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Archive for September, 2007

arson.jpgSOUNDTRACK: MARILLION-Fugazi (1984).

fugazi.jpgAh, the delights of Marillion. My best friend in high school, Al, got me into Marillion. And he started me off with this record. As such, I can’t imagine how I could realistically critique it. I must have listened to this thing hundreds of times at this point. I also got into the other Marillion albums (until the theatrical madman and lead singer, Fish, departed). I did get one post-Fish album, Season’s End, but didn’t think too much of it. Although I still regard them highly, and anyone who names an album Anoraknaphobia is still alright in my book, I haven’t heard a note of anything post-Season’s End.

Fugazi, on the other hand is still fantastic after all these years. Fish’s lyrics are often bitter, but always eloquent. (more…)

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SOUNDTRACK: THE KINKS are the Village Green Preservation Society (1968).

This record seems to be a very important record in the history of British pop rock and in the history of The Kinks. I feel that I had always heard about it in practically hushed tones (much like the hushed tones of the record), and yet I had never heard it. Finally, my friend Carrie gave me a copy of it and I listened and was surprised that I didn’t know one single song on it. You can look here and see that I have two Kinks greatest hits records, and not one song from this record is on any either of them.

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makingmoney.jpgOn the website for the new Terry Pratchett book Making Money, there is a contest to “Take and post a photograph of your copy of Making Money — or any Discworld book(s) — in a creative way.” So, here’s my entry. And no, I haven’t read it yet! But I can’t wait!

As you can see, I was so excited to get the book in this fashion, that my picture is a little blurry.

Sorry to everyone who came looking for the picture before it was up.

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I was walking past the New Books shelf in our library last week and saw a book called An Arsonist’s Guide to Writers’ Homes in New England by Brock Clarke. What a great great title! How could I resist? Now, I know you should never judge a book by its cover (but of course I do), but should you judge a book by its title? We’ll soon find out, as I put aside the two other books that I had started (and by jiminy, there’s a new terry Pratchett coming out any minute too!) to dive into this wonderfully titled book. So far (70 pages in) it lives up to its title. We’ll see if he can keep it up, and we’ll see if I have a started a new superficial way of deciding books. Frankly, this title is quite a relief, after spending all day looking up books called Destiny (8 different authors in our library system) or Second Chance (8 authors…shame on you James Patterson and Danielle Steel) or Darkness (4 authors), and if nothing else, Clarke should be applauded just for the title. Of course, today, I saw a positive review in Entertainment Weekly, so I’m going to try and jump on the bandwagon before there is one.

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buzz1.jpgBuzz Cola was a tie-in to the Simpsons Movie. I love the Simpsons, and although I gave up on trying to keep up with their merchandising machine (geez, how could ANYONE keep up with that?) I figured I could take a stab at a fun, cheap item). But, when I saw these at the 7-11, I bought one to taste and one to save. Well, it tastes awful. It’s a very cheap tasting cola, worse than even supermarket brands. But it’s a nice souvenir!

reeses-peanut-butter-banana-creme.jpg

Don’t worry, I’m not turning into Junk Food Blog!

But I felt compelled to document this experiment since I can no longer recall my thoughts of New Coke, Pepsi Clear, or OK Soda. (more…)

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radar_magazine_cover.jpgSOUNDTRACK: PINK FLOYD-Atom Heart Mother (1970).

c834131hbdw.jpgI decided it was time to review an old album, just to mix it up with all the new stuff I’ve been listening to lately. And, so I went deep into the well, and pulled out Atom Heart Mother. Back in high school, we used to sit around and profoundly discuss music and TV, (but not books, see how times have changed!). Anyhow, turns out one of my friends’ brothers was a big Pink Floyd fan (as was I) and so my friend, although not a big Pink Floyd fan himself, knew enough to discuss them.

This album was always my go-to for an amusing conversation because he declared it was SDI–seriously drug influenced, his highest negative rating. I mean, duh, the cover features a cow’s butt! (more…)

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harpers.gifSOUNDTRACK: BJORK-Volta (2007).

volta.jpgOkay, so Bjork is from Mars. Volta is her newest album. I’ve been a fan of Bjork since the Sugarcubes, way back when. I’ve also really enjoyed her solo recordings. I used to get all of her singles and videos and things, but in recent years she seems to have released a new full length reissue of a concert or remastered disc on a monthly basis. So, I had to go cold turkey.

Then Volta came out. I saw a live performance of two of the songs on Saturday Night Live, and they were pretty different, even for her. It seems like Bjork has had a unifying sound on each of the last few albums. On Volta, it is a horn section. This is a more organic sound than some of her recent electronic releases. And, overall, I find that it doesn’t work all that well for her.

Bjork’s voice is, and I mean no disrespect because I love her voice, but it has many similar qualities to a horn. It is loud, she can hold notes for a long time, and it can often be quite brash. And, she is an alto, which many of the horns are too. So, I find that her voice blends in too much with the music. Whereas on previous records, her voice really stood out. There’s a similar problem in the duet with the ubiquitous Antony (of Antony and the Johnsons). Their voices are so similar, that any sense of conflict or drama is really lost. (I’m not mocking Antony’s voice. It is quite sublime on his own records, but I feel that it doesn’t do much for “Dull Flame of Desire,” even though the song itself is great.)

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