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Showing posts from August, 2012

September's Coming Soon

I had this loose idea for a new mix on Wed. night and got it put together last night without over-thinking it too much. Bonus points if you know which song the title comes from...

1. This Summer/Superchunk
2. You Go Running/Deep Sea Diver
3. The House That Heaven Built/Japandroids
4. Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere/Neil Young
5. Teenage Dreams/Nada Surf
6. Anything We Want/Fiona Apple
7. In My Bed/The Orwells
8. My Love Is Real/Divine Fits
9. Hollywood Forever Cemetery Sings/Father John Misty
10. Hold On/Alabama Shakes
11. Me And My Shadow/M. Ward
12. Golden/Kelly Hogan
13. Simple Song/The Shins
14. Five Seconds/Twin Shadow
15. Heartbreaker/The Walkmen
16. Happy Most Of The Time/Brendan Benson
17. Mean To Me/Ben Kweller
18. Something Changed/Pulp
19. Dawned On Me/Wilco
20. Planets/Teenage Fanclub
21. Nightswimming/R.E.M.
22. September Gurls/Big Star

Four, Twice

I'm halfway through a book right now and before I got too much farther, I thought I would pause and talk about the last four books I've read plus a comic.

Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson - Alif is a computer hacker in a repressive Arab state who works for those who wish to speak their minds but stay out of jail. He is in love with a member of the royalty who tells him she is marrying another man. Life gets even more complicated from there with djinn and computer programs and trying to finally grow up. I didn't like Alif much at first but he grew on me as he grew and the book as a whole is fascinating - well-written, thoughtful, and full of cool ideas. I really dug it.

Sorry Please Thank You by Charles Yu - This is Yu's second story collection and the first since his excellent novel was published two years ago. The first story, "Standard Loneliness Package," tells the story of a man who works for a company that allows him to experience people's grief, sa…

Sunday Shuffle #295

Going to get right to today's ten...

1. A Trip Out/British Sea Power (3) - last played on 4/3/11
2. Shake The Sheets/Ted Leo & The Pharmacists (11) - last played on 9/4/11
3. Gone Daddy Gone/Violent Femmes (1) - first play since at least early 2010
4. Wrong/Archers of Loaf (9) - last played on 12/3/11
5. Love Is All I Am/Dawes (13) - last played on 3/4/12
6. Of The Sea/A.A. Bondy (4) - last played on 9/11/11
7. Brother Woodrow/Closing Prayer/The Afghan Whigs (9) - last played on 3/18/12
8. Embassy Row/Pavement (8) - last played on 1/13/12
9. Crimson/Apples In Stereo (2) - last played on 11/20/10
10. Major Label Debut/Broken Social Scene (3) - last played on 4/28/10

Sunday Shuffle #294

It's the last Sunday before the school year starts for my son and me - on Wednesday he starts his freshman year and I begin my fifth year at Central Elementary. Hard to believe. My wife has already been in school for a week and it's her 23rd year as a high school teacher already.

Speaking of numbers, she and I ran for just over 9 miles combined yesterday morning, which is just amazing. Here's a secret - we both enjoy it. Who would ever have guessed?

Okay, time to get to the number that matters most this morning - today's ten!

1. Fallin'/Paul Burch (1) - First play since iTunes was reconstructed in early 2010
2. Alpha Rats Nest/The Mountain Goats (3) - last played on 7/1/12
3. The Decibels and the Little Pills/American Music Club (3) - last played on 8/28/11
4. Say Goodnight/Dean & Britta (4) - last played on 3/13/11
5. Tape Song/The Kills (3) - last played on 10/29/10
6. Torture/King Khan and The Shrines (3) - last played on 7/8/11
7. We're Gonna Make It/Ma…

