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url 2017-07-29 16:33
Why Do the Songs from Your Past Evoke Such Vivid Memories?

Don't forget to deregister and donate old iPods and ereaders to nursing homes, memory care centers and Music and Memory (https://musicandmemory.org ).

Source: www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-athletes-way/201312/why-do-the-songs-your-past-evoke-such-vivid-memories
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url 2017-07-24 16:37
It's the time of year for back to school purchases of new music players and ereaders ... please don't forget to donate the old to nursing homes and Music & Memory

Hey!  Imagine having to condense your library of books into what you could take to a nursing homes (or memory care facility), having to now use large text, depending on others to transport you to and from library (if even able to do that)  ... donate those old eereaders that will borrow/return library books electronically and allow text enlargement (they should come with a menu option to reset to factory defaults or "deregister"; if trouble finding on kindles, you can also do it from manage your account screens).

 

Music players are wanted as well.  

 

Have you heard of the "Music and Memory" program?  It's based on science that proves memory of music stays active in synapses and often improves memory when stimulated (https://musicandmemory.org/about/brain-music-connection/ plus Psychology today on why music helps Alzheimer's https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-athletes-way/201312/why-do-the-songs-your-past-evoke-such-vivid-memories  ).  Lots of stories and videos on their site -- Henry's story will get you every time.  Plus nursing homes (memory care) seldom are good about providing access to individualized music tastes.  They do want apple products like iPods, shuffles, nanos, and apple/iTunes gift cards.  You can also email them the egift voucher iTunes codes from coinstar machines if you're hanging on to too much change ...

 

Source: musicandmemory.org/donate-my-ipod
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review 2017-07-21 14:56
Spinal Tap: The Big Black Book by Wallace Fairfax
Spinal Tap: The Big Black Book - Wallace Fairfax

 

Spinal Tap: The Big Black Book , ("How much more black could it be?"), is exactly what you expect and hope it to be-which is FANTASTIC!

 

 

It includes a complete discography and history of the band. It includes close up looks at each individual member, including most of the drummers that are no longer with us.

 

A bio and background information is provided on Marty Debergi, how he came to be turned on to the band, and became interested in making a documentary about them.

 

It has a few tidbits too, such as-remember when David St. Hubbins was talking about the audio books that were read by celebrities of the same last name as the author of the books? The full list is here, such as: The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Anderson as read by Pamela Anderson.

 

Behind the scenes interviews with band members and an entire section on the horrible Jeanine Pettibone who took over as Tap's manager after Ian Faith left.

 

Everything is here: "turn it up to 11", Sh*t Sandwich, the puppet show, "Hello Cleveland!", the Stonehenge monument in danger of being crushed by a dwarf, everything...it's all here. 

 

 

If you are a "Taphead" this book cannot fail to put a smile on your face. If you aren't familiar with the band: buy this book and see the movie, and you soon will be!

 

Spinal Tap: The Big Black Book gets my highest recommendation!

 

*Thank you to Edelweiss and to the publisher for the e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest opinion. This is it!*

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review 2017-07-14 15:05
A Review of Kazuo Ishiguro's Nocturnes
Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall - Kazuo Ishiguro

I think if you look at my ratings on Goodreads you'll see that I'm much more sympathetic to short story collections. A good short story collection often shows an author's commitment to craft. You can see how much care the author takes with every word, you can get a sense of his or her range when dealing with subject matter and characters. You can get a sense of how their style carries from one kind of story to another.

 

There is another reason -- there is very little money in short stories, even for established writers. Thus, writers write short stories "for the love of the game".

 

For the most part, the stories in this collection share a kind of tonal consistency. Each story tells a tale of disappointment, subtle loss, memory, and the way we look foolish in pursuit of a dream. All the stories share musical elements and songs. Various songs and melodies tie these stories together. But this short story collection could also have been about the travails of writers and writing.

 

The story "Come Rain or Come Shine" stuck out for me as a bit awkward. It wasn't poorly written. It featured compelling characters and fantastic dialogue. However, because the short story takes place in a single space and is mostly dialogue, I felt that the story would have been better as a one-act play. (In some ways, it reminded me of the low-budget, but clever movie "Tape" with Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman). The story also features an absurd scene that doesn't quite work prose fiction but might have seemed less absurd and entertaining as a piece of theater physical comedy. You'll know the scene as soon as you read it.

 

There are some compelling reasons to stay away from these stories. One -- the emotional journies in these stories are subtle. There is rising action and things do happen, but by the end of the story, you often get the impression that the things that were left unsaid and that didn't happen were just as important. As a writer, I love these stories. I also appreciate how hard they are to pull off. Also -- the endings are not traditional endings. They may even feel like non-endings to some readers.

 

If you are a writer, there is also a compelling reason to read this book. A close reading of these stories will help you master your craft. In particular, these stories will help you master the craft of dialogue, character, and how to use compelling details.

 

Happy readings!

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text 2017-07-09 15:53
Multidisciplinary Show in Lisbon: "Once Upon a Time" at Maria Matos Theatre by LX Dance Group

 

Just as a cats brain appears to be tickled by certain types of movement, so the brains of many humans appears to be tickled by beauty - giving us a sense of pleasure that I tend to think once served some primordial purpose. Perhaps it still does.

 
I've also noticed that not everyone appears to share this sensation; humans divide themselves in many ways and one quite striking division is between those who think we ought to survive at any cost, however cramped and crowded, ugly and distasteful the world becomes; and those who prioritize the quality of human life and the life of all other flora and fauna. For the former, beauty appears to me to be a lesser consideration. For the latter, it is of paramount importance.
 
So if you have beauty in art, for me, you need no other excuse. If you 'deprioritize' beauty and dismiss it as 'sentimentality' you do need some other excuse.
 
 
NB: This show will be presented on the 12th of July by my friend Fátima Veloso, LX Dance's director. The "Nossa Senhora do Amparo" sacred music choir to which I belong will also make an appearance. Yours truly as male tenor will also sing his heart out...
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