What, today, would most delight a serious Joni Mitchell fan? (Other than a new album?)

How about a whole album full of 11 excellent songs you’ve never heard before, which Joni wrote between 1964 and 1969 but never got around to recording.....sung by an excellent singer....with expert tasteful backup....including the first song she ever wrote, “Hunter,” which until now had appeared on a handful of early unreleased test-pressings of BLUE? Songs so good, they all sound like just-discovered outtakes from SONG TO A SEAGULL—which is basically what they are? How ‘bout, all this for only a sawbuck, US? (or $13 for a physical CD)

Spider Robinson on "Writer's Tears" Irish whiskey

[Editor's note: science fiction novelist Spider Robinson forever influenced my liquor consumption habits with the rhapsodic praises for Bushmill's 1608 Irish whiskey that feature in so many of his books. I've bought rather a large number of bottles of the stuff. So when I got this email (with the subject "Unsolicited testimonial") from him in my inbox this morning, I did two things: ordered a bottle and asked if I could republish the email here here. Spider graciously permitted this. -Cory]

I’ve tried most high-end Irish whiskeys, and always kept coming back to Bushmills 1608. But I just switched loyalties.

I freely confess I was initially attracted by the name alone. I’d have bought my first bottle just to own the bottle, even if the contents had been undrinkable. But it’s not why I’m now already up to my sixth bottle—and at approximately CAN$65 per bottle! In my opinion, it tastes like what God drinks when He’s sitting at His typewriter. Whiskey—uisge baugh—means “water of Life.” This tastes to me a bit like the first tide pool that developed chemistry sophisticated enough to make its own alcohol. I just gave bottles to my siblings for Christmas, and I recommend the stuff unreservedly to you, my friends.

If your local Liquor Commission doesn’t stock it and is too stupid to order it for you, just Google up the online hootch-delivery service called Master Of Malt, and you’ll be drinking it less than a week later without paying shipping, plus they’ll happily sell you either 1 or 6 handsome tasting glasses for a reasonable extra sum. Read the rest