Saturday, December 24, 2011

Social Distortion, Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes

I saw Social Distortion in concert last November, 2010. They played most of this new album--and I liked what I heard immediately--but the album wasn't released until the following March. I downloaded two of the songs then, but never got around to getting the complete collection until now. I'm sorry I waited so long. Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes is a great album.

It kicks off with the short, charging instrumental "Road Zombie," then the catchy "California (Hustle and Flow), "Gimme the Sweet and Lowdown," and "Diamond in the Rough" follow. The hit "Machine Gun Blues" is next; that's five killers to start the album. Usually albums begin to peter out at this point, the further you get into it. Not so here. In fact, two of my favorite cuts are the last two songs, "Can't Take it With You," and "Still Alive."

I seriously love this album (if you couldn't tell by now). I can't stop playing it; it ends and I start at the beginning again. Thanks, Social D!

Here they are performing "Machine Gun Blues" on Conan:

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Sudden Flash Youth: 65 Short-Short Stories

I'm proud to have my short story "The Stoop" included in the fine new YA anthology, Sudden Flash Youth: 65 Short-Short Stories. Edited by Christine Perkins-Hazuka, Tom Hazuka, and Mark Budman and published by Persea Books, the book contains 65 stories of no more than 1,000 words. Among the contributors are Steve Almond, Dave Eggers, and Alice Walker. Visit Persea's website for more info.