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Music 2011

This was a small year for me as far as new music went. I only got 42 albums, which is most likely my lowest total in a decade or more. It's not that I didn't want new music but I just didn't pick up as much. Thanks to podcasts, though, I heard a lot of music and have a list a mile long of things to get. I also didn't listen to many albums as much as I normally would after getting them. It's not that I disliked them, per se. It was just an atypical music year for me. Even so, it's hard for me to not do a Top Ten list in this category, which means you get one...

1. Wilco/The Whole Love - Really, how could this not be my favorite album? I've liked the last 2 albums but I love this one. It has a stunning opener, a long engaging closer, and in between it's full of great songwriting and tons of John Stirratt's bass.

2. Sloan/The Double Cross - Speaking of bands I love, the tenth album by this still under-the-radar Canadian power-pop band is really really go…

Screens 2011

I thought I'd tackle TV and movies in the same post this year. As usual, I watched a ton of TV and didn't see very many movies (only 24 combined in the theater and on DVD). The latter is something I'd like to change in 2012 but we'll see. As for the former, I'm not going to stop watching TV. I love the medium so much (and still have a bunch saved between the 2 DVRs). Anyway, here are my favorites things I watched on a screen this year...

Breaking Bad - Very few shows have ever had a perfect season but Breaking Bad did just that this year in its 4th season. The story, acting, and direction came together for 13 episodes of exquisite tension. Just amazing television. I also spent the year getting caught up on previous season, having abandoned it during the 2nd season. Yes, I know what a mistake it was. I've made amends and was given the gift of this show. Only 16 more episodes left and what a ride they will be.

Parks & Recreation - This is my favorite sitcom on …

Comics 2011

I spent 2011 doing what I usually do when it comes to comics - waffling. I've been playing the singles vs. trades game for a decade now and it gets pretty tiring. I started off 2011 buying quite a few series on a regular basis before I decided to stop in late May. I then picked up one comic in July and one again in August. The big DC relaunch drew me back in September and October but I resisted in November before picking up handful this month. In all, I bought 114 single issues.

I also read 19 trades, which seems like less than usual. I did take long periods of time to get some trades read. Yet another product of the stress of my two semesters with English classes I wanted to do well in. The trades were mixtures of previously-read collected material and things that were new to me

Here's a few of my favorite comics this year, no matter the format...

Batgirl - I didn't see this one coming. Conor from iFanboy had been recommending this series, so I took a shot and discovered h…

Books 2011

This was an interesting year of reading for me. While I read 46 books this year, I feel like I really didn't read that much. 10 of those books were for my English classes - one focusing on Jane Austen and the other on British novels. I read 7 that weren't fiction, which is actually a lot for me. I also started and stopped many books this year, partly because I had to return them to the library and partly because I had a lot of "not the right book at this time" experiences. In the end, I did really like most of what I read and isn't that the goal? Here are my favorites...

The Gone-Away World by Nick Harkaway - This is my favorite novel of the year, period. It came out in 2008 and I heard about it through the Bookrageous podcast. It is inventive, full of amazing sentences, and just flat-out fantastic. It also has a big twist that I was expecting but made perfect sense. I highly recommend this novel and can't wait for Harkaway's new one, which comes out in Ma…

Podcasts 2011

I didn't listen to my first podcast until about a year ago. I'd started hitting the track at the Y over Christmas break and remembered that podcasts existed (yes, right with the times on that one..), so I thought I'd see what was out there. Having podcasts loaded onto my iPod soon became a way of life, to the point where I now have around 3 days worth of unlistened episodes to digest. Here are some of my favorites (which are also the ones I try not to fall too far behind on, though it does happen)...

1. iFanboy's Pick of the Week - I love comics, though I've kept them at arm's length off and on for a decade (another story for another time unless you've been reading my blogs over the years). Anyway, Josh, Conor, and Ron love comics too and they get together once a week to talk about the new releases. It's a way for me to keep up on what's current when I can't afford to but it's also a lot of fun. You start to learn their likes and dislikes an…

A Decade of Reading

Michael Chabon did it. He did it in 2000, at Christmas and during the week after. He did it with his fantastic novel, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay. I was never the same afterwards.

I've always been a reader and from a very early age. I devoured books. I reread favorites like The Hobbit; in fact, I read an illustrated version of that novel so much in elementary school that my copy fell apart. I read series; at one point, I had read all 60 or so Hardy Boys books that had been published by 1980 or 1981. I was a library volunteer in middle school and checked out as many books as I could. When I was in college in the early 90s, I would take a weekend to plow through a book, ignoring my homework. By the time the late 90s rolled around, I wasn't reading as much as I had. I was spending much of my free reading time devouring comics, another lifelong passion. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay changed all that.

I don't remember when I first heard about C…

Sunday Shuffle #259/260

Due to Christmas falling on a Sunday, today will be the last Sunday Shuffle of 2011. It's hard to believe that Christmas is a week away and New Year's only two. I do plan on doing a series of posts of my 2011 favorites soon but that will probably be the week after Christmas. We'll see. Meanwhile, here are today's twenty...

1. 7:30/Pernice Brothers (5)
2. Let Me Roll It/Brendan Benson (3)
3. Call on God/Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings (11)
4. At My Post/Grandaddy (3)
5. Land of the Freak/King Khan And The Shrines (3)
6. Let's Just Laugh/The Lemonheads (3)
7. Rosalie/Alejandro Escovedo (3)
8. The Mystery Zone/Spoon (9)
9. I Want To Sing That Rock And Roll/Gillian Welch (3)
10. Always on the Telephone/The Ladybug Transistor (4)
11. My Mother Was A Chinese Trapeze Artist/The Decemberists (4)
12. Paris, France/Blair (5)
13. Tiger Boy/Haley Bonar (3)
14. Wide-Eyed, Legless/Laura Veirs (11)
15. Guest Room/The National (5)
16. Cattle & The Creeping Things/The Hold Stead…

Sunday Shuffle #258

I'm not quite done with my semester, though I only have one more class to go to. I spent hours trying to come up with a thesis for The Picture of Dorian Gray. The novel has so much in it to write about but I still haven't found a way to synthesize it into something meaningful. It's a bit of a problem. While I agonize over that, however, I'll get to today's ten...

1. Crooked Roof/J Tillman (4)
2. Jr's Bag of Tricks/Warren Zanes (6)
3. Slow Down Chicago/Canasta (2)
4. Evil Urges/My Morning Jacket (6)
5. Kingdom of Spain/The Decemberists (4)
6. Whole Truth/Michael Penn (5)
7. On The Horizon/Sloan (8)
8. My Favorite Year/Destroyer (4)
9. Meet Me In The Basement/Broken Social Scene (7)
10. A Lion's Heart/The Tallest Man On Earth (7)

Sunday Shuffle #257

I'm in the home stretch of my semester. A few more papers to write, a few papers to revise, and a little reading to do. The good news is that my proposal for the 25 page paper I have to write next semester got accepted. That was a relief. Anyway, I have three papers to tinker with today and I'd like to watch the Bears as well, so let's get to today's ten...oh, and Christmas music is once again eligible!

