An acclaimed singer/songwriter whose literate work flirted with everything from acoustic folk to rockabilly to straight-ahead country, John Prine was born October 10, 1946, in Maywood, IL. Raised by parents firmly rooted in their rural Kentucky background, at age 14 Prine began learning to play the guitar from his older brother while taking inspiration from his grandfather, who had played with Merle Travis. After a two-year tenure in the U.S. Army, Prine became a fixture on the Chicago folk music scene in the late '60s, befriending another young performer named Steve Goodman…
DELUXE LIMITED version includes a bonus CD with Home Recordings. This record is the product of a strange and interesting time. When I started writing Gathering, I felt tired of living in the shadow of my earlier self, my earlier work, but more than discouraged, I felt charged with the possibility and the freedom of cutting myself loose from my own and others expectations. I began with an exciting sense of dissatisfaction, and what emerged, as I began to find my voice, was a record full of storms. Some, like Feels Like Lightning or Friendamine, are physical storms. Others, like Dreams, are interior ones. Listening to these songs now, I hear uncertainty, mania, laughter and sadness, all vying for their place on the album. I was surprised by the new voice. I have been writing records for almost twenty years now. Each one has been different from the last in subject and form, but with Gathering I feel I've found a new electric dissatisfaction, a new way to rejoice as the storm rolls in.
August Gottfried Ritter (1811-1885) is no household name, but to organists he one of the most significant figures in the history of their instrument; while his three-volume method of playing Kunst des Orgelspiels becoming a source of reference in Germany and elsewhere, his Geschichte des Orgelspiels compendium established his renown through bringing to light composers from the Renaissance and the Baroque periods, some of whom had already been forgotten by the time it was published in 1884. Today he is regarded as the founder of the modern German organ school. Placing a selection of rare works alongside his more famous organ music, this collection forms a unique tribute to the German composers genius. The four Organ Sonatas are first to be presented, pieces which are all cyclical in nature, with Op.23 forming his largest composition for organ, a work of vast proportions that was dedicated to Liszt and which includes Ritters debut use of organ toccata form.
The Christmas season just got a lot less joyous in this very dark comedy. Willie T. Stokes (Billy Bob Thornton) is a con man and a thief who teams up with his friend Marcus (Tony Cox), a midget, for a very special scam each year during the holiday season. Willie gets a job as Santa Claus at a shopping mall, his pal tags along as an elf, and they use their employee status to crack mall security and rob stores blind just before Christmas. However, there's one flaw to this plan – Willie is a bitter, foul-mouthed and perpetually grouchy alcoholic who doesn't care for kids, and it's all he can do to keep himself from getting fired while on the job. The mall's manager (John Ritter, in his last film appearance) is certain something's wrong with the Santa he's hired, so he asks the mall's chief of security (Bernie Mac) to do some research on Willie. Meanwhile, one of the kids Willie is forced to talk to becomes a regular customer; overweight, awkward, and the frequent target of bullies, the boy manages to arouse something like sympathy from Willie, who tries to give him some advice and develops something vaguely resembling Christmas sprit along the way.