We all know Charles Dickens is the writer most synonymous with vacation thanks to his perennial favorite “A Christmas Carol”. “A Christmas Carol” is an 1843 story that retains its simplicity so much that it has proven to be easily transferable to a number of modern interpretations. However, most of the traditions highlighted in his narrative threads actually go back to the traditions of Merry Olde England.
Here in the nascent United States, at a time when our newly established nation was not exactly in the good graces of England, a young man of Scottish descent born in New York was actually going to throw the American side of these customs that we still practice today. Born into a merchant family in Manhattan in 1783, Washington Irving (named after the president) was a young dreamer. His love of adventure and history leads him to write. As a child, Irving snuck out of class to go to the theater for its grandeur and drama. When he finally became a writer, he was a master of American short stories – even though he borrowed from European tales.
Irving had his fans (William Makepeace Thackeray who called him “the ambassador that the New World of letters sent to the Old One) and his detractors (Edgar Allan Poe.) Irving is even credited with inventing the nickname” Gotham. “for his beloved household, and the now famous” almighty dollar “.
In 1812, in his “A History of New York,” Irving sought to satire books on travel and politics under the pen name of Diedrich Knickerbocker (whose name came to be used for the famous NBA team in New York). York.) In his pages, Irving worshiped “a cheerful old Dutchman” who was the patron saint of New Amsterdam. Saint Nicholas “parked his cart on the roofs and slipped gifts for the sleeping children into the chimneys”. Nicknamed Sancte Claus, Irving even featured the reindeer that guided his chariot: Dunder and Blixum.
In 1815 Irving made his first visit to England. Upon his return, the Christmas myths became more defined in his stories. Five of the thirty-four tales in “The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Esq” from 1819 were also new visions of Christmas. The “Bracebridge” series is Irving’s reflection on how a family celebrates the holidays. Songs were sung; there was dancing and mirth around a roaring fire. The wassail bowl was introduced, along with the mistletoe, which Irving described as “with its white berries hanging on, at the imminent peril of all the pretty maids.”
Irving’s book actually became one of the first works of American literature to sell well in England. In the United States, its success was mainly driven by the haunting “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and the satire “Rip Van Winkle”. However, all of the stories resonated so much that families started celebrating again and stores even started staying open late to welcome late shoppers.
Oddly enough, Irving traveled across Europe until 1835 when he finally returned home to Tarrytown, New York to settle. Back in New York City, Irving founded the Saint Nicholas Society with the help of John Jacob Astor and others. The organization, which still exists today, has helped preserve some of the city’s most beloved monuments. Irving was its treasurer until 1841.
Also in 1841, Irving received a letter from a young English writer who had just achieved literary success. The letter read “I wish to travel with you … to Bracebridge Hall.” It was written by another great admirer of Washington Irving, Charles Dickens.
Mik Davis is the record store manager at T-Bones Records & Cafe in Hattiesburg.
NEW THIS WEEK
NEIL YOUNG & CRAZY HORSE – barn
There were a few videos from Neil Young & Crazy Horse’s latest album “Colorado” that were shot in this mythical / rustic looking studio set in vast mountains. Between the sheer excitement of seeing these two forces come together for the first time since 2012, Young explains how they’re going to make a movie here. Honestly, the 76-year-old has a lot of plans. Writing books, rooting in archives, creating a new digital system for music are also on this list. So, it’s easy to see how it might slip through the cracks.
However, if you watch these videos, you can see how the best bands only communicate by playing music together. Now we have a movie, but more importantly another real Neil Young & Crazy Horse album (their 12th and 41st.) While this isn’t the first barn they’ve recorded in, being far from the hustle and bustle. below seems to allow their music to breathe. Tight to a quartet of Billy Talbot, Ralph Molina, Nils Lofgren and Young, “Barn” is spacious and spellbinding. Young’s buzzing Bigsby Les Paul is his duo partner on “Welcome Back” which sometimes barely rises above a whisper. When they get stronger on “Heading West” it’s amazing to hear Young compete with the band on the “Zuma” groove. The bucolic country of “Song of the Seasons” recalls the underestimated “Comes A Time”. Oh, and there’s a movie too. Let Neil run long.
JEFF PARKER – Forfolks
[LP/CD](International anthem / Nonesuch)
After years as a mainstay of post-Rock / Avant-Garde Chicago groups (Chicago Underground Duo, Tortoise) and touring guitarist with Bill Callahan and many others, Parker moved to Los Angeles and revitalized their jazz scene. . 2020’s “Suite For Max Parker” was among the top albums of the year for its flowery mix of jazz and funk. “Forfolks” is slightly more meditative, but not quite avant-garde. Parker reworks several of his old compositions to adapt them to his solo / loop mechanism. As a result, the more autobiographical “Max Parker” now has an Alice Coltrane supplement. “Suffolk” is ethereal with Parker riding waves of little guitar and swell sounds, while “Four Folks” brings dreamy arpeggios in and out of your consciousness like the early American styles of John Fahey. Parker proves yet again that he is quickly becoming the most inventive jazz guitarist today.
Soundtrack – WEST SIDE STORY [CD](Hollywood)
Soundtrack – LICORICE PIZZA [2LP/CD](Republic)
The past is viewed through different lenses in these two new films and their respective soundtracks. Steven Spielberg (never making a musical) gives a new take on the classic film. Behind the scenes, David Newman (of the family dynasty of film music) arranges and adapts Bernstein’s original score to make it more lively and authentic. Along with the New York Philharmonic and Los Angeles Philharmonic, Newman pays meticulous attention to performance enhancing orchestral parts. To make this more evident, several vocal parts here from debuts Ansel Elgort, Rachel Zegler and Ariana DuBose were recorded live on set without accompaniment.
Paul Thomas Anderson films generally revolve around their soundtracks. His second hymn to the 70s takes a leap in time so that it doesn’t sound too much like what was played on the radio (James Gang, Gordon Lightfoot and Suzi Quatro / Chris Norman serve this function well) and rather work as signals. emotional for the story. So you have Nina Simone and Bing Crosby neck and neck with Los Angelenos like Sonny Bono and The Doors. Deep album clips from Paul McCartney & Wings and Donovan slammed alongside obscure Blood, Sweat & Tears and Taj Mahal. In other words, your dream 70s mixtape.