1. Living of Love/The Avett Brothers (1)
2. Room to Rock/Matthew Sweet (5)
3. Broken Things/Reigning Sound (3)
4. Futuristic Casket/Phantogram (6)
5. Iggy And Angus/Sloan (7)
6. Cheer It On/Tokyo Police Club (3)
7. They Sleep Standing, Like Cranes/Bowery Boy Blue (2)
8. Bay of Pigs/Destroyer (5)
9. Lisa (Esopus Magazine 2005)/The Prayers & Tears of Arthur Digby Sellers (3)
10. Oh Lonesome Me (Featuring Lucinda Williams)/M. Ward (4)

Sunday Shuffle #255/256

It's time once again for the annual Sunday before Thanksgiving double issue. We will be on the road for a good portion of next Sunday, so there won't be a chance to post a new one. I'm also getting down to crunch time in my semester but it will all be over in less than four weeks. Since I have plenty to do, let's get to today's twenty...

1. Ready To Start/Arcade Fire (14)
2. A Certain Guy/Mary Weiss (4)
3. 3000 Flowers/Destroyer (4)
4. Sun Is King/Laura Veirs (5)
5. Carpetbaggers/Jenny Lewis (3)
6. These Days Nothing But Sunshine/The Clientele (3)
7. Still Your Man/Paul Burch (3)
8. Unison Falling Into Harmony/Great Lake Swimmers (3)
9. Wrecking Ball/Crooked Fingers (3)
10. Streetlights/Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit (8)
11. I am Morris Townsend (No-Fi Transmission)/The Prayers & Tears of Arthur Digby Sellers (4)
12. Coconut/Harry Nilsson (2)
13. A Glow/Okkervil River (2)
14. Counting the Scars/Centro-Matic (2)
15. Dizzy Miss Lizzy/The Beatles (6)
16. Zero Refil…

Sunday Shuffle #254

Another Sunday with lots to do. I'll get my weeks and weekends back in about 5 weeks. Anyway, here's today's ten...

1. She Wakes When She Dreams/Lucero (4)
2. This Room/The Love Language (13)
3. The Scientist/Coldplay (13)
4. Don't Carry It All/The Decemberists (11)
5. It Covers the Hillsides/Midlake (5)
6. Care of Cell 44/The Zombies (9)
7. Low Branches/Superchunk (7)
8. Lucinda/Tom Waits (3)
9. June Hymn/The Decemberists (14)
10. Forever 28/Stephen Malkmus (7)

Sunday Shuffle #253

I've got a lot of schoolwork to do today, so we're going to get right to it...

1. Fall/The Avett Brothers (5)
2. Me & My Babies/Dean & Britta (4)
3. Si No Estas Tu/Harry Nilsson (2) - Spanish version of "Without You"
4. Wucan/Black Mountain (2)
5. Wicked Wanda/Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks (5)
6. Mod Lang/Big Star (7)
7. At The Appointed Hour/Julie Ocean (3)
8. Is It True?/Reigning Sound (5)
9. Crucifixion Cruise/The Hold Steady (2)
10. Energy/Apples In Stereo (1)

Sunday Shuffle #252

So long, October...

1. Unless It's Kicks/Okkervil River (3)
2. My Lovely Jezebel/Elvis Costello (11)
3. Zero Refills/Pernice Brothers (2)
4. Slow West Vultures/The Mountain Goats (6)
5. I'll Be Yr Bird/M. Ward (2)
6. Dark Hand of Contagion/Minus 5 (3)
7. Troll Nacht/The Dodos (3)
8. Romance To The Grave/Broken Social Scene (4)
9. Sometimes I Don't Get You/Yo La Tengo (2)
10. Hot Soft Light/The Hold Steady (4)

Sunday Shuffle #251

Lots to do today and I rambled last night, so we're getting right to today's ten...

1. September's High/The Drams (3)
2. I, The Kite/Centro-Matic (5)
3. Heart To Tell/The Love Language (14)
4. Wise Men/Liam Finn (4)
5. On My Way/American Music Club (2)
6. Masterswarm/Andrew Bird (4)
7. Your Sweet Voice/Matthew Sweet (2)
8. Do It Better/Imperial Teen (4)
9. Best of Luck/Oakley Hall (3)
10. Tallahassee/The Mountain Goats (2)

Saturday Night's Alright for Blogging

I'm full from a great meal at a local Italian place (Pesto's, for those in the area/know) and watching the World Series, so I thought I'd jot a few things down between innings.

I had to give up on a book today and not because I wasn't liking it. I checked The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides out from the library last Friday; I'd even gone so far as to request it a while ago so I got first crack at   a copy. The problem, however, is that this far in the semester I don't have much time to read for pleasure and I'd only managed 47 pages in a week's time. Too many other people want to read it, which means I can't renew it, so I decided to cut my losses. I like what I've read so far and I will get back to it at some point.

I have Colson Whitehead's Zone One waiting for me at the library right now and I'm going to pick it up Monday or Tuesday. I have a better shot at finishing it because it's a shorter book and I have an upcoming four da…

Heavy Rotation #17

It's time once again to check in with what I've been listening to the most over the past few weeks...

Band of Horses/Cease To Begin - Cooler temperatures and changing leaves put me in the mood for this band and the mood stayed when the weather turned warmer again. There is a nice convergence in the epic mood-setting of this band as you are driving down a road where colorful leaves are piling up in the bright sunshine. No one is ever gonna love you more than I do, indeed.

Band of Horses/Infinite Arms - One BoH album lead to another, in this case their excellent effort from last year. This album is absolutely one of my 2010 favorites and probably is my favorite Band of Horses album at this point, which is saying something. This is such a strong batch of songs. I'm quite excited to hear they are working on the follow-up.

A.A. Bondy/When the Devil's Loose - Not quite sure why I dipped back into this album, though it's possible it's the fact I haven't yet picked up…

Sunday Shuffle #250

It's a big milestone today. To celebrate, here's a look at the other big Sunday Shuffle dates...
#1 - Aug. 27, 2006 #50 - Aug. 19, 2007 #100 - July 27, 2008 #150 - Sept. 9, 2009
#200 - Oct. 17, 2010

Five years is a lot of time doing one feature. I'd thought about stopping at 250 but you'll probably see one of these again next Sunday. Maybe another post or two before then too? Anyway, here's today's ten...

