Saturday, February 28, 2009


This month marks the start of my fourth year with eMusic and I continue to be very happy with the service. My biggest problem is trying to get my downloads to work out every month but I've managed to do it 36 times, so I guess it's not that big of a problem. Anyway, here's what I downloaded in February...

Ben Kweller/Changing Horses
The Henry Clay People/For Cheap Or For Free
M. Ward/Hold Time
Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit/Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit
Le Switch/And Now...Le Switch
J. Tillman/Minor Works

Sunday, February 22, 2009


Lots of college work this week wiped out any chance of posting. I may get one or two up today but I've got a pretty bad cold, so my head isn't that sharp. We'll see. It doesn't take any brainpower to bring you today's ten, however, so without further rambling...

1. Half Dead/The Mountain Goats (9)
2. Nineteen Seventy Nine/Lucero (4)
3. California Stopover/The Ladybug Transistor (7)
4. Shooting Rockets (From the Desk of Night's Ape)/Destroyer (8)
5. The Next Messiah/Jenny Lewis (8)
6. Don't Buy the Realistic/Spoon (3)
7. Black Hole/The Rosebuds (8)
8. Little Brother/Elk City (10)
9. Black Rain, Black Rain/A.A. Bondy (13)
10. Suzy Lee/The White Stripes (11)

Sunday, February 15, 2009


I finished this issue a few weeks ago but never got around to writing about it. It got recycled back then but I think I can remember well enough to say a few things about the stories; I'd like to not miss writing about a month of either Asimov's or F&SF this year.

The issue started off with Mary Rosenblum's "Lion Walk," where a mystery arises about girls getting killed on a nature preserve in the near future. Rosenblum is not concerned only with the mystery but where society has gotten to. It's good solid SF.

"Passing Perry Crater Base, Time Uncertain" is a short piece by Larry Niven that was okay but not memorable enough that I can remember anything about it other than my general impression.

Will McIntosh's "Bridesicle," on the other hand, is completely memorable. It's set in (perhaps) the same future as a previous Asimov's story (was it "Midnight Blue?") where people who die can stick around in the consciousness of their offspring. This story goes even further, into a future where the cryogenically-frozen dead can be brought back to life (and maybe to a real body) if they become brides. It's told from the perspective of a prospective "bridesicle" who also happens to be a lesbian. Good stuff.

"Five Thousand Light Years from Birdland" by Robert R. Chase is a solid first contact story in which a member of the translation team is sacrificed by being sent to the alien world, except for the fact that he understands more than the rest. Solid SF.

E. Salih makes his debut with "Messiah Excelsa" but unfortunately doesn't do much for me with a story about time travel and Stradivarius. It wasn't the subject as much as the execution.

Nancy Kress looks at divorce through the lens of a dog who can "talk" in "Unintended Behavior," a sharp little tale that I liked.

Finally, "Uncle Bones" by Damien Broderick focuses on the conspiracy behind a treatment that allows the dead to live, albeit in a way that makes them outcasts from society (as well they would be). It's a fun story (and yes, I know that sounds incongruous but it is).

In all, it's another solid issue of Asimov's...

I still have two days left of my weekend (minus a couple hours teaching at the Y tomorrow), which makes me happy. I've got things to do, of course, but it's nice not to have to try and get it all done immediately. What I will do immediately is hit you with 10 songs from my iTunes...

1. Frightening Lives/Broken Social Scene Presents: Kevin Drew (6)
2. Written Invitation/The Whigs (19)
3. Slope Song/The Essex Green (22)
4. Buffalo Boots/Luna (3)
5. Nursery, Academy/Tokyo Police Club (4)
6. Shiftee/The Broken West (20)
7. a second reply to st anselm of canterbury (ps 17:15)/The Prayers & Tears of Arthur Digby Sellers (17)
8. Submarines Of Stockholm/A.C. Newman (9)
9. Heatseeker/Two Hours Traffic (12)
10. New Year's Day/The Broken West (21)

Sunday, February 08, 2009


I started a couple different posts this week but I ended up deleting them. Maybe this week I'll actually write something and post it! But right now I'm going to get to the music since we're going out to breakfast in the near future...

