This is a blog that has some of my thoughts, reviews, and musings about the culture. In other words, it’s a bunch of random writings about music, books, film, television, cultural fads, trends, etc. But mostly music, because that’s just how I roll. Also I don’t watch a lot of movies anymore.

This format’s probably not very trendy anymore, but here are 20 things about me:

  • My name is Brendan Stewart. My friends call me Stew. You can call me John.
  • I am the youngest of six kids. Dad was a cop. Mom was a saint.
  • I am married to Peggy.
  • We live in New York…25 minutes from Manhattan by car, two hours by bus and train. You figure that one out.
  • My wife and I have a cat named Boswell, and loving memories of the late, great, “Cutest Kitty in the World”, Hodge. You get bonus points if you know what the connecting thread is between those two names.
  • I have a Master’s Degree in English, the result of 19 years of Catholic education.
  • Irish/German/English/Scottish. All-American boy.
  • Astrological sign is Cancer, and I am a Moon Child to a T.
  • Yankees and Giants. I don’t care about hockey or basketball.
  • I still miss The Far Side and Calvin and Hobbes.
  • When I was ten years old, my brother Michael slapped headphones on my head and played “Strawberry Fields Forever” for me. The next day I went to his room and “borrowed” all of his Beatles albums. I have been an obsessive music geek since that day. By obsessive I mean over 40,000 songs in my iTunes.
  • I took several film courses in college because they were easy As, but they changed the way I watch movies. Thanks, Dr. James Vendetti.
  • I suffer from literary elephantiasis. While I can edit other people’s content, I need an editor for my own.
  • I have other interests, including politics, religion, science, philosophy. sports, and history. But for the purposes of this blog, let’s not get bogged down in weighty subjects.
  • Favorite music: “Real music made by real people for real reasons.”—R.E.M.’s Peter Buck. That works for me, and covers every genre and every age.
  • Favorite movies: I can appreciate almost any well-made, well-acted, well-written film. I’m partial to genre flicks, like thrillers, suspense, horror, westerns, etc. I leave the modern romantic comedies to my wife because I find them neither romantic nor funny.
  • Favorite television: I don’t watch a lot of sitcoms. Most of them are just plain awful. But I do like Modern Family and I love Archer. I watch fewer and fewer network TV shows. They’re all adhere to rigid formulas that, once detected, make the shows predictable and boring. On the other hand, there are shows like the extraordinary Vikings and Game of Thrones and shows that, despite their flaws, are at least not locked into a hidebound formula (e.g., Legion). I also do a lot of streaming from Netflix, HBO, and BritBox.
  • Favorite books: Too many to count, but my all-time favorite is Larry McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove. I read a lot of thrillers and books about music, because most of the time I prefer books that don’t require the concentration that, say, Absalom, Absalom! does. And besides, I’ve read Absalom, Absalom! already. School’s over. I want to relax when I read now.
  • Favorite quote: “Who won the war?”—Grace Slick
  • Favorite beer: Boy Howdy!