One stand out that never loses its freshness is “My King.” Built upon a great jazz/funk groove is the famous “Seven Way King” sermon by Dr. S M Lock ridge. Somehow, and it is the genius of Scott Blackwell, the song remains hip, cool and authentic despite being just a sermon set to music.
“Ain't nothing' but a chicken wing...” Deb skips across while Blair waits his turn. The front cover would be perfect for “The River of Night’s Dreaming”, a story in the first volume.
It's awesome & I like the picture of the corridor on the back cover even better. The introduction by was depressing & not worth much time. Straub mentions that there are some authors & subjects that he just can't read, which amused me since I've never been able to get into any of his books.
In the last page or so, he wrote about how devastating it was to see Wagner drinking himself to death, but mostly he gushed. Of the 3 stories he likes best, only “.220 Swift” has a male protagonist & I don't recall Brandon seeing himself in a window.
Each story has a wonderful full page picture preceding it. “The Last Wolf” was an interesting commentary on where the art of writing is going.
Too depressing & true to be horror, if that makes any sense. “More Sinned Against” is a wonderful tale & comes to a fitting conclusion.
“Shrapnel” has the B&W version of the back cover of the first volume of this collection for some reason. “Silted In” is copyrighted in 1985, earlier than I thought it would be given NEW's personal life.
It is a descent into the worst kind of horror, too real & morbid. “Lost Exits” stretches reality out of shape into a bewildering & horrible look at what might be.
“An Awareness of Angels” is a different take on Jack the Ripper & his legacy. They're much shorter, weirder, & pretty good, but I think NEW did better when he is more time to set the mood.
He lived through the war & bullets didn't seem to harm him, but he's graying & getting a beer belly, obvious signs of aging, so he's not immortal. “Cedar Lane” is much like “Lost Exits”, but better, IMO.
“The Kind Men Like” was over the top & pretty obvious. It would have been more horrible without the supernatural element or maybe ending a bit more like “The Slug”.
“Passages” has the picture of the corridor from the back cover. “In the Middle of a Snow Dream” not bad, but the girl-girl relationship & sex gratuitous.
“The Picture of Jonathan Collins” not bad, but the sex was again gratuitous nor was the ending any surprise. Pretty gross stuff, with a surprise ending.
The narrator was very unreliable, so what we at first think of as a supernatural element turns out to actually be madness. “Final Cut” makes me wonder how much of the author's own experience is in the story.
“Old Loves” was a fun horror spoof on The Avengers TV show of the 60s. Afterword by David Drake is a very raw account of NEW that seems closer to the truth than many of the other biographical stories I've read.
But it turns out the plant’s stem is edible: Dyke man peels off the green rind with a knife to reveal the tender white core, which can boiled in several changes of water and eaten. In the summer, the young flower stalks of burdock can be peeled and the white core sliced into salads like celery or cooked in a casserole, he said.
A moment later, after peering around, Dyke man picks a leaf off a spindly white-flowered plant that grows everywhere: garlic mustard. He crushes the leaf in his fingers, sniffs it and offers it to me; the sharp garlicky taste of the tender green would definitely add zest to a salad.
“If you’re too lazy to do a garden, plow it up and leave it, and things that are edible will grow, such as pursuant, lambs’ quarters and garlic mustard,” Dyke man said. The edges of ponds or wetlands are particularly productive; he points to a stand of cattails, which offers a wealth of food.
The succulent core, white and pale green like a leek and known as “Cossack's’ asparagus,” is toothsome and delicious, juicy as a piece of sugarcane and with a mellow flavor, similar to celery. Boiled, buttered and seasoned, they can be eaten like a corncob, filled with tiny kernels, Dyke man said.
The Arboretum, predecessor of today’s Cary Institute for Ecosystem Studies, acquired seeds from all over the world to increase the diversity of trees and shrubs that could be grown in this area. Quell Gibbons’ classic Stalking the Wild Asparagus had been a hit, and Time Mirror wanted to cash in on the enthusiasm that it had generated.
The likes of I’ve Got A Woman (Part 1) by Jimmy Midriff, Mark Murphys Why Don’t You Do Right?, More Allison’s Parch man Farm and Oscar Brown Jr’s Work Song for example. But if you want an introduction to the mod side of jazz, that’s no bad thing.