Ursula: Moving through 2023 with Books and Music (pt 2)

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Ursula: Moving through 2023 with Books and Music (pt 2)

helmikuu 7, 12:32 am

(fish stall in a Kadıköy market)

Hello from Istanbul! I'm Ursula, 51 years old. I've been married to my husband Morgan for coming up on 12 years. We're both native Californians, but we have moved a lot beginning in 2013 due to his job as a mathematician in academia. We'll be leaving Istanbul at the end of March after living here for 2 and a half years, and moving to Germany.

In 2022, I managed to read 62 books. That's just slightly short of my hoped-for goal of 65 but you know, that's how it goes sometimes. Morgan and I also fell behind in our goal of listening to the various "best albums of 2021" lists, so we're trying to catch up there and also get into the 2022 ones. This year I'm hoping to post a little about what I'm listening to as well as what I'm reading.

helmikuu 7, 12:33 am

Some books I enjoyed in 2022:


Red Clocks - Leni Zumas
A Strangeness in My Mind - Orhan Pamuk
Miracle and Wonder - Malcolm Gladwell (audio; conversations with Paul Simon)
Sleepwalk - Dan Chaon
How High We Go in the Dark - Sequoia Nagamatsu
Minor Detail - Adania Shibli
I Saw Ramallah - Mourid Barghouti (NF)

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 20, 1:12 am

Books Read in 2023

.... January .... Ocak .... Januar ....
Pines by Blake Crouch ☆☆☆☆
The School for Good Mothers by Jessamine Chan ☆☆☆☆
New Animal by Ella Baxter ☆☆☆☆1/2
At the Edge of the Woods by Masatsugu Ono ☆☆1/2
The Golden Ass by Lucius Apuleius, translation by Robert Graves ☆☆☆☆
The White Mosque by Sofia Samatar ☆☆☆1/2

.... February .... Şubat .... Februar ....
Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner ☆☆☆☆
Kaçırılan Çocuk by Robert Louis Stevenson ☆☆☆1/2
The Italian by Shukri Mabkhout ☆☆1/2
Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia ☆☆1/2
Case Study by Graeme Macrae Burnet ☆☆☆
The Simple Art of Murder by Raymond Chandler ☆☆☆1/2
Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke by Eric LaRocca ☆☆☆

.... March .... Mart .... März ....
Our Wives under the Sea by Julia Armfield ☆☆☆☆
Patricia Wants to Cuddle by Samantha Allen ☆☆1/2
Death on Gokumon Island by Seishi Yokomizo ☆☆☆
Wayward by Blake Crouch ☆☆☆1/2
Ducks by Kate Beaton ☆☆☆☆1/2
Ghost Eaters by Clay McLeod Chapman ☆☆☆1/2

.... April .... April .... Nisan ....
Walking Practice by Dolki Min ☆☆☆
An Unlasting Home by Mai Al-Nakib
Cyclopedia Exotica by Aminder Dhaliwal
Spare by Prince Harry

.... May .... Mayıs .... Mai ....
Death Is Hard Work by Khaled Khalifa
The Teller of Secrets by Bisi Adjapon
Biography of X by Catherine Lacey

John Dies at the End by Jason Pargin

helmikuu 7, 2:53 am

Well, I'm hoping to post some stuff about our quick trip to Cologne soon. Things are kind of in disarray though because my husband is on his way back to Germany tomorrow, so we're trying to sort out a bunch of stressful things before he goes.

helmikuu 7, 7:42 am

Happy new thread, Ursula. Your thread topper reminds me of Pike's Place Market in Seattle. There was a "flying fish" stand where the workers threw the fish to each other, sometimes over the heads of the shoppers. Good luck with all the move details.

helmikuu 7, 8:09 am

>6 labfs39: I've been there and seen the flying fish! These don't fly, unfortunately (fortunately?).

helmikuu 7, 8:31 am

>7 ursula: How fun to share that memory from opposite ends of the earth. When were you there?

helmikuu 7, 10:21 am

Good luck with the move, Ursula. I hope you are OK in the aftermath of the earthquake. It sounds like a strong one.

helmikuu 7, 10:25 am

>8 labfs39: I guess the last time I was in Seattle was about ... 2006. So it's been a while. :)

>9 BLBera: I'm fine; there is no aftermath to the quake in Istanbul, aside from mood and people collecting donations. We are quite far away.

helmikuu 7, 10:31 am

Kaçırılan Çocuk by Robert Louis Stevenson

I finished my first book in Turkish (ironic, but there were reasons it took so long to happen). It's a (n abridged) translation of Kidnapped.

I have some other books on deck in Turkish, hoping I can finish another one in the next month.

First lines: Benim hikâyem 1751 yılında başladı. Haziran ayında bir sabah erkenden evimden çıktım.

(My story begins in the year 1751. I left my home early one morning in June.)

helmikuu 7, 10:51 am

Happy new thread. Glad to hear that you weren't in the awful earthquake. Good luck with your move :-)

helmikuu 7, 11:08 am

>12 Nickelini: I’m glad too, the destruction of those two earthquakes combined is insane. Unfortunately Istanbul would look similar (and did after the 1999 one).

Our move is still about 2 months off, not much for me to do about it. Morgan leaves tomorrow to have visa related appointments in Germany. Hopefully leaves tomorrow - it’s been snowing and windy for the last couple of days.

helmikuu 7, 11:14 am

Oh wow, snow! I don't think of Istanbul as a snowy place, especially when so many places in Europe are balmy right now.

helmikuu 7, 1:44 pm

>11 ursula:

Wow, reading in Turkish! Congrats! Something-kid; I should've stuck it out with Duolingo...

helmikuu 7, 1:55 pm

>14 Nickelini: Heh, half of what I (think I) know about Turkey is from reading Snow :)

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 8, 12:56 am

>14 Nickelini: Western Germany was not balmy the couple of days I was there this past weekend! There are some snow days every year in Istanbul. I feel like last year there were more than normal; this year it's taken a long time for the snow to appear.

>14 Nickelini: Thank you! In Italian I was ready to jump in with Se questo è un uomo as my second book (the first one was also a translated title for middle grades), but with Turkish the next one will also be for children.

kaçırmak = to kidnap
-ıl is the passive suffix
kaçırılmak = to be kidnapped
-an turns the verb into an adjective
kaçırılan = who has been kidnapped

So basically just Kidnapped Child!

Kaçırmak does actually show up in Duolingo, but in the other sense of "to miss" - like, You'll miss the bus. Otobüsü kaçıracaksın.

>16 ELiz_M: Snow is of course also set far away from Istanbul, but in the northeast.

helmikuu 8, 10:36 am

>17 ursula: I said "balmy" because my younger daughter is living in SE England and it's been sunny and 12 C, and my other daughter lives in Switzerland where she's had only a skiff of snow this winter, and Switzerland is supposed to be snowy! It's all relative ;-)

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 8, 6:01 pm

>11 ursula: How challenging have you found Turkish to learn? Also (unrelated), thoughts on Destroyer/Dan Bejar's lyrics?

helmikuu 8, 11:53 pm

>18 Nickelini: It also hovered around 12-14C here until the last week or so. It's been a very non-wintry winter.

>19 slimeboy: Turkish is ... challenging. If you have any experience with Japanese or Korean the grammar will be less of a problem, as they share a similar structure. But in general the problems are multitude coming from many languages - it's Subject Object Verb word order, it's agglutinative, it has cases, it's very context-dependent, for starters. You're going to benefit from having a good grasp of grammatical terms and ideas; otherwise it can be hard to understand what's going on. My husband is (was?) a grammarphobe, but he now understands what an indirect object is, what a gerund is, etc. I still don't know the verb tense names in English, but I understand them in Turkish.

Here's some fun with sentence construction using very few words.

Öğrenci okulda Türkçe öğreniyor. (The student is learning Turkish at school.)

Öğrenci Türkçe öğrenmek için okula gider. (The student goes to the school to learn Turkish.)

Öğrenci öğretmenden Türkçe öğrenmek için okulu tercih etti. (The student chose the school to learn Turkish from the teacher.)

Öğrencinin öğretmeni Türkçe iyi biliyor. (The student's teacher speaks Turkish well.)

Öğrenciye Türkçe öğrenmeye çalıştığını biliyorum. (I know you're trying to teach the student Turkish.)

Öğretmenlerimizin Türkçesi onlarınkinden daha iyi. (Our teachers' Turkish is better than theirs.) Really "better than their teachers'" but that sounds awkward in English.

Anyway! Destroyer. I listened to Kaputt as part of a "best of the decade" list and didn't like it at all. The lyrics were interesting, but I didn't enjoy the music. Then I listened to Have We Met and found that more to my taste. Which reminds me, I meant to revisit that one. So my experiences are limited, but the lyrics were certainly the most interesting part for me. Do you have any recommended tracks?

helmikuu 9, 2:54 pm

Congrats on reading your first book in Turkish! I though Istanbul looked far from the earthquake epicenter on the map, but it's hard to tell from just a map. I'm glad you are safe.

helmikuu 9, 11:26 pm

>21 BLBera: I didn't know exactly how far it was either, I used google maps to get the distance between here and Gaziantep. (And then at Morgan's suggestion, switched it to walking directions for a more direct route. May I never have to walk it, haha.)

helmikuu 9, 11:39 pm

In any event, here is the one sight I went to see in my time in Cologne (no complaints, I've been there before) - the Golden Chamber in the St. Ursula church.

Yep, those are bones. Human bones. And in most of those little dark openings in the wall, there is a skull wrapped in fabric. The front wall (not in this photo) spells out my name in bones! Who can say they've seen their name spelled out in human bones? Me, that's who.

helmikuu 10, 8:40 am

Wow. That's one for my bucket list (not seeing my name spelled out in bones, but the church).

helmikuu 10, 8:45 am

>23 ursula: I visited this church about 15 years ago (I studied at Cologne University) and I thought it was so, so eerie! But I have always been squeamish about things like that (mummies, bog bodies, skulls etc.)
Did you go to Cologne in relation to the move?

helmikuu 10, 9:06 am

>24 lisapeet: not seeing my name spelled out in bones

I mean, shoot for the stars!

When I was last here, in 2013, they had been renovating it and a lot of the busts and skulls were wrapped in paper and about 3/4 of the alcoves were empty. It was nice to see it all put together.

>25 MissBrangwen: In contrast, I seek out any interesting cemetery- or bone-related places.

Did you go to Cologne in relation to the move?
No, we went for a concert.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 11, 1:41 am

Weekly 5x5

The Weight of These Wings - Miranda Lambert [country] (Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums list), partial album - 1 of 2 discs done
Anthology - Muddy Waters [blues] (Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums list), partial album - 2nd half done
Sarah Vaughan at Mister Kelly's - Sarah Vaughan [jazz] (1001 Albums list)
Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde - The Pharcyde [hip hop] (Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums list)
Jazz - Queen [rock] (discography listen, in progress)

Something Else by The Kinks - The Kinks [rock] (Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums list)
Dancing Dimensions - Ural Thomas & the Pain [r&b] (2022 lists)
Norm - Andy Shauf [singer-songwriter] (new releases)
Lady in Satin - Billie Holiday [jazz] (1001 Albums list)
The "Chirping" Crickets - Buddy Holly & the Crickets [rock] (1001 Albums list)

Hanazono - Satomimagae [electronic/ambient] (2021 lists)
Dance Mania - Tito Puente [latin jazz] (1001 Albums list)
Bloodmoon: I - Converge & Chelsea Wolfe [metal] (2021 lists)
Jack Takes the Floor - Ramblin' Jack Elliott [folk] (1001 Albums list)
After the Magic - Parannoul [shoegaze/emo] (new releases)

Hot Space - Queen [rock] (discography listen, in progress)
News of the World - Queen [rock] (discography listen, in progress)
Resonate/ Desperate - State Faults [screamo] (2013 anniversary list)
Blue Weekend - Wolf Alice [indie rock] (2021 lists)
If You're Feeling Sinister - Belle & Sebastian [indie pop] (Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums list)

Caroline - Caroline [post-rock] (2022 lists)
Tresor - Gwenno [electropop] (2022 lists)
Jack in the Box - J-Hope [hip hop] (2022 lists)
Hideous Bastard - Oliver Sim [rock] (2022 lists)
Feast of Love - Pity Sex [emo] (2013 anniversary list)

******Notes on this week:
Queen discography listen continues. I hit what is probably their low point, Hot Space from 1982. It was a very low point, but honestly the albums up till then were good, so I guess everyone's entitled to a lull.

Finished the 2nd disc of the Muddy Waters album - feels unnecessary for them to have chosen something with 50 songs on it?!
Belle and Sebastian: is there anyone out there who can explain the appeal to me? I do not get it at all.
Gwenno was not at all what I was expecting. The writeup said something about psychedelic electronica or things along those lines so I was expecting very boring festival music but this was actually pretty good (also all in Welsh).
Oliver Sim was also interesting, mostly for lyrical content (very personal, about dealing with HIV for most of his life, being queer, etc).

I liked Sarah Vaughan better than Billie Holiday. The Kinks album didn't grab me aside from a couple of songs. I enjoyed the Ramblin' Jack Elliott a lot. Pity Sex was pretty good.

My favorite listen of the week: the new Parannoul album. They're Korean emo/shoegaze and although I was on the fence about their previous album I really liked this one a lot.

helmikuu 11, 10:24 am

>11 ursula: What a great book with which to start your Turkish reading. Is it a recent translation?

helmikuu 11, 4:11 pm

>27 ursula: You keep returning to Ann Arbor re: Pity Sex! Absurd. Re: >20 ursula:, would recommend Streethawk: A Seduction for lyrics and Your Blues for its approach to MIDI. The grammar overview is tricky -- the instinctive aspects seem particularly daunting. How is your German?

helmikuu 12, 12:27 am

>28 SassyLassy: Yes, looks like it was a 2019 translation. There's no way I'm reading a 19th century Turkish translation! The language was so different before the reform of 1930 even without taking into account it was written with the Arabic alphabet before that.

>29 slimeboy: Ha, I didn't realize either that they were from Ann Arbor or that that was your connection to these bands. But you know, 2013, the midwest, etc.

"Daunting" is a good word. Luckily I had learned a tiny bit of Hungarian before we went there a while back. The first look at it blew my mind, but Turkish is similar to it in grammar so I was already over the "this is impossible" phase.

Mein Deutsch ist nicht gut. I mean, I don't know anything at this point. I have a book, Duolingo (doing the courses both from English and Turkish), and some YouTube channels. Once we get there I'll take what the experience here taught me and get into a class immediately.

I'll check out your Destroyer recommendations, thanks!

helmikuu 12, 8:20 am

Also FINALLY, I'm sharing some videos from the show. They go to my iCloud, just click on the thumbnail on the page to play them. Links are valid for a month.

First up, here's Kayleigh Goldsworthy, the opener. She's awesome.

Here are a couple from LS Dunes; I couldn't decide which one to share.

Part of Permanent Rebellion, and the end of 2022, with Anthony thanking the crowd at the end.

This is the portrait of the little ghost I bought from Kayleigh making its way home. She ran out of merch in the US tour and started making these little paintings, offering 10 or so each night. She sells her own merch between the sets so she signs and dates them on the back, and it was cool to talk to her.

helmikuu 13, 8:14 am

>27 ursula: Interesting to catch up with your listening.

Unless you are a fan of Muddy Waters then the first CD of the anthology contains most of his best songs

Something Else by the Kinks is not their most consistent album, but the reason it is high in the Rolling stone list is because it has Waterloo Sunset which many think is their best song.
Better I think are later albums:
Lola Versus Powerman and the Moneygoround
Arthur or the decline and fall of the British Empire.

helmikuu 13, 11:15 pm

>32 baswood: Nice to have you stop in!

