Monthly Archives: January 2012

Musical Monday – “Actor” by St. Vincent

St. Vincent is amazing, and this album is the same.

St. Vincent is the project of Annie Clark. Her songs range from fast-paced ones like “Actor Out of Work” to slower, softer ones like “The Party.”

Both lyrically and musically her songs are all very well done. More than anything else, her voice is what I keep going back for.

Wordy Wednesdays – Robert Heinlein’s ‘Friday’

Have you ever wanted to read a sci-fi novel that, on page 10, treats you to a rape scene?

Me neither! But that’s what Heinlein’s Friday brings to the table.

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Musical Mondays – “Joints” by Holly Miranda

I saw her open for Tegan and Sara and she was amazing. I bought her album, The Magician’s Private Library, immediately after the show. I really loved her performance – one song in particular stuck out to me.

There’s a real dream quality here. Her voice is either submerged in the music, helping everything to drift along, or it’s cutting through everything else in an effort to wake you.

When I saw Holly Miranda open for Tegan and Sara, the venue brought up a variety of colored lights, which illuminated the thick stage fog around and behind her. It was very much like watching a pastel dream seep into reality. Any time I hear “Joints” I can see her performing, wrapped up in that brilliant mist.

No One Just Is” is another quality song, and the album has at least two more excellent songs on it. Amazon has it for about $9.

 

Multiverse Theories Simplified A Bit By Sean Carroll

There are a lot of big ideas here, and I’m not sure I understand them all, but I wanted to share it.

Entropy, the multiverse, and dark energy.

My favorite part is where he contrasts these ideas to Carl Sagan (an amazing person). Carl Sagan famously said “If you want to make an apple pie, first you must invent the universe.” Carroll says you might be able to just wait for it to appear.

Anyway, interesting talk.

 

Wordy Wednesdays? – Fritz Leiber’s ‘The Wanderer’

I showed up late to the Fritz Leiber party, which brings great shame to my ancestors. He seems like the perfect author for me – he’s got a mix of sci-fi and fantasy, and it’s all good writing wrapped around interesting ideas (or vice versa, haven’t made up my mind).

But Leiber wrote the Fafhrd and Grey Mouser tales, which are classics – perhaps progenitors – of the sword and sorcery genre. They travel, fight people, steal and whore and drink, and slay many a dark sorcerer by swording him to death.

I don’t want to talk about Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser, because I’m not done reading them. What I do want to talk about is Leiber’s science fiction novel, The Wanderer.

My copy looks only slightly better

The concept? An alien planet drops out of hyperspace near the Moon.

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Musical Mondays! – Vows, a Kimbra Album (After Whining and Complaining)

You know what I really don’t like? ‘Hidden’ tracks at the end of songs.

I don’t know why bands do this. At the end of an album, they’ll toss in another song but not put it on a separate track. The last song on the track list just runs off into silence for a minute or two (or longer) before the super secret track starts up.

What annoys me the most is that I don’t understand the reasoning behind it. Is it just to make the track harder to get to? To make it a surprise?

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Bad Poetry Time

Been writing shitty poems. Here are a handful of limericks about me that I thought were kind of funny.

There once was a terrible loser
Who was known as kind of a boozer
Drank his shit life away
Which is very cliché,
But a beggar can’t be a chooser.

.

.
There once was a young man called Ryder
As trustworthy as a spider.
He is a failure in life,
Took a chance with a knife,
And what came out was darker than cider

.

.
There once was a young man called Sean
Whose lights just weren’t all quite on
He lacks social finesse
And has no success
And cannot be relied upon

.
.
Here is a guy out of Mass
Known for acting the ass.
Small-minded and cruel,
He looks like a fool,
Your average snake in the grass.

Let’s Drink Beer! – Unibroue’s Terrible

The name of this beer told me all I needed to know.

But I did not listen.

(Source)

“Terrible,” a Canadian beer from a brewer called Unibroue, pours very dark – totally black, in fact. The head is thick and tall, and I thought I’d enjoy this beer – I like dark beers. Read the rest of this entry

“To The Moon” Aims High

I refuse to apologize for that word-play!

To The Moon is a game only in the loosest sense. Essentially a mystery-solver at heart, you play as two scientists mucking about in a dying man’s memory. Your goal? Give him the memory that he went to the moon.

And it is really, really good.

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Musical Monday! – “Yoshimi” by Vyvienne Long

I’m a little burnt out from the 2011 album review, so this’ll be short.

What to say about cover songs? Like any other song, they have the potential to bore or they can be excellent. What I look for in cover songs is a new take on the song – I don’t want a band to just play the song, I want them to change it a little bit or maybe even a lot.

Vyvienne Long does that wonderfully with “Yoshimi,” check it out.

This is a cover of “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots, Pt. 1” by The Flaming Lips. The original has a lot more going on, and is much more upbeat. I love how Vyvienne Long slowed the song down. Without changing any words, she’s completely altered the feel of the song.

Here’s the original, for comparison.

Addendum: I’m always looking for more covers, so if there’s any that you particularly enjoy, let me know.