tpt-90pxWhere, oh where to begin?

I've been spending a lot of time trying to think what to write here and maybe it's been too much time. As you all know, those of you who read this mostly monthly (I try) new music and movie release list, I write up a little so and so at the beginning of the list just to touch on this and that and share a little bit of what's on my mind. What I do here is list the new music and movies that get released every Tuesday (mostly Tuesdays) throughout the weeks, throughout the months, throughout the years. It's entertainment, sure. It's art, sure. It's a way of passing the time, sure. But the 'best' of music and movies hopefully enrich our lives, make us believe in a better today, a better tomorrow, give us a sense of Faith, Hope, Love around us and in us. They help make Life worth living. It's not a cure all, but it casts light on dark times.

Just as an example, having seen 'The Hobbit' just yesterday, a thought I had during the film was an irony of The Lord of the Rings films and The Hobbit film was how, if you don't find these films a joy to watch, how you might not be entirely human. For those not in the know, most of the characters in these films are not human although there are a few. Anyhow, I do find them a joy to watch because such obvious love and care and attention to detail goes into the making of them. And who wouldn't want to live in Rivendell as depicted in 'The Hobbit'?...mountains, waterfalls, not bad.

But, to get back on track, these are dark times aren't they? As I write this, we are two days from the second worst mass shooting in U.S. history. The heinous, horrific, unspeakable and just plain ridiculous events that happened in Newtown/Sandy Hook, Connecticut. Also, as I write this, it's the 11th anniversary of the self-inflicted death (that's hard to write) of a musical hero and a truly great but flawed human being in Stuart Adamson, the late singer/songwriter/guitarist of Scottish band Big Country for which this column is named after their debut album. A man, whose music directly helped me carry on after the loss of my own mother. Try making sense of that? I've tried making sense of Stuart's death since 2001 and I've always come up empty. But the same applies to what happened in Connecticut and in Oregon recently and in Aurora and at Virginia Tech and in Columbine, you are always going to come up empty in the sense department. You can throw 9/11 in there too. All you need is one word that's synonymous with senseless and that's 'war'. Yet war has been happening for as long as there has been human beings. So, just as there has been war, there has been other senseless acts perpetrated by those bent on violence.

'Rambling mode' is now in full effect here, but just come with me for a minute: I happened to catch a little of '48 hours', the news program that zeros in on certain news events, of course it's all about the Connecticut shootings and, if true, it's interesting to note that the guns used in the shootings were owned by the mom of the perpetrator. Owned. What's a mom doing with a huge arsenal of weaponry? Not talking just a simple handgun here, but assault rifles. Apparently she was a little bit of a survivalist, caught up in the crazy know-all times we are living in where via the internet, if there's a car accident in Hong Kong you can bet you are going to know about it. It's called information overload. It's also called global warming where the weather is getting crazier and crazier...they just had a massive concert for the victims of one of these crazy storms that hit the New Jersey and surrounding areas, that concert was held at Madison Square Garden entitled the 12/12/12 Concert for Sandy Relief. (Rambling continues) Crazy storms...hurricanes, tornadoes, massive ice melting in the arctic regions...11 years down the road from 9/11...the worst attack on U.S. soil ever...and, just throwing this out there, a certain scene in the 2005 movie of "Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith", makes this 20 year old perpetrator, 13 years old when he possibly saw that film. (I am, after all speculating.) But, would you doubt he saw a Star Wars film? Add that his parents apparently divorced four years ago, that makes him 16 and his father and older brother didn't seem entirely close with him living in a neighboring state, leaving him to his survivalist mother, the one with the guns, he had a GED but apparently no higher education (editor's note: he did have some higher education) and apparently hadn't held a job yet at age 20, connect a few dots, and you have some crazy circumstances in flux here.

Does all that add up to he should have done what he did? Of course not. But, it does show the importance of being sensitive to one another, looking out for one another, listening to one another, loving and caring for one another, and not getting caught up in your own B.S. There's a reason to live right there, because someone you know and in some cases some people you may not know, can always need you around to talk to and help out and care for each other and one another. Each and every one of us has self worth. Don't let anyone ever try to wear that down.

