Archive for October, 2013

Book Review by Roy E. Perry: Carl Sagan’s “The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark”

October 29, 2013

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Editor’s Note: This week, long-time “Tennessean” and “Nashville Banner” book reviewer Roy E. Perry takes a temporary break from reviewing works of Southern literature to turn his attention to the last book published by legendary American astronomist Carl Sagan. Mr. Perry gives the work a huge “thumbs up.” Here’s why:

BOOK REVIEW BY ROY E. PERRY:

“One of my favorite cartoons shows a fortune-teller scrutinizing the mark’s palm and gravely concluding, ‘You are very gullible.’” Thus writes Carl Sagan (1934-1996) in The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark.

Sagan refers to the pseudoscientific gullibility that swallows hook, line, and sinker numerous scams, hoaxes, and bunkum such as demons, ghosts, UFOs, alien abductions, witches, fairies, religious apparitions, the Bermuda Triangle, astrology, and other foolishness.

“Baloney, bamboozles, careless thinking, flimflams, and wishes disguised as facts,” writes Sagan, “are not restricted to parlor magic and ambiguous advice on matters of the heart. Unfortunately, they ripple through mainstream political, social, religious, and economic issues in every nation.”

Seemingly, there’s no end to the irrational nonsense believed by unthinking, non-critical people. Sagan writes, “The siren song of unreason is not just a cultural wrong but a dangerous plunge into darkness that threatens our most basic freedoms.” Exposing quacks, cranks, crackpots, and charlatans, Sagan—wielding the sharp blade of scientific skepticism—cuts through such nonsense like a sharp knife slicing through butter.

The Demon-Haunted World, however, is much more than a critique of superstition and a debunking of pseudoscience; more importantly, it is a celebration of science and the scientific method.

By means of numerous case histories, metaphors, images, analogies, anecdotes, and quotations from many sources, Sagan reveals how scientific and critical thinking is “a candle in the dark.” The tools in his “baloney detection kit”—including a description of the most common and perilous logical and rhetorical fallacies—show how to distinguish real science from pseudoscience.

Sagan points out that the scientific method—free inquiry, free exchange of information, optimism, self-criticism, pragmatism, objectivity—has a kinship and affinity with democracy, and opposes absolutist, dogmatic, closed-minded, authoritarian, totalitarian systems.

The key to scientific thinking, Sagan asserts, is “the marriage of skepticism and wonder.” Just as a key ingredient of a successful retail establishment is “Location! Location! Location,” so do valid claims to knowledge require “Evidence! Evidence! Evidence!”  Faith, appeals to so-called authority, the testimony of “experts,” and wishful thinking do not qualify as scientific thinking or square with the scientific method.

Published in 1996, the year of Sagan’s death, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark is the last work by the man who popularized astronomy in his best-selling book and fascinating TV series Cosmos. Many critics hail this as his best work. Highly recommended!

For other book reviews by Roy E. Perry, please visit:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/cdp/member-reviews/A2MVUWT453QH61/ref=cm_cr_auth/002-6294896-4602409?%5Fencoding=UTF8

David M. (Dave) Carew is writer/editor of “Underground Nashville” and the author of the novels “Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville” and “Voice from the Gutter,” both now available at Amazon.com and XLibris.com. Dave is also a freelance book editor, publicist, seminar and workshop leader, journalist, and advertising / marketing / public relations writer.

************
Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville by Dave Carew—which was praised by The Tennessean as “beautiful, haunting, powerful”—is now available in an all-new paperback edition. For more information, please visit:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/191-4818370-7728230?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=David+M.+Carew

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Do you want to help homeless people in Nashville learn culinary arts and other employment skills that provide a specific, effective path off the streets? Please visit Lambscroft.org and consider making a financial contribution. Any amount is very helpful and appreciated. Thank you.

***********

Editor’s Note: “Underground Nashville” covers artists, authors, musicians, poets, political figures, and other compelling people and happenings not typically covered by the mainstream Nashville media. It also presents reflections and commentary from an underground/indie perspective, offering “thoughts from the shadows of a great American city.”

