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Song of the Year: “Alithia's Flowers (Children of Uvalde)” 

Here is a first for me: My song “Alithia’s Flowers (Children of Uvalde)”was named Song of the Year by OWWR (Old Westbury, Long Island) host Michael J Mand. Michael has played the song (as well as my rock song “Left It on the Stage”) a couple of times on his terrific show, St. James Infirmary. As that name suggests, he seems especially fond of the blues, but he always puts together an eclectic blend of recordings. For his last broadcast of the year, he does an awards show that focuses on albums, with such…

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New Lyric Video: "Blue Lights" 

For the 15th anniversary of my album, "Blue Lights," I've just released the new lyric video for its title song, "starring" my parents, Edgar and Floy Lyn Maiscott, and inspired by their wartime romance and marriage.

Christine Haire created the video for me, using old photos of my parents, a few of which my mother had taken, developing them in their darkroom. My sister, Cecilia Maiscott Pectol, gathered most of the photos as well as a few of their letters from that time.

When I was little, my mother told me…

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Benatar & Simon: My Village Voice Article & More 

In my last post I wrote about Carly Simon and her sisters, who, very sadly, had both died (within a day of each other) in October. I’d been reading Simon’s memoir Boys in the Trees—as well as doing other research on her life and music—at that time. I’ve since written a piece for The Village Voice about Simon and Pat Benatar, the two 2022 inductees into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Performer category, who were born in New York City. (I also read Benatar’s memoir, Between a Heart and a Rock PIace.) I hope…

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The Sisters Simon 

Lately, pursuing a writing idea, I’ve been immersed in Carly Simon—her stimulating, almost fantastical childhood in NYC (the Village and then Riverdale) and Stamford, Connecticut; her transitions from stuttering child to folk singer, in a duo with her sister Lucy, to pop-rock sensation; her consuming love for James Taylor (they divorced in 1981); her life in an ever-expanding eccentric house on Martha’s Vineyard; and of course her music. 

Carly’s two sisters play large parts in her entrancing memoir, Boys

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Nellie McKay Graces the Blue Note 

I met the singer/songwriter/actor/activist Nellie McKay in 2009, after I interviewed her for Vanity Fair. Since then I've seen her versatility in action many times, as when she performed Doris Day songs at the swank Feinstein's (now closed), 60s songs at the supper club 54 Below, and more recently a combination of standards and originals at the Blue Note, which happens to be in my neighborhood. The Blue Note show, on July 31, was the first of three Sunday engagements (two brunch shows each day), and there's…

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"Alithia's Flowers" on OWWR 

The other day I got a Facebook notification about a post by Michael J. Mand, aka Michael the Molar Maven, an NYC dentist who moonlights as a radio host for the Old Westbury, Long Island, station OWWR. He had included my song "Alithia's Flowers (Children of Uvalde)" on the August 26 episode of his show St. James Infirmary, which airs on Friday afternoons. When my husband and I listened to the podcast (click on image for link), Bob said it reminded him of Don McGee's eclectic show, Mixed Bag, on WFUV here in…

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In the Paper and on the Radio 

My song "Alithia's Flowers (Children of Uvalde)" has led me down a few paths. I contacted Alithia Ramirez's parents, Jess Hernandez and Ryan Ramirez, shortly after recording it. I wanted them to know that I'd been inspired to write the song by a drawing made by their daughter, who died in the Uvalde, Texas, school shooting. Since then we've had several exchanges, and I've also frequented local social-media pages, such as for Uvalde Strong. As the Times reported in a recent article, Uvalde is a tight-knit…

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Writing Courtney  

Catching up here!

Shredder, ruminator, singer-songwriter—the amazing Courtney Barnett is my complex subject in a recent Village Voice piece (click here or on image), combining my impressions of Anonymous Club, the new documentary about her by  Danny Cohen (a Q&A with him and Barnett followed the screening I attended), and a fantastic Radio City Music Hall concert she gave a couple of weeks ago. If you're not familiar with this Australian wonder, she is both Dylanesque and Townshendesque, quite a combination…

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A Voice Choice 

A couple of decades ago, like many other New Yorkers, I used to love picking up the weekly Village Voice on Wednesday mornings. A few of the names I looked for in the pages at that time were writers Vivian Gornick and Cynthia Heimel, cartoonists Jules Feiffer and Lynda Barry, and photographers Amy Arbus and Sylvia Plachy. I also always read the section called “Getting and Spending,” in which writers touted stores and products, but often in a creatively askew way. One day I decided to write something myself…

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"Alithia's Flowers (Children of Uvalde)" 

School shootings are mystifying and tragic. I’m writing this on the Fourth of July (a day when another type of mass shooting has occurred, at a parade), wondering how this country can allow—through lax laws—this horrific kind of thing to occur, again and again. Little children being gunned down. It’s hard to fathom. 

Two days after the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, on May 24, I went to see an expansive and amazing Faith Ringgold show at the New Museum here in NYC. It included a large painting called…

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