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"Before you know it as the years go by, you're just like other people you have seen, with all those peculiar human ailments. Just another vehicle for temper and vanity and rashness and all the rest. Who wants it? Who needs it? These things occupy the place where a man's soul should be." -- Henderson the Rain King

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Surveillance

Book #35 on my list this year was local lit legend Jonathan Raban's novel Surveillance.

Another post-9/11 novel, Raban's new work explores modern political issues in a Puget Sound locale that will resonate with Seattlites. Raban is always enjoyable, but for new comers I'd recommend Waxwings instead. I'm still catching up on my book blogging, but check out the Guardian review for a good breakdown.

Jonathan Raban site

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Reasons To Live

Woefully behind again. Will he ever catch up? Probably not folks. On the bright side, the books just keep on coming. Book #34 of my list this year was Amy Hempel's Reasons To Live.

Reasons to Live is "Short Story 101" required reading. Hempel's classic is a jewel of the 'less is more' school, nearly poetry masquerading as fictional prose. If raw wasn't such an overused adjective I'd use it here, but you get my drift.

"Amy Hempel is certainly the most experimental and potentially the most exciting of the writers of her generation" -- David Leavitt, NY Time Book Review

Read "Today Will Be a Quiet Day" free online....thank you internets


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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Bumbershoot

Pretty late, but here's a quick recap of some of the highlights I saw at Bumbershoot this year:
  • Art Brut - Raucous set was possibly the highlight of the weekend
  • Roky Erickson - Brought the rockin' something fierce. I walk with the zombie!
  • Nick Drake Tribute - Ian Ball, John Wesley Harding and my main man Damien Jurado playing tunes and discussing Drake with host Kurt Reighley? Yes, please.
  • Magnolia Electric Company - Solid set to kick off the festivities. Waited around and got Jason Molina to sign the new MECo box set afterwards.
  • Menomena - Brought a full on choir with them. Was a good reminder that their sweet new disc is a favored contender for my year end Top 10.
  • Bad Ass Writers - Ryan Boudinot read an excellent story from his new book due out next year. W00t.
  • Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Proving that a stadium show can actually sound good *gasp*
  • Miranda July's Learning to Love You More - Is there anything she can't do?
  • Flatstock - Rock postery goodness. Scored a 'I Remember Country Music' shirt from Standard Deluxe.

All in all it was a fairly weak line-up compared to previous years, but the highlights were good and it's a pretty sweet way to spend a Labor Day weekend.

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Human Nature

Film #49 of my '07 watch list was Human Nature.

My NetFlix rating: 2.5 stars
Jamie says: Indescribably bizarre.
RIYL: Charlie Kaufman, Tarzan, The Jungle Book


Rotten Tomatoes reviews
Wikipedia

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