233: Laura Nyro, ‘And When I Die’

Why listen to a 16-year old girl explain the meaning of life?
Because she’s Laura Nyro, one of the great neglected artists of our time.
A lesson in the reproductive imperative.

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175: Traffic, ‘John Barleycorn Must Die’

An allegory, in which Demon Alcohol gets the last word.

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073: Erik Satie, ‘Gymnopédie No. 1’

Erik Satie hung out with Debussy, Ravel, Poulenc, Milhaud, Stravinsky, Cocteau, Duchamp, Picasso, Braque, Man Ray, Breton, Diaghilev and Rene Clair. But he seems to have annoyed most of them, and no one entered his apartment for the last 27 years of his life. After his death, in his wardrobe were found 84 identical handkerchiefs.
And he wrote influential, minimalistic, hypnotic piano music which I employ to massage my soul.

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046: James Taylor, “Never Die Young”

“Never Die Young”, for me, is the multifocal prism through which I squint at the golden days of my youth. It contains all the love and pain and hopes and disappointments and optimism and disillusionment that my hoodlum friends and I have traversed, like all golden boys grown old. But we were fortunate enough to be children of a very special time.

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292: My 10 Life-Changing Albums

Ten albums that have shaped my life.

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145: Peter, Paul & Mary, ‘Early Morning Rain’

“Hi, I’m Peter, but I’m no saint.”
“Hi, I’m Paul, and I’m no saint.”
“Hi, I’m Mary, and I’m no virgin.”

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170: Laura Nyro, ‘Luckie’ (“Eli & the 13th Confession”)

50 years ago this week, Laura Nyro’s “Eli & the 13th Confession” was released. The unadulterated passion—pain and ecstasy–the ebullience, the brilliance, the humor, the candor, the funk, the mystic and the mythic of this masterpiece have been an integral part of my inner world ever since. It’s guided me and inspired me and comforted me and intrigued me through so many of the hills and valleys of my entire adult life. Laura, on this yovel (jubilee) birthday, I embrace you and salute you. Thank you for this music.

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270: Laura Nyro, ‘Stoney End’ (Seattle Bootleg, 1971)

What her first album should have sounded like–
The unique, divine Laura Nyro.

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