My husband is a big Kinks fan, he likes this album so I'll give it another listen eventually. Waterloo Sunset of course, and the other song that caught my ear was Lazy Old Sun. Noting the other albums you listed too.

helmikuu 13, 11:21 pm

Also, I finished my listen to Queen's discography, so here's my totally off-the-cuff, first-pass, not-much-thought-given ranking of the albums:

1. Sheer Heart Attack
2. A Night at the Opera
3. A Day at the Races
4. The Works
5. News of the World
6. Queen 2
7. Innuendo
8. Jazz
9. Queen
10. A Certain Kind of Magic
11. The Miracle
12. The Game
13. Hot Space

I didn't listen to the soundtrack to Flash Gordon (my husband didn't even know they did the soundtrack, or the theme song. The generational gap is real 💀) or the album made after Freddie died (but with his vocals).

helmikuu 15, 12:39 am

The Italian by Shukri Mabkhout

First line: No one at the cemetery that day could understand why Abdel Nasser had lashed out so violently.

Set in Tunisia during the 80s, mostly before and then a little after the 1987 coup. It's not an era or a country that I knew much about, and the main characters are student activists so it provided some insight. Abdel Nasser is a student organizer, and he has a sort of meet-cute with a fellow student, Zeina, in the middle of a scary instance of the police attacking students. They get together, both ambitious and driven at that point. She wants to be a professor; he ends up wanting to be a journalist. But things go south in their relationship at least partially because of the friction created by her relentless focus on her career.

It's impossible to talk about this without spoilers, so I'm just going to tell you that I wouldn't recommend this book, and I'm going to spoil it here because I need to think some things out. At the beginning, Abdel Nasser seems like a kind of cool guy, or at least like we're supposed to think he's a kind of cool guy - handsome, smooth, smart, fighting for a cause, driven to distraction for his love for Zeina. But then his behavior becomes appalling - his treatment of women becomes very chauvinistic and gets worse from there. Cruelty to Zeina, infidelity, bringing home diseases, stalking ... and at the very, very end, some information from his past that is maybe supposed to explain him? Redeem him? I don't think so.

And for all the talk about how women in Tunisia are fighting for their lives, for the right to exist and work and be recognized for that work, Zeina gets the treatment of "cold, unfeeling bitch" who ends up being denied her dreams anyway. And the (most important) "other woman" - well, it just seems like she gets what she deserves for daring to seek her own pleasures as well.

I walked away feeling like I wasn't sure what kind of book the author thought he was writing. There's a lot of lip service to the difficulties experienced by women, but it feels disingenuous.

Quote: One thing Abdel Nasser did not understand was Si Abdel Hamid's hatred for poetry, despite his great knowledge of it. He asked him about it once. "Poetry is a rhetorical exercise," the president responded, "whereas the novel is the mother of deep truths."

Two other small notes:

1. perhaps the extremely extended metaphor of horse and rider to describe sex sounded better in Arabic. I sure hope so.
2. when several people call a novel "sprawling" that means "needed a firmer editor".

helmikuu 18, 3:05 am

Weekly 5x5

Ella Fitzgerald Sings the George and Ira Gershwin Song Book - Ella Fitzgerald [jazz] (1001 Albums list)
Barrio Fino - Daddy Yankee [reggaeton] (Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums list)
Year of the Horse (Act Four) - Fucked Up [hardcore punk] (2021 lists)
Love in the Void - Hammock [shoegaze] (new releases)
Pool - Skee Mask [electronic] (2021 lists)

400 Degreez - Juvenile [hip hop] (Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums list)
Year of the Horse (Act Three) - Fucked Up [hardcore punk] (2021 lists)
Pedestrian Verse - Frightened Rabbit [indie] (self selection)
#1 Record - Big Star [rock] (Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums list)
City of Mirrors - Dos Santos [psychedelic rock] (2021 lists)

Waterslide, Diving Board, Ladder to the Sky - Porridge Radio [indie] (2022 lists)
Sheryl Crow - Sheryl Crow [rock] (Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums list)
The Greatest Generation - The Wonder Years [pop punk] (2013 anniversary list)
Streethawk: A Seduction - Destroyer [indie rock] (slimeboy recommendation)
Mythopoetics - Half Waif [electronic/synth pop] (2021 lists)

Moanin' in the Moonlight - Howlin' Wolf [blues] (Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums list)
Friends that Break Your Heart - James Blake [electronic] (2021 lists)
Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs - Marty Robbins [country] (1001 Albums list)
Innuendo - Queen [rock] (discography listen, complete)
Estrela Acesa - Sessa [Brazilian] (2022 lists)

For the Boats - State Lines [pop punk] (2013 anniversary list)
Jar - Superheaven [emo/grunge revival] (2013 anniversary list)
MAHAL - Toro y Moi [indie rock] (2022 lists)
Is Survived By - Touché Amoré [post-hardcore] (2013 anniversary list)
Surrealistic Pillow - Jefferson Airplane [rock] (Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums list)

******Notes on this week:
There's so much going on outside of the top 25 this week - I actually listened to about 48 albums. Morgan being gone means that I have something playing out loud through the speakers most of the day (as opposed to listening sporadically through headphones when he's here) so I listened to a lot. Anyhow -

  • I finished my discography listen of Queen with the last album, and started the next one, The Police. I wanted something quick and easy and their 5 albums that I'm already relatively familiar with fit the bill.

  • The Rolling Stone list had one of my favorite albums of all time on it this week - Big Star's #1 Record. "Thirteen" is such a perfect song.

  • Another marathon session from the 1001 Albums list with Ella Fitzgerald's 5-disc set of the Gershwin songbook. Good thing I enjoyed it!

  • I listened to the first of slimeboy's Destroyer recommendations, Streethawk: A Seduction. Definitely some interesting lyrics here, worth another listen. One that stuck with me maybe because it's evocative but I totally disagree: "No man has ever hung from the rafters of a second home" (Farrar, Strauss & Giroux (Sea of Tears)) There were others - the Clash reference in The Sublimation Hour caught my ear as well ("until this phoney Beatlemania has bitten the dust")

  • Speaking of lyrics, there were some great ones on the Wonder Years album (not surprising).
    Well, the highway won
    I'm listening to traffic reports one on one
    Coming quietly undone
    I was born to run
    Away from anything good
    An escape artist's son
    Sun-drenched pavement in my blood
    The first thing that I do when I walk in
    Is find a way out for when shit gets bad

  • Really loved the Half Waif album (I've loved all her albums and yet consistently forget to listen to her).

  • Did not enjoy the experience of having melody-less journal entries screamed at me by Touché Amoré.

Quick takes from listening not showing up there:
Soccer Mommy's 2022 album Sometimes, Forever: all the thumbs up. I've found some of her previous stuff samey-samey but this was really good.
Kimono My House by Sparks (RS list): never heard of it/them before, this was fun!
Comradely Objects - Horse Lords: weird and interesting avant garde/jazzy/mathy stuff
Cobalt Desert Oasis - Marco Shuttle: same, but for electronic

helmikuu 18, 12:14 pm

>36 ursula: If that Destroyer line sticks out to you, and you're a fan of both Fucked Up and the Replacements, have you thoughts on Titus Andronicus?

helmikuu 19, 8:58 am

Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

First line: Collecting garbage sharpens the senses.

Vampires in Mexico City, all sorts of different kinds of vampires. And what does that first line have to do with vampires? Well, it's the human protagonist Domingo speaking, and that's what he does to scrape by in the city. Then he meets Atl, who is a young female vampire on the run.

The cover is gorgeous, the ideas are good, the writing is amateurish. Her writing had definitely improved by the time she got to Mexican Gothic, which I like quite a bit.

helmikuu 19, 9:03 am

>37 slimeboy: Titus Andronicus... I've only listened to The Monitor, which I liked a lot, and The Will to Live, which I haven't yet managed to really get into. This is maybe a pattern of mine - I tend to love one album and not really move on from it for a while, which maybe contributes to me needing more time to warm up to others.

helmikuu 20, 2:25 am

>26 ursula:

I presume you've been to the crypt of the Capuchins in Rome, in the church Santa Maria Immacolata? :) Smack dab in the middle of Via Veneto (well, not IN the street...) FOUR THOUSAND friars contributed their bones for the decorations.

>35 ursula:

I read a Lebanese book like that, where it took me a while to understand the author was sending up his awful hero. Does it seem better if you assume sarcasm?

helmikuu 20, 12:53 pm

>39 ursula: The Monitor is certainly the one to stick to, but I would say the Airing of Grievances and The Most Lamentable Tragedy (particularly the first disc) have much to offer. Stickles is a good long-form interviewee, as well -- he navigates the tension between the grandeur of the pagan "rock star" ideal and the frustrated modesty of the contemporary working musician with a sensibility careening between Borscht Belt and liberal arts grad. I'm hopelessly biased on my view of them, but there's definitely great stuff there.

helmikuu 20, 6:28 pm

>27 ursula: thanks for the Parannoul recommendation, I enjoyed the album

helmikuu 21, 2:14 am

>40 LolaWalser: I have not been to that crypt. I've been to the Fontanelle Cemetery in Naples, which is pretty crazy.

It just goes on and on, essentially like that.

I did consider whether or not it was meant to be read like that. I couldn't really justify that interpretation because the women seemed to end up paying for their ambitions and/or sexuality even beyond the scope of the main character/men in general. I don't know, I could be wrong but I have definitely spent some time thinking about that possibility.

>41 slimeboy: I love hopeless biases. :) I'm intrigued, will wander down that path a bit.

>42 wandering_star: You're welcome, glad you enjoyed it!

helmikuu 22, 4:46 am

Case Study by Graeme Macrae Burnet

First line: Towards the end of 2019 I received an email from a Mr Martin Grey of Clacton-on-Sea. He had in his possession a series of notebooks written by his cousin that he thought might form the basis of an interesting book.

I'm kind of at a loss here. I was really into the first 2/3 of the book, and then not at all into the last third. As you can tell by the first line, it's a novel that purports to be made up of mostly found materials, etc. It's a similar conceit to His Bloody Project, which I also read and didn't entirely connect with. I was on the fence all the way through with that one, whereas this one had me and then lost me. But you know, it was longlisted for the Booker Prize so YMMV.

helmikuu 22, 12:46 pm

>44 ursula: No question that this was a weird one. It worked for me, very well, but I can see it as not working for others. But I also loved His Bloody Project.

helmikuu 22, 11:19 pm

>45 RidgewayGirl: Weird is generally good. I just really hated spending the last third entirely on Braithwaite, who I didn't care about at all. I was only interested in him in relation to Veronica/Rebecca.

I seem to have similar issues with focus in His Bloody Project, apparently. For me, they probably would have both made amazing novellas.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 25, 3:32 am

Weekly 5x5

Step on Step - Charles Stepney [soul] (2022 lists)
LP! - JPEGMAFIA [experimental hip hop] (2021 lists)
Love the Stranger - Friendship [indie rock] (2022 lists)
Clandestino - Manu Chao [latin] (Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums list)
The Lonesome Crowded West - Modest Mouse [indie rock] (TrebleZine 100 all-time favorite albums list)

Miriam Makeba - Miriam Makeba [African] (1001 Albums list)
Fire - The Bug [electronic] (2021 lists)
Sing the Sorrow - AFI [post-harcore/emo] (2003 anniversary list)
Joan Baez - Joan Baez [folk] (1001 Albums list)
Eli and the Thirteenth Confession - Laura Nyro [pop] (Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums list)

Ramblin' Soul - Melissa Carper [country] (2022 lists)
The Envoy - Warren Zevon [rock] (discography listen, in progress)
Jane Doe - Converge [metal] (TrebleZine 100 all-time favorite albums list)
Elvis Is Back! - Elvis Presley [rock] (1001 Albums list)
Mythopoetics - Half Waif [electronic/synth pop] (2021 lists)

Noise Between the Shades - Melting Palms [shoegaze/dream pop] (2022 twitter list)
The Genius of Ray Charles - Ray Charles [pop/r&b] (1001 Albums list)
A Date with the Everly Brothers - The Everly Brothers [pop] (1001 Albums list)
Never Before Seen, Never Again Found - Arm's Length [emo/pop punk] (favorite)
Body Prophecy - Black Magnet [industrial metal] (2022 lists)

Teeth Marks - S. G. Goodman [americana] (2022 lists)
Synchronicity - The Police [rock] (discography listen, complete)
Tomorrow - The Rave-Ups [roots rock] (2022 twitter list)
Exile on Main Street - The Tisburys [indie rock] (2022 twitter list)
Bad Luck Streak in Dancing School - Warren Zevon [rock] (discography listen, in progress)

******Notes on this week:

This week had some wild stuff! JPEGMAFIA is always an adventure, though I didn't like this album as much as I've liked some past stuff. The Bug - Fire was also a crazy futuristic, apocalyptic ride (and another case of someone who's been putting out music for an eternity that I knew nothing about). And below the level of this chart was I LIE HERE BURIED WITH MY RINGS AND MY DRESSES - Backxwash (horrorcore/experimental hip hop), which was ... certainly something. Black Magnet was Nine Inch Nails-adjacent.

I listened to the Half Waif again because I just loved it so much. The Miriam Makeba was really good. I didn't know anything about Laura Nyro, really enjoyed her voice and the album a lot. Converge was good, if you like that sort of thing.

Last week's discography project was a short one, The Police. My ranking:

1. Outlandos d'Amour (1978)
2. Synchronicity (1983)
3. Regatta de Blanc (1979)
4. Zenyatta Mondatta (1980)
5. Ghost in the Machine (1981)

I bought the record of Synchronicity when it came out, so I would have been 11. I was scandalized by boobs on the cover and also weirded out by a couple of the songs (King of Pain most notably; I just found it very unsettling).

My current discography project is Warren Zevon - I'm halfway through his 12 albums.

helmikuu 25, 5:14 am

An interesting list of music, as always plenty of variety. The police were a pop group and I found that their albums usually contained three or four good songs, but that was all.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 25, 3:02 pm

Three of those I haz: Manu Chao, Baez, Ray Charles. Possibly Miriam Makeba too but with a different cover. You should listen to the live Carnegie Hall concert with Harry Belafonte where he introduced her. (Belafonte Returns to Carnegie Hall) Crazy fun.

ETA: ignore the weirdo rating on the site. They rate practically everything abysmally.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 27, 10:38 am

The Simple Art of Murder by Raymond Chandler

An essay about mystery stories, and then 3 mystery stories. I thought the first one (Spanish Blood) was the weakest, and wrapped up with a lot of convenient shooting. (Yes, I know this is Chandler.) The last one, Pearls Are a Nuisance, was my favorite. Missing pearls, a guy who is trying to figure out what happened for his sort-of-fiancee (she was definitely his fiancee before all this started, but he immediately started drinking once he got on the case and she wasn't amused), some colorful characters to try to squeeze information out of. It was just a lot of fun.

Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke by Eric LaRocca

Another book with 3 short stories. The cover is my favorite thing about this one. Which, honestly, wouldn't even be a terrible thing because I really love this cover. In the first one, two women meet online in the early 2000s and end up in a sort of relationship that takes some disturbing turns. In the second one, a couple loses their son in a credulity-defying way and the situation devolves from there. The last one takes the concept of neighborliness and stretches it to the breaking point. They were all ... not as good as the beginnings of each story might lead you to believe. I think the first one could have developed into something, given more time. The second one was fine, but if you look at or think about any of it too long it just falls apart. The third one shouldn't exist.

helmikuu 26, 7:13 am

>48 baswood: albums usually contained three or four good songs, but that was all

I think how I feel about that depends on how long the album is and what I'm calling a "good" song. If the album is 10 songs and there are 4 that I really like, that's not such a bad batting average. If 4 of them are listenable, that's a whole different ball game.