1. You Can Always Count On Me (In The Worst Way)/Superchunk (8)
2. Queen of Cans and Jars/Guided By Voices (6)
3. Before I Do/Sloan (11)
4. This Is Something I Might Miss/I Love Math (3)
5. San Francisco/Lucero (4)
6. There's A Reason/A.A. Bondy (14)
7. Neon Bible/Arcade Fire (16)
8. Mistaken For Strangers/The National (16)
9. About This Love/Alejandro Escovedo (1)
10. Labyrinthian Pomp/Of Montreal (7)

Sunday, February 01, 2009


I wasn't going to do these this year but then I realized I hadn't talked a lot about my pop culture intake lately and this is a (easy) way to do it. I also decided that this year I will count books and comics in the month I read most of them; for example, I started reading a trade yesterday but only read 2 out of the 6 issues collected, so that trade will go on February's log. Okay, blah blah...

I read 2 books in January (Prince of Stories and The Physiognomy). The latter is by Jeffrey Ford, who is one of my favorite writers. It is the first of a trilogy, which was reissued by Golden Gryphon late last year. I liked it, of course, and just a short while ago I started on the next book in the series. Anyway, I'm on a pace for 24 books read this year and it may end up being close to that...we'll see. Last January I read 4 books; my overall average books read in January for the last three years is 2.67.

I read 19 stories in January. Those stories came from the Dec. 2008 and Jan. 2009 issues of Asimov's and the Dec. 2008 issue of F&SF. I also read 19 stories last January; my overall average stories read in January for the last three years is 22.3.

I read 4 comics in January, 3 of which trades (Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes; Fables Vol. 11: War and Pieces; and Scalped Vol. 1: Indian Country). The other was the first issue of Incognito. Last January I read 7 comics, 4 of which were trades; my overall average comics read in January for the last three years is 9 (3.3 trades).

I bought 3 CDs and downloaded 6 more for a total of 9 new CDs in January (the downloads were covered in yesterday's eMusic post; the others were Bruce Springsteen's Working On A Dream; Mark Olson & Gary Louris' Ready For the Flood, and the reissue of The Replacements' All Shook Down). Last January I got 7 new CDs (5 downloads); my overall average of CDs bought in January for the last three years is 8.3 (6 downloads).

I didn't see any movies in the theater in January. I also didn't see any movies in the theater last January; my overall average of movies seen in January for the last three years is .3.

Once again, I've started keeping track of what I'm watching on DVD. I watched all 12 episodes on Flight of the Conchords Season One, all 10 episodes of Battlestar Galactica Seson 4.0, and 6 episodes of Superman: The Animated Series Vol. 3 for a total of 28 episodes. In addition, I watched one commentary (S:TAS Vol. 3), two features (BSG Vol. 4.0 and S:TAS Vol. 3), and the whole of the DVD that came with my deluxe edition of Working On A Dream. That gives me 33 separate DVD viewings in January, more than 1 a day.

I have not kept track of all the TV I've watched In January and won't do so this year. That said, I'll plan on doing a "What I'm Watching" post in the near future.

Happy Super Bowl Sunday! I am rooting for the Cardinals today but I won't be upset if the Steelers win; I've got a lot of respect for them. Plus, we get Bruce and the E Street Band at halftime and an hour-long episode of The Office afterwards. I will be feasting on a #9 from Jimmy John's, chips, and a Super Bowl sundae for dessert. Yum!

1. Codes, Runes, Dunes/Portastatic (5)
2. The Stand Ins, One/Okkervil River (7)
3. Border Guards/The Rosebuds (6)
4. This Old Chase/The Ladybug Transistor (4)
5. Aging Faces/Losing Places/Broken Social Scene Presents: Kevin Drew (6)
6. Angeles/Elliott Smith (20)
7. Fishing Boat Song/M. Ward (8)
8. Outta My Head/M. Ward (12)
9. Seashell Tale/M. Ward (12)
10. Shooting Rockets (From the Desk of Night's Ape)/Destroyer (7)

Guess it's M. Ward's day - just over 2 weeks until his new album, Hold Time!