1. Beth/Rest/Bon Iver (5)
2. the most important words (ps 80:5)/The Prayers and Tears of Arthur Digby Sellers (5)
3. The Coal Hits The Fire/A.A. Bondy (6)
4. White Walls/Elk City (3)
5. Andiamo/The Twilight Singers (3)
6. A Light on a Hill/Margot and the Nuclear So & So's (5)
7. Hang Me Up to Dry/Cold War Kids (2)
8. Room to Rock/Matthew Sweet (3)
9. I Don't Know/Naked Raygun (4)
10. Navy Sheets/The Hold Steady (3)

Sunday Shuffle #249

I'm on fall break at Purdue North Central tomorrow and Tuesday, so I can watch football today without feeling 100% guilty, though I do need to get some work done. I mowed the lawn yesterday but didn't do might part of the house-cleaning, so we're going to get on with the music...

1. Birthday Boy/Drive-By Truckers (2)
2. Year Of The Tiger/St. Vincent (6)
3. Keep You Inside/Frankel (3)
4. Blood On The Knobs/Glossary (5)
5. Put Your Hands Together/Gentleman Jesse (2)
6. I Understand/Sloan (11)
7. To Live Is To Fly/Steve Earle (3)
8. Post-War/M. Ward (4)
9. Holing Out/Yuck (11)
10. Perfect Games/The Broken West (6)

Sunday Shuffle #248

Here we are at the first Sunday in October. It's chilly outside right now but is supposed to warm up a bit. That's a good thing, as I have a lot of sticks in my yard from all the wind and the grass needs to be mowed for one of the (hopefully) last times this year. I have some school work to get done and also want to catch some football, so let's get to today's ten...

1. I Want You To Know/Dinosaur Jr. (3)
2. New Low/Superchunk (12)
3. Unresponsive Ears/Army Navy (7)
4. Sad Transmission/The Raveonettes (3)
5. Passat Dream/Pavement (5)
6. Have A Heart Betty (Mark 2)/The Soft Boys (3)
7. Across The River/Alejandro Escovedo (2)
8. Satchel Paige Said/The Baseball Project (1)
9. Quality Strange/Centro-Matic (4)
10. Pleasure Is Mine/Matthew Sweet (4)

Sunday Shuffle #247

I've got work for school to do and I want to watch some football too, so let's jump right to today's ten...

1. A Slow Parade/A.A. Bondy (3)
2. Joke About Jamaica/The Hold Steady (3)
3. Suspended In Gaffa/Ra Ra Riot (2)
4. Wild Honey/U2 (3)
5. Modern Art/Art Brut (7)
6. A Bower Scene/The Decemberists (4)
7. The Lighthouse/David Byrne & Brian Eno (3)
8. Submarines Of Stockholm/A.C. Newman (2)
9. Tbtf/Broken Social Scene Presents: Kevin Drew (3)
10. The House That Dripped Blood/The Mountain Goats (4)

Sunday Shuffle #246

I've had myself good and blocked over a paper I have to write. Here's the kicker - I know what I'm writing about, I just can't seem to start. I'm going to try to suppress those feelings this morning and get it done. In the meantime, let's get to today's ten...

1. The Summer Place/Fountains of Wayne (5)
2. Cool Water/Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan (9)
3. Kiss Yourself/Verbena (5)
4. Hold On to This Coat/The Rosebuds (2)
5. Apartment Story/The National (5)
6. Cato As A Pun/Of Montreal (3)
7. #10/Velvet Crush (7)
8. Before It Gets Better/Earlimart (5)
9. Who You Are/American Music Club (2)
10. Go It Alone/Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit (6)

Cut/Snikt

As I mentioned in my last post, I read the latest George Pelecanos novel, The Cut, in just a few days last week. I think this is my third Pelecanos; the previous two I read were stand-alone novels but this one is the first is a projected series (well, at least one more is coming). The main character, Spero Lucas, is a vet of the ongoing conflict in the Middle East. Since he's been home, he's been working as an investigator, sometimes for an attorney and sometimes as a freelancer. On the freelance jobs, he takes a 40% cut of whatever it is he receives and that's how he makes his real money. He's still young and he likes his women. His brother is a high school teacher and the boys still hang out with their adoptive mother. All of this is background, of course. The main thrust of the plot deals with his being hired to retrieve a wholesale package of marijuana. Things don't go well, of course, and get complicated from there. It's a breezy read and an enjoyable one.

Leftover Magicians

While I've spent the last 3 days tearing through The Cut by George Pelecanos, I'd like to take a few minutes to talk about the previous two books I read (outside of Robinson Crusoe, which we just read in my British Novel class and about which I need to write a paper by Wednesday)...

I read Lev Grossman's The Magicians around the time it was published two years ago. In fact, I wrote a little about it here. While I liked the novel and found the ideas to be interesting, I didn't love the main character, Quentin Coldwater. That concern completely disappeared in the just-published sequel, The Magician King. King Quentin has actually matured since the events in the first book and while he isn't perfect, he was much more readable. The new novel also alternates the action in the present with chapters of Julia's story, which runs concurrent with the first book. The Magician King just felt stronger overall and it not only makes me ready for the third book in the series b…

Sunday Shuffle #245

I have 12 things on my weekend to-do list and I managed to get only 4 done yesterday, though I did start a 5th. That means I have lots of work ahead of me today. I also want to watch as much football as I can. Yeah, it's gonna be tough. On the plus side, I think I know what I'm writing my Robinson Crusoe paper on. Anyway, let's get this going...

1. I Know These Waters Well/Apex Manor (12)
2. He Brings Out The Whiskey In Me/Amy Millan (4)
3. Liza's Earworm/Tom Adamson (5)
4. Wake Up Shake Up/Blair (7)
5. Rake/Steve Earle (4)
6. Don't You Believe A Word/Sloan (3)
7. Of The Sea/A.A. Bondy (3)
8. Surf City Eastern Bloc/Arcade Fire (2)
9. A Certain Guy/Mary Weiss (3)
10. Magazines/The Hold Steady (3)

So Long, Summer!

I've owed my nephew a mix for a while now. I kept waiting for new albums to come out but that's a game you can always play. I started putting it together last night and finished this morning. I suspect I'll be doing a new one sooner than later but that's in the future. Here's the tracklist for So Long, Summer!..

1. June Hymn/The Decemberists
2. Make Some Noise/The Beastie Boys
3. Weekend/Smith Westerns
4. We Can Get Together/The Hold Steady
5. Teenage Blood/Apex Manor
6. Helplessness Blues/Fleet Foxes
7. Civilian/Wye Oak
8. Shook Down/Yuck
9. Holding on to Black Metal/My Morning Jacket
10. Unkind/Sloan
11. Wrong/Archers of Loaf
12. 50 Ways/Telekinesis
13. My Mistakes/Eleanor Friedberger
14. Kathleen/Josh Ritter
15. Everybody Needs Love/Drive-By Truckers
16. Thunderstorm/Matthew Sweet
17. Summer...It's Gone/Grandaddy
18. How Lovely All It Was/Old 97s

Sunday Shuffle #244

I'm glad it's a three-day weekend because I didn't accomplish much of anything yesterday. I have school work and house work to do, my DVR is still quite full, and I'd like to finish reading The Leftovers as well. Better get started with today's ten then, eh?

