Saturday, December 5, 2009

Chicago Tribune Printers Row Out in Left Field

I went to the bookstore today to check out the two suggested Best Books of 2009 from the Chicago Tribune's Literary Editor, Elizabeth Taylor. However, the two titles she suggested ("Freedom from Fear" by Adam Cohen and "Half Life" by Maureen McLane) were BOTH incorrect. The bookstore reference person was dumbfounded. Both books were incorrectly listed in the Tribune article and they were not small mistakes. The thing that makes it particularly egregious is the little note by Taylor that the two authors are "friends" and she would read the ingredient labels on a cereal box if they were to write them.

Perhaps Ms. Taylor should stick to reading cereal boxes and let someone else write her column.

Sorry for such a grumpy post so close to the holidays. I am still getting acclimated to the Chicago scene and had thought the Trib was the more worthy of the local newspapers (the Sun-Times being the other option). I may need to rethink my options for accurate writing.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

New, but Classic, Christmas Music

I stumbled upon a real Christmas gem on iTunes.  Check out Christmas Break: a relaxing classical mix.  It has many of the traditional Christmas tunes but they are low key -- great for the office.  There are some additional non-traditional Christmas songs but they fit the mood perfectly.

I also downloaded Darius Rucker's Christmas album -- Candy Cane Christmas.  You may recall Darius as "Hootie" from Hootie and the Blowfish.  Having spent time in Charleston, South Carolina, I became well-acquainted with the group's music.  He has chosen to head off into a country genre direction but I wish him well.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Fun for the Holidays

I consider this my "fun" blog, since it allows me to write about non-legal issues.  During the months of November and December I tend to listen to mostly Christmas music -- which should be obvious from my tags!  I enjoy the classics mainly and an occasional new version sung by a crooner.  I also greatly enjoy Handel's Messiah, though the purists will argue that it is technically an Easter program.

I was surprised to recently read, in The History of Jazz, that Nat King Cole originally began as an instrumentalist.  With his voice I can hardly believe that his origins weren't as a vocalist.  It is lucky for all that he went down that path to fame.  His version of The Christmas Song, in my opinion, cannot be beat.

Another holiday staple is Burl Ives.  My introduction to his sound came in the same way many of you may have been introduced to this oddly elfin-looking man; by watching and listening to Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.  Come to think of it, I am not sure what Mr. Ives would have done if not focusing on holiday and folk music.  His sound is one that would be unsuitable for most other genres.

There are numerous other classic singers and songs that I hope to bring up during this festive season.  What are your favorites?