>49 LolaWalser: I'll check out the Belafonte. The Manu Chao was fine but not that interesting for me, and I don't think I'm ever going to be a Joan Baez lover.

helmikuu 26, 5:10 pm

>51 ursula:

For Clandestino the lyrics are essential; the whole album is sadly still topical...

Baez--that debut album and the #2 (I have just the two)--were my introduction to the Child ballads and her interpretations are still my favourites. The protest songs are more mixed, as they get more diverse arrangements etc.

helmikuu 26, 8:53 pm

Thanks for your review of Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke. I saw it in my local B&N yesterday and was quite taken by the cover.

helmikuu 27, 6:06 am

>53 RidgewayGirl: I really like the title too! Seems to sum up a lot of things these days...

helmikuu 27, 8:34 am

>52 LolaWalser: I am just not really into her voice.

>53 RidgewayGirl: It is an amazing cover.

>54 wandering_star: Title is good too! And yes, I can relate to it summing up things.

helmikuu 27, 10:17 am

>50 ursula: What drew you to the LaRocca? I acquired that book after looking for more "internet lit" (which has never failed to disappoint me) and am still yet-to-read. I'm convinced more and more that I'm going to hate it, but that it might be a good one to "get the ball rolling again" after I've not been reading with great vigor for a minute. Is this just flatly not worth my time?

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 27, 12:25 pm

>27 ursula: Just catching up with your thread finally after a while away from it. Just briefly . . .

"I liked Sarah Vaughan better than Billie Holiday."

If you are speaking generally, obviously, to each his/her own. I'm the opposite, but c'est la vie. (Not a knock on Vaughan, however. I'm only saying comparatively.) Speaking specifically about Lady in Satin, though, that album was recorded very late in Holiday's life, when her singing voice had been fairly ravaged. It's a beloved album for it's poignancy, as well as for Holiday's ability to overcome her diminished voice with phrasing and subdued but powerful emotion. I could see, though, how if that were one's only experience with Holiday, it might be underwhelming. You might have a better experience with some of her earlier work. On the other hand, you might be already familiar with Holiday's whole catalogue! At any rate, apologies if I'm writing about things you already know.

Thanks for all the great reviews. Interesting reading, as always. Cheers!

helmikuu 27, 1:07 pm

>56 slimeboy: The cover! A quirk about me - I don't really read synopses, blurbs, reviews, etc. I might glance at a sentence about a book somewhere but mostly I choose based on what looks interesting (cover, title, author).

What do you mean by "internet lit" - making the rounds on the internet, written by people well-known on twitter, ... ? As for if it's worth your time or not, I feel like it depends on how you value your reading time. It's a super fast read, and I don't think anything was particularly well-written, but for me there were a couple of interesting ideas or turns. Now, none of those were borne out to satisfying conclusion, and it's possible you have higher standards for writing quality, so I can't say in good conscience that you should go ahead and read it. But I wasn't particularly mad about the time I spent.

helmikuu 28, 12:31 am

>57 rocketjk: Thanks for the info. You are absolutely not telling me things I already know. I haven't dipped a toe into jazz very deeply, I haven't found a way "in" so to speak. I've listened to a fair number of the classic albums but it hasn't done much for me. I will look into earlier Billie Holiday to hear her voice when it was at its best.

Muokkaaja: helmikuu 28, 1:37 am

I haven't talked a lot about it on this thread but the move has been really stressful and continues to be so.

Morgan's boss told him he could start there on 1 Mar and work from Istanbul for the first month ... however, HR has other ideas. So that meant that instead of coming home on 24 Feb as planned, he had to extend his stay there until 3 Mar. At the same time, the university guest house he's been in (and that we had been offered through 1 Apr) is suddenly needed for someone else and he had to vacate it by 5 AM last Sunday, so for the moment he's in a hotel.

The rest of March looks like this:
3rd: Morgan returns to Istanbul
13th: Morgan goes back to Kaiserslautern
24th: Morgan returns to Istanbul
28th: we all go to Kaiserslautern

In good news, his visa is set. He found an apartment and gets the key to it tomorrow night.

Here are the photos of the apartment from the site.
The kitchen is outfitted, which is nice (frequently you have to provide your own kitchen). There's a small balcony, as you can see in the left photo. Also, it's exciting to see the counter space and cupboards. At our apartment in Istanbul we have less counter space than what is in that left photo! We also currently have 5 drawers and 6 cupboards for everything - pots and pans, plates and glasses, silverware, and food.

The bedroom. Here, we have two bedrooms, so it's a downgrade in that sense. But he says those cupboards are really deep, so I'm excited about that. (I guess you can tell they're deep from the photo.) The cats will be happy with the ledges over the radiators.

The living area. He says it's huge. Obviously there's plenty of light, which is important to me. And that corner will be the perfect place for a cat tree. :)

There's a bathroom, obviously, but I think everyone knows what those generally look like (it's small).

And we'll save climbing up one flight of stairs - it's on the 3rd floor rather than the 4th like here (still no elevator).

helmikuu 28, 7:47 am

>60 ursula: Yikes. That does sound stressful. Perhaps the apartment will be something to look forward to? I love the floor in the living area.

maaliskuu 1, 1:07 am

>61 labfs39: It's a little weird because of course he gets to be excited about the apartment - once he gets the key he'll schedule delivery of some stuff from IKEA, get the internet scheduled, etc. For me it's just looking at pictures on websites and trying to decide which things to order. It just doesn't seem very real.

Plus things here are a little complicated because I don't have a Turkish bank card - if I want to order food or anything I have to have Morgan do it from Germany because the apps don't take foreign cards.

I also like the floors! I think it'll look really cute once we get some furniture in there.

maaliskuu 1, 1:47 am

Your new place looks great. You're a pro at this, and I expect you're going to do great! I'd love to be moving to Germany for a bit.

maaliskuu 1, 7:31 am

Looks like a lovely airy flat! Good luck with getting through all the disruption and admin - I am sure March will go quickly and you will soon be able to start the process of settling in to your new place.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 1, 12:57 pm

>58 ursula: "Internet lit" for me meaning (ordered in terms of importance): 1.) books in which the internet is a primary concern/primary venue of interaction (ex. The Sluts); 2.) books in which the communicative conventions/aesthetic influence of the internet factor heavily inspire the text (ex. Liveblog); 3.) books written by someone whose prominence derives solely from their online presence/online significance (ex. Cat Person). Tao Lin demonstrates the convergence of all three definitions.

The new place looks fantastic!

maaliskuu 1, 2:30 pm

The cats will be happy with the ledges over the radiators.


maaliskuu 1, 11:17 pm

>63 Nickelini: We are pros at moving to other countries, I guess (which just means we know some aspects of it will be disastrous no matter what). We're not pros at being apart this much.

>64 wandering_star: I hope you're right that March will go fast, although February has dragged. Even for the open space and all the windows, heating costs didn't seem bad. I think Morgan said the windows were all new.

>65 slimeboy: Ah, okay. I guess then things like No One Is Talking about This and We Had to Remove this Post would qualify as internet lit that I've read. But yeah, it's accidental, not intentional for me.

>66 LolaWalser: I was partial to the windows/light but I have to agree, it's a tie with the perching spots for the cats!

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 6, 5:45 am

Weekly 5x5

Zen Arcade - Hüsker Dü [punk] (TrebleZine 100 all-time favorite albums list)
Man on the Moon: The End of Day - Kid Cudi [hip hop] (Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums list)
VICE VERSA - Rauw Alejandro [reggaeton] (2021 lists)
Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not - Arctic Monkeys [indie rock] (TrebleZine 100 all-time favorite albums list)
Right Now, You're in the Best of Hands - Bear vs. Shark [post-hardcore] (2003 anniversary list)

Green Onions - Booker T & the MGs [r&b] (1001 Albums list)
E-MO-TION - Carly Rae Jepsen [pop] (TrebleZine 100 all-time favorite albums list)
In Keeping Secrets of Silent Earth: 3 - Coheed & Cambria [prog rock] (2003 anniversary list)
JT - James Taylor [singer-songwriter] (TrebleZine 100 all-time favorite albums list)
Southeastern - Jason Isbell [country] (Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums list)

I'm Not Sorry, I Was Just Being Me - King Hannah [indie pop] (2022 lists)
Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music - Ray Charles [country] (1001 Albums list)
Human Error / Human Delight - Savak [post-punk] (2022 twitter list)
Badmotorfinger - Soundgarden [alternative/grunge] (TrebleZine 100 all-time favorite albums list)
Burn, Piano Island, Burn - The Blood Brothers [post-hardcore] (2003 anniversary list)

The Hum Goes on Forever - The Wonder Years [pop punk] (2022 lists)
Little Earthquakes - Tori Amos [alternative/singer-songwriter] (TrebleZine 100 all-time favorite albums list)
Life'll Kill Ya - Warren Zevon [rock] (discography listen, complete)
KICK II - Arca [electronic] (2021 lists)
Dream to Make Believe - Armor for Sleep [alternative/indie] (2003 anniversary list)

Pigments - Dawn Richards & Spencer Zahn [electronic] (2022 lists)
Fever Dream - Echo Kid [indie rock] (2022 twitter list)
Melodrama - Lorde [indie pop] (Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums list)
The Gilded Palace of Sin - The Flying Burrito Brothers [country rock] (Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums list)
The Heavy Hours - The Heavy Hours [alternative rock] (new releases)

******Notes on this week:

A couple of albums from lists here are ones I'm very familiar with but I listened to them again just for the pleasure of it: The Wonder Years - The Hum Goes on Forever (one of my favorites of 2022), and Soundgarden - Badmotorfinger. In the explosion of grunge, I was definitely in the Soundgarden camp. I liked Nirvana a lot, but my heart was with Soundgarden. I got to see them in 1991 in a tiny venue touring for that album and it was amazing.

Things I hated: Hüsker Dü, Armor for Sleep, The Blood Brothers.

Coheed and Cambria too, if I'm being honest here. Their guitarist, Travis Stever, is in LS Dunes so I have previously tried to listen to some Coheed songs and just couldn't get into it. The exposure to this entire album just solidified their Not For Me status. It doesn't help that I spent a few songs trying to figure out why Claudio's voice annoys me so much, and then I got it - he sounds like Geddy Lee from Rush. Not a good association.

I disliked the Tori Amos less than when I first was exposed to it, back when it came out. I liked the Arca more than their previous album.

Again this week I listened to a lot of music so hovering below the threshold of this chart:

Wilco - something I should like on paper but in practice I couldn't finish the album.
A couple of things I had never heard of before but really liked: The Appleseed Cast - Two Conversations (from the 2003 anniversary list) and Songs: Ohia - Magnolia Electric Co. (from the TrebleZine 100 favorite albums). That second one in particular ... I was in love. And then read about the problems and death in 2013 of the guy behind it, which made me sad.

For housekeeping purposes, I've listened to the first 37 albums on the 1001 list and the bottom 46 on the RS 500.

maaliskuu 6, 2:02 am

Here is my totally off-the-cuff, possibly indefensible ranking of Warren Zevon's albums:

1. Excitable Boy (1978)
2. The Wind (2003)
3. Warren Zevon (1976)
4. The Envoy (1982)
5. Sentimental Hygiene (1987)
6. Transverse City (1989)
7. Bad Luck Streak in Dancing School (1980)
8. My Ride's Here (2001)
9. Mr. Bad Example (1991)
10. Mutineer (1995)
11. Life'll Kill Ya (2000)
12. Wanted Dead or Alive (1969)

maaliskuu 6, 5:41 am

I am not familiar with all those Warren Zevon albums, but I do like Excitable Boy.

I am also with you on Soundgarden's Badmotorfinger - I rated it as 5 out of 5

I love James Taylors voice, but with a singer/sogwriter like him its all about the quality of the songs I am not familiar with JT. Many people think his early release Sweet Baby James has not been beaten

Green Onions is a classic and the occasional guitar breaks by Steve Cropper really add grit to the songs.

maaliskuu 6, 9:30 am

>70 baswood: Excitable Boy is an album I have played over and over and over.

Cool to see the Soundgarden love!

I don't have any connection to James Taylor aside from hearing his popular songs throughout my life. I wasn't made a convert by this one, but I'm not upset I listened to it.

Yes, Green Onions was a fun listen (I knew some of it of course but I don't think I've ever listened to the entire album before).

maaliskuu 6, 11:32 am

>70 baswood: & >71 ursula: James Taylor released some very strong (to my tastes, anyway) albums in the mid-70s. "In the Pocket" and "Gorilla" I find very enjoyable.

>68 ursula: "The Gilded Palace of Sin" is considered an absolute classic of the country-rock genre. Graham Parsons, a now iconic figure, at the height of his powers and in terrific collaboration with Chris Hillman. Hope you enjoyed that one, Ursula.

maaliskuu 6, 9:45 pm

I don't envy you the move and being the one to pack things up. Been there, done that. The new apartment looks great and those ledges above the radiators are usually marble and hold the warmth. Cats will indeed approve!

maaliskuu 7, 1:18 am

>72 rocketjk: I might get around to those one day.

I honestly didn't know what The Flying Burrito Brothers was going to be (Morgan was familiar with them as a concept even if he hadn't actually listened before). But yeah, that's totally up my alley and I loved it.

>73 RidgewayGirl: I'm not really the one to pack things up. Morgan is here right now for the week, and depending on when the moving company can drop off boxes and return to pick everything up, he will probably be able to help out.

maaliskuu 7, 2:23 am

Our Wives Under the Sea by Julia Armfield

First line: The deep sea is a haunted house: a place in which things that ought not to exist move about in the darkness.

Well. A married couple, Miri and Leah, have been separated while Leah went on a deep-sea research mission. It was supposed to last a few weeks, but she was gone for five months, during which Miri received very little information from "the Centre" Leah was working for. When Leah finally returns she is distant and strange ... and different. The chapters alternate between present-day Miri dealing with the version of Leah that has returned from this mission, and Leah describing what happened under the water.

I had no idea things were going to get weird. When I started telling Morgan that the story was taking a turn into the really strange he said "that sounds like some Jeff VanderMeer shit" and yeah, that is pretty accurate. Anyway, it's about losing someone day by day, right in front of you.

It made me think a lot about how prolonged illnesses (like pregnancy) are really ripe for body horror.

There were some things that didn't entirely work for me and you have to know you're not going to get all the answers, but after the first third, I was drawn in completely.

Quote: It is a curious act of surrender, when you think about it, the act of going under. To drop below the surface is still to sink, however intentionally - a simple matter of taking on water, just as drowning only requires you to open your mouth.

maaliskuu 10, 9:51 am

Patricia Wants to Cuddle by Samantha Allen

First line: Margaret Davies scrubs and scrubs but she knows she'll just have to refinish the deck.

This was described as a lesbian sasquatch novel. It's also a sendup of The Bachelor, in fact more than it is about lesbians or sasquatch(es? I don't know the plural).

