Friday, May 16, 2008

Bluegrass Festival

Vienna 1814 has been made a store or staff pick at other book stores around the country, most recently by Joan Gray at Diane’s Books in Greenwich CT, while also continuing to hit bestseller lists, like the one this week at Reagan Washington National Airport. Thanks again to everyone for all your comments and support! Also, by the way, check out the latest issue of Harper’s for an essay by fellow Kentuckian, Wendell Berry, “Faustian Economics: Hell hath no limits” (and also an ad for Vienna 1814, the “Party that Changed the World”). Tomorrow, I’ll be at the Bluegrass Festival of Books at Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Lexington. These events are a lot of fun, so if you happen to be in the area, come by and say hello.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

FreeKY Fest

All last week, my old college radio station celebrated its twentieth anniversary with a series of concerts and events that culminated in a twelve hour “FreeKY fest” on top of a building in downtown Lexington. The headliners were Apples in Stereo, and they certainly didn’t disappoint. Do they ever? The band’s lead singer, Robert Schneider, is better known to my three-year old daughter as “Robbert Bobbert” – he is one of a handful of people she will give a real spirited high five. Cheers to all the organizers, performers, and everybody else who made the day such fun.

Another highlight (for me) was doing a two-hour music show on the station again for the first time in many years. I played some tracks from my late sixties British psychedelia collection, including Tintern Abbey and the Orange Machine. I also brought out a number of bands from the thriving Dunedin, New Zealand scene of eighties and nineties, as well as some exciting new bands that I really like, such as Ideal Free Distribution, whose 2007 debut features some wonderful material. Of course, I couldn't resist playing "Vienna" by Ultravox or, for my kids, "Rainbow Connection" by Kermit the Frog.

Speaking of college radio, I’ll be on WHRW-FM, Radio Free Binghamton early tomorrow evening to talk about other subjects I love to discuss, that is, Napoleon and the Congress of Vienna.