Monday, September 30, 2013

I Told You SO!

I'm a little surprised myself at how music focused these posts are music focused my life is becoming. Anymore, I come home and the first thing I do is turn on the music. If I'm in the living room, it's the record player or the radio. If I'm in the bedroom or the kitchen, it's the laptop. Most nights, I fall asleep to my mp3 player (yeah I have an mp3 player...not an ipod or other ithing). I'm concerned that my ear phones are becoming permanently embedded in my ears.

The other day, I was walking to the bus stop, rather briskly as I was running late (natch). While walking, I was digging through my bag for my mp3 player, becoming more desperate by the moment because I couldn't find it, and imagining the interminable 30 minute bus ride that would ensue minus tunes. Luckily I had it, because I was ready to turn back, damn the lateness! Today, I was having a shit day at work, and a coworker told me to put The Killers on. I told him I couldn't because my battery was almost dead and I needed it for the trip home. I simply can't stomach the thought of commuting without music.

Library cds...that creeper in the background
is my new George Strait record.
I'm not an aficionado by any means. I know what I like, and what sounds good to my ears. I don't think
about what's "cool" except to be annoyed by the fact that popular can't mean cool. Of course there are limits to that. Sometimes what is "pop"ular (a lot of the shit played on the radio) is really, just awful. Perhaps there needs to be some distinguishing between popular music, and "pop"ular music. Again, not that all pop music is bad. Some of it is damn catchy, and perfect for cleaning the house, or taking a run.

At any rate...I'm not an aficionado. I like what I like. I also feel like I'm doing a major amount of catch up. I've always liked music, but never really branched out as much as I have in the last few months. I'll hear one song by a group I've never heard before, put every single one of their albums on hold at the library, and then spend the next three evenings listening to all of it nonstop. The other day, I went to the library and had 15 cds waiting for me. It's a little embarrassing to walk out of the library with that many cds. I want to shout at everyone that I work at a bookstore and that's why I never check out books.

All of the above was just a precursor to point out to you that I am not the only one in LOVE with the new Arctic Monkeys album, some guy named Mike Williams over at NME agrees with me:
Arctic Monkeys’ fifth record is absolutely and unarguably the most incredible album of their career. It might also be the greatest record of the last decade. It’s not, however, the work of a band operating at their absolute peak – that’s yet to come. It’s the work of a band still growing, still fine-tuning, still learning and still experimenting; a band who will not look back on this record as a career high, but as the moment they stopped being defined by genre and instead became artists. Not a rock band, definitely not an indie band, but artists. Think Bowie, think The Beatles, think Stevie Wonder and think Bob Dylan. From this point on, Arctic Monkeys can do whatever they want, sound however they like, and always be Arctic Monkeys. But that’s all for another day, sometime in their stupidly bright future. For now, we should celebrate this record for what it is – 41 minutes and 57 seconds of near perfection.
Of note in that little blurb is that it's 41 minutes and 57 seconds of near perfection, and that it's only going to get better. Seriously. Go get this record. Now.

Sunday, September 29, 2013


I wonder if Brody thinks he is a ninja considering the number of times he has "escaped death" at the hands of the vacuum cleaner?

Friday, September 27, 2013

New Music Love

Currently addicted to the new Arctic Monkeys album. It's been on constant repeat-- in my earphones, at home, at work-- for the last week. Shhh...don't tell that other band.

Here's the totally awesome, creeptastic, Pink Elephants On Parade-esque video for Do I Wanna Know?

It's fantastic...and not even the best song on the album. Not even the second best song!

The Killers: Update

In order to avoid all the endless Killers posts that seem to be happening, I'm consolidating them into one GIANT post. It's totally convenient because you can easily find all the super important news about the world's greatest band, or you can easily skip the entire post if you are (more than likely) not interested.
They released a new song earlier this month. Some of you may have heard me talking about it...endlessly. Or if you're a coworker, you might have heard the song itself. Over the store stereo system. About 67 times.

Here is the beautiful video for it, though only 25% as beautiful as it could have been since there is only one Killer in it. Someday I want to see a Killers video that stars only Dave. 

Of note: all the attractive young people, pretty Vegas lights, and some classic B.Flow moves you should probably check out and maybe learn. Best part of the video, (and song, for that matter) at 3:46.

I made a chart about how I feel about the song...

I mean, COME ON! How could you leave this beautiful bastard out of the video?!? You're telling me, that's not marketable?

Remember when I told you about Ronnie being super awesome? Well, here's Brando also being super awesome. 

Last weekend I pretty much lost my will to live when I learned that Mark wasn't with the rest of the band for the Asian leg of their tour...and they had a fill in/understudy/whatever you call the person that isn't Mark (his name is Jake...yeah, I know Fake Mark's name, so what? he tours with them anyway, so it's not really that stalker-y).

