Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Music: Outer South by Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band

We really like the band, Bright Eyes, and we've been listening to their music for several years now. We were quite surprised to hear that Conor Oberst, the singer of Bright Eyes, had struck off on his own, so we picked up his new album with the Mystic Valley Band. The band is labeled as alternative country, which seems a fair descriptor. The indie has gone so far, it's become country, fine by us.

"Pharoah woke from a bad dream,
Splashed some water on his face.
When it's a matter of nightmares you had better ask a slave.
And he may tell you a famine's coming,
Or he may look away.
If he's kind then return it,
Let him lick your plate."
--To All the Lights in the Windows

"Dementia, you better treat me good.
The human race is in its second childhood.
I never loved, but I understood.
Oh dementia, you better treat me good."
-- Slowly

Quick vote: This album is awesome. We thought we liked Bright Eyes, but that is nothing compared to

Monday, September 14, 2009

Books: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

We waited patiently for the second book in the Hunger Games to come out, and finally it was mailed to us last week from our friends at Amazon. We couldn't have been happier, and our expectations were blown out of the water.

Our favorite ingenue, Katniss, is back and nothing in her life has gotten more easier. She still has two men she's torn between, she still lives in the podunk outskirts of the oppressive dictatorship government, and she still narrowly escaped death in the Hunger Games. The story takes twist after turn as Katniss and Peeta travel the country on their victory tour. You can't predict what happens next!

Quick vote: This book was awesome. We loved it, and it was by far better than the first book, Hunger Games. Pick up the series today!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Books: Blindness by Jose Saramago

This book had been recommended to us several times, but for some reason, it took us quite a while to get around to reading it. Written originally in Portugese, Blindness is written in a stream-of-conscious style reminiscent of Faulkner or Joyce. With a Nobel Prize in Literature, we were certain that one of Saramago's most famous books would be interesting, but we didn't expect to enjoy it as much as we did.

Blindness is set in any city in any country in the world. Slowly, an epidemic spreads through the city, systematically striking everyone with 'white blindness' wherein the afflicted can see nothing but a blinding white light. It's an interesting story about human nature, pathos, disability, and the fragility of civilization. We have long thought that humans depend far too much on their sight, when smell is such a better sensory. Also, the 'dog of tears' made an excellent character.

Quick vote: This is such an excellent book, and a quick read as well. We're going to be picking up the sequel Seeing soon, so watch for our subsequent review of that!