Dave Carew

 

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Stacy Stone: A powerful new voice in Music City

October 25, 2013

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By Dave Carew

I recently had the privilege of hearing up-and-coming country artist Stacy Stone at a showcase at Two Old Hippies. Blessed with a powerful, emotive voice, Stacy held the audience rapt as she performed several songs at the invitation of Rick Barker, Taylor Swift’s former manager. When I met Stacy afterward, I was struck by her demeanor: quietly assertive, with a self assurance grounded in years of hard work, despite her young age.

In this exclusive interview with Underground Nashville, Ms. Stone, who moved to Nashville just weeks ago, talks about her incipient Music City career.

UNDERGROUND NASHVILLE: What do you MOST want people to know about you as a country music artist?

STACY STONE:  I would mostly want people to know where I came from.  I grew up playing sports until I was in high school.  You name it and I’ve probably done it.  I was a tomboy growing up.  You could hear me coming from a mile away.  But until this day, I’ve never been one who has to own the room.  I hope to always remain humble.  I believe that is the best quality a great artist could ever have.  Gretchen Wilson was my main influence for wanting to sing.  I’ve been compared to her, Kelly Clarkson, Ann Wilson, Mariah Carey.  But I’m not looking to be “the next” anybody.  Just the first of what I have to offer.

UN:  How do you hope to stand out, amid so many gifted young artists in Nashville?

SS:  I hope to stand out by being myself.  I’m not your “boots and dress” kind of girl with a soft, cute voice.  I’m a country-pop-rocker! I like being “risk-ay.”  I have a powerful voice.  Although there are many extremely talented singers and musicians out there, I feel that my five-octave vocal range is what sets me apart, along with what I can do with it.  I do believe there are few who can exceed me vocally.

UN:  If your country-music dream came true, what would you be doing three years from now?

SS:  I have no idea.  But in the perfect world, hopefully I’ll have an awesome label behind me, who believes in me and is proud to have me on their team.  I hope to have a strong team that will be with me through the ups and downs.  Ultimately, by then, I want to be on tour with many tour dates all over the world, with a successful album touching millions with my music.

For more about Stacy Stone, please visit:
http://www.stacystonesmusic.com/

David M. (Dave) Carew is writer/editor of “Underground Nashville” and the author of the novels “Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville” and “Voice from the Gutter,” both now available at Amazon.com and XLibris.com. Dave is also a freelance book editor, publicist, seminar and workshop leader, journalist, and advertising / marketing / public relations writer.

************
Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville by Dave Carew—which was praised by The Tennessean as “beautiful, haunting, powerful”—is now available in an all-new paperback edition. For more information, please visit:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/191-4818370-7728230?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=David+M.+Carew

***********
Do you want to help homeless people in Nashville learn culinary arts and other employment skills that provide a specific, effective path off the streets? Please visit Lambscroft.org and consider making a financial contribution. Any amount is very helpful and appreciated. Thank you.

***********

Editor’s Note: “Underground Nashville” covers artists, authors, musicians, poets, political figures, and other compelling people and happenings not typically covered by the mainstream Nashville media. It also presents reflections and commentary from an underground/indie perspective, offering “thoughts from the shadows of a great American city.”

Dave Carew

 

 

 

Book review by Roy E. Perry: “Gospel Hour” by T. R. Pearson

October 17, 2013

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Editor’s Note: Roy E. Perry, who wrote book reviews for “The Tennessean” and “Nashville Banner” for thirty years, recently has been exploring the work of Southern literary artist T. R. Pearson. “Underground Nashville” is proud to present Mr. Perry’s latest review.

BOOK REVIEW BY ROY E. PERRY:

Mark Twain once wrote, “Faith is believing what you know ain’t so.” T. R. Pearson’s fifth novel, Gospel Hour (1991)—a satirical spoof of fundamentalist/evangelical/faith- healing religion—illustrates this claim in spades.

