November 24th, 2006

Chris Keeley

Thanks - No, Seriously

*Thanks - No, Seriously*
   By Molly Ivins

   Wednesday 22 November 2006

   Austin, Texas - It's time to give thanks, and I want to start off
with a great, big thank you for the top American movement conservatives
and all the fun we've had since Election Day. I know I promised not to
gloat after this election was over, but I'm not talking unseemly
gloating - I'm talking about moments so brilliantly hilarious the only
option is to put your head down on the desk and howl.

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Chris Keeley

Sophe Lux's

Sophe Lux's

Sophe Lux: PJ Harvey meets Freddy Mercury


I've been listening to Sophe Lux's CD Waking the Mystics nonstop for a week or so, and just loving it. The Portland, OR eclectic glam band is fronted by Wendy Haynes, who sounds a little like PJ Harvey by way of Freddy Mercury. The songwriting is often hilarious, sometimes profound, and the songs veer from faux-psychedelic 1960s clavier rock ("God Doesn't Take American Express") to luscious sci-fi rock opera ("Marie Antoinette Robot 2073") to bouncy numbers like "Little Soldiers of Time." It's singable, it's danceable and the concert DVD I've been perusing suggests that this is the kind of thing you want to see live, too. Link

Chris Keeley

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance] came out, in 1974, edited down from 800,000 words, and ha

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance] came out, in 1974, edited down from 800,000 words, and having been turned down by 121 publishers, it seemed immediately to catch the need of the time.,,1951397,00.html

Robert Pirsig interview

Robert Pirsig, author of the best selling philosophical autobiography, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, gave what he claims is his last interview with the Guardian, to promote the republication of his second book, Lila, originally published in 1992.
Picture 3-19 When [Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance] came out, in 1974, edited down from 800,000 words, and having been turned down by 121 publishers, it seemed immediately to catch the need of the time. George Steiner in the New Yorker likened it to Moby Dick. Robert Redford tried to buy the film rights (Pirsig refused). It has since taken on a life of its own, and though parts feel dated, its quest for meaning still seems urgent. For Pirsig, however, it has become a tragic book in some ways. At the heart of it was his relationship with his son, Chris, then 12, who himself, unsettled by his father's mania, seemed close to a breakdown. In 1979, aged 22, Chris was stabbed and killed by a mugger as he came out of the Zen Centre in San Francisco. Subsequent copies of the book have carried a moving afterword by Pirsig. "I think about him, have dreams about him, miss him still," he says now. "He wasn't a perfect kid, he did a lot of things wrong, but he was my son ..."

I ask what Chris thought of the book, and Pirsig's face strains a little.

"He didn't like it. He said, 'Dad, I had a good time on that trip. It was all false.'"

Link (Thanks, Paul!),,1951397,00.html
Chris Keeley

Pirsig's pearls

The interview: Robert Pirsig

The Seventies bestseller Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance was the biggest-selling philosophy book ever. But for the reclusive author life was bitter-sweet. Here, he talks frankly about anxiety, depression, the death of his son and the road trip that inspired a classic.

Tim Adams
Sunday November 19, 2006


At 78, Robert Pirsig, probably the most widely read philosopher alive, can look back on many ideas of himself. There is the nine-year-old-boy with the off-the-scale IQ of 170, trying to work out how to connect with his classmates in Minnesota. There is the young GI in Korea picking up a curiosity for Buddhism while helping the locals with their English. There is the radical, manic teacher in Montana making his freshmen sweat over a definition of 'quality'. There is the homicidal husband sectioned into a course of electric-shock treatment designed to remove all traces of his past. There is the broken-down father trying to bond with his son on a road trip. There is the best-selling author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, offering solutions to the anxieties of a generation. And there is, for a good many years, the reclusive yachtsman, trying to steer a course away from cultish fame.

Pirsig doesn't do interviews, as a rule; he claims this one will be his last. He got spooked early on. 'In the first week after I wrote Zen I gave maybe 35,' he says, in his low, quick-fire Midwestern voice, from behind his sailor's beard. 'I found it very unsettling. I was walking by the post office near home and I thought I could hear voices, including my own. I had a history of mental illness, and I thought: it's happening again. Then I realised it was the radio broadcast of an interview I'd done. At that point I took a camper van up into the mountains and started to write Lila, my second book.'

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Chris Keeley

They’ve driven us into two disastrous wars, disastrous for our country and even more disastrous for

They’ve driven us into two disastrous wars, disastrous for our country and even more disastrous for people in the Middle East. And they have sucked up the wealth of this country and given it to the rich, and given it to the multinationals, given it to Halliburton, given it to the makers of weapons. 

Howard Zinn on The Uses of History and the War on Terrorism

Friday, November 24th, 2006

Howard Zinn is one of this country's most celebrated historians. His classic work "A People's History of the United States" changed the way we look at history in America. First published a quarter of a century ago, the book has sold over a million copies and is a phenomenon in the world of publishing - selling more copies each successive year. [includes rush transcript]


After serving as a bombardier in World War II, Howard Zinn went on to become a lifelong dissident and peace activist. He was active in the civil rights movement and many of the struggles for social justice over the past 40 years.
He taught at Spelman College, the historically black college for women, and was fired for insubordination for standing up for the students. He was recently invited back to give the commencement address.
Howard Zinn has written numerous books and is professor emeritus at Boston University. He recently spoke in Madison, Wisconsin where he was receiving the Haven Center's Award for Lifetime Contribution to Critical Scholarship. We bring you his lecture, "The Uses of History and the War on Terrorism."

HOWARD ZINN: Madison is a very special place. I always have a special feeling when I come here. I have a feeling I am in a different country. And I’m glad, you know. Some people get disgusted of the American policy, and they go to live in some other country. No. Go to Madison.

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Chris Keeley


Chris Keeley

Rounding Up the Best of the Boxed

Music Lovers:  ------>

November 24, 2006

Rounding Up the Best of the Boxed

Deep catalog keeps getting deeper. Boxed sets now delve into alternate takes, outtakes, studio chatter and video. They round up stray B-sides and compilation tracks; they consolidate careers across labels. They also remix old material for new media. And some repackage everything an act has released — and more — in exhaustive sets. Here, the music critics of The New York Times review the year’s most notable sets of three or more CDs; a selection of greatest-hits and live collections will appear next week. JON PARELES


Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers and Bastards

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