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The Crossing - December 2006 Edition

Gather ‘round the fire’s time for the year-end December wrap-up. Have you got your hot chocolate, hot tea or coffee with you? You’ll want to keep warm as we look back on the past year and reflect on the music and movie year that was.

Let’s see...  Well, to be honest with you all, I feel like I’m suffering from some kind of writer’s block. Nothing all that zany and clever is
coming to mind as I try to initiate a year-end review. So, I’ll just let it flow here... Most of the new music that I listened to this year were also the artists that I chose for Artists of the Month. Going through the year, this included The Alarm, The Saw Doctors, Luka Bloom, Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs, Mark Knopfler with Emmylou Harris, Tom Petty, Bob Dylan, the Gin Blossoms, John Gorka, Will Kimbrough, Leigh Nash and finally, Iron Maiden. I actually haven’t heard anything from the Leigh Nash album yet, but I hope to hear it finally in the new year. I have seen it in the stores, but it’s not an easy album to find, is it? Seems like there is a distribution issue there. I have also heard some of the Gorka and Dylan albums each and both seemed to be of a high quality. Of the aforementioned artists, I
enjoyed or were impressed by all of them and for any fans of the artists, any or all would make a
welcome addition to their respective collections. 
Aside from these artists, I was really listening to a ton of music from years gone by...just a lot of classic artists whose music is comforting in one way or another. Bands from my youth. I guess it’s been a nostalgic year. Bands like REO Speedwagon, Boston, Foreigner, The Cars, Cheap Trick, Styx, John Fogerty, Genesis, Thin Lizzy, Blue Oyster Cult, The Eagles, Journey and Kansas. To classic bands from the 60’s such as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, The Who and Jimi Hendrix. I’ve also been listening to a
good share of metal/hard rock from the '80’s. Stuff I listened to in my teen years such as TNT, Europe, The Scorpions, Dokken, Dio, Rainbow, Motley Crue, Ratt, Van Halen, Bon Jovi, and Night Ranger to name some. I’ve also been, just recently, rediscovering my collection of albums from the Australian band The Church, best known for their hit ‘Under The Milky Way’. If you like woven tapestries of guitar playing and enigmatic lyrics, you can’t go wrong... 

I saw just a few concerts this year, including Aimee Mann, King’s X and Roger Clyne. The most notable show by far would be Chuck Berry, just a month shy of his 80th birthday. Earlier that night, I saw the documentary of this famous musician entitled ‘Hail! Hail! Rock N Roll!’ Along with seeing the man live, the evening was a true education and a real eye-opener into the origins of rock ‘n roll. All of this music we’ve been listening to our whole lives hasn’t always been there, but it was started, in part, by a guy named Chuck Berry. 

As far as movies go, it’s been pretty slow all year, but two of the better films this year that I saw would have to be The Prestige, a film about dualing magicians at the turn of the 20th century who try to outwit each other, while things become increasingly nasty. A very entertaining mystery with some great acting. Also, Little Miss Sunshine was very entertaining with also some good acting. It’s themes of dysfunction I can easily relate too. Also, the documentary ‘An Inconvenient Truth’, while not something you would watch over and over again, is definitely something that should be seen at least once, by everybody. Speaking of eye-openers!
Anyhow, in an effort to get this in at a reasonable time, here are the remaining music and movie releases of 2006:

As always, happy hunting...

Recently released and not mentioned in last edition:

    * Over The Rhine - “Snow Angels” (Order at
    * Vince Guaraldi - “A Charlie Brown Christmas” (Remastered reissue w/extra tracks.)
    * James Taylor - “James Taylor at Christmas”
    * Terry Scott Taylor - “Songs for the Day after Christmas”
    * Enya - “Sounds Of The Season” (Ep.)
    * Moya Brennan - “An Irish Christmas”
    * Rhonda Vincent - “Beautiful Star” 
    * The dB’s & Friends - “Christmas Time Again”
    * Various Jazz Artists - “New Orleans Christmas”
    * Various Artists - “Windham Hill Holiday Guitar Collection”
    * Various Artists - “The Nativity Story: Sacred Songs” 
    * Alexa Ray Joel - “Sketches” (Daughter of Billy.)
    * The Burns’ Sisters - “Wild Bouquet” 
    * The Twang Dragons - “Love Junkie”
    * Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Star’s - “Living Like A Refugee” 
    * P.O.D. - “Greatest Hits: the Atlantic Years”
    * Hybrid - “I Choose Noise” 
    * John Wesley - “Shiver” and “Live at Katie Fitzgerald’s”
    * Nik Kershaw - “You’ve Got To Laugh”
    * The Feeling - “Twelve Steps And Home”
    * Jane Eamon - “Deep Water”
    * Jim Byrnes - “House Of Refuge”
    * Cris Cuddy - “October Morning”
    * Martin Carthy & Dave Swarbrick - “Straws In The Wind”
    * Ad Vanderveen - “Cloud Of Unknowing”
    * April Wine - “Roughly Speaking”
    * Cowboy Junkies - “XX” (Coffee table book compiled by the Cowboy Junkies w/Enrique Martinez Celaya celebrating 20 years of the
      Canadian band.)
    * The Lost Dogs - “Via Chicago: All We Left Unsaid” (CD/DVD.)
    * Paul McCartney - “The Space Within Us” (DVD.)
    * Bob Dylan - “Dylan Speaks” (DVD.)
    * Nils Lofgren - “Acoustic Live” (DVD.)
    * Wah Wah - DVD
    * Time To Leave - DVD
    * James Bond Ultimate Edition DVD’s