When lumberjack Donnie Huff’s log skidder launches him over a cliff and turns upside down in the Big Reed creek, Donnie is submerged in the water, turns blue-green, and apparently expires. His boss—enraged at the loss of his rebuilt but still dilapidated John Deere skidder—beats and slaps Donnie, who “comes back to life.”

A “true believer,” Opal Criner, Donnie’s pious mother-in-law, schemes to convince Donnie that his overcoming death is not only a miracle, but also that his “essence” had ascended through the ether into the heavens, reached the heavenly portals, and had a personal chat with the Savior, who laid his fingertips on a downy patch on Donnie’s arm. Opal is one of those people who “can’t be happy until everybody thinks what they think, and everybody does what they do,” a woman who “could likely, on her own, drive the Pope to the devil.”

Opal schools Donnie in thespian techniques and oratorical skills, making him proficient in brandishing and thumping his white, simulated-calfskin Bible. Only half-heartedly convinced of his mystical experiences, Donnie nevertheless testifies at the Laurel Fork Full Gospel Primitive Missionary Holiness Church and, later, in a huge revival tent.

A depressing group of desperate people flock to the tent revival, hoping against hope that touching the downy spot on Donnie’s arm (which had been touched by the Lord) and hearing his testimony would bring relief from the disappointments and hard knocks they had suffered. Challenged by his skeptical, resentful wife Marie, Donnie begins to doubt his “calling,” and admits, “I can’t do nothing for those people, and I don’t want them thinking I can.” And he muses, “Ain’t this world a funny place?”

T. R. Pearson’s best work since his debut novel A Short History of a Small Place, Gospel Hour contains hijinks and chuckles, but a basic sadness pervades the story. I suspect that Mark Twain himself would have enjoyed this tale.

For other book reviews by Roy E. Perry, please visit:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/cdp/member-reviews/A2MVUWT453QH61/ref=cm_cr_auth/002-6294896-4602409?%5Fencoding=UTF8

 

 

David M. (Dave) Carew is writer/editor of “Underground Nashville” and the author of the novels “Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville” and “Voice from the Gutter,” both now available at Amazon.com and XLibris.com. Dave is also a freelance book editor, publicist, seminar and workshop leader, journalist, and advertising / marketing / public relations writer.

************
Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville by Dave Carew—which was praised by The Tennessean as “beautiful, haunting, powerful”—is now available in an all-new paperback edition. For more information, please visit:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/191-4818370-7728230?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=David+M.+Carew

***********
Do you want to help homeless people in Nashville learn culinary arts and other employment skills that provide a specific, effective path off the streets? Please visit Lambscroft.org and consider making a financial contribution. Any amount is very helpful and appreciated. Thank you.

***********

Editor’s Note: “Underground Nashville” covers artists, authors, musicians, poets, political figures, and other compelling people and happenings not typically covered by the mainstream Nashville media. It also presents reflections and commentary from an underground/indie perspective, offering “thoughts from the shadows of a great American city.”

Dave Carew

15 Year-old Author Publishes First Novel; To Donate Share of Profits to St. Jude’s

October 14, 2013

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Robert “Robby” Midgett, a 15 year-old Mt. Juliet boy with a teen-prodigy’s gift for writing science fiction, will officially release his first novel, Vagabonds, at a St. Jude’s benefit / book-signing launch party at Soulshine Pizza in Nashville on Tuesday, October 15 starting at 5:30 p.m.

Robby will donate a portion of the proceeds of all books sales (ongoing) to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis. The benefit for St. Jude’s will include live music and prizes. Soulshine Pizza is located at 1907 Division Street / Nashville, TN 37212.  The event is free and open to the public, with donations to St. Jude’s greatly appreciated.

ABOUT ROBERT “Robby” MIDGETT

By third grade, Robby Midgett read at a college level and by eleven he had written his first screenplay. Robby is currently preparing for his upcoming book tour. He is already working on another novel.