Some people said to me, "Well at least he's not your favorite."

Let me be clear, while it's obvious that I may have different kinds of love for the various Killers, I DO love them all. And if one of them leaves, they just won't be The Killers anymore. I mean, where would they be without Mark's sweet, sweet bass lines?! Tell me that!

Anyway, it seems Mark hasn't broken up with least that's what they claim. I just hope he's better by October 27th.


My new computer background.


Monday, September 23, 2013

On Not Reading

Getting back into the "reading for pleasure" mode has proven more difficult than I would have imagined. For one thing, I'm just so damned tired of reading. I want to be outside, to move, to create. Reading seems so physically stagnating right now. And also, so much of what I've been picking up lately just hasn't done it for me. I've stopped reading so many books in the last few weeks, and that's pretty unusual for me. Do I blame the books, or my above noted lack of interest in sitting still?

Books I've stopped reading lately:

Both Flesh and Not  by David Foster Wallace. The first essay in this collection is unbelievable. It's the title essay, about Roger Federer, and it's beautiful. But that was about the only thing in this book that I found myself remotely interested in. A lot of these essays are very early/young DFW, and he hasn't quite come into the literary champion we all know. Also, as a young man, he was WAY too dismissive of female writers. That's about the simplest thing you have to do to get me to stop reading.

The Last Animal  by Abby Geni. So, this one was an advance that I asked for because the promotional material mentioned a story about an ostrich farm in the Arizona desert.  And I thought, "Hey! I know that ostrich farm!" So I tried it. I read the ostrich story. And then the next story. And gave up on the third (which is incidentally the story that got her published). It's just not good. I feel pretty shitty saying that about something that someone obviously poured their heart into, but I take comfort in the fact that no one will read this.

New York Diaries  edited by Teresa Carpenter. I actually quite like this one. I started it as part of my New York reading experience. It's a lot of fun, but one of those books that's just easy to put down. It consists of diary entries spread across the years of 1609-2009. The entries are arranged in a semi-chronological order, following the days of the year. So for any given day you could have entries from 1845, 1912, and 1976, and then the next day, an entry from 1778 and 1943. The diarists range from the ordinary to the well known, like Teddy Roosevelt and Simone de Beauvoir. And the subject matter is about everything; the city, ordinary life, artistic endeavors. It's pretty great. I will finish this one, but it will be one that I read at an intentionally leisurely pace.

Side note: the stunning and sudden change in the weather has put a decided dampening on my need to be outside, which means I've finished 3 books in the last week. Reviews to follow, I suppose...

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Tattoos and Books

Forget a review in the New York Times, apparently the latest in book promotion is the temporary tattoo.

The top one is for The Hobbit, and the bottom for Carl Hiaasen's Bad Monkey. There have been a lot of other temporary tattoos making their way through the bookstore, mostly for young adult stuff, but clearly the trend has encroached into adult books as well.


I have to say, a busy day at the bookstore, highlighted by sweltering heat, impromptu construction, lovely customers, and even lovelier coworkers (not to mention the temporary tattoos...I'm not the only one sporting "Bad Monkey" on my arm), has left me a bit melancholy- a tad low. Bar exam results come out soon. And whether I pass this time around, or the next, I am beginning to accept that I won't/can't be a bookseller forever.

I love a lot of things in life. I love my family and friends, Stephen Colbert, hockey, whales; I love the desert, coffee, and old movies; I love cats; I love a certain band; and for a long, long time, I have had a pretty hot and heavy love affair with books.

Of all the above mentioned, and others left out, I would venture to say that my love of books is what defines me most. I read books, I know about books, I surround myself with books. If you're talking about books, and I chance to overhear it, I will unapologetically and aggressively insert myself into your conversation.

Books are a part of me. I'm good at books. I'm good at reading them, good at recommending them, and good at talking about them. I'm good at shelving and alphabetizing them, and good at displaying them in just the right way. And knowing that one day, in the possibly very-near future, I'll have to leave it all behind- makes me so sad. How do I go about this gracefully? Leaving something I love and something I'm good at- something I know- for something I'm not really sure I'm capable of. It feels like I'm abandoning a part of me- a living, breathing, visceral part of me. How do I do that without collapsing into a hysterical mass of tears and paper cuts? (paper cuts because I will be gripping all the books so tightly, not wanting to let go...get it?)

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Conversation I just had with my cat

Opal walks up to me and rubs against my leg.

Me: Hi Sweets! Whatcha doing...besides being a-dor-a-ble?

Opal: ... (judgmental look, and walks away with a tail flick)

Apparently Opal doesn't approve of anthropomorphizing pets. She will have none of my tom-foolery.