Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sunday Shuffle #202

I hope the football games on my TV today are treats and not tricks. Happy Halloween to you all. Don't think today's ten will be very spooky but you never know...

1. Proud Mary/Creedence Clearwater Revival (4)
2. The Past/Teenage Fanclub (7)
3. Crumble/Dinosaur Jr. (5)
4. Calculating Bimbo/Belle and Sebastian (6)
5. You Are Free/Joseph Arthur (3)
6. Lucky One/Michael Penn (3)
7. Biology Tricks/Centro-Matic (2)
8. Take Heart, Sisters/Bowery Boy Blue (2)
9. The Salesman (Tramp Life)/White Rabbits (1)
10. Die Die Die/The Avett Brothers (1)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Pile

Now that I've written about the last two things I've read, I thought I'd run down what's currently sitting in my to-be-read pile. I'll go top to bottom...

The Mar./Apr. issue of F&SF - No, you didn't read that cover date incorrectly. I'm waaaaay behind on my SF magazine reading - there are 3 more issues of F&SF and 7 (!) of Asimov's still socked away in a drawer (well, the drawer isn't big enough to hold them all, so some are shifted to the bookshelves behind me) after this one. On the plus side, I've read over 120 pages of this issue since last night and will read more after this post is completed.

English Victorian Poetry - We're spending two days on poems from this anthology between novels in my English class. We covered Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Matthew Arnold on Wednesday and will discuss Alfred, Lord Tennyson on Monday.

The Woman in White - This novel by Wilkie Collins is next up after the poetry. It's the longest novel we've read in class so far and I'll need to knock out large chunks in a short amount of time. I'd heard of Collins before this but not the book and I'm eager to check it out. Strangely, it also got a mention in Bob Dylan in America.

Masked - This is an anthology of super-hero prose stories edited by Lou Anders, who usually puts these sorts of things together very well. I've read the first four stories so far but that was a while ago. It's not that I've lost interest - I just need to carve out some more time.

Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk - I was a fan of David Sedaris's essays in The New Yorker back when I was a subscriber and this small book of short stories seemed like a good way to check in with him again. The title alone, you know?

The Last Run - This is the third (and final?) Tara Chace novel from Greg Rucka, a series that started as the comic Queen & Country. You know, I'm still not sure I own all those trades (a quick check reveals I didn't get the final one of the main series or a couple of the offshoots). Anyway, the last novel came out in 2005, so it's been a while.

Chew Vol. 2 - This collects issues #6-10 of the ongoing series about cibopathic Tony Chu. It's an odd premise and a great book.

Fantastic Four - This is one of the most venerable comics in the Marvel Universe, of course. This particular collection contains the first six issues of the current run by Jonathan Hickman which has gotten pretty good reviews. The first story is a multiple worlds tale and I'm a sucker for those, so I'm interested to see Hickman's take on the team.

It'll take a while to get through these but I'm always ready to read...

Heavy Rotation #13

Here are the albums I've been listening to a lot the past couple of weeks...

Belle & Sebastian/Write About Love - This is another band I was late on. I did pick up The Life Pursuit a few months after it was out and really liked it...but didn't dig back into the catalog. The songs on this album got quickly stuck in my head and that was just fine with me. I owe this one a more in-depth review and I owe it to myself to start grabbing their earlier work.

Bob Dylan/Blonde on Blonde - I pulled this out because there was a section on its making in Bob Dylan in America and kept listening because it's Blonde on Blonde. Don't know that I ever noticed the awesome drumrolls in "Sooner or Later (One of Us Must Know)" before. Gotta love the Robbie Robertson guitar on "Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat" too.

Ben Kweller/Ben Kweller - I pulled this out to play for the teacher I'm working with this year - she said she was into hearing new music and you don't have to invite me twice. She liked it a lot and I haven't been able to stop listening to it since. This is pure power pop goodness and performed entirely by Kweller. The way he harmonizes with himself on "I Don't Know Why" is awesome and there is not a dud track to be found.

The Long Winters/Putting the Days to Bed - This is another one I tried out on Katie (the teacher), though I'd been listening to it before that. I took it on my trip to Indy to see The National at the beginning of the month but didn't listen to it then. A week or so later I did and was hooked all over again. This is literate power pop at its finest and I can't wait until the new album comes out in early 2011 (I hope).

Old 97s/The Grand Theater Volume One - I spent some time listening to Rhett Miller's recent self-titled album and the band's last one , Blame It On Gravity, in the run-up to the new album's release on Oct. 12. I had to get myself prepared, you see. Anyway, I like the new one. A lot. I'm also excited that the current plan is for The Grand Theater Volume 2 to come out in May. I need to write more in-depth about this as well.