ABOUT THE NEW NOVEL VAGABONDS
BY ROBERT (“Robby”) MIDGETT

Started when Robby Midgett was just 13 years old, the sci-fi novel Vagabonds (Same Old Story Productions) is about a group of teenagers whose lives are turned upside after their peaceful world is invaded. Forced to travel from their destroyed homes, the teens forge new friendships . . . and do nightmarish things to survive.

“A Regina Spektor song called ‘Blue Lips’ inspired this book,” says Robby. “What started as a science fiction story slowly evolved into a tale of chaos and misfortune. That isn’t to say that only bad things happen in my stories, though. I tried to make it realistic. I wrote the protagonists how I thought young teenagers would act. I tried to keep the brutality of war and looked into history for inspiration.”

Vagabonds is available from Amazon.com or from your local bookseller via special order.

For more about Robby Midgett or Vagabonds, please visit:

www.RobertMidgett.com

David M. (Dave) Carew is writer/editor of “Underground Nashville” and the author of the novels “Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville” and “Voice from the Gutter,” both now available at Amazon.com and XLibris.com. Dave is also a freelance book editor, publicist, seminar and workshop leader, journalist, and advertising / marketing / public relations writer.

************
Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville by Dave Carew—which was praised by The Tennessean as “beautiful, haunting, powerful”—is now available in an all-new paperback edition. For more information, please visit:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/191-4818370-7728230?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=David+M.+Carew

***********
Do you want to help homeless people in Nashville learn culinary arts and other employment skills that provide a specific, effective path off the streets? Please visit Lambscroft.org and consider making a financial contribution. Any amount is very helpful and appreciated. Thank you.

***********

Editor’s Note: “Underground Nashville” covers artists, authors, musicians, poets, political figures, and other compelling people and happenings not typically covered by the mainstream Nashville media. It also presents reflections and commentary from an underground/indie perspective, offering “thoughts from the shadows of a great American city.”

Dave Carew

 

Need an affordable video?

October 4, 2013

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By Dave Carew

Do you need an affordable video to promote your music . . . your Kickstarter campaign . . . your book . . . your workshop . . . or some other product or service?

Our friends at Indie Connect and Media Design Service have partnered to make professional-quality, affordable video production available to everyone.

All cameras are high-definition and the production studio offers complete stage lighting. You can use this service to create/film your:

* Live performance (in their studio) or concept videos;

* Kickstarter video;

* Electronic press kit;

* Live concert broadcast (StreetJelly, Ustream, StageIt);

* Workshop videos (for speakers and trainers).

The video-production facility is located at 120 Donelson Pike, Suite 201, in Nashville, close to Nashville International Airport, and only 15 or 20 minutes from downtown Nashville.

For more information, contact Ray Bussard at:

ray@mediadesignservice.com

For more information about the great networking and empowerment services offered by Indie Connect to indie musicians and music-biz folks, please visit:

http://indieconnect.com/

David M. (Dave) Carew is writer/editor of “Underground Nashville” and the author of the novels “Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville” and “Voice from the Gutter,” both now available at Amazon.com and XLibris.com. Dave is also a freelance book editor, publicist, seminar and workshop leader, journalist, and advertising / marketing / public relations writer.

************
Everything Means Nothing to Me: A Novel of Underground Nashville by Dave Carew—which was praised by The Tennessean as “beautiful, haunting, powerful”—is now available in an all-new paperback edition. For more information, please visit:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/191-4818370-7728230?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=David+M.+Carew

***********
Do you want to help homeless people in Nashville learn culinary arts and other employment skills that provide a specific, effective path off the streets? Please visit Lambscroft.org and consider making a financial contribution. Any amount is very helpful and appreciated. Thank you.

***********

Editor’s Note: “Underground Nashville” covers artists, authors, musicians, poets, political figures, and other compelling people and happenings not typically covered by the mainstream Nashville media. It also presents reflections and commentary from an underground/indie perspective, offering “thoughts from the shadows of a great American city.”

Dave Carew