A lot of rambling, I know, but it helps us make sense of what music and movies mean to us. Some of its good and some of its not so good, but mostly, hopefully, at its best, it makes our lives better.

Give thanks...hug your children...hug your loved ones...stay warm, stay close...enjoy each others company, or, at least, try!

Be empathetic. Be compassionate. Be thoughtful. Be merciful. Be sensitive. Be faithful. Be loving. Be hopeful. Be optimistic. Be graceful. Be helpful. Be of good cheer. Be jolly, so the ones who aren't feeling so jolly can remember the importance of being jolly!

Christmas Day marks the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ...and no-one's taking Him away from us! That's redemption right there. It's nothing that people can hear who have been through so recently such traumatic events, but given time they will realize that glorious truth.

Do have as best a Christmas as you can!

Recently released and not mentioned in last edition:

* Vince Guaraldi Trio - A Charlie Brown Christmas (Remastered and expanded.)

* Jackopierce - My Favorite Time of Year EP

* Midnight Oil - Essential Oils (import.)

* Black Country Communion - Afterglow

* Flyleaf - New Horizons

* School of Seven Bells - Put Your Sad Down EP

* State Radio - Rabbit Inn Rebellion

* The Boxer Rebellion - B-Sides & Rarities

* Edison's Children - In the Last Waking Moments

* Shoes - Ignition

* Gary Clark, Jr. - Blak and Blu

* Kristina Train - Dark Black

* Minnesota - Are You There

* Craft Spells - Gallery EP

* Lions Lions - To Carve Our Names

* Clinic - Free Reign

* Cory Chisel - Old Believers

* Ben Howard - The Burgh Island EP

* Andrew Osenga - Leonard the Lonely Astronaut

* Hannah Georgas - S/T

* Jeff the Brotherhood - Hypnotic Nights

* Electric Guest - Mondo

* Bellowhead - Broadside

* The dB's - Falling Off the Sky

* The Constellations - Do It for Free

* The Tragically Hip - Now for Plan A

* Ed Kowalczyk - The Garden EP

* Asia - Resonance: Live

* Saint - Desperate Night

* 'Holidays Rule' compilation

* Tony Bennett - Life is a Gift (Autobiography.)

* Tony Iommi - Iron Man (Autobiography.)

* Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace (Autobiography.)

* AC/DC - Entire catalog on iTunes

+ Saxon - Heavy Metal Thunder (Documentary.)


* Karen Peris - Violet (Singer of The Innocence Mission.)

* The National - The Virginia EP

* The Smashing Pumpkins - Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness (Deluxe w/Live in London 1996 DVD.)

* Paloma Faith - Fall to Grace

* Boys Like Girls - Crazy World

* Memory Tapes - Grace/Confusion

* Mean Creek - Youth Companion

* Merchandise - Children of Desire EP

* Ed Tullett – Never Joy

* Mogwai - A Wrenched Virile Lore

* Yngwie Malmsteen - Spellbound

* Hinder – Welcome to the Freakshow

* James Levy - Pray to be Free

* Derik Hultquist - Leaning on the Rain EP

* Spoon - The Lost Tapes (Box set.)

+ The Dark Knight Rises

+ Beasts of the Southern Wild

+ Last Ounce of Courage

+ Hope Springs

+ The Odd Life of Timothy Green


* Buddy Miller & Jim Lauderdale - Buddy and Jim

* Mike Doughty - The Flip is Another Honey

* Green Day - Tre

* The Young'uns - When Our Grandfathers Said No

* Lifehouse - Almeria

* Masters of Reality - S/T

* Bruno Mars - Unorthodox Jukebox

* Youngblood Hawke - S/T EP

* Eric Clapton - Slowhand (35th anniversary Deluxe.)

* Black Sabbath - 1970-1978 (Box set.)

+ Metallica - Quebec Magnetic

+ Twisted Sister - A Twisted Xmas

+ Ted

+ The Bourne Legacy

+ Ice Age: Continental Drift

+ Why Stop Now

+ Finding Nemo (Blu-ray.)