Bob and Jane

My reading has been dominated by two books over the last two weeks or so, both of which I have now finished. One was for pleasure, the other for school. One was fiction, the other non. One was a classic, the other written about a classic songwriter. Have you used all the clues to figure them out yet? That's right - Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte and Bob Dylan in America by Sean Wilentz.

Bob Dylan in America places him as an American artist and spends a lot of time dealing with his influences and even people who may have influenced him. Early chapters deal not so much with Dylan as with Aaron Copeland and the Beat writers. It also deals with more recent projects and I had no idea people were calling him a plagiarist during that time period. Naturally, the book does talk about the music as well, including a section on Blonde on Blonde. It's a very interesting read, though I suspect someone who doesn't care for Dylan would find much of interest.

I've read a Bronte before but not Charlotte; I read Wuthering Heights multiple times in my teens and really liked the novel (maybe I should reread it now that I'm older and see what has changed). I've also read The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde, though that didn't really prepare me for Jane Eyre itself (I did flip through the Fforde after finishing the Bronte and it made me laugh now that I know the novel). I did enjoy the book and enjoyed our class discussion just as much. Jane is very headstrong and steely and though her romantic foils weren't the greatest, they still illuminated her resolve.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sunday Shuffle #201

Back to the regular old shuffle today...

1. A Bite Out Of My Bed/The New Pornographers (10)
2. Border Guards/The Rosebuds (2)
3. Wait And See/Reigning Sound (3)
4. Snake Song/Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan (7)
5. A Slow Parade/A.A. Bondy (2)
6. Hello Darlin'/The Rosebuds (1)
7. Pour Me Up Another/Amy Millan (1)
8. Time To Die/The Dodos (3)
9. River's Edge/Great Lake Swimmers (2)
10. Sonnet 46/Roman Candle (4)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sunday Shuffle #200

I have combed through the archives to pull up the dates of the other big episodes of Sunday Shuffle. Here is a quick recap:

#1 - Aug. 27, 2006
#50 - Aug. 19, 2007
#100 - July 27, 2008
#150 - Sept. 9, 2009

There have been some skipped weeks and double issues along the way but 200 is a pretty big number. This feature has been a constant for over 4 years now and is ingrained into my Sunday routine. And yes, there are long stretches where these Shuffles have been the only posts I've done...and I'm okay with that.

Enough with the talk - it's time to get to the music. I'm making today a double issue, so here's today's twenty...

1. Anonanimal/Andrew Bird (4)
2. Any Time At All/The Beatles (1)
3. Angela/Oakley Hall (3)
4. I Feel Better/Frightened Rabbit (1)
5. Kiss Yourself/Verbena (2)
6. My Punishment For Fighting/The Rosebuds (2)
7. Daisychain/Matthew Sweet (2)
8. Uncovering The Old/Dr. Dog (2)
9. Everywhere I Go/Lissie (4)
10. I'm Not There/Buffalo Tom (2)
11. Mole/The Mountain Goats (4)
12. The N.S./Sloan (1)
13. Nature's Wrath/The Budos Band (5)
14. I Will Sing You Songs/My Morning Jacket (2)
15. She Handed Me a Mirror/Elvis Costello (3)
16. Change of Time/Josh Ritter (4)
17. Shadows/Yo La Tengo (1)
18. Motion Suggests/Pavement (2)
19. Romanian Names/John Vanderslice (2)
20. Low Branches/Superchunk (4)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sunday Shuffle #199

Today is 10/10/10 and to celebrate I'm going to do what I always do and write down the first 10 songs from shuffle mode on my iTunes. 10!

1. Faust Arp/Radiohead (2)
2. Lowdown/Tom Waits (1)
3. Reach Out/Sloan (3)
4. Pride of the Yankees/Patterson Hood (3)
5. I Wanna Know Girls/Portastatic (1) - an acoustic version
6. Better Things/Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings (8)
7. Most People Are DJs/The Hold Steady (1)
8. The Lady Vanishes/White Rabbits (2)
9. Rabbit/The Essex Green (2)
10. Angela/Jarvis Cocker (3)

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Sunday Shuffle #198

I'm off to a later start than usual today because I was up late. Why? I drove down to Indy last night to see The National with my friend Trevor and some of his friends. It was a great show (more on it later) and great to finally meet Trevor face to face. It's also a football Sunday and I have stuff to do for English, so let's get to the music...

1. My World/The Thermals (2)
2. You Won't Let Me Down Again/Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan (7)
3. Who Makes Your Money/Spoon (5)
4. I Felt the Chill Before the Winter Came/Elvis Costello (2)
5. Dark as Days/Army Navy (2)
6. An Imagined Affair/Elbow (1)
7. Unison Falling Into Harmony/Great Lake Swimmers (2)
8. Runaway/The National (13) - perfect!
9. In My Younger Days/Eels (1)
10. Tuberculoids Arrive In Hop/Ted Leo & The Pharmacists (11)