1. Mistaken For Strangers/The National (3)
2. Awkward Kisser/Telekinesis (7)
3. Ballad of Vitaly/The Delta Spirit (11)
4. I'm All Fucked On Beer/Admiral Radley (4)
5. Take My Love With You/Eli "Paperboy" Reed And The True Loves (6)
6. Reppirt Yad/The Budos Band (7)
7. Die Die Die/The Avett Brothers (2)
8. Sweetest Kill/Broken Social Scene (5)
9. Blake's View/M. Ward (3)
10. Torch Song/The Walkmen (8)

Sunday Shuffle #243

I've made it through the first week of school and college, though I'm still trying to figure out the balance between exercise and homework and needed downtime and so on. In the meantime, let's get to today's ten...
1. Burden of Tomorrow/The Tallest Man On Earth (7) 2. The Decibels and the Little Pills/American Music Club (2) 3. Cocoon/The Decemberists (3) 4. Why Modern Radio is A-OK/Roman Candle (4) 5. Can You Tell/Ra Ra Riot (2) 6. Skip Steps 1 & 3/Superchunk (12) 7. Meet Me In The Basement/Broken Social Scene (6) 8. Eyes on the Prize/M. Ward (1) 9. Candy Cigarettes/Portastatic (6) 10. The Slide Song/The Afghan Whigs (14)

Sunday Shuffle #242

It's my last day of summer. I have to report to work at 7:30 tomorrow morning for a 4 hour meeting and my first college class is at 5:30 tomorrow evening. I'm not ready but that doesn't mean I'm going to phone it in. I want to have a really good fall semester. So, let's see what ten songs send me off into fall...
1. Another New World/Josh Ritter (8) 2. Tuberculoids Arrive In Hop/Ted Leo & The Pharmacists (13) 3. Go By/Elliott Smith (1) 4. Fire In Your Belly/Liam Finn (4) 5. Somewhere on a Roadside/Warren Zanes (4) 6. What Did I Ever?/Tom Adamson (4) 7. Estate Sale Sign/The Mountain Goats (7) 8. Shake And Pop/Nick Lowe (2) 9. Queens Will Pay/Black Mountain (3) 10. Rosemarie/Superchunk (15)

The Other Side of Summer

I posted my plans for my "Summer of Books" back on June 1, when I still had a week or so left of working at school and had not yet started teaching swimming lessons for hours at a time. Today is Aug. 15, when it's about a week until school starts again and I finished up my swimming lesson schedule a few days back. In the meantime, all I've posted has been Sunday Shuffles and a lone Heavy Rotation. That's doesn't mean I haven't been reading, though. I've actually read 14 books since that post 2 1/2 months ago. Even if I don't get around to writing about them, I would like to note them for posterity...
The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi The Illumination by Kevin Brockmeier State of Wonder by Ann Patchett The Borrower by Rebecca Makkai Zombie Spaceship Wasteland by Patton Oswalt The Dewey Decimal System by Nathan Larson The Great Frustration by Seth Fried The Astral by Kate Christensen The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin Ru…

Sunday Shuffle #241

It's already the middle of August, which seems unreal. My wife starts back to school tomorrow, so her summer is over. I still have a week yet and am done with teaching swimming lessons, which means I don't have to punch any kind of clock. I'm quite happy about that. I do, however, have things to get done. If I'm going to do any posts other than Sunday Shuffles, this would be the week. We'll see. Anyway, let's do today's ten...
1. Slow West Vultures/The Mountain Goats (5) 2. Saving My Ticket/Superchunk (10) 3. Rapture (Sweet Rapture)/A.A. Bondy (4) 4. Paradise Blues/Eels (5) 5. Funny Little Frog/Belle and Sebastian (4) 6. The Sun Is Still Sunny/Dean & Britta (2) 7. Soft Fruit/Portastatic (5) 8. Ticket Machine/Frankel (2) 9. Avalon or Someone Very Similar/Yo La Tengo (2) 10. Raining in Darling (Cold Rock. Dull Grass)/The Prayers and Tears of Arthur Digby Sellers (3)

Sunday Shuffle #240

I'm heading into the last week of being in the pool and all sorts of school (work and college) is coming up behind it, so I need to start focusing on what needs to get done. To that end, I'm up a little earlier than usual for a summer Sunday and ready to get to today's ten...
1. Revelator/Gillian Welch (2) 2. Rain/Bishop Allen (2) 3. When You Were Doing Cocaine/East River Pipe (4) 4. Galaxy of the Lost/Lightspeed Champion (2) 5. Casanova, Baby!/The Gaslight Anthem (3) 6. Try/Michael Penn (2) 7. The Beginning Of The End/The Twilight Singers (4) 8. Notion/Kings Of Leon (3) 9. Gypsy Rose/Ben Kweller (3) 10. Better Times Are Coming Our Way/Cracker (3)

Sunday Shuffle #239

The only guarantee I'm making today is that there are ten songs coming at ya...
1. Outro (AKA: I'm a Fool to Want You)/M. Ward (5) 2. The Garden at Night/The Clientele (1) 3. 16, Maybe Less/Iron and Wine/Calexico (5) 4. Jr's Bag of Tricks/Warren Zanes (5) 5. Snakes in the Grass/The Essex Green (4) 6. I Could See the Dude/Spoon (2) 7. I Should Have Known Better/Yo La Tengo (2) 8. Fool the Moon/Warren Zanes (4) 9. A Bower Scene/The Decemberists (3) 10. With Strangers/Little Joy (2)

Sunday Shuffle #238

There will be more posts this week. Guaranteed. In the meantime, let's see what pops up today...
1. You're In My Eyes (Discosong)/Jarvis Cocker (4) 2. Circuital/My Morning Jacket (6) 3. Mason Jar/The Morning Benders (11) 4. Time of the Season/The Zombies (9) 5. Everything/Imperial Teen (2) 6. The Next Messiah/Jenny Lewis (3) 7. Flames Are Coming Back/East River Pipe (6) 8. Pueblo/Pavement (3) 9. Power Supply/Portastatic (1) 10. Cattle & The Creeping Things/The Hold Steady (4)

Sunday Shuffle #237

Today is my 18th anniversary and to celebrate I'm going to go to 18 songs today. Why not?
1. A Valley Son (Sparing)/Grandaddy (4) 2. Baby That's Not All/Josh Ritter (7) 3. Untitled Instrumental/My Morning Jacket (1) 4. Always Something/Higgins (5) 5. My Curse/The Afghan Whigs (9) 6. Two States/Pavement (3) 7. My Old Ways/Dr. Dog (5) 8. The Twist/Frightened Rabbit (4) 9. Live Fast Die Strong/King Khan And The Shrines (2) 10. The Thread/Admiral Radley (4) 11. Sweet Potato/Imperial Teen (2) 12. I Would Rather Sacrifice You/The Minus 5 (3) 13. Don't Touch Anything/Robert Forster (1) 14. I Never Want To Go Home/The Whigs (3) 15. Stevie Nix/The Hold Steady (2) 16. Dynamite Steps/The Twilight Singers (4) 17. Paradise Blues/Eels (3) 18. Certain Songs/The Hold Steady (2)