* Rush - 2112 (Deluxe edition.)

* Buddy Guy – Live at Legends

* Dry the River - Shallow Bed

* Olga Nunes - Lamp

* Ashley Monroe - Like a Rose

* Angels and Airwaves - Stomping the Phantom Brake Pedal

+ Blur - Parklive

+ The Pogues - Live at the Olympia, Paris

+ Jason Becker - Not Dead Yet

+ Total Recall

+ Trouble with the Curve

+ Sleepwalk With Me

+ Pitch Perfect

+ Liberal Arts


* Colin Edwin - Burnt Belief

+ Arbitrage

+ Premium Rush

+ Killer Joe

+ Red Hook Summer


* Aretha Franklin - 30 Greatest Hits

* 'Les Miserables' soundtrack

+ The Words


+ Looper

+ Cosmopolis


* S.U. N. - Something Unto Nothing

* Said the Whale - Little Mountain

* Never Shout Never - Indigo

* Pere Ubu - Lady from Shanghai

* The Living Sisters - Run for Cover

* Wooden Wand – Blood Oaths of the New Blues

* Dropkick Murphys - Signed and Sealed in Blood

* Lords of the New Church - The Gospel Truth (Box set.)

+ Frankenweenie

+ Dredd

+ Hit & Run

+ Stolen

+ House at the End of the Street

+ Samsara


* 12/12/12: The Concert for Sandy Relief (2 CD’s; DVD's to be released later.)

* Free Energy - Love Sign

* Yo La Tengo – Fade

* Whitehorse – The Fate of the World Depends on this Kiss

* Mike Cooley - Fool on Every Corner

* Seth Glier - Things I Should Let You Know

* Jeff Black - B-Sides and Confessions, Vol.2

+ Them - Mystic Eyes: Live 1965

+ The Rolling Stones - Crossfire Hurricane

+ Branded

+ Won't Back Down

+ To Rome with Love

+ Farewell, My Queen

+ The Possession

+ Taken 2


* The Joy Formidable - Wolf's Law

* Camper Van Beethoven - La Costa Perdida

* Ra Ra Riot - Beta Love

* Bad Religion - True North

* Carrie Rodriguez - Give Me All You Got

* Darius Rucker - True Believers

* Tyler Bryant - Wild Child

* Chris Patten - Sirens

* Jenn Grant - The Beautiful Wild

* Fonda - Sell Your Memories

* The Shadowboxers – Red Room

* Stereolab - Dots and Loops

* Adam Ant - TBA

* Pink Cream 69 - Ceremonials

* Steve Lukather - Transition

* Snakecharmer - S/T

* Voivod - Target Earth

* Helloween - Straight Out of Hell

+ Mumford & Sons - Road to Red Rocks

+ End of Watch

+ The Paperboy

+ Pina

+ Searching for Sugar Man


* Tegan & Sara - Heartthrob

* Sasha Dobson - Aquarius

* Trixie Whitley - Fourth Corner (Daughter of the late Chris Whitley.)

* Beth Harper & Charlie Musselwhite - Get Up

* Onward Chariots - This is My Confession

* Hey Ocean – Big Blue Wave EP

* Indians – Somewhere Else

* Terri Clark - Classic

* Local Natives – Hummingbird

* Stevie Ray Vaughn – Texas Flood (Deluxe.)

* Fleetwood Mac - Rumours (Deluxe.)