I don't even know what to say. At first the "Bachelor"-related stuff (including forum posts by fans) was kind of fun. The contestants were recognizable types, etc. But then it started to feel mean-spirited to me and I found it all a little less funny. At the 50%-60% point I went back to read a description of the book because I was wondering when the promised sasquatch was going to make a real appearance (not a blurry shadow in a photograph). And then she did and ...yeah, this did not work for me at all. I felt like it couldn't decide what it wanted to be, and I'm not sure what it was trying to say, if anything.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 11, 5:14 am

Weekly 5x5

Donuts - J Dilla [hip hop] (TrebleZine 100 all-time favorite albums list)
Anthology - Diana Ross & the Supremes [soul] (Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums list)
Bert Jansch - Bert Jansch [folk] (1001 Albums list)
A Girl Called Dusty - Dusty Springfield [pop] (1001 Albums list)
With the Beatles - The Beatles [rock] (1001 Albums list)

The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan - Bob Dylan [folk] (1001 Albums list)
Haha Sound - Broadcast [indietronica] (TrebleZine 100 all-time favorite albums list)
Love Is Yours - Flasher [indie rock] (2022 twitter list)
Night Life - Ray Price [country] (1001 Albums list)
Blue Record - Baroness [progressive metal ] (TrebleZine 100 all-time favorite albums list)

Bo Diddley - Bo Diddley [rock/blues] (Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums list)
Go Bo Diddley - Bo Diddley [rock/blues] (Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums list)
The Ugly Organ - Cursive [indie rock/emo] (2003 anniversary list)
A Mark, A Mission, A Brand, A Scar - Dashboard Confessional [emo] (2003 anniversary list)
Ram - Paul & Linda McCartney [rock] (Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums list)

Red - Taylor Swift [pop] (TrebleZine 100 all-time favorite albums list)
Silver Dreams Don't Move Me - Dominic Angelella [indie rock] (2022 twitter list)
All of This Will End in Tears - Popular Creeps [indie rock] (2022 twitter list)
Live at the Harlem Square Club, 1963 - Sam Cooke [soul] (1001 Albums list)
The Room's Too Cold - The Early November [emo] (2003 anniversary list)

Black Metal 2 - Dean Blunt [avant garde hip hop] (2021 lists)
Sick! - Earl Sweatshirt [hip hop] (2022 lists)
Killers - Iron Maiden [metal] (discography listen, in progress)
Fall in Love Not in Line - Kids on a Crime Spree [indie rock] (2022 twitter list)
Pretty Hate Machine - Nine Inch Nails [industrial rock] (Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums list)

******Notes on this week:

I'm a little annoyed with Rolling Stone in particular choosing these "anthology" type recordings. Pick a damn record, don't pick a compilation of all the records.

I liked Ray Price! I'm a sucker for some old country music, and he was a new discovery for me. Already love Taylor and Sam Cooke so it was nice to listen to those. I had heard Bert Jansch's name as someone who influenced Paul Simon and whose arrangement of "Anji" is the one Simon used, so it was interesting to hear that. Not a fan of Paul McCartney. Pretty familiar with the rest of the 1001/RS list stuff here this week.

After hemming and hawing about what discography to do next, I just went for something fun, so I'm doing Iron Maiden, from their start until Bruce Dickinson left - 9 albums.

maaliskuu 11, 5:00 pm

I think the problem with compilation albums is that the quality of some of the recording can be so poor. I am hardly ever in agreement with a best of selection.

I love those two early Bo Diddley Albums
Freewheelin Bob Dylan is of course a classic
Cursive - Ugly Organ has some good tracks
I have not liked any Paul McCartney albums.

maaliskuu 12, 4:28 am

>78 baswood: Agreed, I often have problems with their choices on a 'best of' or anthology, but more than that, I hate not choosing an actual album for inclusion on a list like this. For some really early artists I guess it can make sense but come on, choose an actual Supremes album and live with whatever great songs are not on it.

Bo Diddley 👍
Freewheelin Bob Dylan, absolutely classic
Cursive, I really liked musically, I will have to listen again to lyrics.
High five on Paul McCartney.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 13, 11:22 am

>78 baswood: & >79 ursula:

I'm with you guys on the early solo McCartney albums, not counting his first one, which I like a lot. That's the one that McCarthy and Lennon had a big fight about, because McCarthy released it while the Beatles were still, at least officially, together. Lennon wanted McCartney to wait until after Let it Be had been released, and McCartney refused. It was a sign that they had begun to move on, artistically and emotionally, from being Beatles. Anyway, the Wings albums left me cold then and they leave me cold now. But some of the albums that McCartney has released over the past couple of decades have been well received, although I have yet to delve into any of them.

I also agree on Best Of albums. They're good for parties, but not for much else. The exception would be, as you say, Ursula, some of the early groups who were known basically for their singles. For a really obscure example, I still have the Gerry and the Pacemakers Greatest Hits LP that my sister (she's four years older than I am) bought when it was first released. But MoTown albums? No. Almost every track is worthwhile, even those that never came across a radio wave, even if only to listen to the rhythm section rocking away.

Freewheelin' of course is as you've both said a classic.

I got to shake hands with Bo Diddley once in the famous New Orleans music club, Tipitina's, when I lived in New Orleans back in the 80s. He was just coming down off the stage for a break between sets. I said, "I'm going to shake that man's hand," and approached him. I said, "Hey, Bo, can I shake your hand?" He laughed and said, "Well, I'm happy to shake hands, but you'd better deal with that, first." He pointed over my shoulder. I turned around and there was my girlfriend who had just come from the bar and had a beer in each hand. So I took one, clinked bottles with her in thanks, and then turned around, beer in one hand and the other hand out. "OK," he said. "Now you're ready!" The show was terrific.

maaliskuu 12, 3:12 pm

I can't say I've really loved any of McCartney's post-Beatles albums as a whole, but I do have to put in a good word for Maybe I'm Amazed which will always make my top ten, if not top five, of all of his songs.

maaliskuu 13, 12:49 am

>80 rocketjk: Cool that you got to shake Bo Diddley's hand! Sounds like a cool interaction too.

>81 bell7: Maybe I'm Amazed is also in my top 5 McCartney songs but I don't know what else ... Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey? Band on the Run? I'm not sure I could even get to 5.

maaliskuu 13, 11:31 am

>82 ursula: This is a favorite of mine, too, and a very sweet video.


Both this and Maybe I'm Amazed are from that first solo album from 1970. Some day I'd really like to listen through all of McCartney's post-Wings albums. From 1989 forward there are around 9 releases, most of which got pretty good critical notices but none of which I've never heard.

maaliskuu 13, 12:26 pm

>82 ursula: My dad was a big Beatles fan and tended to prefer Paul's songs, so when I say my top five/ten McCartney songs, I'm counting those - Let It Be, Blackbird, I've Just Seen a Face come immediately to mind. Post-Beatles, Put It There is a good song, as are a couple on Flaming Pie (the one I'm probably most familiar with, it came out when I was a teenager).

>83 rocketjk: I didn't realize till you posted it that came after the Beatles either. Every Night is also one I like a lot, and I love how the official video basically is like a home family video.

maaliskuu 14, 2:57 am

>83 rocketjk: I'll be honest, it leaves me cold. :)

>84 bell7: My mom was the Beatlemaniac, and she was a Paul fan. (When my parents originally met, she actually told my dad her name was Pauline, haha.) Although the Beatles songs are pretty well-delineated as belonging to one or the other, I don't consider those McCartney songs just because the dynamic of a band vs. a solo project are totally different.

But in my opinion, Paul McCartney is responsible for one of the worst Christmas songs ever, so he has a lot to answer for.

maaliskuu 14, 8:06 am

Although the Beatles songs are pretty well-delineated as belonging to one or the other, I don't consider those McCartney songs just because the dynamic of a band vs. a solo project are totally different.

Yeah, that's fair. And I completely agree with you about the Christmas song. I love Lennon's, on the other hand. Funnily enough, I was just listening to a Fresh Air podcast where Questlove was picking favorite Christmas songs (yeah, I'm two and a half months behind on my podcasts) and he said that McCartney's Christmas song was his absolute favorite. I suddenly started questioning his judgment haha. That's really funny about your parents. Sounds like my dad and your mom would get along well musically. Dad still goes to every McCartney concert he can.

By the way, you inspired me to get some CDs out from the library and try something new beyond the dozen or so of my own I tend to cycle through regularly. Some I've heard before, some are by bands I only know their singles, and at least one will be completely new.

maaliskuu 14, 9:26 am

>86 bell7: Yeah haha that makes me wonder about Questlove too!

Oh it makes me happy that you've ventured into some new music! Feel free to share any thoughts on your listening.

maaliskuu 15, 9:51 am

Death on Gokumon Island by Seishi Yokomizo

First line(s): Seventeen miles south of Kasaoka, falling right on the border between Okayama, Hiroshima and Kagawa Prefectures, in the middle of the Seto Inland Sea, there's a tiny island. Measuring barely five miles in circumference, its name is Gokumon-to, meaning Hell's Gate Island.

Like most things, I ran across this on the library site randomly. I didn't realize that this author wrote something like 77 (!) mysteries featuring the same detective, Kosuke Kindaichi. This one takes place on an island and involves the main family on an island where fishing is the trade. One of the family's sons has died in World War II and the other one is missing. There's some political stuff between this main family and the "branch family", and then the murders start.

I feel like this is one of those stories where things are needlessly complex to create a difficult puzzle that only Our Detective can unravel. I didn't dislike reading it, but I'm usually not actively trying to figure things out - if I had been, maybe I would have been frustrated, I'm not sure.

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 20, 12:58 am

Weekly 5x5

X 100PRE - Bad Bunny [reggaeton] (Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums list)
Olympia 1964 - Jacques Brel [French pop] (1001 Albums list)
Siren Spine Sysex - Proc Fiskal [dance/electronic] (2021 lists)
Beauty Behind the Madness - The Weeknd [pop] (Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums list)
Elephant - The White Stripes [rock] (Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums list)

Lusitania - Fairweather [emo] (2003 anniversary list)
Midnight Train - Jorja Chalmers [electronic] (2021 lists)
Dig Me Out - Sleater-Kinney [punk] (TrebleZine 100 all-time favorite albums list)
A Hard Day's Night - The Beatles [rock] (1001 Albums list)
OUTOFBODY - Dazy [indie rock] (2022 twitter list)

Extraordinary Machine - Fiona Apple [art pop] (Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums list)
Fear of the Dark - Iron Maiden [metal] (discography listen, complete)
Dictionary of Soul - Otis Redding [soul] (Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums list)
Expert in a Dying Field - The Beths [indie rock] (2022 lists)
The Rolling Stones - The Rolling Stones [rock] (1001 Albums list)

Wet Leg - Wet Leg [indie rock] (2022 lists)
Lagoon - Bird Streets [rock] (2022 twitter list)
Bringing It All Back Home - Bob Dylan [folk] (1001 Albums list)
Africa Brasil - Jorge Ben [samba funk] (TrebleZine 100 all-time favorite albums list)
Live at the Regal - BB King [blues] (1001 Albums list)

Farm to Table - Bartees Strange [indie rock] (2022 lists)
Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps) - David Bowie [rock] (Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums list)
No Prayer for the Dying - Iron Maiden [metal] (discography listen, complete)
Agor - Koreless [electronic] (2021 lists)
Forest of Your Problems - Snapped Ankles [post-punk/electronica] (2021 lists)

******Notes on this week:
I finished my discography listen of the 9 Iron Maiden albums I chose to do. It was entertaining to revisit those albums, I haven't listened to them in a really long time. Not sure what my next discography will be; I'm at loose ends again.

On the 1001/Rolling Stone lists, some albums I'm familiar with: Bad Bunny, White Stripes, Beatles, Dylan, Bowie.

The White Stripes are one of my great concert disappointments - I had tickets to see them in 2007 when they called off their tour in the middle because of Meg's anxiety issues. I was absolutely gutted.

A couple of experiences with albums I've heard before and thought I hated but found them much better on relistening: Dig Me Out - Sleater-Kinney and Extraordinary Machine - Fiona Apple. Morgan had the same experience with the Sleater-Kinney, which made me laugh. I guess he saw them touring for this album and didn't like them any better for having seen them live, haha.

Beneath the surface: a couple more albums I love were on lists: Infinite Granite - Deafheaven (2021 lists) and So - Peter Gabriel (TrebleZine 100 all-time favorite albums list). Also on the TrebleZine list was Spirit of Eden - Talk Talk. I didn't know anything about the band besides "It's My Life", so this experimental album was a surprise for me!

maaliskuu 19, 6:38 pm

A couple more classic albums on your list this week:
The Beatles - Hard days night
Dylan - Bringing it all back home which starts with the incredible Subterranean Homesick blues which contains the immortal lines:
"Don't follow leaders
Watch the parking meters"
The majority of the lyrics in Its alright Ma I'm only Bleeding are also great.

I like Bowie's Scary Monsters, but that early Rolling stones album is just a mess. It sounds to me that they were trying to prove they couldn't play, Jaggers vocals hold up Ok though.

I really rate Sleater-Kinney's Dig me out
Jorge Ben is usually worth a listen, but I have not heard Africa Brasil.
Shame about you not getting to see White Stripes. I haven't played Elephant in a long time.

maaliskuu 20, 12:30 am

>90 baswood: "The majority of the lyrics in Its alright Ma I'm only Bleeding are also great."

That's putting it mildly, in my book. These two verses in particular have always knocked me out:

While them that defend what they cannot see
With a killer’s pride, security
It blows the minds most bitterly
For them that think death’s honesty
Won’t fall upon them naturally
Life sometimes must get lonely

My eyes collide head-on with stuffed
Graveyards, false gods, I scuff
At pettiness which plays so rough
Walk upside-down inside handcuffs
Kick my legs to crash it off
Say okay, I have had enough
what else can you show me?

maaliskuu 20, 2:11 am

>90 baswood: Yeah, you can pick out a lot of great Dylan lyrics there, definitely.

I was not into that Rolling Stones album either.

Neither Morgan nor I could figure out why we didn't like Sleater-Kinney at the time, funny to have taken this long to like it.
Super enjoyed the Jorge Ben, excellent music for dancing around the house getting things done!

>91 rocketjk: Nobel worthy? ;)

maaliskuu 20, 12:03 pm

>92 ursula: "Nobel worthy? ;)"

In my opinion, yes.

maaliskuu 22, 1:33 am

>93 rocketjk: Cool. For me, lyrics aren't the same thing as poetry. Not saying they're worse or better, just different.

maaliskuu 22, 8:38 am

Wayward by Blake Crouch

First line: Mustin had been watching the creature through the Schmidt & Bender telescopic sight for the better part of an hour.

The second book in the Wayward Pines series, after Pines. Pretty much everything I could say about the plot of this book reveals things about the first one that it would be more fun to discover on your own, so I'll just say that this was pretty fun. My husband said he felt like there was less narrative tension in this one because some reveals had been revealed in the first book, but for me I felt like there was a different source for it. The reading experience reminds me a lot of reading The Martian or The Girl with All the Gifts; things that you know will be turned into something in a visual medium because the reading experience already feels like something cinematic. (The book series was turned into a short-lived tv series.)