Sunday Shuffle #236

My first attempt at this went awry, so I've shut down iTunes and will restart it so I can get the first ten songs it gives me in shuffle mode. I know I could go back and recreate but it doesn't feel quite right. Yes, I'm weird.
1. All Of My Days And All Of My Days Off/A.C. Newman (1) 2. True Or False/Bishop Allen (3) 3. Up Around the Bend/Creedence Clearwater Revival (1) 4. Cajun Country/Hoodoo Gurus (3) 5. The Next Messiah/Jenny Lewis (2) 6. See You Later/Elliott Smith (3) 7. All The Same/The Smithereens (7) 8. You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb/Spoon (3) 9. Ragged Wood/Fleet Foxes (2) 10. Stolen Earrings/Two Hours Traffic (2)

Sunday Shuffle #234/235

It's a double issue day because we will be out of town next weekend for our first summer vacation in a number of years. I'm looking forward to it. I'm also looking forward to what will pop up on today's twenty...
1. Suck/Yuck (11) 2. Linda Blair Was Born Innocent/The Mountain Goats (5) 3. All the Negatives Have Been Destroyed/Spoon (2) 4. Terrible Love/The National (15) 5. Senselessly/South San Gabriel (2) 6. Red Hill Mining Town/U2 (1) 7. Van Occupanther/Midlake (1) 8. Father To A Sister Of Thought/Pavement (3) 9. The Autopsy Garland/The Mountain Goats (6) 10. Metal Guru/T. Rex (4) 11. Demons Are Real/Guided By Voices (5) 12. Even Heroes Have To Die/Ted Leo & The Pharmacists (13) 13. Little Honda/Yo La Tengo (1) 14. Walkin Blue/Sonic Youth (2) 15. Angel, Won't You Call Me?/The Decemberists (6) 16. Anyone's Ghost/The National (15) 17. You Like Me Too Much/The Beatles (3) 18. Taillights Fade/Buffalo Tom (7) 19. The Weakest Part/Yo La Tengo (2) 20. To Save Me/M. Ward (2)

Sunday Shuffle #233

Happy Father's Day to all who fit the bill. I plan on spending my day reading, watching baseball, and maybe getting to the list of blog post ideas I made the other day. We'll see. Anyway, here are today's ten...
1. Broke Me Up/Broken Social Scene Presents: Kevin Drew (2) 2. Debonair/The Afghan Whigs (7) 3. Stealing Tomorrow/Great Lake Swimmers (1) 4. Have To Explode/The Mountain Goats (3) 5. Mountains of Your Head/Buffalo Tom (8) 6. Saving My Ticket/Superchunk (8) 7. My Only Offer/Mates of State (2) 8. Here Before/Lissie (5) 9. Seventy-Four, Seventy-Five/Shearwater (2) 10. Getting Down/The Kills (2)

Sunday Shuffle #232

I'm getting a little later start than usual this morning but that's okay because it's summer vacation. I do have to get in the pool to teach swimming lessons during the day this week and for the next eight after but that's doable. My goals for today are to finish reading The Illumination and Daytripper, as well as watching Game 6 of the NBA Finals (Go Mavs!). For now, of course, we'll get to today's ten...
1. I Don't Know Anything/Hoodoo Gurus (2) 2. There Will Be No Divorce/The Mountain Goats (3) 3. Apology Song/The Decemberists (3) 4. The Death Of Big Ed Delahanty/The Baseball Project (1) 5. In The Mouth A Desert/Pavement (2) 6. There He Is/Higgins (5) 7. Motel Bambi/Luna (2) 8. It Ain't Easy/Robert Forster (2) 9. Kingdom of Love/The Soft Boys (3) 10. Picture, Picture/Harvey Danger (3)


Heavy Rotation #16

My music consumption has been a bit scattered over the past month plus but there are still some albums that I've played more than the rest...
The Beatles/Please Please Me - Last year I set out to listen to and write about every Beatles album after I got the big stereo remastered box set for Christmas. I managed to write about the first two and then stopped. I recently thought about picking up that project again and started at the beginning of the catalog once again. I wrote about this album here but I'd also like to mention John's vocals on "Anna (Go To Him)" and reiterate my love for "Twist and Shout," especially the four-part "ah"s. Hard to believe it's almost 50 years old.
Fleet Foxes/Helplessness Blues - I really liked the first album and not just for the gorgeous harmonies. This album feels more intimate and more expansive at the same time. The title track is the star of the show for me but I also love "Someone You'd Admire&quo…

Sunday Shuffle #231

Summer has arrived but school is not out yet - my son and I have four days to go this week, though my wife is already done. I also will be back in the water teaching swimming at the Y as of tomorrow. Endings and beginnings, as usual. Anyway, let's get to today's ten...
1. Chester the Molester/Sloan (7) 2. Walmart Parking Lot/Clem Snide (16) 3. Someone You'd Admire/Fleet Foxes (6) 4. Brinx Job/Pavement (1) 5. Worst Trip/Dr. Dog (3) 6. Wings/Josh Ritter (5) 7. We Were Wealth/Wye Oak (7) 8. Color of Water/M. Ward (2) 9. Fire & Fast Bullets/Blitzen Trapper (2) 10. See America Right/The Mountain Goats (2)

Summer Projects

I'd like to write on a more consistent basis this summer, so I decided on two projects that would help me achieve this...
Summer of Books - I've been requesting books and putting others on a list at the public library at a pretty fair clip the last week or so. This is in addition to the books I've already downloaded to my Nook and not yet read and the couple books on my shelves I've not cracked open. Not too mention all the other books that haven't reached those levels yet. I just want to read as much as I can this summer. You might think that after a year of full-on English classes I'd want a break but you'd be wrong. I'm going to write about these books after I read them and I'm going to do some posts talking about the books I've read so far this year. My eyes are definitely bigger than my stomach but I'm going to gorge.
My Canon - When you're a English major, you often deal with the idea of a canon in literature. These are the books tha…

Sunday Shuffle #230

A rare fifth Sunday Shuffle in a month. Hope everyone is enjoying their three-day weekend...
1. Let's Spend The Day In Bed/Over The Rhine (3) 2. Chester The Molester/Sloan (6) 3. The Gentle Preservation of Children's Minds/Irving (2) 4. The Penalty/Beirut (2) 5. I Left U Cuz I Luft U/Admiral Radley (4) 6. Sukie In The Graveyard/Belle and Sebastian (3) 7. Rollers Shaw/Nick Lowe (2) 8. So Much Water/M. Ward (3) 9. Anti-Orgasm/Sonic Youth (2) 10. Have Mercy on Me/The Black Keys (3)

