Skip to main content

The Latest: Music, Books, and...a Recipe

And a picture of a rooster...

So it's once again been a while. My own personal Bloggo has been getting short-shrift as I've been busy covering concerts for Indy's (yes, that is a humble brag). It's been a total blast, but occasionally time and my lack of time-management skills get the better of me and I neglect my own personal work. Which is what this is all about anyway, right?

So now, on a nice fall evening, it's time to put on some music (Sonic Youth's Daydream Nation) and deliver the goods to my readers. How about this:

Music Recommendation:

Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks latest album Mirror Traffic. Saw these guys the other night at Earth House. Whether or not you were into Malkmus in the Pavement days--and god knows they passed me by--check out this album. Some extremely elegant guitar work and poetic, fun lyrics by Malkmus make this a contemporary classic and a very accessible album. Also a good gateway into Malkmus' extensive musical past.

Book Recommendation:

A Visit From the Goon Squad, by Jennifer Egan. This is a book about rock and roll or, more accurately, about people involved in the music business in the 80s, 90s, and 2000s. The characters run the gamut from modestly successful to downright tragic, but all characters are infused with very human, very real flaws. Egan has a deft touch with humor, and this book is nothing if not a dark comedy. In the balance, Egan manages to pawn off some trenchant social commentary without sounding preachy, bitter, or like little Bo Peep.

A Recipe for an Easy, Fun Snack:

Slice up a few potatoes, very thin. Boil some vegetable oil. Drop the potatoes in until they are golden brown. Take them out and put them on a plate with a paper towel. Wait about five minutes. Salt them up. BAM! You've got homemade potato chips.

So there you have it: something to listen to, something to read, something to eat. Not bad for three minutes of staring at an otherwise masturbatory form of self-expression, eh?


Popular posts from this blog

New Yorker Fiction Review #146: "Three Short Moments in a Long Life" by John L'Heureux

Issue: May 9, 2016

Story: "Three Short Moments in a Long Life" by John L'Heureux

Rating: $

Review: I feel like this is a somewhat tired technique, straight out of Creative Writing 101: write a story consisting of three or four different snapshots or snippets out of a character's life at different ages, sort of like a series of written photographs. Fun perhaps, but strikes me as a bit amateurish. However, I also think L'Heureux succeeds here by pushing it a bit further, playing with the character's tentative attempts at something close to faith -- in childish, adult, and mature adult ways -- and tying all three "Short Moments" together in a subtle and readily decipherable way.

L'Heureux's prose and his frank humor and his ability to glorify and find the meaning in the mundane events and thoughts of every day life, and thereby turn the life of an ordinary person into a drama with meaning and significance puts me in mind of John Irving. As well a…

New Yorker Fiction Review #151: "The Bog Girl" by Karen Russell

From the June 20 issue...

My loyal readers (if there are still any, which I doubt) will know I'm usually not a fan of Magical Realism, which, as you may also know, is Karen Russell's stock in trade. That said, there's nothing I love more than having my antipathy for magical realism shattered by an awesome story like "The Bog Girl."

Briefly, an Irish teenager discovers the body of a young woman who as been buried in a bog for over 2,000 years and begins to date her. What more do you need, right? If I'd read that one-line description somewhere else, and wasn't on a mission to review every New Yorker short story, I doubt I'd have read "The Bog Girl." But maybe I should start doing a George Costanza and do the opposite of everything I think I should do.

Where Russell succeeds here is in two main areas: 1.) Making us really love Cillian, the teenager who falls in love with the bog girl, and 2.) pulling the unbelievable trick making the characters…

Water Review: San Pellegrino 250ml Bottle

Damn you, tiny little bottle of San Pellegrino. So little. So cute. But what are you really good for other than to make me wish I had a full bottle of Pellegrino? 
Good as a palate cleanser after a nice double espresso, I will give it that. But little else. The suave yet chaotic burst of Pellegrino bubbliness is still there, but with each sip you feel the tragedy of being that much closer to the end of the bottle, that much faster.

This is a bottle of water made specifically for the frustrated, for the meticulous, for the measurers among us with a penchant for the dainty. This water does not love you in the wild, on a sunny porch or with the raucous laughter of friends. No...much the opposite. Whatever that may be.

Best drunk in tiny, tiny sips, while forcing oneself through an unreadable and depressing Russian novel one does not want to read but feels one should, on a cold, wet day in December that promises four months of gloom and depression...or in pairs or threes and poured over …