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 25, 3:02 am

Weekly 5x5

All Eyez on Me - 2Pac [rap] (Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums list)
Three Dimensions Deep - Amber Mark [r&b] (2022 lists)
Parklife - Blur [Britpop] (Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums list)
Nothing to Declare - 700 Bliss [dance] (2022 lists)
Did you know that there's a tunnel under Ocean Blvd - Lana Del Rey [pop] (new releases)

Sex Machine - James Brown [soul] (Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums list)
Dance Fever - Florence + the Machine [alternative] (2022 lists)
East Side Story - Squeeze [rock] (TrebleZine 100 all-time favorite albums list)
Rubber Soul - The Beatles [rock] (1001 Albums list)
Odelay - Beck [alternative rock] personal pick

Mr. Tambourine Man - The Byrds [folk rock] (1001 Albums list)
The Fire Theft - The Fire Theft [emo] (2003 anniversary list)
Fairy Rust - Wombo [rock] (2022 twitter list)
KicK iii - Arca [electronic/experimental] (2022 lists)
Blackout - Britney Spears [pop] (Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums list)

I've Got a Tiger by the Tail - Buck Owens & His Buckaroos [country] (1001 Albums list)
Here Are the Sonics - The Sonics [garage rock] (1001 Albums list)
My Generation - The Who [rock] (1001 Albums list)
Praise a Lord Who Chews, But Which Does Not Consume; (Or Simply, Hot Between Worlds) - Yves Tumor [art rock/experimental] (new releases)
The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators - The 13th Floor Elevators [psychedelic rock] (1001 Albums list)

Too Much to Ask - Cheekface [indie rock] (2022 lists)
Don't Know What You're in Until You're Out - Gladie [indie rock] personal favorite
Painful Enlightenment - Jana Rush [electronic] (2021 lists)
Klein: Harmattan - Klein [classical] (2021 lists)
Past Lives - L.S. Dunes [post-hardcore] personal favorite

******Notes on this week:
  • 2Pac was about half brilliance and half "ugh", but that brilliant half was really good.

  • I have always disliked Blur and Squeeze, and these listens did not change my mind at all.

  • New Lana Del Rey! New Yves Tumor! Only listened to them once each at this point so I can't say a ton about them yet but general feeling so far is enthusiasm.

  • Good stuff on the 1001 list this week. Rubber Soul, you know.
    Buck Owens is not my kind of country, but it was fine.
    I saw someone on Twitter recently say that they thought The Who had inspired more terrible bands than anyone else. Another person replied that every time someone says Pete Townshend is an influence and you ask them why, it's always about how he looked so cool onstage, not anything about his playing. The original poster said he had to admit that was a pretty awesome legacy, maybe he'd had it wrong about them, haha.
    Fell in love with The Sonics, I'd never heard them before but *chef's kiss*.
    The 13th Floor Elevators were a favorite of my San Francisco-raised mom.

  • I'd never heard of The Fire Theft, but this was a good one. It was a project of the guys from Sunny Day Real Estate, so I suppose that shouldn't surprise me. Morgan hadn't heard of this either but also really liked it.

  • Cheekface is terrible, avoid at all costs.

Below the Chart
I listened to so much stuff this week with Morgan gone the whole time.
Coal Miner's Daughter - Loretta Lynn (RS 500) / I'd never listened to the whole thing through, it's amazing
Otis Blue - Otis Redding (1001 Albums) / ❤️ Otis!
Actually - Pet Shop Boys (RS 500) / have loved this one since it came out
Otherbody - DAZY (new release) / more good stuff from Dazy!
Live at the Star Club, Hamburg - Jerry Lee Lewis (1001 Albums) / this is a party

maaliskuu 25, 5:30 am

I agree with you about the Brit-pop bands mostly dire.

I don't know about the Who inspiring more terrible bands than anyone else, but the Who were the best live rock band that I have ever seen.

Beck's Odelay is a favourite

I listened recently to some of the 13th floor elevators albums including the psychadelic sounds of. My conclusion was that they have not stood the test of time. I couldn't find one song I wanted to put on my playlists,

That Jerry Lee Lewis album Live in Hamburg was one of the first albums I bought along with his 'The Greatest Live Show on Earth' that came out at about the same time. It's probably not cool to like Jerry Lee Lewis and he was not a man to hide his light under a bushel. But the albums are great.

Otis Blue - what a voice

Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 25, 1:03 pm

>96 ursula: That first Byrds album jumps out at me from this week's list. An extremely influential (and wonderful!) album.

>97 baswood: "I don't know about the Who inspiring more terrible bands than anyone else, but the Who were the best live rock band that I have ever seen."

Agree on all counts. The Who at their peak were great in concert. I got to see the Quadrophenia tour show at the old Boston Garden during my college days.* Another great live band from those days, by the way, was Jethro Tull. (Personal preference only, though: for me nobody tops Springsteen & the E Street Band in concert.) What makes Townsend/The Who so special in my opinion are the lyrics. Quadrophenia is a brilliant set of songs about working class teenage/early adulthood life. "A beach is a place where a man can feel he's the only one in the world that's real." Even Tommy, which I guess seems pretty silly in retrospect, was a statement of warning against discipleship to cultural/media heroes. Is it Keith Moon's fault that he inspired a trainload of drummers who wanted to be able to play like him but couldn't? More generally, if The Who inspired a lot of bad bands, it was, in my view, because what they were doing looked easy but was actually very, very difficult. Anyway, as Dennis Miller used to say on Saturday Night Live, "That's just me. I could be wrong."

* I got to see them perform Quadrophenia again in the 1990s in San Jose (CA). By that time, they were conserving Daltry's voice. Daltry sang the grand anthems, like "Love Reign O'er Me," but they had two other singers: one each for the Mods and the Rockers. The two singers were Gary Glitter and Billy Idol. It was almost as memorable as the '70s performance, though in a different way.

maaliskuu 26, 3:05 am

>97 baswood: I've always been familiar with Odelay, and that's actually why I skipped it on the RS500 list originally. But then I realized, why should I skip things I'm familiar with/actually like on the list? Always possible to hear something new, or at the very least just to enjoy a listen! And Morgan was doing a discography listen of Beck at the same time so I put it on. I feel like the only weak spot on the album is Derelict.

I'm not usually much for live albums (though some of these on the 1001 Albums list have been challenging that), but that Jerry Lee Lewis was just so much fun. I love that it was one of the first albums you bought!

Otis ... what a voice indeed!

>98 rocketjk: Definitely a good one (Byrds).

I'm sure this will come up in the future on these lists so I'm just gonna get it out of the way here: I'm not a Springsteen fan. I'm sure it's a great live show if you're into it, though, the shows are legendary.

I'm younger, so too young for Quadrophenia to be contemporary for me, but I bet the Who would have been amazing to see. And in the 90s version at least one of the two other singers would have been cool to have seen live.

Anyway, to both of you - of course Twitter is full of hot takes and this about The Who inspiring terrible bands is one of those, but it was funny to me to think about the idea that people might be inspired visually rather than musically by a band. It's not easy to become iconic, whatever the reason.

maaliskuu 31, 12:31 pm

All right, I’m back. The movers came on Monday and took everything, and then Tuesday morning we headed to the airport with cats in tow.

Cleo and Archie were flying with us in the cabin and Rollo was going in the cargo hold. We could each transport 2 cats, but you’re only allowed to have 1 in the cabin. But we didn’t have any hard choices to make because Rollo is just too big to go in the cabin.

So we got to the check-in counter in plenty of time (you have to check in with an animal in cargo no later than 2 hours before your flight but also no earlier than 3 hours before). But when we got to the counter they said we had a confirmation for one pet in the cabin and one in cargo. Morgan had called Lufthansa the night before to double check and they said we had 2 in the cabin, but the reservations didn’t say that. Which maybe would not have been a huge problem except there were two other cats already traveling in the cabin, and the limit is 3 animals. They had us all wait as they tried to work out what was going to happen. It was super stressful. In the end, they talked to the pilot and he approved having an extra animal.

Which was great, but we’d been waiting around with Rollo too because of course they weren’t going to take him if they weren’t sure we were going to be on the flight. So by the time they sorted everything it was about 40 minutes before takeoff and they had us all come through the labyrinth of the airport down to where they actually put the luggage on the little trucks to go to the plane to get Rollo on. The guy took his carrier and put it on the conveyor belt for the x-ray machine … as soon as he got in there the operator stopped it and backed it up and thoroughly chewed the first guy out. Nice to be able to understand Turkish here. The guy kept saying “well it has to go through there” and the operator was saying “yes but not with an animal inside, animals don’t go through the machine!” So they brought him to me to hold and put the carrier through and then we put him back in the carrier.

So we got him sorted and then went to our gate. They were super nice, they let us do preboarding as if we had children, haha. The flight was uneventful, Archie didn’t escape his carrier like he did on the way to Turkey. We got to Frankfurt, recovered Rollo at baggage claim without incident.

Then we got to take trains … 2 trains for a total of 2 hours.

But we made it, and we’re all here in our new, very empty apartment. They’re all spooked to varying degrees, but we’re trying to help them understand everything is okay.

maaliskuu 31, 12:42 pm

>100 ursula: Glad to hear you guys all safely made it! I recently had to do some international cat travel myself, and yes, every interaction with an airport official was tense. Finally going through customs with them here in Brazil was mercifully anticlimactic for everything we had to take care of beforehand -- I don't even know if the guy laid eyes on them. Have you gained any specific takeaways concerning flying with cats?

maaliskuu 31, 1:09 pm

>101 slimeboy: The main things I’ve learned are to learn the requirements early, follow every checklist to the letter, and be prepared for exactly what you said - that no one asks for all the stuff you’ve prepared.

My main regret with this trip was that we didn’t start looking into the requirements for taking pets to the EU the instant Morgan had an interview in Germany, instead of waiting to actually get the job. If we’d done that we would have discovered all the complications that delayed me and them coming to Germany - that they should have had rabies shots, and that they needed to wait 1 month after getting them to get their rabies titration, and then 3 months after that before they were eligible to enter the EU. Also that although our American cats would have been considered up-to-date in the US (they had 3-year rabies shots), there was no such thing in Turkey and rabies shots were only considered to last for a year, so they needed new ones.

The second regret was that when Morgan called Lufthansa to confirm that we had 2 cabin pets, he took them at their word that it was fine, and didn’t get anything in writing or even a name, etc. It’s a bit of a mystery why they told him “yes, you have 3 pets - 2 in the cabin and 1 in cargo” if there was only one cat attached to our reservations, but in any event it almost caused a disaster. (The desk agent said maybe they thought we were traveling with a cat and a kitten, in which case they can go in one carrier.)

We had to go to the Turkish equivalent of the USDA within 48 hours of departure to get health clearance paperwork, which the German customs people looked at … but I don’t know what they were looking at aside from the shiny foil seal, because it was 100% in Turkish.

Oh! That’s a tip - never fly on a Monday with pets because in all cases, we’ve needed something governmental that had to be done 24-48 hours before flying and it’s impossible on the weekend.

Sounds like a long trip to Brazil - our two did the direct flight to Turkey (13 hours in the air, not to mention getting to and from airports), and our dog did flights to and from Italy (from California) in cargo.

maaliskuu 31, 1:22 pm

>100 ursula:

Toasty window ledge to the rescue! Thanks so much for that pic.

maaliskuu 31, 1:28 pm

>100 ursula: I'm happy to see that you are all reunited in Germany. And that the cats seem to enjoying their new window-sunshine hiding spot.

maaliskuu 31, 1:33 pm

Aren't you glad that's behind you! Glad you all made it and are settling in.

maaliskuu 31, 2:11 pm

Poor cats! Glad everybody made it safely to destination, I hope you all settle in quickly. And welcome back to the EU ;-)

maaliskuu 31, 3:34 pm

Phew, at least that stressor is behind you. Can't wait to hear about your impressions of your new environs.

huhtikuu 1, 1:50 am

>103 LolaWalser: They are fans.

>104 ELiz_M: It is good to finally be all together again. They definitely like that it’s both warm and hidden, they are trying to get used to all the new noises of this apartment building.

huhtikuu 1, 1:53 am

>105 RidgewayGirl: We can settle in more once we have some furniture, haha.

>106 FlorenceArt: They were troopers, handled it all like champs. Thank you, it’s interesting to be back. We left Italy in 2016.

>107 labfs39: Yes, it was a long and stressful process. So nice to have everyone here. So far, the new environs are rainy.

huhtikuu 1, 4:20 pm

Oh my. I can't imagine what taking a cat on a plane is like. Do they get stressed out during take off or landing? I did an 8 hour car journey and 2 hour ferry ride with my old cat and that was enough.

Loving your album listening. I probably missed it somewhere, but what's determining your choices? Are these records you have on vinyl, or have you some project going on Spotify?

I also really love the Odelay album. We saw Beck play at a festival - gosh, must be nearly 20 years ago now - and it was such a good set. They had had puppets of each of the band members and the puppeteers were fantastic. They replicated every move of the guys on stage - it was so clever. Beck is such a creative guy anyway. Have you ever watched his rendition of Bowie's Sound and Vision? It's an utter marvel. If you've not seen it check it out on You Tube. He has hundreds of people involved and it's so cleverly done.

huhtikuu 1, 7:49 pm

Good to see you looked after the cats. In the third picture they all looked particularly unconcerned.

huhtikuu 2, 4:57 am

>110 AlisonY: Cleo and Archie previously did a 13-hour flight from San Francisco to Istanbul so I imagine this felt like a breeze to them as far as the actual flight goes! They meowed a little during takeoff, but not much. Honestly they were pretty silent the entire way. I remember worrying on the flight to Istanbul that they might meow the whole way, but after putting blankets over their carriers they were quiet. On this short flight, I didn’t reach in and comfort them at all, just left them under the seats. I felt like it would be more disruptive than anything to open up the door at all.

In my album posts, every album has an italic note in parenthesis of why I listened to it. So I have a few different lists I’m pulling from which currently drives a lot of the listening. I’m just listening through Apple Music, Morgan has a smallish vinyl collection and we’ve bought a few records together recently but neither of us is big on collecting things.

Morgan saw Beck a couple of times back in the day, in 1999 on the Midnight Vultures tour and in 2005 on the Guero tour (and at Lollapalooza, whatever year that was). The puppets sound like quite a show, haha. I’ll check out Sound and Vision on YT.

>111 baswood: Always, they’re family! When we were coming to Istanbul originally and rushing to get the paperwork done for them before our flight, Morgan’s mom said “what if you can’t get it done in time? I guess they won’t be able to go.” And we said, “No, if it can’t get done in time, obviously we’d have to reschedule our flight.” They did look very calm in that picture although they are almost all feeling nervous and out of sorts at times here. (Rollo is happy anywhere.)

huhtikuu 2, 9:43 am

Wow, kudos to you for wrangling the cats with what sounds like a minimum of stress to them. Mine freak out during the 30-minute car ride to the vet.

I've never seen Beck live, one of the gaps in my concertgoing life. I would have liked to, but probably won't now.

huhtikuu 2, 10:24 am

Ducks by Kate Beaton

I feel like everyone has read this one by now. Kate Beaton, who wrote the comics Hark, a Vagrant, went to work in the oil sands in Alberta to pay off her college loans. It's a story you occasionally hear about in mining communities in the Dakotas, oil rigs, etc. An environment full of men working physically demanding jobs, far from families and significant others, and just a handful of women. It's not a recipe for any sort of healthy work environment. There are a lot of subjects touched on here - how it's expected that people from the Maritime provinces will probably have to leave their homes to make any kind of living, how men behave when they are far removed from anyone who really knows them (and whether or not that's different), how women go along to get along in situations like this. Sometimes infuriating, sometimes heartbreaking, often all too familiar as a woman even if you haven't been in an environment like that.

huhtikuu 2, 10:42 am

>113 lisapeet: Thanks, there's obviously no way to avoid stressing them but we tried to minimize it. Mostly by being as matter-of-fact as possible about the whole thing. Time to get harnesses on, time to get in the carriers, time to sit on the floor of the airport, time to get on a train, ha.

Our cats don't necessarily love going in their carriers, but we have them sitting open on the floor all the time and sometimes they'll sleep in them so they don't see them as 100% bad things.

I've never seen Beck either. Although I listened to him, he was never on my concert radar for whatever reason (probably because I had small children/no one who was interested in going with me).

huhtikuu 2, 10:46 am

I hope your empty apartment soon fills, Ursula. Congrats on a smooth(ish) trip. I loved the Beaton -- in fact, I used it as an example in a recent discussion with someone who was dismissing graphic novels/memoirs as "comics," without substance.

huhtikuu 2, 11:23 am

>115 ursula: We open a carrier and leave it out before a vet visit. The problem is that there's one cat who loves a box, so leaving for the vet's involves getting one cat out of the carrier and getting another one in.