+ Hotel Transylvania

+ The Awakening

+ Seven Psychopaths

+ The Cold Light of Day


* Lisa Loeb - No Fairy Tale

* Suzanne Vega - Solitude Standing: Live

* Jim James - Regions of Light and Sound of God

* Frightened Rabbit - Pedestrian Verse

* The Eels - Wonderful, Glorious

* Holly Williams - The Highway

* Richard Thompson - Electric

* Ron Sexsmith - Forever Endeavor

* Mary Gauthier - Live at Blue Rock

* Matt Pond – The Lives Inside the Lines in Your Hand

* The Shilohs - So Wild

* Veronica Falls - Waiting for Something to Happen

* Focus - X

+ Cloud Atlas

+ Somewhere Between

+ Alex Cross

+ Here Comes the Boom

+ Peter Pan


* Dolly Varden – For a While

* Foals - Holy Fire

* Devon Allman – Turquoise

* Nataly Dawn – How I Knew Her

* The Stone Foxes - Small Fires

* Bryan Ferry – The Jazz Age

* Lisa Germano - No Elephants

* Kelly Willis & Bruce Robison – Cheater's Game

+ The Perks of Being a Wallflower

+ The Sessions

+ Robot & Frank

+ Bully

+ Silent Hill: Revelation

+ The Man with the Iron Fists


* Nick Cave - Push the Sky Away

* Hayden - Us Alone

* Anders Parker & Kendall Meade – Wild Chorus

* Sallie Ford - Untamed Beast

* Samantha Crain - Kid Face

* Susan James - Driving Toward the Sun

* Bobby Long - Wishbone

* Robin Trower - Roots & Branches

+ Undefeated

+ Sinister


* Emmylou Harris & Rodney Crowell - Old Yellow Moon

* Atoms for Peace - Amok (Thom Yorke side project.)

* Johnny Marr - The Messenger

* Shout Out Louds - Optica

* Steven Wilson - The Raven that Refused to Sing

* Bret Michaels - Good Songs and Great Friends

+ Holy Motors


* Son Volt - Honky Tonk

* Josh Ritter – The Beast in its Tracks

* Dido – The Girl that Got Away

* The Cave Singers - Naomi

* Caitlin Rose - Stand In

* Christina Courtin - Varsity

* The Howling Brothers - Howl

* Jimi Hendrix - People, Hell and Angels


* Sandi Thorn - Flesh and Blood

* Spencer Day - Shadow Man

* John Grant – Pale Green Ghosts


* Josh Rouse - The Happiness Waltz

* Madeleine Peyroux - The Blue Room

* Low – The Invisible Way (produced by Jeff Tweedy.)

* John Mellencamp & Stephen King - 'Ghost Brothers of Darkland County' soundtrack


* The Waterboys – An Appointment with Mr. Yeats


2 songs this time...

"I've never seen you look like this

Without a reason

Another promise fallen through

Another season passes by you

In a big country dreams stay with you

Like a lovers voice fires the mountainside

Stay alive

I never took the smile away

From anybody's face

And that's a desperate way to look

For someone who is still a child

I'm not expecting to grow flowers in a desert

But I can live and breathe

And see the sun in wintertime

So take that look out of here it doesn't fit you

Because it's happened doesn't mean you've been discarded

Pull up your head off the floor and come up screaming

Cry out for everything you ever might have wanted

I thought that pain and truth were things that really mattered

You can't stay here with every single hope you had shattered."

Stuart Adamson (Big Country), the song "In a Big Country" from the album The Crossing released in 1983.


"Sometimes you get beat up good

Drive yourself crazy being misunderstood

Sometimes you want to throw the towel in

But you come out swinging like you just might win

Keep on, keep on keepin' on

Push it on down the line

Keep on, keep on keepin' on

Keep from getting further behind

Some days you wonder what it all means

Some nights it ain't as bad as it seems

Sometimes you think you've been had

Run yourself ragged in a world gone mad

Keep on, keep on keepin' on

Push it on down the road

Keep on, keep on keepin' on

Still got a ways to go

Keep on, keep on keepin' on

Push it on down the line

Keep on, keep on keepin' on

Keep from getting further behind

Somethings ain't meant to be

The best things in life are free

And tomorrow is another day

Funny how the truth sounds so cliche

Keep on, keep on keepin' on"

Jack Ingram and Tom Littlefield, the song "Keep On Keepin' On" from Jack Ingram's album Electric released in 2002.

Merry Christmas! Happy New Year!

Chris Barlow

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

{module Possibly Related Articles - Also search our Legacy Site}