Sunday Shuffle #229

I'm either going to put up some long posts talking about the books and comics I've read and the music I've bought and the movies I've seen...or I'm not. We'll see. Even though I struggle with creating content, I'm still content to pull up ten songs each Sunday for my pleasure...
1. Letter From Belgium/The Mountain Goats (1) 2. Bandit Queen (w/DT)/The Decemberists (2) 3. One Big Holiday/My Morning Jacket (3) 4. The Greatest Sum (acoustic)/The Avett Brothers (2) 5. Promenade/U2 (1) 6. Ghost Under Rocks/Ra Ra Riot (2) 7. Lilac Breeze/Eels (1) 8. Cheap And Cheerful/The Kills (4) 9. Gronlandic Edit/Of Montreal (2) 10. 1 Samuel 15:23/The Mountain Goats (4)

Sunday Shuffle #228

Sloan's tenth album, The Double Cross, was released on Tuesday and this will be the first morning since then that I haven't listened to it. We'll see if something pops up in shuffle, I guess...
1. We Did It When We Were Young/The Gaslight Anthem (11) 2. Sugarcube/Yo La Tengo (4) 3. The Chorus In The Underground/Great Lake Swimmers (1) 4. She Heightened Everything/Pernice Brothers (2) 5. I Hate My Generation/Sloan (5) - not from the new album 6. Christopher's Revolt/Brendan Benson (1) 7. Everyone Here is Made of Thunder/Warren Zanes (1) 8. Here I Dreamt I Was An Architect/The Decemberists (3) 9. Same Old Drag/Apples In Stereo (2) 10. Baby on My Arm/The Broken West (3)

Sunday Shuffle #227

Happy Mother's Day to anyone out there who qualifies. I hope you have a great day. Around our house, today is the day after prom where we're really tired and don't feel like doing much, so it works out.
1. Dark Clouds/Teenage Fanclub (11) 2. Tremble And Tear/John Vanderslice (1) 3. Too Close/On My Way To Heaven/Mavis Staples (6) - 2nd week in a row! 4. Today's Undertaking/M. Ward (3) 5. If It's True/Yo La Tengo (3) 6. Punch And Judy/Elliott Smith (3) 7. Queen of Cans and Jars/Guided By Voices (3) 8. Yeah Sapphire/The Hold Steady (3) 9. So Convinced/Superchunk (8) 10. Misfits & Mistakes/Superchunk (7)

Sunday Shuffle #226

Today is the last Sunday of my semester and I have two papers to wrangle into shape, so let's jump right to the music...
1. The Figures of Art/Spoon (1) 2. Time Machine/Matthew Sweet (2) 3. Aging Faces/Losing Places/Broken Social Scene Presents: Kevin Drew (3) 4. Brother Woodrow/Closing Prayer/Afghan Whigs (7) 5. Delta Momma Blues/Steve Earle (1) 6. Perfect Games/The Broken West (3) 7. Land of the Freak/King Khan and the Shrines (2) 8. It's Only Love/The Beatles (4) 9. Too Close/On My To Heaven/Mavis Staples (5) 10. Mightiest of Guns/A.A. Bondy (4)

Heavy Rotation #15

Here's what I've been listening to the last two weeks or so...
Clem Snide/The Meat of Life - This album made was in a Heavy Rotation just over a year ago, after it first came out. A recommendation of one of their earlier albums by Stephen Thompson on Pop Culture Happy Hour sent me back to this one. These songs are literate folk pop explorations of sublime despair...or something like that. Highlights include "Walmart Parking Lot," "I Got High," and "The Great Barrier Reef."

Middle Brother/Middle Brother - This is a group featuring the leads in the bands Dawes, Delta Spirit, and Deer Tick. They each bring a set of songs to the table but collaborate on them with beautiful harmonies and great guitars. I'll have more to say when I get around to reviewing the whole album in my 2011 run-through, which I still plan to do.
The Shins/Wincing the Night Away - This is an album that makes me think of spring, in part because I think it came out in the spring o…

Sunday Shuffle #225

Happy Easter!
1. Murder in the City/The Avett Brothers (3) 2. Spying on the Spys/Portastatic (2) 3. Stockholm Syndrome/Yo La Tengo (4) 4. In a Cave/Tokyo Police Club (4) 5. You Turned My Head Around/Dean & Britta (5) 6. Island Garden Song/The Mountain Goats (4) 7. Your Weather/Dinosaur Jr. (4) 8. Insanely Jealous/The Soft Boys (1) 9. Zurich Is Stained/Pavement (2) 10. You Really Got a Hold on Me/She & Him (4)

Sunday Shuffle #224

I have a rough draft of a substantial paper due by midnight, so let's get to the music...
1. Banging Camp/The Hold Steady (2) 2. Coax Me/Sloan (1) 3. Running From The Cops/Phantogram (4) 4. Will I Belong?/Sloan (2) 5. Anonanimal/Andrew Bird (6) 6. Good Day Sunshine/The Beatles (1) 7. Kennel District/Pavement (4) 8. To The Morning/A.A. Bondy (6) 9. I Want To Tell You/The Beatles (5) 10. Postcard Blues/Verbena (2)

New Territory

I've been a sequential reader for most of my life, preferring to read only one book at a time and move to the next one. Of late, however, I've needed to go against my natural preferences in order to read books for school and also be able to keep up some pleasure reading. I've managed to do it, though with my overall yearly total taking a hit (which was and is to be expected). As of today, however, I've wandered into completely new territory...I'm reading 4 books at once.
I started A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin just about two weeks ago. It was one of the first books I bought for my Nook, having wanted to start the series for a few years and using the upcoming HBO adaptation as the final push to start it. It lingered on my electronic shelf for a few months until the HBO premiere date got even closer (as in this coming Sunday). I'm on pg. 262 of 787 on my Nook.
A few days later I started Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey. My English class this semester ha…

The Week in Comics #9

This post covers the comics that I bought the week of Mar. 9 (remember, kids, a comics week begins on Wednesday!)...
Legion of Super-Villains #1 - This titular Legion has fought the Legion of Super-Heroes a number of times over the years and with this one-shot, Paul Levitz begins to assemble to new iteration of the LSV. Saturn Queen is the driving force not only of the group but by use of her telepathic power - she is cold and cruel and calculating. We have familiar faces and new iterations of old villains plus some new ones. The big plot point is the destruction of The Rock of Eternity by the group. This will all continue in the Legion book but I like the approach of getting to know the villains in a little more detail before the inevitable conflict.
Batman Incorporated #3 - Ah, Grant Morrison does it again. After an opening that shows us a super-team we haven't seen in the past, we dive into a team-up between Batman and El Gaucho. El Gaucho doesn't want to join Batman Inc.; Ba…

