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Richard Thurston RSS Feed (Seattle, WA)

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Turn, Turn, Turn
Turn, Turn, Turn
Offered by SONY Music Entertainment Downloads LLC.
Price: $1.29

4.0 out of 5 stars Much more than mere nostalgia., October 28, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Turn, Turn, Turn (MP3 Music)
Splendid recording. Live, the band takes these tunes even further down the road. On this record the playing is stellar. The arrangements full of warmth and wit.

Highly recommended.

Price: $10.49

7 of 36 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Meh. Nothing much here., October 28, 2014
This review is from: Nostalgia (MP3 Music)
The musical equivalent of a stroll through Madame Tussaud's.

'Strange Fruit' is particularly annoying.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 7, 2014 5:26 PM PST

Hazy Shade of Winter (Kindle Single)
Hazy Shade of Winter (Kindle Single)
Price: $0.99

9 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Chilly, January 4, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Not bad. Though until the year 1965 and the phrase "cookie cutter suburban bitch appeared' I had it pegged for more like 1915.

I live in the Pacific Northwest and wonder if heated barns common in Massachusetts.

Must get expensive.

Borkmann's Point: An Inspector Van Veeteren Mystery
Borkmann's Point: An Inspector Van Veeteren Mystery
by Hĺkan Nesser
Edition: Hardcover
74 used & new from $0.01

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What's the fuss?, October 8, 2011
Haken Nesser is no Henning Mankell and Inspector Van Veeteren is no Kurt Wallander.

I've read two of the Inspector Van Veeteren works now and they are just a little...flat.

The texture and richness and humanity which characterize Wallander is in short, short supply in these works. The characterizations are all surface. The depth with which Wallander is portrayed, his doubts, insecurities & foibles coupled with his accomplishments and achievements make for a far move lively, far more believable protagonist. Wallander succeeds in his professional life, mostly, while making a mess of his personal existence in an all to believable way.

Van Veeteren on the other hand is an inscrutable, intellectual chess-playing snob, which is a good start but sadly there is no depth to the portrayal & no real way inside of the Inspector.

Nothing really wrong with Borkmann but there are far better things out there.

House of Holes
House of Holes
by Nicholson Baker
Edition: Hardcover
121 used & new from $0.01

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Har. Har. And Har., September 22, 2011
This review is from: House of Holes (Hardcover)
House of Holes is funny. Very funny.

And it's raunchy.

And it's beautifully written.

Not so much a story as a series of connected vignettes Baker creates some of the very nicest, most considerate, friendliest and accommodating characters imaginable doing the darndest things.

Sweet, generous people having sex in the wildest, most spectacular ways possible.

What's not to like?

But of course as sex is the subject the puritanical impulse engages over and again in the discussion about Baker and his book.


Reminds me of the old saw regarding movie ratings. Chop off a breast in a bloody epic and earn a PG. Show a nipple in a love scene and it's R.

The London Train
The London Train
by Tessa Hadley
Edition: Paperback
Price: $10.53
111 used & new from $0.01

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A really lovely book., September 2, 2011
This review is from: The London Train (Paperback)
For me the most interesting aspect of Tessa Hadley's wonderful novel is the way she enters so completely into her characters' private worlds.

The minds of Paul and Cora, are so fully realized that the reader hardly questions their weirdest and least wise moves. Thoughts and actions, misbegotten or are described very sympathetically.

By turns intensely likeable and, in the charming Paul's case, unlikeable, both characters are, most importantly, completely believable.

When That Rough God Goes Riding: Listening to Van Morrison
When That Rough God Goes Riding: Listening to Van Morrison
by Greil Marcus
Edition: Hardcover
109 used & new from $0.01

10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars But enough about Van...let's talk about Greil, August 18, 2010
There is a great book about Van Morrison out there somewhere. This isn't it.

This is a book about Greil Marcus and documents another facet of his endless fascination with himself and a few of the relics (Dave Marsh, Lester Bangs, Jon Landau) from the pages of Creem and Rolling Stone a golden age from which we continue to fall.

I enjoy Marcus. He can turn a phrase and his descriptive powers can be hugely entertaining if more than a little self-absorbed.

