Something delightful to start your week off right.
So a few months back I was meandering around Kickstarter, as one does, and happened upon a project concerned with music. Specifically, punk music. More specifically, punk music in Russia and the history thereof, as told by members of The Scene.
So I backed the project. As one does.
A few days ago, the postperson dropped off a package which included not only What About Tomorrow, but FIVE ADDITIONAL BOOKS about punk, music, samizdat, resistance, and various aspects of the scene of which I was previously completely unaware. Suffice to say, I, with my minimal punk experience and only moderate anarchist leanings, feel like something of a poseur. If, as Martin Mull posited, writing about music is like dancing about architecture, then these books are in the pit, head-butting the speakers.
The bottom two rows in the above photo are the contents of that Kickstarter package.
In the top row, on the left is a recent issue of Split Lip Magazine, to which I submitted some poetry recently, and to their credit they rejected my submission in less than three days. That’s service! On the top right is Each Darkness Inside, the new chapbook from local author Kristin Brace, which I read over the weekend and quite liked.
I haven’t had a lot of time for personal reading this past week, other than the poetry chapbook. I am 100 pages from the end of the beta read of the historical novel, and have just started a collection of essays for which I have been asked to contribute a blurb. The collection will be published later this year, at which point I will talk ALL ABOUT IT!
Work has been busy, and to keep myself focused I have been listening to a lot of music on Pandora. Pandora recently added new listening modes to their stations, in particular the “discover” and “deep cuts” lists. While at work I mostly listen to the ’80s Alternative station and have long since heard everything thereon. I explored the “deep cuts” option which I quickly realized was more for superfans of specific bands than general listening. But the “discover” option was like starting over from the beginning where everything was new and shiny. Or at least as shiny as 80s alternative music ever gets.
One of the best bits was (re)discovering The Stranglers, who I had only ever heard of through their song “Golden Brown” which was part of the Snatch soundtrack. But on Pandora I heard “Skin Deep” and O, my brothers and sisters, it was GLORIOUS. Such a beautiful, strange songs, with echoes of Van Morrison’s “All Over Now, Baby Blue” which gets me every time.
Now I bounce back and forth between the “discover” mode of the 80’s Alternative, New Wave and Pop stations, and the standard version of the Strangler’s station, and they are largely compatible, with a wide variety of truly excellent music, much from bands I had never heard of, or only knew from moments from poorly-tuned car radios in high school and college (I was kind of square back then, and on the farm there was active social pressure to not listen to anything good). Bands like Blancmange, Love and Rockets, Ultravox, The Sparks, X, XTC, and Tubeway Army. Just to name a few.
While poking around on YouTube, chasing down more Stranglers music, I happened upon a fantastic station called Bostonian Bob’s Midnight Music. At present it has well over 150 punk, noise, alternative and, uh other genres I couldn’t begin to name. And it is BRILLIANT. With a couple of exceptions I have never heard of any of the bands therein, and have only come across a single track so far which I actively disliked. Click the above link to go to the first song in the list, “Open Wire” by Melted Mirror.
So, yeah. Not much reading, but a lot of listening. And so much good stuff out there, waiting to be discovered.
- Pitchfork just posted a list of the Top 200 Albums of the 1980s. They also included a Spotify list for your listening pleasure.
- The National Book Awards longlist has just been published. Once again, I have been unreasonably snubbed simply because I have not written a book. Is that fair?
- Categorizing Types of American Religious Belief. Which is to say, cataloging how Americans believe as much as what they believe.
- For all you Twitter users out there who want Twitter as YOU want it, not as Twitter wants it, user realtwitter.com. No algorithms, no likes or follows or replies. Pure chronological order of first-level tweets.
- Here is a wonderful speech by V.E. Schwab, on doorways and gatekeepers in the world of Fantasy literature.
- A Survey of Some of the Best Science Fiction Ever Published – brief reviews of “best of” collections of authors going back to the 1920s, along with brief bios of those authors.
- August is Women in Translation month, and here is a great list of recent works by women writers, including several from some of my favorite publishers.
- Good list of Latin American alternatives for some of the books in the English-speaking canon.
- And here is an excellent list of books by Malaysian writers.
- Metafilter posted their latest thread of links and conversation concerning the ongoing pillaging of the USA by the inbred cannibals of the 1%, led by emasculated man-baby iDJiT.
- And finally, blues and soul legend Aretha Franklin passed away earlier this week. Here is a video of a second-line in the Treme district of New Orleans, honoring Aretha.
Enjoy yourselves a little Korpiklaani, y’all!
Portnoy, about whom I have written in the past, has just launched a new project: 3 Years in 3 Minutes, a music video-ish, slideshow-ish retrospective of the past three years of his life. The video is available in both low-res (27MB, embedded in the page) and hi-res(60MB, downloadable) versions. Well worth the download.
First, there is some great news! We’re-Here is apparently on it’s way back to the internet! The past five months have been long, cold and lonely.
Second, right now, at this very moment , I am listening to a truly groovy, hip cd: Filmstrip(Frame 1) , from Mush Records. This is the precursor to Ropeladder 12 , which I received as a Christmas present from the
drunkard dynamic Mr Bock . Both are full of abstract – avant – underground hiphop. NerdyCool, smart, and totally great programming music.
Third, today for lunch Alison, Michele (coworkers) and I walked downtown and ate at Twochoppers Deli, home of the TwoChopper, which is quite possibly the best sandwich in the entire world. On the way back to work we stopped at the tire swing behind Calder Plaza, which is quite possibly the best tire swing in the entire world. It can comfortably seat eight people, it weighs around two hundred pounds empty, and it is a great place to bring a date. I am not sure what kind of tire it was in its previous life; probably some kind of tractor. A big tractor.
Today’s reason why IE5 Can Tie a Pork-Chop Around Its Neck and Play With a Doberman is the following: Placing block-style elements inside a FORM tag causes the Cascade part of Cascading Style Sheets to stop cascading. So instead of referencing a TD tag as “table.content td”, it must be referenced as “form table.content tr td”. This in and of itself is not such a huge thing, but the FORM tag, which doesn’t actually exist, much like a TR tag doesn’t really exist, shouldn’t have ANY effect on the cascade or styling or space on the webpage, or anything else. And it certainly shouldn’t BREAK anything!
Dear IE5: fuggoff!
( The Spoon Song by Nicodemus and Jay B is totally happenin’)