Heavy Rotation #14

I haven't done one of these posts since the end of October back at the previous blog. This one covers the end of March and beginning of April only, or else it would be quite long (sorry, Built to Spill).
Buffalo Tom/Let Me Come Over - I got this from eMusic quite a while back and only listened to it a few times. I decided to dig it up and give it a listen recently and promptly wondered what had taken me so long. This is the type of music I just eat up - melodic rock with lyrics you want to listen to. This album is from 1992, which also begs the question as to why I haven't been a fan for 20 years. Still, better late than never, right? Standout songs for me include "Taillights Fade," "Stymied," and "Frozen Lake."
Drive-By Truckers/Go-Go Boots - I had a ticket to go see the DBTs in early March, which was the early stages of their tour behind this record. However, I'd been very ill the weekend before and was still having issues with my back and leg…

Forward/Back

I'm at a busy point in my semester, with two big papers looming and some reading yet to do. I'm going to feel great that first week of May, let me tell you (guess I am telling you). Setting that aside, I'm not happy with the lack of attention I've been giving the blog pretty much since I launched this version at the beginning of the year. So, I plan on putting up a post a day over the next few weeks. This posts will mostly involve me backtracking and writing about all the pop culture I've consumed in 2011. That will take a while and I should be ready for new ideas and current pop culture intake around the same time my life becomes a bit freer. Coming up this week - Tom Adamson, Jane Austen, comics, and Easy A.

Sunday Shuffle #223

It is 66 degrees at 7:45 in the morning on April 10. Crazy.
1. Horseradish Road/The Mountain Goats (1) 2. Me Around/Michael Penn (3) 3. The Stops/Elbow (2) 4. Candy Cigarettes/Portastatic (5) 5. Life 2: The Unhappy Ending/Stars (4) 6. Stutter/Yuck (4) 7. Cattle & The Creeping Things/The Hold Steady (2) 8. Victory/The Walkmen (8) 9. Ill Placed Trust/Sloan (4) 10. The Smidge/The Hold Steady (7)

Sunday Shuffle #222

It's the beginning of April already. Spring break #2 is over. I have five weeks left of my college classes and nine weeks left of school at the day job. I have a feeling it will all go fast. This past week I bought a few albums, so we'll see if they show up in today's ten...
1. Comfort/Michael Penn (3) 2. Pittsburgh/The Lemonheads (2) 3. Sick Priest Learns to Last Forever/Destroyer (2) 4. Say Hello/The Whigs (2) 5. Pulled Muscle/Superchunk (5) 6. Touch Me I'm Going To Scream Pt. 2/My Morning Jacket (5) 7. Anonanimal/Andrew Bird (5) 8. Broken Chair/Luna (3) 9. Noisemaker/Two Hours Traffic (2) 10. And It Spread/The Avett Brothers (6)

Sunday Shuffle #221

This is the last Sunday Shuffle of my 30s, as my 40th birthday is on Tuesday. I'm also on spring break from the day job but I have a paper due today and one tomorrow for college, plus some final papers looming. So, I'll stop rambling and we can get to the music...
1. Blue Beard/Band of Horses (13) 2. Time Will Tell/The Black Crowes (3) 3. Leftovers/Jarvis Cocker (2) 4. Rainy Days and Mondays/Cracker (1) 5. Agony of Lafitte/Spoon (7) 6. Good/Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit (2) 7. Wasted Hours/Arcade Fire (11) 8. I Keep Coming Back/The Afghan Whigs (9) 9. Wedding Day/Alejandro Escovedo (3) 10. Living In Debt/The Henry Clay People (6)

Sunday Shuffle #220

There will be a "Week In Comics" post in the near future and I have an idea for a long series of posts, so maybe more content in the future. For now, though, let's get to today's ten...
1. Cato As A Pun/Of Montreal (2) 2. One, Two...One/Say Hi (2) 3. I'll Write the Song, You Sing For Me/Irving (1) 4. 3000 Flowers/Destroyer (1) 5. More Stars Than There Are In Heaven/Yo La Tengo (3) 6. October/Broken Bells (5) 7. Let's Go/The Cars (1) 8. European Oils/Destroyer (2) 9. Sleep All Summer/Crooked Fingers (7) 10. Tokyo/Telekinesis (5)

Sunday Shuffle #219

I hope everyone remembered to move their clocks ahead last night, as we move into Daylight Savings Time (which lasts much longer than Standard time). Not much else to say and lots to do today, so we'll just go straight to the music...
1. Mightiest of Guns/A.A. Bondy (3) 2. My Sweet Lord/Yim Yames (5) 3. Rust/Telekinesis (5) 4. Bad/U2 (1) 5. Jr's Bag of Tricks/Warren Zanes (3) 6. Rubidoux w/Simon Vs. The Gospels/Cold War Kids (3) 7. Down By The Water/The Decemberists (7) 8. Answers & Questions/Earlimart (5) 9. Kicker of Elves/Guided By Voices (4) 10. Stormy Weather/Reigning Sound (3)

The Week in Comics #8

This was a small week for me, though I augmented it with a couple issues I picked up on sale. Next week looks to be a big one, so keeping an eye on the budget was a necessity. Still, there were good comics to be read...
Secret Six #31 - It appears I'm becoming a regular reader of this book, as this is the third issue in a row I've picked up (and the first that doesn't cross over with another title). The issue starts out on a humorous note with an ad for the team that includes King Shark's contributions being described as "biting and chewing" and a complaint about the name of the group that actually has eight members. From there things get more serious and a lot more creepy. Apparently the group got a "Get Out of Hell Free"card at some point and more than one member wants to use it. Plus, Scandal's girlfriend has a hot sauce-loving stalker. I'm going to stick around.
Superboy #4 - This has been in my file for a few weeks and I used the quiet we…

Sunday Shuffle #218

I'm on the first of two spring breaks this week. This means I have to go to work but not to classes, though I do have school work to do. My hope is that I will get a few posts up that aren't this or The Week in Comics. We'll see. For now, let's get to the music...
1. Dressy/Reigning Sound (1) 2. I've Gotta Try/Sloan (3) 3. I Want To Sing That Rock And Roll/Gillian Welch (2) 4. Rue De Lis/The Essex Green (4) 5. Bushwick Blues/Delta Spirit (12) 6. Rampage/Blair (6) 7. Touch Me I'm Going To Scream Pt. 1/My Morning Jacket (7) 8. All My Love/American Music Club (2) 9. My Pretend/Apples In Stereo (3) 10. Everybody Gets One For Free/Cracker (1)

The Week in Comics #6/7

I actually bought comics the week before last, just a couple because I wanted more money to drop into the account before I spent a lot. Instead I dropped with illness and never made it back to the comics shop. So, here are some thoughts about those...
Legion of Super-Heroes #10 - If nothing else, I like this issue for its use of the Legion Espionage Squad (in this case, Phantom Girl, Chameleon Boy, and Chameleon Girl). They are investigating the Durlan situation that this title has been involved in since its return. Throw in some smug Brainy as acting leader until Mon-El comes back, some Ultra Boy/Wildfire action, and Dawnstar coming out of her coma and you have a solid issue.
Amazing Spider-Man #654.1 - I can't remember the last time I bought an issue of this book - something that Marcos Martin drew, I think. This issue is one of the "Point One" jumping-on issues Marvel is doing this year and I'd heard Dan Slott talking about it on iFanboy's Don't Miss podcast…