The one thing to say for having to wait for your furniture is that it all looks amazing when it does arrive.

huhtikuu 2, 12:34 pm

>117 RidgewayGirl: Ha, that’s funny about having to first get one cat out.

We don’t really have furniture we’re waiting on - we have one table and one desk, that’s it. We have to buy everything.

huhtikuu 2, 12:38 pm

>116 BLBera: Oops, missed you for a second! Thanks, the trip was not without bumps but all things considered it was just fine.

The Beaton is definitely a good argument against the dismissive "comics" attitude.

huhtikuu 3, 4:21 am

Weekly 4x4

Travellers in Space and Time - The Apples in Stereo [indie rock] (comfort album!)
Confessions - Usher [r&b] (Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums list)
Blonde on Blonde - Bob Dylan [folk] (1001 Albums list)
Father, Son, Holy Ghost - Girls [indie rock] (self pick)

Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton - John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers [blues] (1001 Albums list)
the record - boygenius [indie] (new release)
Surrender - Maggie Rogers [indie pop] (self pick/my best of 2022)
Midnight Ride - Paul Revere & the Raiders [rock] (1001 Albums list)

Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain - Pavement [indie rock] (Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums list)
Wild Is the Wind - Nina Simone [jazz] (1001 Albums list)
Sunshine Superman - Donovan [folk/singer-songwriter] (1001 Albums list)
Fred Neil - Fred Neil [folk] (1001 Albums list)

Sound of Silver - LCD Soundsystem [electronic] (Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums list)
Dimensional Bleed - Holy Fawn [shoegaze] (self pick)
SMITHEREENS - Joji [r&b] (2022 lists, partial album)
Born to Die - Lana Del Rey [pop] (self pick, partial album)

******Notes on this week:
This was a tough week, with Morgan returning to Istanbul, the movers coming and taking my computer, traveling, being in a new place with a million things to do. So I didn't make it to a 5x5.

  • 1001 Albums records: nothing to say about Blonde on Blonde that hasn't been said before. John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers was fine, Eric Clapton can get bent. Paul Revere & company was fine, nothing really inspired me outside of the songs I already knew. Nina Simone, good. Donovan, fine. Fred Neil I remember nothing about, it didn't really make an impression on me.

  • RS 500: Usher is not my thing, this album was not my thing. Pavement - Morgan and I listened to this together. Pavement is a band that is adjacent to/an influence on so many bands we both like but neither of us connects with them at all. Parts of songs would be something we loved, and then immediately followed by something we hated. I remain mystified. Morgan is a big fan of LCD Soundsystem, but not this album. I was never a fan, and this album was fine for me but too long.

  • Misc: That Apples in Stereo album is my go-to album for stressful situations. It has gotten me through so many airports! Girls has two excellent albums, but this one is my favorite.

huhtikuu 3, 9:41 am

>120 ursula: I wish I liked Usher more, but "Burn" is fantastic. It seems like Girls are getting more well-deserved love these days -- if you haven't listened to that "Jokermen" interview from a few weeks ago, that's worth your time. I saw Christopher Owens on a solo tour in 2015 -- very sparsely attended, but there was this woman in her late 60's or early 70's who seemed to personally know Chris -- and it was an all-time standout. I was out of town when Girls played the only date I could have attended in my market, but that made up for it.
I love Pavement, but I understand what makes them challenging to connect with -- the "unequal parts" phenomenon you're talking about is really aggressively amped up on Terror Twilight, with "Ann Don't Cry" being the crowning example, imo. The amount of filler on their albums, particularly on the first two, is also greatly/confusingly understated (oddly enough, I would argue that Wowee Zowee, despite its White Album structure, has the least amount of filler). Do you like Malkmus' solo work at all?
Re: LCD Soundsystem: I still think "Someone Great" is excellent, but the prevailing "cleverness" of is exhausting.

huhtikuu 4, 1:29 am

>121 slimeboy: I haven't seen the interview, I'll definitely go watch it. Love hearing about live music experiences like that, sounds like a gem!

It seems I've listened to one Malkmus solo album (Traditional Techniques) - it didn't make an impression on me. This is pretty common for me. If I don't connect with something right away and don't listen to it repeatedly, I don't retain a lot about it. If there's something you'd recommend for me to try, I'd be willing to give it a shot. He/they have such a place in influencing people and I kind of hate that I don't get it. I don't have to love it, but I'd like to understand it.

Agree about the "cleverness", it was kind of a plague around that time I feel like. But hey, who am I to talk, I like The 1975. Talk about exhausting cleverness (and it's not coincidental that the opening of the most recent album is taken from LCD Soundsystem, of course).

huhtikuu 4, 1:42 am

Here is the one room that is pretty much set up, the bedroom:

We're still waiting on the duvet to arrive, so that's why the blue throw blanket on the bed - it's the only blanket we have, haha. Good thing we have 3 cats to keep us warm; it's been in the very low single digits (Celsius) overnight and now we have a few nights below freezing.

huhtikuu 4, 9:22 am

>122 ursula: You might like his self-titled release from 2001 more, which feels more properly "singer-songwriter" without the topicality. Silver Jews' American Water could be another entry point -- particularly if you've already developed a relationship with David Berman and can sort of intuit where he ends and Malkmus begins.
Yes, LCD Soundsystem's cleverness is very of its time, I would agree. What grabs you about The 1975? I've heard about them -- and this "clever" streak in particular -- more than I've listened to them.

huhtikuu 4, 10:16 am

>123 ursula: I love the colors, throw blanket and all

huhtikuu 4, 10:48 am

Love that little sitting/reading area by the window. Good light is really everything.

huhtikuu 4, 4:21 pm

Glad you and the cats have arrived. I also love the light in the photos of your apartment.

huhtikuu 5, 1:59 am

>124 slimeboy: I guess I forgot about his involvement with the Silver Jews. I'll go back and check that out.

I have a weird relationship with The 1975 - I could never really decide if I liked them or not, and there's still some stuff I'm not sure about. Matty Healy often likes to put wordplay of various types into his lyrics - sometimes it's self-referential and self-deprecating, sometimes it's topical, sometimes it's juvenile. From "The Sound":

It’s not about reciprocation, it’s just all about me
A sycophantic, prophetic, Socratic junkie wannabe

One of the things that struck me about the lead single off Being Funny in a Foreign Language ("Part of the Band") is that it could really be a rap song set to a different beat. But really the most interesting part to me is the push and pull between seeing that he obviously thinks about things a lot and is trying to push boundaries while still maintaining a clear personality. His twitter (deleted now) was frequently he and his fans exchanging brutal but mostly good-natured insults. The show from the last tour was at least 85% performance art, which is fascinating to me.

huhtikuu 5, 2:04 am

>125 labfs39: I'm super happy with the colors!

>126 lisapeet: Yes, it's perfect. The rest of the house is essentially empty, but this is an oasis!

>127 markon: The apartment has great light, Morgan definitely did a good job choosing it. :)

huhtikuu 5, 5:52 am

Ghost Eaters by Clay McLeod Chapman

This was the last book I finished in March. It's been hard finding time to sit down and wriee about a book.

First line: Tripping our asses off in the cemetery is Silas's idea.

A group of friends - Silas, Erin, Amara and Tobias - is broken apart by Silas's death. But Tobias says he has a drug (aptly called Ghost) that can make it possible to communicate with the dead. The remaining friends go to an empty tract home complex that has been abandoned so they can try to contact Silas in a place that's not already haunted. Unintended consequences ensue, of course. Erin is the narrator and she becomes obsessed with continuing to try to contact Silas even while the side-effects of the drug pile up.

The book was relatively slow-moving in the first part, which was a little frustrating. But there were some good ideas once the horror really got going. Overall I wish it had been a little shorter, but I did enjoy the way the author used the tagline of "do you want to get haunted?" throughout the book showing Erin's obsession with using Ghost. Some quibbles can be made about the visuals and what's supposed to be scary or not but that's always the case with horror, either you buy in or you don't. It was a good read for me while I was scattered and distracted with moving etc.

huhtikuu 5, 8:55 am

>128 ursula: Yeah, I would say that the "Vaccinista tote bag chic baristas" verse in that song really shaped my impression of them, and not to their benefit. He seems like he's imagined himself post-Twitter Dylan, where Dimes Square is the Village and any sort of "required reading" has been subsumed by the timeline. "A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships" (which, if you've got opinions on, I would love to hear) -- in title as in concept -- is certainly interesting to me, but I feel like the level of grandeur and bombast The 1975 been described as having in their work (something I love to see in rock music but which must be thoroughly earned) converging with a lazy "Bret Easton Ellis for Maxim" intervention may be a profoundly frustrating experience. I'd argue that for the project of legitimizing "the online" in rock music, Ariel Pink's "Put Your Number in My Phone" (i.e. focusing on the new affordances of technology and how they shape the mundane) and Mark Kozelek's post-Benji output (i.e. becoming the scroll) felt particularly generative. I do feel compelled to give them another shot, as how they've been discussed suggests to me that there has to be an entry point that could convert me, at least to some degree, so I can join you in ambivalence.

huhtikuu 5, 7:08 pm

>123 ursula: I like the armchairs! Very cheering for cloudy days and they work so well with the soft blue.

huhtikuu 5, 9:32 pm

I love the armchairs. This looks like a great reading space.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 6, 1:49 am

>131 slimeboy: Coming back to this, too early in the morning to be anything approaching coherent.

>132 RidgewayGirl: Very cheering for cloudy days

Like every day, haha! The curtains were pre-existing, they're sort of a very light teal or some other kind of greenish-blue. They happen to work okay with the bedding, etc, which is nice.

>133 BLBera: Definitely. And knitting, watching shows on the ipad etc!

huhtikuu 9, 4:07 am

Stats from the first quarter of the year. Keeping the Americans under 50% so far, at least.

huhtikuu 9, 4:35 am

Nice pies :-)

huhtikuu 10, 1:24 am

>136 FlorenceArt: Mmm, pies! They're a little more varied than recently too, I don't feel like I read much nonfiction at all last year, or had quite this spread of genres.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 16, 2:36 am

Weekly 5x5

Stankonia - Outkast [hip hop] (TrebleZine 100 all-time favorite albums list)
Saturno - Rauw Alejandro [reggaeton] (2022 lists)
The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill - Lauryn Hill [r&b] (TrebleZine 100 all-time favorite albums list)
We're Still Here - The Hirs Collective [punk] (new releases)
New Day Rising - Hüsker Dü [alternative rock] (Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums list)

Freak Out! - The Mothers of Invention [rock/experimental] (1001 Albums list)
Make the Clocks Move - Kevin Devine [emo] (2003 anniversary list)
Revolver - The Beatles [rock] (1001 Albums list)
Face to Face - The Kinks [rock] (1001 Albums list)
Praise a Lord Which Chews but Does Not Consume; (Or Simply, Hot Between Worlds) - Yves Tumor [electronic/experimental] (new releases)

My Aim Is True - Elvis Costello [new wave] (Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums list)
Pet Sounds - The Beach Boys [rock] (1001 Albums list)
The Long Way, The Slow Way - Camp Trash [indie rock/emo] (self pick, my best of 2022)
Reach Out - The Four Tops [r&b] (Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums list)
American Water - Silver Jews [indie/country rock] (slimeboy recommendation)

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme - Simon and Garfunkel [folk] (1001 Albums list)
If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears - The Mamas & The Papas [folk rock] (1001 Albums list)
Black Monk Time - The Monks [garage rock] (1001 Albums list)
How Will the Wolf Survive? - Los Lobos [latin rock] (Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums list)
Fifth Dimension - The Byrds [psychedelic rock] (Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums list)

Flock - Jane Weaver [pop] (2021 lists)
Call Me - Al Green [soul] (Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums list)
Boom. Done. - Anthony Green [indie] (self pick, my best of 2022)
Ekizikiza Mubwengula - Don Zilla [deconstructed house] (2021 lists)
Magnolia Electric Co. - Songs: Ohia [country rock] (self pick)

******Notes on this week:

Things are still out of whack, since I don't have my computer. It's great to have the iPad but it is quite annoying to use when it's your only computer.

  • Some list stuff I already loved on this chart: Revolver, My Aim Is True, Pet Sounds, Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme (you would not believe how much Simon & Garfunkel I listened to in high school)

  • I have somehow missed Kevin Devine's entire career but I really enjoyed this album. I liked this Hüsker Dü album more than I liked the last one I listened to (Zen Arcade). I am still leaning on albums and artists I like as things continue to be busy and stressful - Camp Trash, Anthony Green, etc.

  • I like Jane Weaver overall, and this album was pretty good, although my favorite track is only on the deluxe version, it's the remix of Solarised. The Don Zilla weirded the cats out, but it was pretty interesting.

huhtikuu 11, 3:53 am

Walking Practice by Dolki Min

First line: I'm off to work early.

This one was a wild ride. It's about an alien whose world was destroyed and it was stranded on earth. Now it survives by wrestling itself into attractive human forms and trolling the dating apps for victims to have sex with and then kill and eat.

Okay then!

I read a little about it afterwards, I guess it was self-published in South Korea by a non-binary author and became a bit of a sensation, which led to its translation and publication in English. It seems like a first novel, and like it was self-published, but it definitely has its charms as well. It's relatively graphic both about the sex and the killing, so it's not for everyone. Also about just the weirdness of bodies, whether human or alien - and especially when you're trying to hold your alien body in the form of a human like everyone else.

It would have been a little more interesting as a metaphor for not fitting into the gender norms of society if it had hit the reader over the head with it a little less, but I can understand feeling like some people need to be hit over the head!

Quote: My teeth are ripping at my cheeks, screaming to be let out. I hold my shuddering mouth shut with two hands. My eyeball threatens to slide behind my right ear, and my left leg bends backward like a deer. Haha ... what a mess. I become the focus of the other passengers' gazes. They whisper to each other, Look over there, what's wrong with that person, so weird, I'm scared. Hello, everyone? I can hear you all.

huhtikuu 11, 5:51 am

Wow, that quote is something.

huhtikuu 11, 2:01 pm

>140 FlorenceArt: Isn't it though?

huhtikuu 11, 5:39 pm

>139 ursula: Sounds like this book could have been helped a lot by a competent editor. Not sure I am in the mood for something as graphic but noting it down anyway.

>138 ursula: I am enjoying your posts about music (even when I do not post much).

>123 ursula: Can I just observe how cute and inviting these chairs look (and I love the color). :)

huhtikuu 12, 2:30 am

>142 AnnieMod: Some editing would have helped. But it caused a splash as-is, and I guess that's the way it is with imperfect first novels. If they write more, they can improve.

I'm pleased if people enjoy the music posts, whether or not they comment on them. I'm the same way when people post about movies - I read them and enjoy them but I rarely comment.

The chairs are super comfy and cozy too! I'm not really a yellow person normally but the color was too perfect.

huhtikuu 12, 1:24 pm

>131 slimeboy: I feel like it depends on how you receive a lot of it - I think that other people's labels of "oh so profound" usually turn me off of things too. But I feel like a lot of those descriptions come from the outside, and when the band describes things with bombast, it's often tongue-in-cheek or with the expectation of having the piss taken about it. Whatever else I am ambivalent about, I'm 100% convinced there is a decent proportion of performance art in almost everything. (Matty's Chicken Shop Date is hilarious (to me) and I think shows the "serious but not serious, but no, serious; except not" kind of vibe I get overall.)