    * Neil Young - “Living With War” (Deluxe reissue w/DVD.)
    * FourGoodMen - “Heart Of Wonder” (Includes members of Simple Minds, Big Country & H2O.)
    * Billy Idol - “Happy Holidays” (Import.)
    * Gwen Stefani - "The Sweet Escape"
    * Gwen Stefani - "Harajuku Lovers Live" (DVD.)
    * Metallica - “The Videos 1989-2004” (DVD.)
    * The Cure - “Festival 2005” (DVD.)
    * Saturday Night Live: the Complete First Season - DVD 
    * Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest - DVD
    * How To Eat Fried Worms - DVD
    * Miami Vice - DVD
    * Idlewild - DVD
    * Beerfest - DVD
    * Pulse - DVD


    * John Mayer - “Village Sessions”
    * Gov’t Mule - “Mule On Easy Street” 
    * Sonic Youth - “The Destroyed Room: B Sides & Rarities”
    * World Trade Center - DVD 
    * The House Of Sand - DVD
    * Chronicles of Narnia: the Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe - 4 DVD expanded edition.
    * Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby - DVD
    * The Devil Wears Prada - DVD 
    * Barnyard: The Original Party Animals - DVD


    * When The Levees Broke - (Spike Lee documentary about New Orleans and the effects of  Hurricane Katrina; DVD.)
    * The St. Louis Cardinals 2006 World Series Collector’s Edition 8 DVD Boxset
    * All The King’s Men - DVD
    * Little Miss Sunshine - DVD
    * Lady In The Water - DVD
    * A Scanner Darkly - DVD
    * My Super Ex-Girlfriend - DVD
    * Invincible - DVD
    * Jet Li’s Fearless - DVD
    * The Wicker Man - DVD 
    * Step Up - DVD
    * Factotum - DVD
    * The Celestine Prophecy - DVD


    * Switchfoot - “Oh Gravity”
    * Matisyahu - “No Place To Be” and “Live in Jerusalem”
    * The Skylighters - “The Skylighters”
    * Stevie Ray Vaughn - “Definitive Collection”
    * The Black Dahlia - DVD
    * The Last Kiss - DVD
    * The Protector - DVD
    * The Descent - DVD
    * Haven - DVD


    * The Bridesmaid - DVD
    * Snakes On A Plane - DVD
    * Lunacy - DVD


    * Kenny Wayne Shepherd - "10 Days Out: Blues From the Backroad" (2 CD live set.)
    * The Night Listener - DVD 
    * The Illusionist - DVD
    * Idiocracy - DVD  (Mike Judge’s follow-up to Office Space.)
    * Quinceanera - DVD
    * Street Fight - DVD


    * Erin McKeown - "Sing You Sinners"
    * Crowded House - “Farewell To The World” (2 CD/DVD live set.)
    * Yes - “Definitive Collection” (2 CD’s)
    * School For Scoundrels - DVD


    * John Mellencamp - “Freedom Road”
    * Of Montreal - "Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?"  
    * The Brokedown - "I Can't Go On, I'll Go On"
    * The Shins - "Wincing The Night Away"
    * Menomena - "Friend and Foe"
    * Deerhoof - "Friend Opportunity"
    * Saliva - “Blood Stained Love Story”
    * This Film Is Not Yet Rated - DVD
    * Sherrybaby - DVD
    * Gridiron Gang - DVD


    * Phil Keaggy - “Dream Again”
    * Norah Jones - "Not Too Late"
    * Clap Your Hands Say Yeah - "TBA"
    * Lily Allen - "Alright, Still"
    * Various Artists - "Endless Highway: Music of The Band" 
     * The Gathering - DVD


    * Patty Griffin - “Children Running Through”
    * Apples In Stereo - “New Magnetic Wonder”
    * Fall Out Boy - “Infinity On High”
    * Sondre Lerche - “Phantom Punch”
    * Stevie Nicks - “Best of” (New date.)
    * Hollywoodland - DVD


    * Lucinda Williams - “West”
    * Danny Vaughn - “Traveller”


    * Tommy Shaw & Jack Blades - “Influence” (Covers project.)
    * The Magic Numbers - “Those The Brokes”
    * Shut Up & Sing - DVD (Dixie Chicks documentary.)


    * Tideland - DVD
    * Harsh Times - DVD


I’ve found, that when you hear this tune, all is right with the world...

“When I find myself in times of trouble
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
And in my hour of darkness
She is standing right in front of me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
Let it be, let it be.
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be.

And when the broken hearted people
Living in the world agree,
There will be an answer, let it be.
For though they may be parted there is
Still a chance that they will see
There will be an answer, let it be.
Let it be, let it be. Yeah
There will be an answer, let it be.

And when the night is cloudy,
There is still a light that shines on me,
Shine on until tomorrow, let it be.
I wake up to the sound of music
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
Let it be, let it be.
There will be an answer, let it be.
Let it be, let it be,
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be.”
The Beatles, the song “Let It Be” off the album Let It Be released in 1970.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!! And a Happy 10th Anniversary to Shari, Linda and all at the Phantom Tollbooth!

Be safe, be well, stay warm. See you in 2007...

Chris Barlow


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