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while back, but it's time to mention him again. His name is Bob Hillman. He's a clever poet and songwriter and guitarist who is alternately funny, engaging and affecting on stage with his raw, honest voice and his direct, catchy songs. Listen to the sample MP3 of "Communists" (linked near the bottom of the page) to get a sense of him while I elaborate...
I mention him because there are a couple of recent recordings with songs by him (which I'll get to) and because he's performing in the DC area twice in the coming days:
I have his album Welcome to My Century and I love it (particularly "Greenland", "Tolstoy", "Bolted Down" and "Games"). And the fascinating lyrical structure of "Valentine's Day" (ABCD-DEFG-GHIJ...) is unique in my experience, though maybe I just haven't heard the right other artists. The MP3 links there are to sample portions of the songs.
I don't have his first album Playing God, but unlike for WtMC the MP3 links on his site from that album are to the first few tracks in their entirety (free music!). Of those, I particularly like "Little Things" and "Spitting Nails".
(His recorded stuff reminds me in a funny way of Moxy Früvous' first album, in that I didn't really love their recorded songs until I heard them live and got to know their personalities. So if Hillman's recordings don't particularly please you, I still recommend trying to see him because his live show is something else entirely. And then see how you like the recordings...)
In addition to his own albums, there are a couple of recent compilation CDs with his work on them. I don't own either yet, but I plan to buy them eventually:
...and just to empty out my list of Bob Hillman links, here's a page linking to a video stream of him performing at the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center in August 2000. (Skip to about halfway through to find him).
Anyhow, that's my plug for him. And I'm not related to him or benefiting from his success, I just enjoy his stuff immensely and truly think more people should know about him. If you try him, let me know what you think.
Bush seeks new agency on homeland security [MSNBC]
The announcement comes as Congress investigates potential security lapses prior to Sept. 11. FBI Director Robert Mueller was to testify Thursday about the agency's failure to anticipate the terror attacks. ... The White House has stepped up efforts in recent days to shield Bush from criticism that his administration did not do enough to prevent the attacks. Bush's announcement is designed in part to steal some attention from the congressional hearings, White House officials said.Discipline must be slipping if they're actually admitting what they're doing as they do it.
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