I may be looking for or responding to different things though because I don't necessarily look for the most novel or most meaningful takes on things.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 16, 2:37 am

On the edge of the city there is a park that has various enclosures with species that roam or once roamed the area. It's free, always open, etc., so we went on Easter. Here's a photo of the Damwild, some kind of deer (fallow deer, apparently).

huhtikuu 13, 2:39 am

>145 ursula: This is so atmospheric! I love this photo, especially the tiny head popping out right in the middle.

huhtikuu 13, 10:46 am

>146 Dilara86: Thanks! They'd just gone over a small ridge, the big one was hanging back and checking us out.

huhtikuu 13, 11:47 am

So I've started reading Palo Alto by Malcolm Harris. The subtitle is "A History of California, Capitalism and the World" (I hate subtitles), and it's currently deep in Gold Rush and railroad history, but ...

In the intro was this:

I attended Ohlone Elementary—named for what we were told was the tribe that used to live on the Peninsula—and one day in fourth grade we had a substitute teacher. Most of the adults in my life were pretty stable as far as I could tell; I wasn’t used to their behaving unpredictably. Maybe that’s why I was so spooked that day when, instead of following the regularly scheduled curriculum, the substitute sat us down on the carpet and tried to tell us something important. “You live in a bubble,” she said, her voice strained and urgent. “The rest of the world isn’t like this. Do you know that?” Two dozen wide-eyed children looked back at her. We did not know that.

Both my kids grew up in Palo Alto (I did not live there). They moved there from Sunnyvale when Emily was in 3rd grade and Jacob in 2nd. Anyway, that's why that I shared that quote with Emily. She replied, "... me growing up wondering why "public school" had a bad reputation."

huhtikuu 16, 2:34 am

Weekly 5x5

I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One - Yo La Tengo [indie rock] (Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums list)
A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships - The 1975 [rock] (self pick)
I Am the Movie - Motion City Soundtrack [pop punk] (2003 anniversary list)
Aftermath - The Rolling Stones [rock] (1001 Albums list)
Safe As Milk - Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band [garage rock] (1001 Albums list)

SUCKERPUNCH - Chloe Moriondo [indie pop] (2022 lists)
Arular - M.I.A. [world/hip hop] (Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums list)
Stereo Mind Game - Daughter [indie folk] (new releases)
Lucinda Williams - Lucinda Williams [country] (Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums list)
Duck Rock - Malcolm McLaren [world music] (200 Best Albums of the 80s list)

Then the Lightness Leaves and I Become Heavy Again - Mt. Oriander [indie rock] (2022 lists)
Automatic for the People - R.E.M. [alternative rock] (TrebleZine 100 all-time favorite albums list)
In My Car - Rat Tally [indie rock] (2022 lists/Morgan's best of 2022)
The Mamas & The Papas - The Mamas & The Papas [folk rock] (1001 Albums list)
The Yardbirds - The Yardbirds [psychedelic rock] (1001 Albums list)

I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You - Aretha Franklin [soul] (1001 Albums list)
Electric Music for the Mind and Body - Country Joe & the Fish [psychedelic rock] (1001 Albums list)
Chief - Eric Church [country] (Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums list)
Unaltered Perspective - Inclination [hardcore/straightedge] (2022 lists)
Graceland - Paul Simon [world music/rock] (TrebleZine 100 all-time favorite albums list)

Paul Simon - Paul Simon [singer-songwriter] (Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums list)
No Highs - Tim Hecker [electronic/ambient] (new releases)
Buffalo Springfield Again - Buffalo Springfield [folk rock] (1001 Albums list)
Unknown Pleasures - Joy Division [post-punk] (TrebleZine 100 all-time favorite albums list)
Stranger in the Alps - Phoebe Bridgers [indie pop] (self pick)

******Notes on this week:
Still trying to find my groove. Also, I added another list to listen from, the 200 Best Albums of the 80s.

  • Any week that involves "homework" of two Paul Simon albums is a good one.

  • The most enjoyable thing for me this week on the 1001 Albums list was Country Joe & the Fish. I don't feel like I'd heard more than a couple of their songs previously. (This is not to slight Aretha Franklin, which was also great - but I was much more familiar with that one!)

  • There were several albums that gave me a reason to re-examine my previous opinions. Yo La Tengo is a band I'd heard things from but never thought I liked - this album was really good. Morgan says they're kind of all over the place so that may be why I feel this way, it's hard to have a feel for what they "sound like".

    Automatic for the People has been, in my mind, one of my least favorite REM albums (I hated "Everybody Hurts" when it came out, and every day since ... but on this listen it actually didn't bother me). But I found several songs I really liked, so I might have to re-evaluate which one is my least favorite. I did a discography listen of REM not that long ago, but not a ranking - maybe I'll tackle that.

    And finally, the Mt. Oriander record. I had listened to part of it last year because some people were on about it. I turned it off after 4 or 5 songs, I just didn't like it at all. So I wasn't excited about it being on a list ... except I really liked it this time, haha. No accounting for taste, even my own.

huhtikuu 17, 1:41 pm

>149 ursula: Some more classic oldies last week. However there was better come in my opinion for some of the artists featured

Certainly the Rolling Stones improved on Aftermath
Country Joe and the Fish went one better with their album Together, although electric music for the mind and body is very good.
Captain Beefheart's Strictly Personal improved on Safe as Milk
Closer took Joy Division to another level
Lucinda Williams country music album is good, bu there was so much better to come

All in all you have some great listening ahead of you
No jazz this week?

huhtikuu 18, 2:07 am

>150 baswood: I expect I will see more Rolling Stones albums - since the 1001 list is chronological I can guess when they'll show up, but the Rolling Stone list is not, so they may pop up there first.

Interesting that you say Country Joe had a better album than this one, I'll definitely check that out!

I guess there was no jazz last week! Although sometimes the albums are just too short to show up on the chart - I double-checked for last week, nothing. This week Ornette Coleman - The Shape of Jazz to Come will not show up on the chart.

Muokkaaja: huhtikuu 25, 6:07 am

Weekly 5x5

Fever - Tenor Saw [reggae] (200 Best Albums of the 80s list)
Things Fall Apart - The Roots [hip hop] (Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums list)
Are You Experienced - The Jimi Hendrix Experience [psychedelic rock] (1001 Albums list)
Where I'm Meant To Be - Ezra Collective [jazz] (2022 lists)
Axis: Bold As Love - The Jimi Hendrix Experience [psychedelic rock] (1001 Albums list)

And I Have Been - Benjamin Clementine [chamber pop] (2022 lists)
Don't Come Home A Drinkin' (With Lovin' on Your Mind) - Loretta Lynn [country] (1001 Albums list)
Going To A Go-Go - Smokey Robinson & The Miracles [r&b] (Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums list)
Look-Ka Py Py - The Meters [funk] (Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums list)
Worse for the Wear - The New Amsterdams [indie rock] (2003 anniversary list)

Disraeli Gears - Cream [rock] (1001 Albums list)
Cosmo's Factory - Creedence Clearwater Revival [rock] (Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums list)
Forever Changes - Love [psychedelic rock] (1001 Albums list)
Flood - Stella Donnelly [indie pop] (2022 lists)
Carrie & Lowell - Sufjan Stevens [indie folk] (self pick)

Forty Hour Train Back to Penn - The Movielife [pop punk] (2003 anniversary list)
Ants From Up There - Black Country, New Road [experimental rock] (2022 lists)
Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim - Frank Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim [bossa nova] (1001 Albums list)
HEY WHAT - Low [indie rock] (2022 lists)
Brothers in Arms - Dire Straits [rock] (Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums list)

Don't Break the Oath - Mercyful Fate [black metal] (200 Best Albums of the 80s list)
Escape - Whodini [hip hop] (200 Best Albums of the 80s list)
Risqué - Chic [disco] (Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums list)
Da Capo - Love [psychedelic rock] (1001 Albums list)
The Shape of Jazz to Come - Ornette Coleman [jazz] (Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums list)

******Notes on this week:
  • This era of the 1001 list is a bit hit and miss for me. I love the Hendrix (and it's easy to forget how stacked those albums are since he didn't have time to put out many), but the Love albums left me pretty indifferent. Cream was fine (and mostly familiar). Clapton can still get bent.

  • Loved the Loretta Lynn. I've never really listened to the Roots, but this album was pretty great.

  • I was surprised how much of the Whodini I was familiar with; if you'd asked me beforehand I'd have said I'd never heard them. Stella Donnelly was boring.

  • Really liked the Benjamin Clementine, good stuff. I felt like I didn't like Black Country, New Road because of listening to some songs from their previous album maybe? But this was really interesting, I'll listen to it again. Mercyful Fate was pretty decent, depending on how you feel about black metal and Satan. I've listened to the Low album before and really liked it, but listening to it after Mimi's death ... oof. Heavy.

huhtikuu 26, 3:37 am

An Unlasting Home by Mai Al-Nakib

First line: I open my eyes to a bloodred sky.

This is a multigenerational family saga set in Kuwait, mostly, but also in Iraq, Turkey, Lebanon, Syria and India. The story opens in the modern day with Sara, who is a professor at Kuwait University on trial for blasphemy. The other chapters go back in time with her mother, grandmothers, etc.

I didn't know until a few minutes ago when I saw another review that there was a map and a family tree page (I read the Kindle version and it just dumped me on page 1, and I never think to look for things like that). Those would have been helpful. Without them, it took me a while to find my footing with the different characters.

I also read the book over a long, distracting time, so I hesitate to say that it was difficult to connect to anyone because it could very well have been a "me" problem. But at the same time, there are bothersome little details, like in the space of a paragraph the author characterizes Sara as being disinterested in politics, then as someone who flips through the newspaper every day, then as someone who has been distant to her country for so long that "(her) ignorance is no great mystery".

Anyway, I came away feeling like it was interesting because of the locations, time periods, and the variety of women and experiences. But it felt very long to me - I'm sure it would have benefited from more consistent reading.

huhtikuu 26, 3:54 am

>152 ursula: Some classics there with Hendrix and Cream. Don't break the Oath is my favourite Merciful Fate disc along with "Time". And some real jazz with Ornette Coleman - looks a good week to me.

huhtikuu 27, 1:54 am

>154 baswood: It was a pretty good week! I love that you have 2 favorite Mercyful Fate albums. Morgan is into metal but this was the first time he'd ever listened to them.

We're going to see a metal (among other genres) band this weekend, Boris.

huhtikuu 27, 9:31 am

What Barry said. The Shape of Jazz to Come is pure genius.

huhtikuu 28, 5:08 am

>156 kidzdoc: I'm adding all the iconic jazz albums to my library to revisit later. I'm not a natural jazz appreciator.

huhtikuu 28, 5:19 am

Cyclopedia Exotica by Aminder Dhaliwal

A graphic novel about Cyclopes living in the two-eyed world. It wears its intention to reframe discrimination, various -isms, microagressions, etc. into a form that will hopefully get people to see the point. It was preaching to the choir here so it was mostly entertaining for seeing the various situations she chose to highlight. A fast, creative read.

huhtikuu 28, 9:43 am

Spare by Prince Harry

I also finished listening to this. I really enjoyed having him read it. I don't really know what to say about the book, so just a few quick thoughts:

A lot of it made me really sad. I know that he has had a lot of privilege in his life, but that came with a grandmother he couldn't imagine hugging, a father who also extremely rarely showed affection, and literally no one in his family talking to him about his feelings about his mother's death. He finally had a conversation with William about it 10 years after the event!

He comes across very human. I especially liked moments when he did things like extol the virtues of TK Maxx (did you know you can shop their sales and get brand names at half off? 🤣💀).

Could it have been shorter? Sure. But I get it, if you've spent a lifetime seeing false things printed about you and been told not to correct them (and knowing that sometimes those false things came directly from your family), you're probably going to want to get every bit of your side of the story out there when you have the opportunity.

I'd have a beer with him.

huhtikuu 28, 11:12 am

>158 ursula: This looks fun.

>159 ursula: Yours are the first comments that have made me interested in reading this. I think the audiobook might be the way to go.

huhtikuu 28, 12:33 pm

>160 BLBera: The Cyclopedia was pretty fun!

Morgan would walk by and say "So how's Prince Harry today?" every time I was listening to it, haha. The only annoyance about the audiobook was that the book is apparently split up into a ton of short chapters, so I could have done without Harry intoning "Chapter 87 ... Chapter 88 ... Chapter 89" every few minutes. But what are you gonna do?

huhtikuu 28, 12:44 pm

My attention sometimes strays when I am listening to books, but it sounds like it wouldn't matter with the Prince Harry book.

huhtikuu 30, 11:50 am

>162 BLBera: Wandering attention is fine, my attention wandered a few times, especially while he was talking about his military service.

huhtikuu 30, 11:53 am

We went to Karlsruhe yesterday, here are a couple of pictures. The first one is from a city park:

And the second is from the botanical garden:

huhtikuu 30, 1:54 pm

I love the photos! How are you settling in?

toukokuu 1, 1:39 am

>165 labfs39: Thanks! The settling in is going all right. We have a couch now and that makes a big difference in the house. Our things from Istanbul should arrive tomorrow or the next day, I'm really looking forward to having my computer back. The cats seem to feel more at home now.

toukokuu 1, 2:02 pm

Lovely photos. Have you met any neighbours yet? Had a chance to practice your German?

toukokuu 2, 12:58 am

>167 LolaWalser: Thanks! No meeting the neighbors so far. German practice only at stores, etc. so far.

toukokuu 2, 1:29 am

Weekly 5x5

69 Love Songs - The Magnetic Fields [indie pop] (Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums list) - partial album
Imperial Bedroom - Elvis Costello & The Attractions [new wave] (TrebleZine 100 all-time favorite albums list)
The Ascension - Sufjan Stevens [singer-songwriter] (self pick)
Moby Grape - Moby Grape [psychedelic rock] (1001 Albums list)
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band - The Beatles [rock] (1001 Albums list)

Love and Theft - Bob Dylan [singer-songwriter] (Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums list)
Versions of Modern Performance - Horsegirl [indie rock] (2022 lists)
Blood Mountain - Mastodon [metal] (TrebleZine 100 all-time favorite albums list)
I'm a Lonesome Fugitive - Merle Haggard [country] (1001 Albums list)
Ace of Spades - Motörhead [metal] (Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums list)

Space Is Only Noise - Nicolas Jaar [electronic/ambient] (self pick)
Palomino - First Aid Kit [indie folk] (2022 lists)
The Piper at the Gates of Dawn - Pink Floyd [psychedelic rock] (1001 Albums list)
Dummy - Portishead [alternative rock] (TrebleZine 100 all-time favorite albums list)
Wild Honey - The Beach Boys [rock/soul] (Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums list)

Triangle - The Beau Brummels [rock] (1001 Albums list)
Younger Than Yesterday - The Byrds [rock] (1001 Albums list)
First Two Pages of Frankenstein - The National [indie rock] (new releases)
Bonny Light Horseman - Bonny Light Horseman [folk] (self pick)
Deceiver - DIIV [shoegaze] (self pick)

Chelsea Girl - Nico [folk rock] (1001 Albums list)
Album - Generic Flipper - Flipper [punk] (200 Best Albums of the 80s list)
Straight from the Heart - Patrice Rushen [r&b] (200 Best Albums of the 80s list)
Long Knives Drawn - Rainer Maria [emo] (2003 anniversary list)
Hot, Cool & Vicious - Salt-N-Pepa [hip hop] (200 Best Albums of the 80s list)

******Notes on this week:
  • Let's see here - Sgt. Pepper's was one of the first classic albums I really listened to on my own a lot. My aunt let me borrow some of her records, and the ones I remember playing to death were that one and Beach Boys - Endless Summer. She also tried to convince me to like Big Brother and the Holding Company, but it didn't work at the time.

