  Harpoon’s version of a Belgian Trappist ale is golden, a bit cloudy, and effervescent.  The aroma is clove and musty grains.  The taste is a mix of bananas, apricots, and spices.  The beer leaves not lacing and the head evaporates quickly as…

Harpoon Sticke Alt


Beer: Sticke Alt Brewer: Harpoon Brewery Source: Bottle Rating: *** (7 of 10) Comments: Another product of the Harpoon 100 Barrel Series celebrates a recent trip of staff to Germany. This beer is a reddish-brown with lots of carbonation looking all the world like a root beer. The aroma is sweet too, chocolate with some…

Albums of the Month: July 2016


I’m adding to my stable of music criticism posts by introducing a new Albums of the Month feature.  The basic gist is that on the second Wednesday of the month (or, as is the case when I procrastinate, on Friday), I will write reviews of 3-5 albums released within the past three months (in this…

Boston By Foot Jamaica Plain Walking Tour 7/21 @ 6 PM


Next week, Thursday July 21 at 6 pm, I will be one of the guides leading the Boston By Foot walking tour of Jamaica Plain. Yes, two of my favorite things – historic walking tours of Boston and my home neighborhood – will come together for ONE NIGHT ONLY! Regular readers of this blog will…

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Facts About Me (mostly bookish)


Top Ten Tuesday is an original blog meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is “Ten Facts About Me (bookish or just general about you facts or ten facts about you as a blogger…whatever you want).” I learned about this meme from my Comment Challenge partner at A Kernel of Nonsense….

Book Review: Who Was Neil Armstrong by Robert Edwards


Author:  Robert Edwards Title:  Who Was Neil Armstrong Publication Info:  New York, New York, USA : Grosset & Dunlap, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 2012. Summary/Review: My son and I enjoyed another “Who Was?” biography about the first person to set foot on the moon.  Armstrong was always a private person so he was harder…

Book Review: Feminism is for everybody : passionate politics by bell hooks


Author:  bell hooks Title: Feminism is for everybody : passionate politics Publication Info: Cambridge, MA : South End Press, c2000. Previously read by the same author:  All About Love: New Visions Summary/Review: This book is a short primer on feminism that bell hooks always wanted but had to write it since it didn’t exist.  hooks lays down…

Podcasts of the Week


I’m going to do something a little bit different this week and list some of my favorite podcast episodes from the past week with a blurb on each. BackStory – “The Pursuit: A History of Happiness” This is a good episode overall, but the segment on the Okeh Laughing Records and the psychology behind their…

Beer Review: Stone Citrusy Wit


Beer: Citrusy Wit Brewer: Stone Brewing Company Source: Draft Rating: **** (8 of 10) Comments: On tap at Saus in Boston, this is a good beer to accompany Belgian specialties.  The beer appears cloudy and orange with a foamy head.  The citrus is strong with this one from the muted orange peel aroma to the…