Static From My Attic

On the Highwire

On the Highwire

I’ve never considered myself one for taking risks. I was always that kid whose knees buckled at the notion of climbing to the highest diving

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Memento Mori

Memento Mori

By the time you hold this paper in your hand, I will have achieved the grim distinction of being exactly the same age New Yorker

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Felix the Cat Gin 1926

Problem Attic

I’ve been putting off writing this column until the last minute—almost until I am physically unable to write it. (That would be an excellent method

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Hudson Lake c1928

A Toast to Bix

I’m going to veer wildly off-format here in order to fulfill a promise I made in this column last month. Last year, a subscriber named

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Pony Express Air Mail

Nor Gloom of Night

When I published my first issue of The Syncopated Times, I worked to compensate for the variables and uncertainties involved in getting started. Not the

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Mad renewal card

Interesting Times, 2.0

Each month, it seems, represents a newer normal. Normal wants to update itself relentlessly, much like my Windows operating system—usually at no small inconvenience and

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Wynton at Lionel Hampton Funeral

In Memoriam

In the second month of our siege against an implacable and impersonal enemy, I am a bundle of conflicting and untidy emotions. It really is

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Stuck Home Stomp

Stuck Home Stomp

There is no point in attempting my usual meandering approach to the topic that preoccupies all of us at the moment. Just as unnecessary travel

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RADIOLA 1920s and 1930s clean radiola365

Words Fail Us

Last December, after wrapping up the layout of my January issue and launching it into the world, I was privileged to revisit what had been

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Kat Edmondson Michael Katsobashvili

I’m Not Worthy! (Am I?)

I was deeply moved—and somewhat embarrassed—to read Larry Melton’s encomium for The Syncopated Times (and its hapless publisher). I do acknowledge that the survival of

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Brunswick Model 102 portable

Portable Joy

Sometimes I forget to breathe. That’s not literally so, but it might as well be. In editing and publishing The Syncopated Times for four years

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Change is Good?

Change is Good?

I admit an aversion—if not an antipathy—to change. Change is at times necessary, at a certain point it is inevitable, but I wince when I

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Rome Sentinel 1908

Arrivederci, Fresno!

If, upon leafing through this month’s edition of The Syncopated Times, you notice a few differences from how the paper has appeared in previous issues,

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Jazz By Gaslight

Jazz By Gaslight

 Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer in a Screenshot from the trailer of Gaslight (1944) (Public Domain) Having spent my childhood and an unconscionable portion of my

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Farm Radio

Turn Off Your Radio

(Related Story: Hot Jazz Saturday Night Cancelled) Most of my life I have been fascinated with radio. My childhood, of course, was dominated by television—because

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Poster for a production of Ruddigore, published in 1887.

Coincidence? Nah

I don’t find anything especially remarkable about coincidences, except that they seem to happen all the time. Mostly, they occur, are briefly noted, and then

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Message Not Sent

Message Not Sent

On Dancing Bears, Sarcasm, and the Imperfect Reliability of Electronic Mail At certain times I begin to loathe the internet, resent my computer, and nurse

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Dog Radio Pipe

When are you?

Unless you’ve been in a medically-induced coma for a year or two, you will have noted that the times are, as the supposed Chinese curse

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MOLDY FIG, GO HOME!

MOLDY FIG, GO HOME!

Even when writing about a topic as delightful and congenial as early jazz, it’s quite impossible to avoid controversy. To be fair, just about everyone

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Guernica

The Pain of Music

I have previously written in this space about “dread.” I then referred to a more general foreboding—which still occasionally visits me, in spite of my

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