Sunday, May 27, 2007

Book Buzz:-->"The Ice Harvest" by Scott Phillips (2000)

"We lived in a time and a world of our own.
Making up the rules as we went along.
Just one coat between us and we never felt cold.
We were never gonna get old.

It's been a long time since we laughed together.
It's been a long time since we cried.
Raise your glass for the comrades we've lost...
My friend it's been a long, long time."
Southside Johnny
"The Ice Harvest" is a short 217 page novel written by Scott Phillips that takes you on a journey from the last hours of a lonely, violent Christmas Eve...on into the early morning holiday through the eyes of anti-hero Charlie Arglist.

In the style of a slimy classic noir, it is 1979...Wichita, KS...with a freezing snowstorm growing increasingly worse as the night rolls on. It is here we meet our main character, Charlie, a lawyer who has been helping the mob skim a little extra into their kitty from titty-bars owned through out the city.

Ol' Charlie has been planning to skim some beaucoup cashola for himself by ripping off the mob...Christmas Eve...and then quickly disappear into the jingle-bell night. And the time has finally arrived.

Scott Phillips introduces one loser after another in this terrific crime thriller. Filled with unexpected sex that no one seems to be enjoying...and unexpected violence that appears to give more pleasure than the sex, our anti-hero Charlie tries to head off one double-cross after another. One would almost think that any chance for a chuckle here or there would be out of place...But Phillips does like to throw a little macabre jocularity at the reader.

Over-all this fast read is a great trip to take. Good stuff!


AM, Then FM posted some info about Southside Johnny and The Asbury Jukes the other day...which reminded me of how I came to love them.

I stumbled upon a Southside Johnny CD buried amongst other $1.99 offerings in a wire caged basket customers could wade through in a Superstore while killing time. It was there I picked up "Better Days" and took it home. Small risk, I thought, and besides it wasn't as if I'd never heard of him.

Funny, I buy CDs all the time...but every once in a great while, I find a diamond among the chunks of CD coal. This Southside Johnny and The Asbury Jukes release is a diamond. A true joy. I play it all the time because the music gives me the same pleasure and freedom I get from a Thin Lizzy song. Totally different sound, mind you...but the emotional energy is dead on!

While "YouTubing" the other night I searched for some Southside Johnny and that's when I found it. My favorite song captured on YouTube.

Watching Southside do this song on stage with some long time Jersey friends is awesome. Good vibes are shared on stage...and we are graciously allowed to be a part of the celebration. Check this video out. It will leave you with a smile.


Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes:-->"It's Been A Long Time" off Better Days (1991) (Own This CD)


whiteray said...

Thanks for the Johnny! He's one of my faves. And the book sounds like a good one. By the way, I loved "Comanche Moon"!

Anonymous said...

Oh my! Wait until you discover the first three albums by Southside Johnny & the Jukes. Even better. Little Steven Van Zandt writing & producing the best music of his career. Songs "Without Love", "Take It Inside" "I Don't Want to Go Home", "The Fever" and even some of the later stuff "Trash It Up" & "New Romeo".

Great tunes! Nice Find!

"Retro Music Snob"

Casey said...

Thanks for dropping by!
Gary--> I have copy/paste your song recommendations. Definitely want to hear'em.
Whiteray-->Southside Johnny is really underrated. And if ya live in the Midwest...well, he is virtually non-existent. His music is timeless.(what little I have heard)
Yea...I thought "Comanche Moon" was a great adventure. I could easily see it as a mini-series.