Reading, Listening, Watching, etc.

Screen Shot 2016-03-18 at 2.05.42 PMWelcome to this week’s installment of “Reading, Listening, Watching, etc.”

If you haven’t guessed it by now, this is where I keep track of some of my media intake. You may or may not be in to the same things. That’s OK. Get your own website. It’s really not all that complicated. I’m sure you can figure it out. And while you are, here are some things for you to read, listen to, watch and/or consider.

Hope you enjoy.

Reading:

download_zps5o9nfob7Ok, so I’m still reading Brothers Karamozov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. OK?! So don’t want to talk about it.

Actually, who am I kidding, of course I want to talk about it! Are  you kidding me?!

I mean, come on. I can’t be the only person who would like to see this epic tale worked out for television by the people behind something like Downton Abbey. Let it play out over several seasons. Fetyukovich the Lawyer?! Smerdyakov?! And Ivan talks to the Devil? How is this going to work out?!

It’s definitely too much for a movie or even a miniseries. But, I think that the way we’ve been seeing some television series play themselves out as closed-ending stories, there might be hope. Watching something like LOST or Breaking Bad, stories which were told and allowed to end gives me hope that this story could be adapted for the screen.

But in the meantime, I love it and I’m glad I finally got around to reading it.

Music:

Damien JuradoVisions of Us On the Land

damien-jurado-visionsJurado’s label, Secretly Canadian, says the album, “completes the tale of an individual who has had to disappear from society in order to discover some universal truths”. NPR says: “As works of mood-altering music go, Jurado has upped the dosage with Visions. It’s a harrowing trip, led by a guide who’s all too familiar with the territory” (you can also stream the album at NPR Music.). Akin to Ryley Walker‘s take on Van Morrison‘s world, Visions of Us On The Land finds Jurado in top form, a soulful, sometimes psychedelic troubadour hitting his stride. It’s a beautiful and moving album.

Check out the official video for “Exit 353” here:


  • Visit Jurado’s official website

Star & MiceyGet ‘Em Next Time

Yes, I know I posted about these guys last week, but that’s how much I dig their stuff. I love coming across bands that just feel natural, like you’ve always liked them. Or at least you would have always liked them if you had known about them sooner. Star & Micey are that kind of band.

Here they are performing on a trolley in 2010. Dig it:


 

  • Visit Star & Micey’s official website
  • Buy the band’s music at Amazon

Reading, Listening, Watching, etc.

Screen Shot 2016-03-11 at 2.06.10 PMLet’s be honest here: these posts are more for me than you. I mean, I’m pleasantly pleased if you do read them and even more pleasantly pleased if you find something you like. But I like keeping track of things I’m reading, listening to and reading so that I can compare the things I’ve taken in with the things that make it to my “favorites of the year” list. I listen to a lot of music and I try to read, on average, a book a week (though it doesn’t always work out that way) and its neat to be able to look back and see how certain bands, songs, books, movies, television shows, etc. can remind you of very specific times in your life.

With all of that long-windedness in mind, here is some of what I’ve been digging lately:

Reading:

Brothers Karamozov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

download_zps5o9nfob7Yes, I’m still making my way through Brothers Karamozov. Want to make something of it? What, you think you’re world’s fastest reader or something? Well, maybe you are. How was I supposed to know. Anyways, it’s really good.

 

ESV Journaling Bible, Interleaved Edition

Image-1I recently picked up the Interleaved edition of the ESV journaling bible. I love to make lots of notes, draw and doodle. It helps me process, so I was considering having a custom bible bound but I went ahead and opted for the interleaved ESV Journaling Bible. I went with the brown cloth one and overall I really like it. I wish the pages were a bit thicker but then again I didn’t want to go to the time and trouble to design my own so I can’t/won’t complain too much.