  • Loved the Merle Haggard.
    This was my favorite of the 3 Byrds albums that have been on the list.
    Did not enjoy this Beach Boys record, or the Beau Brummels.
    Or the Pink Floyd, but that's to be expected. I don't know if I'd ever listened to that particular album voluntarily, but I am not a Floyd fan and this didn't change anything.

  • Morgan loves that Flipper album. I do not.

  • I am trying to convince myself to go back and listen to the other 35 love songs. I think it's maybe an interesting concept? Maybe? But there's so much of it and not all of it is very good.

  • Mastodon, Motörhead: 🤘

  • I've always thought of Imperial Bedroom as one of my not-favorite Elvis Costello albums but I liked it more this time through. Also liked Portishead more than before, and enjoyed the Rainer Maria quite a bit on a first listen, one of the few 2003 records that connected for me.

  • I think I love the new The National record. It strikes me as being so, so sad - but in a good way.

  • One of my favorite listens from the Rolling Stone list this week didn't make it to the chart because it was too short: Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere by Neil Young. Just so good.

toukokuu 7, 2:40 am

Death Is Hard Work by Khaled Khalifa

First line: Two hours before he died, Abdel Latif al-Salim looked his son Bolbol straight in the eye with as much of his remaining strength as he could muster and repeated his request to be buried in the cemetery of Anabiya.

That sums up the plot - Abdel Latif dies, and Bolbol enlists the help of his brother Hussein and his sister Fatima to take their father's body to be buried in the requested cemetery. Sounds pretty simple, but this is Syria and nothing is simple. What follows is a trek with the body through the various landscapes of Syria's war and factions. The siblings have been estranged, and their relationship decays at a similar rate to the body of their father, lying in the back of the minibus.

This is an odd book to categorize. It's sometimes darkly comic, and often just heartbreaking for the state of Syria. Lost lives fill the narrative, both literally lost to death in the war and in other manners, and also the lives lost to the lack of opportunities, misunderstandings and posturings of the characters.

Quote: ... he was far better able to withstand the many insults he received from checkpoint soldiers and Mukhabarat in the course of his work if he bore this thought in mind, since it allowed him to subscribe to the view that anyone who gave him a hard time would probably be dead today or tomorrow, or by next month at the latest. Not that this was a particularly pleasant notion, but it was an accurate one, and each citizen had to live under the shadow of this understanding. The inhabitants of the city regarded everyone they saw as not so much "alive" as "pre-dead." it gave them a little relief from their frustration and anger.

toukokuu 7, 9:59 am

>170 ursula: Wow. That one goes straight to the wishlist.

toukokuu 7, 11:13 am

Great review of Death Is Hard Work, Ursula. I completely agree with Lisa, and I've added it to my library wish list.

toukokuu 7, 12:06 pm

>171 labfs39:, >172 kidzdoc: Thanks, both of you. I hope you find it worthwhile when you get there.

toukokuu 7, 12:24 pm

>170 ursula: Interesting. The premise reminds me of As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner, obviously in a different setting. Have you read that to be able to compare?

toukokuu 7, 2:41 pm

>174 japaul22: You're right! Someone on my 75 book challenge thread also pointed out that I haven't read As I Lay Dying. ;)

So no, I unfortunately can't make a comparison.

toukokuu 7, 9:02 pm

>170 ursula: Great review, Ursula. This has been on my wishlist for awhile but now I'll actively look for a copy.

toukokuu 7, 9:46 pm

>170 ursula: That one's been on my wish list for a while too... my library has the audiobook but not the ebook, so I'll wait a little longer. But that sounds like a good one.

toukokuu 8, 3:40 am

>176 RidgewayGirl:, >177 lisapeet: Interesting that it was on your radar already. I stumbled on it randomly.

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 8, 4:55 am

Weekly 5x5

69 Love Songs - The Magnetic Fields [indie pop] (Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums list - partial album/completed)
Supreme Clientele - Ghostface Killah [rap] (Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums list)
We’re Only in It for the Money - The Mothers of Invention [avant garde] (1001 Albums list)
Travellers in Space and Time - The Apples in Stereo [indie rock] (comfort album!)
Daydream Nation - Sonic Youth [alternative rock] (TrebleZine 100 all-time favorite albums list)

Headquarters - The Monkees [rock] (1001 Albums list)
Lady Soul - Aretha Franklin [soul] (1001 Albums list)
Endless Rooms - Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever [indie rock] (2022 twitter list)
I Had Too Much To Dream - The Electric Prunes [psychedelic rock] (1001 Albums list)
Blondie - Blondie [new wave] (Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums list)

Locust Abortion Technician - Butthole Surfers [noise rock] (200 Best Albums of the 80s list)
New Preoccupations - Caracara [emo] (2022 twitter list)
The Doors - The Doors [rock] (1001 Albums list)
First Two Pages of Frankenstein - The National [indie rock] (new releases)
The Velvet Underground & Nico - The Velvet Underground & Nico [art rock] (1001 Albums list)

The Age of Consent - Bronski Beat [synth pop] (200 Best Albums of the 80s list)
Boom. Done. - Anthony Green [indie] (self pick)
Sprained Ankle - Julien Baker [indie] (self pick)
Tom Tom Club - Tom Tom Club [new wave] (200 Best Albums of the 80s list)
Radiate Like This - Warpaint [indie rock] (2022 lists)

Rapture - Anita Baker [r&b] (Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums list)
Garden Party - Rose City Band [country psychedelic rock] (Morgan’s pick)
Ini Kamoze - Ini Kamoze [reggae] (200 Best Albums of the 80s list)
Reason to Smile - Kojey Radical [hip hop] (2022 lists - partial album)
Translating the Name - Saosin [post-hardcore] (2003 anniversary list)

******Notes on this week:
  • There's some good stuff here, but this wasn't my favorite week overall. The albums in the 80s (no matter which list they were actually on) were not things I really enjoyed at the time and not much has changed there.

  • I'm past the first 100 albums on both the 1001 and the Rolling Stone list now.

  • I finished up the other 40-something tracks on the Magnetic Fields album. One stood out to me, "Papa Was a Rodeo", but that's not a great average. The beats on Ghostface Killah were great but there's a lot of stuff lyrically that wouldn't be generally accepted today. Morgan and I listened to the Rose City Band because he found it on some list of "2023 albums you probably missed" or something along those lines. I think it was too Grateful Dead-influenced for both of us. But uh, if you like that, you may also like this album.

  • Lady Soul and The Doors are classics I still enjoy. It worked out that I listened to The Velvet Underground and Sonic Youth back-to-back, and that was an appropriate pairing, of course.

  • First Two Pages of Frankenstein made another appearance, and I'm sure it won't be the last time. Also, if you see that Apples in Stereo album on my chart, odds are there was a reason (ie, something was extremely stressful or went very wrong). This week it was that Rollo ran out the front door of our apartment when I was getting ready to leave and just ran - down 3 flights of stairs to the ground floor (where the door to the outside was thankfully closed), and then down into the basement. This is not ideal either because it's very dark, there are multiple rooms, there's rat poison out, etc. Luckily he meowed and I was able to track him down and tackle him. As I was coming up from the basement the door to the restaurant on the ground floor opened (again, thank goodness that didn't happen when he was originally running), and the owner there picked up my phone for me that I'd dropped in the struggle. Then I had to carry him up 3 flights of stairs while he fought the whole way. I have a nice gouge in the back of my right hand from one of his rear claws.

Muokkaaja: toukokuu 8, 12:42 pm

>179 ursula: Coincidentally, I just listened to my LP version of The Doors this week, too. Still sounds fresh. This was either the second or third LP I ever bought, back when it was first released. My first LP was definitely Time Peace: The Rascals' Greatest Hits. 2 & 3 are The Doors and Iron Butterfly's "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida," but I don't remember which I bought before the other. I still have them all.

toukokuu 8, 6:45 pm

>159 ursula: Hah, my mother loves TK Maxx as much as she hates the royal family - I will have to tell her that fact and see if it softens her up towards Harry at all!

toukokuu 9, 7:12 am

>170 ursula: Thanks so much for this wonderful review. My local library has got a copy of it. I put it on the list.

toukokuu 9, 11:36 am

>180 rocketjk: Nice coincidence! It does hold up, definitely. Cool that it was one of the first albums you bought, too!

(I believe the first album I ever bought was Duran Duran - Rio.)

>181 wandering_star: That is hilarious, now she and Harry have something in common! (Although in California he'll be shopping at TJ Maxx.)

>182 Ameise1: Excellent, hope you enjoy it.

toukokuu 9, 12:37 pm

>183 ursula: "(I believe the first album I ever bought was Duran Duran - Rio.)"

Goodness, you are young! (Or maybe you were just a late adopter of LP technology. :) ) Here's how old I am: In the mid-80s I had a girlfriend in New Orleans who had a 13-year-old daughter. Goodness, did she love Duran Duran! My Name is Rio . . . Hungry Like the Wolf . . . I can still hear her belting out those songs! Because of that young woman, I know all the original MTV hits! I still love quite a few of them. Like this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djV11Xbc914

toukokuu 9, 1:01 pm

>184 rocketjk: Well, I was a few months shy of 10 when MTV debuted (I watched). So that would make me also 10 when Rio was released. I'm probably the same age as that daughter, I was 13 in the mid-80s.

toukokuu 9, 1:43 pm

>179 ursula: Not many of those albums are familiar to me, but there are a couple I really didn't like - 69 love songs and the butthole surfers Locust abortion technician.

The Doors of course is a classic with The End being the best thing they ever did. Another classic is Daydream Nation, where it really did all come together for Sonic Youth.

toukokuu 10, 3:21 am

>186 baswood: Yeah exactly, it was not a banner week for listening!

Morgan is a huge fan of Sonic Youth. I never got into them, and I'd say that I liked most of this album but not all of it. I've heard it before of course but more listening required.

toukokuu 11, 9:13 am

>183 ursula: I told her this fact and she said "I wonder what he looks for in TK Maxx!" which is very different from the usual ranting brought on by any mention of a member of the family ;-)

toukokuu 11, 11:47 am

>188 wandering_star: I love that! The uniting power of discount stores.

toukokuu 15, 10:10 am

Weekly 5x5

Something/Anything? - Todd Rundgren [rock] (Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums list)
Oar - Alexander “Skip” Spence [country rock] (1001 Albums list)
Smile - Brian Wilson [art pop] (Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums list)
Plux Quba - Nuno Canavarro [experimental] (200 Best Albums of the 80s list)
Few Good Things - Saba [rap] (2022 lists)

In the Fade - Tony Molina [indie] (2022 twitter list)
WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO? - Billie Eilish [pop] (Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums list)
Beach Samba - Astrud Gilberto [bossa nova] (1001 Albums list)
Black Messiah - D’Angelo & the Vanguard [neo soul] (Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums list)
sore thumb - oso oso [emo] (2022 lists)

Freedom Highway - Rhiannon Giddens [americana] (self pick)
The Who Sell Out - The Who [rock] (1001 Albums list)
The Artist in the Ambulance - Thrice [post-hardcore] (2003 anniversary list)
ILYSM - Wild Pink [indie] (2022 lists/my top 10 of 2022)
Saturdays = Youth - M83 [dream pop] (TrebleZine 100 all-time favorite albums list)

In These Times - Makaya McCraven [jazz] (2022 lists)
Mezzanine - Massive Attack [trip hop] (TrebleZine 100 all-time favorite albums list)
McCartney II - Paul McCartney [new wave/synth pop] (200 Best Albums of the 80s list)
Beauty and the Beat - The Go-Go’s [new wave] (Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums list)
The Raincoats - The Raincoats [post-punk] (Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums list)

Groovin’ - The Young Rascals [r&b] (1001 Albums list)
The Visitors - ABBA [pop] (200 Best Albums of the 80s list)
The Nightmare of Being - At the Gates [melodic death metal] (2022 lists)
Remember Right Now - Spitalfield [pop punk] (2003 anniversary list)
Wild Loneliness - Superchunk [indie rock] (2022 lists/Morgan’s top 10 of 2022)

******Notes on this week:

  • This was a better week than the last one! New-to-me highlights were the Skip Spence, Tony Molina and Rhiannon Giddens. I stumbled across Rhiannon Giddens on the "The Beauty of Lists" thread about the Pulitzers, read the description of her, watched the video of her performing with Paul Simon, and wondered why I didn't know about her! She's right up my alley.

  • McCartney II surprised me a lot. When Morgan was getting ready to listen to it, he was complaining a little (he really doesn't like Paul McCartney) and I told him I'd be interested in his thoughts. His thoughts? It was the first time he had any inkling of the possibility of Paul being cool. 🤭

  • Got to revisit a couple of our favorites on the 2022 lists this week, which was nice! I actually listened to the Wild Pink while I was out drawing and it was just such a lovely experience. I'll post the drawing, too.

toukokuu 15, 12:36 pm

And here's the drawing.

toukokuu 15, 6:34 pm

Love the drawing.

toukokuu 16, 3:23 am

>192 baswood: Thanks, I appreciate it!

toukokuu 16, 12:14 pm

Me too! There's no souvenir more satisfying than a self-made sketch.

toukokuu 16, 2:22 pm

>194 LolaWalser: Indeed. I have about 15 filled urban sketching journals, lots of memories contained there.

toukokuu 17, 4:34 am

The reading has been going slowly around here, but I finished another book.

The Teller of Secrets by Bisi Adjapon

First line: My friend Elisha says I should watch out for frogs after it rains.

When the book starts, the narrator Esi is 9 years old. She's half Nigerian, half Ghanaian, living with her father in Ghana while her mother is in Nigeria. The book follows her through to adulthood, maybe her early 20s?

I'm not going to even attempt an actual review. I'm just going to say that I wanted to like this book but I found myself impatient with it at almost every turn. I didn't like or particularly believe her child-voice. And I'm not sure if it's me or the book but I wondered if I'm just over descriptions of girls getting their periods and not knowing what it is, thinking they're dying, being afraid to tell anyone, and then instantly feeling super empowered when they find out. I have no doubt it happens but how many descriptions have I read in my lifetime? Feels like a lot.

Anyway, things are bad for women in Ghanaian culture and Esi's father frequently insists "a woman's glory is her husband". Esi keeps trying to find her own way, to find something different for herself.

I don't know, I gave it three stars because it wasn't awful but I just didn't connect with Esi, so the big moments generally didn't make me feel anything. Your mileage may vary!

Quote: I'm getting good at this, creating cupboards in my mind where I lock up scenes that threaten to shred me to pieces.

toukokuu 17, 7:10 pm

I haven't had much time for LT the last couple of months but I've enjoyed following all your adventures in moving, reading and whatnot

toukokuu 18, 3:30 am

>197 Nickelini: I believe you've been quite busy! No problem, glad to know you've stopped in here and there. :)

toukokuu 20, 8:42 pm

Love the sketch! Do you have a watercolor kit you take out with you, or do you draw and then paint later?

toukokuu 21, 1:40 am

>199 lisapeet: I did take watercolors with me. I take different media, depending on my mood. Sometimes watercolors, sometimes water-soluble pencils, sometimes markers.

toukokuu 21, 9:05 am

>191 ursula: I love your sketch. Did you have an art background?

toukokuu 21, 10:56 am

>201 labfs39: Only in the sense that I've always drawn. :)
Tämä viestiketju jatkuu täällä: Ursula: Moving through 2023 with Books and Music (pt 3).