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Monthly Archives: April 2008

from the oregonian’s music blog, they should have asked me to write this. how do i get that job?

The Oregon Symphony is set to open PICA’s TBA festival in September in concert with Antony and the Johnsons.

A symphony spokesman said that the joint concert would open TBA in Schnitzer Hall.

Antony and the Johnsons are a NY group led by the Brit-born Antony Hegarty. Bjork often appears with the group. I mistakenly used the word “goth” to describe him, but I’ve been corrected.

Wikipedia says: “One theme explored in the band’s music is aspects of transgender life. This is expressed in songs such as ‘For Today I Am A Boy’, in which a young boy dreams of growing up to be a woman.”

“Antony’s unconventional voice evokes comparisons to singers like Aaron Neville and Nina Simone. He has many fans in the music industry, including Kate Bush, Bj√∂rk, Philip Glass, Marc Almond, Kembra Pfahler and Laurie Anderson as well as Lou Reed, Devendra Banhart, Rufus Wainwright and Boy George, who are guest vocalists on ‘I Am a Bird Now’.”

i can’t believe my luck. i flew to new york last year for something like this and now it is happening right down the street! i was already planning on buying a pass to the tba festival, keight brought me to a few of the performances last year, and i enjoyed them all. i hope some of my friends from justonestar can make it out here for it. it was great seeing them in new york last year.

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jasper fforde has become one of my favorite authors. over the past year i have read all his books. this is the latest book in his thursday next series. i always have a hard time describing these books without it sounding juvinile or uber-nerdy. thursday next is a literary detective with the ability to jump into fiction, which happens to often go out of control. within the “bookworld” there is a group called jurisfiction that help keep things in order. with all the jumping in and out of fiction the story lines of the thursday next books can often splinter off in many tangents.

first among sequels takes place fifteen years after the last thurday next book, something rotten. thursday now has kids and a happy married life. suddenly she finds herself trying to save “the now” by motivating her son, battling the book versions of herself, and trying to keep pride and prejudice from being turned into the first reality bookshow. this is a great book, highly recommended.

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if you have already read erik larson’s more famous book “the devil in the white city” then you know what his shtick is. he combines to seemingly unrelated stories and shows how they are related. “the devil in the white city” covers the tale of the architects of the 1893 chicago world’s fair and americas first serial killer in chicago around the same time. in “thunderstruck” he weaves together the stories of the development of wireless communication and a murderer on the run in turn of the century london.

i really enjoyed “thunderstruck”, it was a really interesting read. the story of marconi and the development of his transmitter is right up my alley. and it is not often that a book has me on the edge of my seat, the chase of the murderer, once it really started, was impressively written. i want to say riveting. sadly during the chase of dr. crippen, the murderer, we lose the story of marconi. i would of liked to know how his system developed beyond simple morse code.

i can’t help comparing “thunderstruck” to “the devil in the white city”. the biggest difference is that “thunderstruck” is a simpler story, with a lot less names and dates involved. something i appreciated, i didn’t like having to keep a list of names. also it seems that erik larson might be treading water in the writer’s pool. he brought nothing different to this book, which is his third book of historical non-fiction.

i would recommend this book. i found it to be a hard book to put down, and was a bit sad when it was over.

i discovered ed askew a few years ago while searching around on forced exposure. he was a forgotten about folk singer with a unique voice and plays the tiple (kind of a small trebley guitar with ten strings). his first album ask the unicorn , released in 1968 and reissued in 2005, became a quick favorite of mine for a while.

i only just got little eyes, recorded in 1970 but not released until 2003. while ask the unicorn was distinctly ed warped vision, little eyes, while still very ed, can often be compared to bob dylan. that is not a good thing in my book, thankfully ed’s voice is still just strangely grating enough. little eyes is also a more grounded album, less psychedelic lyrically. recording was a one person job with ed playing all the instruments on this, a bit of piano, and too much harmonica. he wanted to capture a live feel with this album, so it was all recorded in basically one sitting and one take. this is not the instant classic ask the unicorn was, it is still a fantastic gem.

“songs for pilots” – in my opinion the masterpiece of the album, and you can hear him playing the tiple.

“old mother moon”

from what i gather, he is currently recording new material. i look forward to it.

a state of mind – a thoroughly interesting look inside north korea, told through the eyes of two young gymnasts preparing for the mass games. even with this being a glossy version (approved by the north korean government) of what life must be like in north korea, you still get a good idea of how secluded (and kind of deluded) the north koreans are.

pride and prejudice – this is one of morgans favorite movies, and it made him so happy that i watched it with him (all six hours of it). this is the made for bbc version from the mid nighties. still not a convert to the jane austen fan club.

i am legend – why does will smith keep getting cast in sci-fi movies. he ruined i robot, and now he ruined this. the idea is pretty interesting, if not plotted well. it really could of moved a little faster, they really tried to acheive a pensiveness that eluded them. but the worst thing is will smith, he just always comes off as trying to hard. i would not say that this movie should be avoided, for fans of apocalyptic sci-fi, this is alright, you just have to suffer a bit with the fresh prince.

no country for old men – we sat on this movie for two weeks, breaking our rule of sending back any movie within a week of not watching it. for some reason neither morgan or i were really that into watching it. i knew it is based off a cormac mccarthy novel, i’ve read a couple of his books, and am just not a fan. finally the other night i forced us to watch it, it did get the best picture oscar, so we should give it a chance. we both really enjoyed it. i liked out the movies main subject wasn’t clear, it gave equal time to several characters and you never really know who you are supposed to root for. i can’t help but compare it to there will be blood. both are upridictable, perfectly cast, and shot and directed excellently. in my opinion though there will be blood is a better movie.

the king of kong -this documentary was kind of harrowing to watch. the journey of steve wiebe to become the world record holder in donkey kong was unexpectedly engrossing and frustrating. plus you get to see some of the nerdiest people alive today, and (if i may be a bit crass) one of the biggest douches ever. highly recommended.