Listening:

Gaelynn Lea/Murder of Crows

unnamedNPR Music’s Tiny Desk Concerts have a now-annual contest to be given a Tiny Desk Concert. This year’s winner, Gaelynn Lea beat out over 6,000 other entries and it’s easy to see why. Combining looping with ancient Irish melodies, Lea creates hauntingly beautiful songs. If you haven’t seen the contest-winning video, peep it here. The visuals focus on the desk until the melody has sufficiently captured you. Then, once the vocals come in, the camera pans 61XsgKA2poL._SS280back to reveal Lea, a small woman in a wheelchair who plays the violin like others would the cello. Far from being a hindrance, Lea’s size makes her approach to the violin utterly unique.

Lea also plays with Low/Retribution Gospel Choir/Black Eyed Snakes guy Alan Sparkhawk as Murder of Crows. Watch Lea’s Tiny Desk Concert featuring Sparhawk here:



And watch the duo perform one of my current favorite songs, “Your Battle” in 2011:



  • Visit Gaelynn Lea’s website
  • Visit Murder of Crow’s website
  • Read an interview with Lea about working with Sparhawk
  • Buy Lea’s music at Amazon

Star & Micey

51no5jBV5pL._SS280Memphis’ Star & Micey just released their debut LP (they have released several EPs and singles) Get ‘Em Next Time. The band creates infectious and urgent good ol’ rockitty roll and dangitall if they aren’t just really good. They are. I like them. I think you might too.

You can stream the album now at Soundcloud, or check out the band performing “I Can’t Wait” for Audiotree:



Here’s “Everything” from the same Audiotree sessions:



  • Visit Star & Micey’s official website
  • Buy the band’s music at Amazon

Mount Moriah

mountmoriah_zpse2d7rjru As if we haven’t already had enough musical goodness today, I want to add Chapel Hill’s Mount Moriah to the mix. The band’s newest album How To Dance has become one of my favorites of the year so far. Paste magazine named the band “the best of what’s next” way back in 2013 and the band has only solidified their sound since then. Describing the band’s maturation, Pitchfork says: “The trio is now so fluent in roots music that it passes as their native tongue.”

Here’s the band as a duo performing “Calvander” for Paste:



Watch the official video for the track “Precita”:



  • Visit the band’s official website

Watching:

Parks and Recreation

maxresdefaultWe are almost all the way through Parks and Recreation. We don’t watch much “live television” so we’ve seen the show but never regularly. That’s the beauty of a service like Netflix or Amazon Prime. We’ve just about made our way through the show and it’s been really good. Like any good show, it is filled with great characters who have been not only casted well but developed over time.

Watch Ron Swanson on Snake Juice:



What media have you been digging lately, my faithful pop culture digging friends?!

Reading and Listening

Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 6.41.46 AMOnce again I’ve got several updates for y’all’s perusing pleasure. A couple of new books, especially since Wilde’s “The Soul Of Man Under Socialism” isn’t so much a book as an essay. Nevertheless, if you haven’t read it, I highly recommend it.

Anyways, here’s what’s new this week:

Reading:

Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones 

I’m a big fan of Hayao Miyazaki‘s movies and that includes his adaptation of Howl’s Moving Castle. However, as good as Miyazaki can be, I’m a firm believer that the book is usually better. I guess we’ll find out, won’t we?

The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

OK. I have a confession to make. I have never read this book even though it has come widely recommended by just about everyone I respect. Better late than never, right?

 

Listening:

Banshee by the Cave Singers

OK, so I’m actually just anticipating this one since it won’t be released for another week or so. But I am looking forward to the Pacific Northwest band’s fifth album.

Night Fiction by Cian Nugent

Three years after Born With the Caul, Nugent ditches the Cosmos and the purely instrumental approach. It can sometimes rightly give listeners pause when an instrumental artist decides to add vocals. It just doesn’t always work, especially when the artist in question wants to not only sing themselves but be a “singer-songwriter”. Thank goodness Nugent found a way to smoothly make the transition.