The Orchard Keeper by Cormac McCarthy

And speaking Cormac McCarthy…the guy is unarguably the best American writer working today. I have read almost all of his novels (The Border Trilogy being the exception) and they’re all brilliant.

The Orchard Keeper was his first novel. Published in 1965, out all that I’ve read this one is my least favorite. Set around the Tennessee Appalachian Mountains before WWII, It centers around three different characters, one of which is a Marion Sylder, a bootlegger, who kills a man and then unknowingly takes up with the mans son, acting as a surrogate father to the boy.

It’s a great book even being a little slow.

The Orchard Keeper

Cormac McCarthy

Ben Nichols: The Last Pale Light In The West

If you’re a Lucero fan, then you know who Ben Nichols is. If you’re not, then you should get familiar with them because they’re a great band.

The Last Pale Light In The West is an EP by Ben Nichols that was inspired by the Cormac McCarthy novel Blood Meridian. If you’re familiar with the novel you will know it heavily influence this album just by reading the track list. And if you listen to the album you will hear paraphrases from the novel in the lyrics.

The Last Pale Light In The West

Lucero Music

Otto Preminger’s The Man With the Golden Arm

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Finally, what I consider an “old” movie. The Man With the Golden Arm is about a man, Frankie Machine, played by Frank Sinatra, who is fresh out of rehab/jail for heroin addiction. While inside, Frankie learns to play the drums and joins the prison band. Once out he tries to find work as a session drummer but gets caught up in the same old stuff as before.

Released in 1955, the movie deals with drug addiction and depicts drug use so you can imagine that it caused a stir. I didn’t even know heroin was an issue in the 1950’s. But then again all I know of the 50’s comes from watching reruns on TV after school. The Beav never once thought about using heroin.

This was a great film, it had such a great noir-ish vibe with every character you met, you knew they were kind of shady and only wanted Frankie to help them, they didn’t care that it might cause him to relapse. Just an all around good movie, I recommend you watch it if you come across it.

The Man With The Golden Arm

Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

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I read the book in probably the early 2000’s, it was a little while after the movie was released. I had heard the movie was based on a book and I always try to read the book first so I can critique the movie. The book has remained in my top 5 since then. It’s an amazingly weird and sometimes funny cautionary tale of Isolation, absent father figures, and habitual consumerism.

What you see at fight club is a generation of men raised by women

Relating to the quote above, my father was in the house but he was very much absent from my life, it was my mother who raised me. Maybe that’s why n some base level there is something incredibly appealing to be able to fight someone just to fight, maybe because those of us who had no real male influences have no idea what masculinity is and fighting like that is equal to being a warrior.

Fight Club

Chuck Palahniuk

Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore

Charlie Ahser, Minty Fresh, and the rest of the Death Merchant gang are back to fight a new darkness trying to mess with the status quo.

I will smack that bitch up and take her bag of quarters. I will not be fucked with.

That’s Sophie, she’s 6 and is basically Death incarnate. She’s pissed that the tooth fairy forgot to pay her for a tooth.

This is such and funny book and the humor is, as always, laugh out loud funny. I had to stop after reading the above line because I kept thinking about it and would start to laugh all over again.

The characters in this book are so real, if you forget about all the supernatural stuff, they really leave an impression on you. Even Theb the Wise.

Secondhand Souls

Christopher Moore

The Electric Church by Jeff Somers

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I came across this book a few years ago, I was drawn to it be the cover which depicts a cybernetic Monk holding a big ass pistol. The new edition is something different though, which is a shame, it was a badass cover.

The Electric Church mixes the noir detective genre with science fiction and it is amazing, except the lead character is not a detective, he’s pretty much a criminal. It’s the first in a series, pitting Avery Cates up against these cyborg monks who are going around “converting” people to the Electric Church.

The idea that people will give up anything, including their free will for a chance at eternal life (or after life) is pretty obvious. And the plot is sort of generic BUT that’s okay because it’s the details and the noir vibe that make this book a good read. It’s definitely one of my favorites.

The Electric Church

Jeff Somers

Avery Cates

The above image is of the first three novels.

The Black Crowes: Shake Your Money Maker

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As you’ve probably noticed, hardly any of the music I write about is new. I guess my tastes are stuck in the past, nothing new really appeals to me any more. I come across a band a band or song that was new when I was young and memories come flooding back. Some of those memories make me smile, some don’t. Some of them remind me of mistakes and some remind me of the right choices I’ve made, there are just a few of those.

Our lives are peppered decisions that will define us in the future, while I have a decent life, it’s not the best life I could have lived.

Anyway, Shake Your Money Maker came out during a transition in music, when popular music was transforming from Hair Metal to g of the few non-grunge albums to gain popularity. It was a bluesy southern rock soulful album that made you want to drink and get high or sit and cry depending on the track playing.

The Black Crowes released more than a few album during their time but unfortunately broke up. But they leave a decent musical legacy behind them.

Shake Your Money Maker

The Black Crowes