NEM#59: Annie Haslam’s Renaissance: Sing Now, Figure It Out Later

Annie fronted British symphonic rock band Renaissance for nine albums starting in 1971, but only in the late ’80s became a lyricist. She’s now released eight studio albums and two new Renaissance albums.

We discuss “Blessing in Disguise,” the title track from her 1994 album; “Grandine il Vento,” the title track from Renaissance’s 2013 album, and “Precious One” from Annie’s The Dawn of Ananda (2000). End song: “Symphony of Light,” also from Grandine il Vento.
Opening music: “Introlise” from Annie in Wonderland (1977) and Renaissance’s “Northern Lights” from A Song for All Seasons (1978). More at

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Episode 33: Montaigne: What Is the Purpose of Philosophy? (Citizens Only)

Discussing Michel de Montaigne’s Essays: “That to Philosophize is to Learn to Die,” “Of Experience,” “Of Cannibals,” “Of the Education of Children,” and “Of Solitude” (all from around 1580) with some discussion of “Apology for Raymond Sebond.”

Renaissance man Montaigne tells us all how to live, how to die, how to raise our kids, that we don’t know anything, and a million Latin quotations. Montaigne put the skeptical fire under Descartes and both draws upon and mocks a great deal of ancient Greek and Roman philosophy. Plus, he’s actually fun to read.

End song: “I Like Life” from Mark Lint and the Fake Johnson Trio (1998).