Dazed and Bemused

Drunken recollections, boring anecdotes, and obscure references

Friday, June 10, 2005

Where you been for so long

Greetings and Salutatarians! I haven't been feeling all talky-talk lately, but as always have some opinions to share.

New (to me) albums with how much I want to immediately listen to them again on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 = Can I get my money back for this?, 10 = Let me listen to that just once more before I try something else), and some comments if the spirit moves me.

Hot Hot Heat-Elevator (6)
Slickly produced and fairly boring, especially after the poppy delight of Makeup the Breakdown

Bloc Party-Silent Alarm (3)
Ugh, thankfully I previewed it before I spent any money on it

The Kaiser Chiefs-Employment (8)

Queens of the Stone Age-Lullabies to Paralyze (7)
I'm warming up to this, but it still doesn't have anywhere close to the impact on me Songs for the Deaf (still) does

Starflyer 59-Talking Voice vs. Singing Voice (6)
They've slowed things back down, after engaging my interest with last year's I am the Portugese Blues.

The Go-Betweens-Oceans Apart (8)
Just one listen so far, but I really liked what I heard

Spoon-Gimme Fiction (10)
I'm being good and listening to all the stuff (including this) I got from EMusic last night once through, but as soon as my playlist is over I'm going to listen to this for the rest of the day. My new favorite album of the year.

Not too many in this category. did see some great sets from local bands on Memorial day, notably the GEDs (who'll be opening for The Hold Steady a week from today), and The Empties, who are way too good to be 19 year old kids. Last Friday and Saturday nights I saw the amazing Neko Case, who is not only incredibly talented but has truly funny stage patter. I wish I could have afforded to follow her tour, but I console myself with the fact that I would have had to put with the horrific stylings of her opening act, Low Skies. This band has truly nothing going for it. Boring arrangements, stupid lyrics, a lead guitarist whose idea of a solo is deliberate feedback from his monitor, and annoying stage mannerisms.

Been reading a lot more lately, including some really good stuff. Only halfway through Michael Chabon's The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, but am loving every minute of it. Just read Blink, by Malcolm Gladwell, which was interesting and thought-provoking, if not quite so much as The Tipping Point. I read The Easy Hour by Leslie Stella on the recommendation of my hero, Mimi Smartypants, and it's delightful, even if it is capable of being characterized as chick-lit. Military SF is one of my guilty pleasures, and I've just read Trading in Danger and Marque and Reprisal, both by Elizabeth Moon, and March Upcountry and March to the Sea by David Weber and John Ringo. The latter two are both available from the Baen free library. When I say I like Military SF, I mean I like some of it. I can't stand a lot of the stuff that's slavishly devoted to the technical details at the expense of plot and characterization, but Moon and Weber are two of my favorites and have yet to disappoint.

Alan went to places unknown