Sunday Shuffle #293

It's the home stretch for summer - my wife starts back to school tomorrow and my son and I have one more week left. The good news is I'm down to only 4 days left of being in the pool for hours every day; I like teaching swimming lessons but I'm definitely over-chlorinated at this point. One thing I can never have too much of is music, so let's get to today's ten...
1. Working Girls (Sunlight Shines)/Pernice Brothers (4) - last played on 1/13/12 2. Fuel For Fire/M. Ward (4) - last played on 6/10/12 3. Nothing Is True/Earlimart (5) - last played on 6/10/12 4. Starter/Portastatic (4) - last played on 10/9/11 5. January/Headlights (4) - last played on 8/12/11 6. Oceans In The Way/Dinosaur Jr. (12) - last played on 8/6/12 7. Windowsill/Arcade Fire (6) - last played on 8/5/12 8. Say You/Liz Phair (4) - last played on 2/19/12 9. No Way/Sonic Youth (3) - last played on 11/20/11 10. All My Banks/The Whigs (4) - last played on 7/29/12

Incoming: August 2012

I know we're already a week into August but I mention a few things I'm looking forward to this month...

Crackpot Palace by Jeffrey Ford - Ford is one of my favorite writers and his three previous story collections are all fantastic. I don't think I've read many of the stories collected here and I can't wait to sink my teeth into them. (8/14)

One Last Thing Before I Go by Jonathan Tropper - Tropper's last novel, This Is Where I Leave You, was one of my favorite books of the year back in 2010 and I have high hopes for this one as well. Tropper is funny and full of heart. (8/21)

Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend by Matthew Dicks - This novel is from the point of view of a child's imaginary friend and that concept is enough to make me want to read it. (8/21)

It Girl & The Atomics by Jamie S. Rich and Mike Norton - I was a big fan of Mike Allred's Madman Comics back in the 90s but I lost the thread with the series and its subsequent incarnations over the last d…

Sunday Shuffle #292

Today is my son's 15th birthday, so I'm going to throw in 5 more songs at no extra cost to you! Let's go...

1. Windowsill/Arcade Fire (5) - I don't want to hear the noises on TV
2. They Ran/My Morning Jacket (4) - Somebody stole my lighter
3. Old Hat/Ben Kweller (5) - Hello sweet friend of mine
4. Spazz/Stephen Malkmus (9) - Would you like to pet my rifle
5. Sidi Ifni/Cracker (4) - We walked down a long promenade
6. Odalisque/The Decemberists (4) - They've come to find you, Odalisque
7. The Underdog/Spoon (5) - Picture yourself in a living room
8. Rose Parade/Elliott Smith (7) - They asked me to come down and watch the rose parade
9. Mr. Grieves/TV On The Radio (2) - What's that floating in the water
10. Don't Come Back/Mary Weiss (6) - I've missed my chance to make you cry
11. Monster Closet/Two Hours Traffic (3) - The monster closet, that's where I stay now
12. Black Magic/Jarvis Cocker (4) - I woke up in the morning and all the bells were ringing

Prepare To Die, Hitless Wonder!

Time for another look at the books I've been reading lately. This covers the period from mid-June to this morning, when I finished the last book in bed.

Prepare To Die! by Paul Tobin - It should come as no surprise that I have a fondness for reading novels set in original super-hero universes (they call it "Genre Kryptonite" over at Book Riot). This is the story of Reaver, whose power is that he takes a year off of a person's life when he punches them. I don't think I've ever seen that as a power before, which I enjoyed. At the start of the book, Reaver is defeated by Octagon and a coalition of villains then is told to "prepare to die." He accepts but asks for two weeks to settle his affairs and is granted that respite. The novel is both his journey back home and a flashback to how he got to this point. It's an origin story and a love story and a story of what it actually means to be a hero. The character of Reaver has a tendency to reduce all th…

Doubling Up, Catching Up

I've written often about my relationship with comics and how I consume them. Back in the middle of March I  made the decision to stop buying single issues of comics again and to once again revert to trades. It was easy to do, especially having well over a dozen trades stacked up and waiting to be read (many are still waiting right now but that's beside the point).

A month ago, I decided to buy an iPad with money I received from very generous friends and relatives for my college graduation. I further decided to give digital comics a try. It turns out that I love reading comics on the iPad. Something about the glow of screen mixing with the art just works for me on a level I didn't expect. As an added bonus, reading comics digitally also solves one of my biggest problems with buying single issues - having a pile of comics around all the time. So, I am officially hooked.

When I stopped reading single issues in mid-March, I'd read 22 this year. As of last night (the end of…