That said this is a slight, lazy book. Marcus' discussion of Morrison's studio output (along with a few dates when Marcus caught him live in the Bay Area back in the 1970's) form the main topic here. The recordings from 1980 - 1996 are dismissed in a couple of paragraphs. Most of the work is Marcus explaining what he Marcus 'feels', and little about what he, Morrison actually does. But then that is a common complaint I have about rock 'jounalism' as practiced by this crowd. Fans first. Musicians not at all.

An observation.

Van Morrison is unique among major 'rock stars' in that he is a consummate musician. He plays any number of instruments, is well versed in musics from Leadbelly to Ornette Coleman to Bob Wills and composes, arranges and possesses one of the great voices of any age. Period. That said focusing on studio recordings doesn't give the casual reader into what Morrison is really capable of.

For that one should actually see a show then turn to the live recordings and indeed, one should have a look at the vast number of bootlegs out there which capture Morrison in concert in various bands at various times from the early 1970's up until June 2010. There is a vast body of work out there which paints an entirely different picture from the miniature Marcus presents in his tiny little book.

Listening to Morrison at Montreux 1980 or Essen 1982 or the Roxy 1978 give a slice of a performer really without equal in his field. The quality of his groups, the mingling of songs from different periods, the construction of tension and release in a set are all captured in these live recordings and they present a figure entirely more interesting Marcus describes.

But of course Van Morrison isn't really the subject of Marcus' book.

Suspended Night
Suspended Night
Price: $15.57
44 used & new from $5.27

51 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning, June 10, 2004
This review is from: Suspended Night (Audio CD)
I saw this band last night in their opening concert of a North American tour. Fantastic. They performed here in Seattle last two years ago in support of 'Soul of Things' and that remains a most memorable event. The most recent concert was divided into two one hour sets drawing on material from both 'Soul of Things' and 'Suspended Night'.
Gorgeous, sinuous melodies performed by an absolutely top flight quartet. 'Suspended Night' demonstrates the power and empathy of this remarkable group. The blend of the sixty-fivish Stanko with the his early thirties bandmates has been good for all concerned. A wonderful ensemble equally at ease playing fairly straight and taking things out.
I'd love their next release to be a live recording. My preferences aside 'Suspended Night' and 'Soul of Things' are essential recordings which generously reward the listener.
Highly recommended.

26 used & new from $8.99

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Bill's very best., June 7, 2003
This review is from: Intercontinentals (Audio CD)
I saw a version of this band at the Earshot Jazz Festival here in Seattle a couple of years back. A wonderful evening of music. The group grew out of a collaboration between Frisell and Boubocar Traore (sadly the two occasions they were to play together were postponed; first by the post 9-11 environment and secondly fallout surrounding the Iraq war).
Anyway the CD adds Jenny Scheinman (violin) and Greg Liesz (pedal steel guitar to the mix and the result is a rich and incredibly satisfying blend of African, American, Macedonian, Brazilian etc. etc. influences creating a whole much much greater than the sum of its parts.
Astonishingly beautiful music. Otherwordly and exotic. Without a conventional rhythm section the music sustains a pulse which gives a sense of floating, a string ensemble essentially, the group sound is nearly transparent yet still with a momentum which engages and delights.
'We Are Everywhere' is a tremendous piece and 'Listen' is one of the most beautiful melodies Frisell has ever composed.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 14, 2011 10:37 AM PDT

The Good German
The Good German
by Joseph Kanon
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.31
279 used & new from $0.01

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Boring German, September 18, 2002
This review is from: The Good German (Paperback)
Four hundred and eighty one pages but The Good German seems much, much longer.
Flat, unconvincing characters talk and talk and talk page after page, spouting dialogue as unconvincing as it is lengthy.
This is movie of the week material. Berlin is NOT brought to life convincingly at all and in fact I grew tired of yet another description of the piles of brick which made up the city there in mid-1945.
One problem I had is that the characters are so poorly rendered it was impossible to muster much enthusiasm for their travails. The Americans are indistinguishable from one another and Jake Geismar (the 'hero') himself is far too sketchily drawn (no small feat when he appears on each of the 481 pages) to be of any interest at all.
Save your money (and save a big hunk of time) and buy the Alan Furst books. Infinitely better reads.

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