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Archive for the ‘Mister Roger’s Neighborhood’ Category

SOUNDTRACK: PEARL JAM-“Love, Reign o’er Me” (1993).

On December 2, Pearl Jam announced that their fan club holiday singles will be released to streaming services.  Their first holiday single was released back in 1991.  It was “Let Me Sleep (Christmas Time).” They are rolling out the songs one at a time under the banner 12 Days of Pearl Jam.

These releases are coming out as a daily surprise.

This is an impressively faithful (and really good) cover of the classic song from The Who.  I knew the band played this in concert-I’ve seen it once or twice myself–but I never realized they had released a studio version.

It opens with the piano and gong just like the original.  There’s some synth washes and that familiar keyboard melody before Eddie starts singing.  he sounds powerful like Roger Daltrey including doing a Daltrey scream right out of the gate.

The music is remarkably faithful–the guitars, the keys–everything.  The only major difference comes around three and half minutes when there is a keyboard solo and the sound of the keyboard is an usual choice–a little unusual for the rest of the song.

But the guitar solo is right on.  Eddie can certain do some manly screams just like Roger and this version totally rocks.

Even the guitar slide before the crashing ending sounds great.  A truly fantastic cover.

[READ: December 10, 2019] “Training Module”

This year, S. ordered me The Short Story Advent Calendar.  This is my fourth time reading the Calendar.  I didn’t know about the first one until it was long out of print (sigh), but each year since has been very enjoyable.  Here’s what they say this year

The Short Story Advent Calendar is back! And to celebrate its fifth anniversary, we’ve decided to make the festivities even more festive, with five different coloured editions to help you ring in the holiday season.

No matter which colour you choose, the insides are the same: it’s another collection of expertly curated, individually bound short stories from some of the best writers in North America and beyond.

(This is a collection of literary, non-religious short stories for adults. For more information, visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.)

As always, each story is a surprise, so you won’t know what you’re getting until you crack the seal every morning starting December 1. Once you’ve read that day’s story, check back here to read an exclusive interview with the author.

Want a copy?  Order one here.

I’m pairing music this year with some Christmas songs that I have come across this year.

This story was a powerful indictment of men, written in a compelling and interesting manner–as a sexual harassment training manual.

It is a series of questions with multiple choice answers.  There is no point in trying to summarize or rewrite them because they are perfectly written.  So i’ll just give some examples here.

The first one:

You’re an adult man of indeterminate age in between subway cars in 1967, and you see a six-year-old girl with her mother.  Do you:
a) quickly move to the next car, as any sensible person between cars on a moving train might, or
b) expose yourself to the child. (more…)

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SOUNDTRACK: NO FORCEFIELD-Lee’s Oriental Massage 415-626-1837 (2000).

I was terribly disappointed with the second No Forcefield album (so why did I get this one?  Because I got them both used at the same time for $1 each).  And I can’t help but think Id have been so much more disappointed in it had I listened to this one first.

This first record is really quite good.  I still have no idea why Ler from Primus is in the band or what he does on this disc (and he’s the reason I learned about the band to begin with), but this disc sounds like a proper album and not just a bunch of undercooked ideas.

This disc is primarily a collection of electronic/scratching tracks.  The beginning of the disk has more scratch-heavy pieces (provided by DJ Disk), and as the disc moves along we get slightly longer more instrumental-only dancey tracks.  But they’re not really dance tracks either, they’re heavy electronic tracks in the vein of say Prodigy (with no lyrics).  They’re quite inventive and they rock pretty hard.

But it must be said, it sounds nothing like Primus.  There’s virtually no bass, and no guitars and no vocals.  I assume that Brain does all of the electronics and drums, and then there’s a few extra folks helping out.  There’s some definitely worthwhile tracks on here (and the samples are all fun…Mister Roger’s Neighborhood music, for example).

This isn’t a genre I know very well, so I don’t know how it compares globally to others. But I do know bad techno music and this isn’t it.

Not bad for $1.  And, no I never called the phone number.

[READ: January 26, 2010] “Fjord of Killary”

This is a quick, dark story.  It concerns a poet, named Caoimhin, who moves from the city to the West Coast of Ireland.  Specifically, he goes there to buy a hotel.  The hotel has been extant since the 1600’s and was even written about by Thackeray.  Since he is having massive writer’s block, he assumed that this little community on a fjord will give him lots to write about.

But instead, he finds himself very busy tending to the locals (the hotel bar is the real draw) and largely uninspired to write anything.

The actual plot of the story concerns a terrible storm.  The raging ocean that is right below the hotel is rising and rising.  Caoimhin is rather nervous, but the patrons, all old residents of the area, tell him not to worry.  Well, actually they ignore him, (despite all of his lame attempts at conversation making) but the effect is the same.

It’s only when the water actually comes up the porch and under the doors that the people start to really get nervous. (more…)

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