Sunday Shuffle #217

February has definitely been a month to forget for me. Last weekend I caught the illness sweeping through the school and was down for the count for the whole of my four day weekend. I even had to take a day off on Thursday to try and recover. So, not posts for the last couple of weeks. I'm hopeful that March is a much better month but enough of that - let's get to some music!
1. Got To Get You Into My Life/The Beatles (4) 2. Queen of Eyes/The Soft Boys (2) 3. Stick Up For Me/Reigning Sound (2) 4. The Beginning After The End/Stars (2) 5. Summer Romance/The Redwalls (3) 6. Wild Honey/U2 (2) 7. From/Dr. Dog (3) 8. Mexican Standoff/Elbow (1) 9. Sweetest Kill/Broken Social Scene (4) 10. Teen Angel/Dean & Britta (3)

The Week in Comics #5

Even though I wasn't able to sit down long enough to write this feature last weekend, that's not the main reason it never went up. No, I actually didn't buy any new comics that week because I only left my house to go to the chiropractor. Not a great week in my life. Never mind that, though. I did buy a bunch of comics this week and I'm ready to talk about 'em...
Legion of Super-Heroes Annual #1 - This is not the first issue with this title I've ever bought - such is the cyclical nature of comics. This particular edition is notable for the fact it reunites Paul Levitz and Keith Giffen, who were the creative team that cemented my love for the Legion back in the early 80s. As for the story, it introduces the rise of a new Emerald Empress on Orando and members of the Legion naturally come into conflict with her. It is a solid story and Giffen (along with his inkers, John Dell and Scott Koblish) is in his Kirby-mode of drawing here and it looks a lot like his previou…

Sunday Shuffle #216

You might have noticed there was no Sunday Shuffle or The Week in Comics last week, the two features I've managed to stick with so far this year. The reason for their absence is that my back was uncooperative and there were days when sitting down was painful. Last Sunday was my last day to try and recover so I could actually go to work this week. It worked but I've been behind on my life and trying to play catch-up since. I hope that with this post I can start getting into a routine around here. We'll see. In the meantime, let's get to today's ten...
1. Bullets For The New-Born King/Elvis Costello (7) 2. Into The Maelstrom/The Redwalls (3) 3. Little Lou, Ugly Jack, Prophet John/Belle and Sebastian (9) 4. July Flame/Laura Veirs (4) 5. Saturday Nite/Blitzen Trapper (1) 6. Rose Parade/Elliott Smith (5) 7. Lightning Bulb/Dinosaur Jr. (2) 8. John The Baptist/The Afghan Whigs (12) 9. Pristine/Le Switch (3) 10. Give Me Time/Dawes (7)

The Week in Comics #4

I didn't buy as many books this week, though I do have a bunch still in my file at the shop. I wanted to save some bucks for new music and those $3.99 books eat the budget quickly. Still, I was happy with the few I picked up...
Action Comics #897 - Each issue of this storyline has seen Lex Luthor matching wits against another DC villain and this time around he willingly goes to Arkham Asylum to question The Joker about the black spheres. Paul Cornell does a great job writing Joker with a mixture of craziness and shrewdness and the interaction between the two is fantastic. He also uses their exchange to deepen the mystery at hand and call into question the actions of the Lois Lane robot. The tag at the end leads us to next issue's villain, Larfleeze. I'll be back.
Detective Comics #873 - This is my third week in a row reading this book and the third part of the opening storyline, "The Black Mirror." It is a satisfyingly creepy conclusion and resolves some of Dick…

Sunday Shuffle #215

Hard to believe it's the end of January already. My focus hasn't quite been what I wanted it to be starting out the year but there's still time. Today is definitely a day of getting things done. There's talk that we could get a lot of snow mid-week, so we'll see if there are any delays or cancellations. For now, let's see what pops up on iTunes today...
1. All the Wine/The National (3) 2. Even Heroes Have To Die/Ted Leo & The Pharmacists (12) 3. Wonderful Savior/Mavis Staples (5) 4. Lousy Penpal/Portastatic (1) 5. Your Head Is On Fire/Broken Bells (5) 6. Burn Last Sunday/Superchunk (10) 7. Girl/The Beatles (1) 8. Soldiers Get Strange/Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit (2) 9. Get Up Get Out/The Rosebuds (1) 10. The Perfect Space/The Avett Brothers (3)

The Week in Comics #3

I had this week's comics read by Sunday afternoon but my school work has prevented me from posting about them...until now!
Legion of Super-Heroes #9 - This issue had some of the cast split into pairs - Brainy and Cham on Durla; Timber Wolf and Tyroc protecting the UP Council; and Tellus trying to meld with a comatose Dawnstar (in a lovely painted sequence). There is nothing vital here but still plenty interesting to a fan of the Legion. Like me.
Detective Comics #872 - Second week in a row that I've read this comic, which catches me up to its current publishing special. I like how a moment in the lead story is the starting point for the back-up. Mirror House gets a bit more creepy and things get more dire for Dick (the Batman of this series). Cool updating on the old undercover Batman staple, though that leads to some of the complications. This is a book to stick with.
Knight & Squire #4 - We get more character work than British themes in this issue and it works very well. I …

Sunday Shuffle #214

I only have one thing I need to say today - Go Bears!
1. Lust/The Raveonettes (3) 2. Swedes In Stockholm (Acoustic)/Tokyo Police Club (3) 3. My Sweet Lord/Yim Yames (4) 4. Slapped Actress/The Hold Steady (3) 5. All the Time/Tom Waits (3) 6. Don't Come Back/Mary Weiss (3) 7. Frankenstein/Tokyo Police Club (11) 8. Marie Provost/Nick Lowe (2) 9. Hold Your Ipod To My Heart/Tom Adamson (3) 10. Working Part Time/The Henry Clay People (2)

The Week in Comics #2

I'm still behind the times on some books, though I am current with others. I'm trying to figure out what my pull list will consist of, so I expect a few more weeks of the same sort of mixture. I want to leave some room for flexibility as well. Anyway, here's what I read this week...
Secret Six #29 - This is the second part to a story that started in last week's Action Comics. While I was interested in how the story evolved, I was drawn in by the characters. Bane's demeanor is very menacing yet calm and I'd forgotten how much Deadshot's humor works in the hands of a good writer - and Gail Simone definitely qualifies. I've been interested in this title since its inception and maybe this crossover is the impetus I need to give it a go. We'll see.
Detective Comics #871 - This comic came out the day before Thanksgiving, I believe. and I've just now been able to get a copy. The cover is very striking and signals two things you get inside - moody art (by…