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Five New Musicians I Like

 

Everyone says that boomers don't like new music, but they're wrong about that. I'm always looking for new sounds and talented new musicians. Here are five that I really like. Amazing futures await Hozier, Lindi Ortega, The Milk Carton Kids, Eilen Jewell, and Sturgill Simpson.

HOZIER – What is it about Irish rockers? How are they so relentlessly soulful and completely distinctive as they combine different musical styles? My brother-in-law, the meteorologist, says it's "lack of sunshine and a lot of alcohol." He could be right.

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Five Books I Really Loved

Here are five books that I really loved at different times of my life. (Funny, how you need different kinds of books at different times in your life.)

THE BLACK STALLION by Walter Farley -- The first and only fan letter I ever wrote to an author was to Walter Farley, author of THE BLACK STALLION. I was seven years old. I got an answer in the form of a publicity piece for Farley's new novel. I didn't care; I was a happy seven-year-old. I thought that he wrote it directly to me.

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Five Lousy Jobs

From the Count My Blessings Dept.:

I love my job now – writing – but I've had some baaaaad jobs in the past. Before I get back to working on my new novel, let me think back on some of the really bad jobs I've had, ones that make me count my blessings today.

KITCHEN WORKER IN RESTAURANT – I did this for a while on weekends when I was a student at Columbia, to earn some extra money. I think the restaurant was called "The Steak Pub" or something like that: very clubby, very beefy, and very male. My entire job consisted of opening clams and arranging them on platters of ice chips, constructing shrimp cocktails, and putting whipped cream on top of frozen parfaits. And cleaning up for hours afterwards, of course. Remember whenever you go to a restaurant, the staff spends many hours after closing, cleaning up the kitchen. At least, you hope they do.

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