Thursday, November 06, 2008

Whatcha Readin’ and Listenin’ To Wednesday

It’s a new feature on this site—and a tribute to one of my favorite bloggers—even if a day late.

Ray over at The Metal Minute is taking a well deserved blogging break to take care of higher priorities, something I greatly respect.

To honor his choice—and to keep alive one of his most entertaining “audience participation” features—today I begin a weekly series both to let you know what I’m reading and listening to and to find out what’s getting your attention. Sometimes I’ll offer my reasons for jumping into these books and CDs as well as insights on the choices to spur some of your own.

This week, I’m finishing up my long listen to my first full-length, unabridged audiobook, Thomas Friedman’s Hot, Flat, and Crowded. This follow-up to the impressive The World Is Flat presents the unique challenges presented by the interaction effects among global climate change, globalization, and demographics but also offers suggestions for making our way out of this mess. I’ve been slow to come around to the topic of global climate change—finding it easier to hide my head in the sand than give it any serious thought—so I’ve found his research and ideas particularly intriguing.

On the music front, I’m still in the Halloween mood, so my car’s six-CD changer retains some of the holiday mood music.

Reading (or having read to me):

Hot, Flat, and Crowded, Thomas Friedman (on CD)

Roma Eterna, Robert Silverberg: A fun alternative history of how the world might have developed during the past two millennia if Christianity had not spread through the Roman Empire and the mighty empire had not fallen.

Gut Feelings: The Intelligence of the Unconscious, Gerd Gigerenzer: All about the power of thoughts that we don’t even know we have.

Um … : Slips, Stumbles, and Verbal Blunders, and What They Mean, Michael Erard: Why do people fumble for the right word? Are verbal fillers like “um” and “uh” signs of unprofessional speaking? Erard addresses these and other questions in a book that makes “um” much more interesting than it has a right to be.

Listening To:

Tiamat, Amanethes
Nine Inch Nails, The Fragile
Iron Maiden, The Number of the Beast
Rush, 2112
Soundtrack, Underworld
Soundtrack, The Crow
Genesis, A Trick of the Tail
Eagles of Death Metal, Death By Sexy


At November 06, 2008 11:59 AM, Blogger Jeff replied to my musings ...

I've been reading Heavier than Heaven lately which is a bio of Kurt Cobain. And subsequently, I've been listening to a ton of Nirvana.

I might have to check out that Roma Eterna book, sounds interesting.

At November 06, 2008 6:12 PM, Blogger Metal Mark replied to my musings ...

I have been reading a bunch of kids books mainly for my job.

I have been listening to these.

Randy Piper's Animal-Virus
Santana-Multi-dimensional warrior
Glamnation 4
Damaged Dolls-Demo
Beehoover-Heavy zooo
Iron Maiden-A matter of life and death
Hanoi Rocks-Several titles
Cotton Soeterboek band-Twisted
Benediction-Killing Music
WASP-The last command
Beneath the massacre-Dystopia
Pro-pain-No end in sight

At November 06, 2008 10:44 PM, Blogger Phats replied to my musings ...

Hey David
I just finished 7th Heaven by James Patterson, and started False Memory by Dean Koontz.

Listening to Chris Brown currently at this exact moment, in my car I have Garth Brooks double live playing.

At November 07, 2008 12:17 AM, Blogger Ray Van Horn, Jr. replied to my musings ...

Hails to you, my friend. Carry on and carry well, as I said elsewhere, I'm very flattered for your accolades and offer to keep Whattya rolling. I especially salute the "Reading" addition. Seriously, I thank you, mate...

As I'm putting the wraps to an article I'm writing following my interview with Iced Earth's Jon Schafer, I'll say that my reading time is limited, particularly with 5 articles due this week (this is # 3) and the usual duties you're aware of. I am in slow transit in a book on Culp's Hill at the battle of Gettysburg, appropriate when doing a piece on Jon Schafer, suffice it to say.

Here's my spin list:

Iced Earth - Crucible of Man: Something Wicked Part 2
Iced Earth - The Glorious Burden
Boris - Flood
Boris - The Thing Which Solomon Overlooked
Bigelf - Cheat the Gallows
Byzantine - Oblivion Beckons
Jeff Loomis - Zero Order Phase
Bomboras - Head Shrinkin' Fun
AC/DC - Black Ice
Ohm - Circus of Sound
Sweet - Desolation Boulevard
Gene Vincent - The Capitol Collectors' Series
Scars On Broadway - s/t
Tears For Fears - Songs From the Big Chair
Neurosis - Given to the Rising
Spiritual Beggars - s/t
The Rotted - Get Dead or Die Trying

At November 07, 2008 5:55 AM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

Jeff: Roma Eterna presents some interesting "what if" scenarios--like what if the Romans sent a conquering fleet to the Americas, and what if a Roman bureaucrat encountered Muhammad in Arabia.

Mark: I'm really curious about Beehoover, I want to hear it.

Phats: Your reading list is the same as my mother's. Maybe I'll have her mail you her books after she's done--you'd probably love them. She doesn't go for the Chris Brown or Garth Brooks, however.

Ray: I'm happy to carry this on--you're a busy man these days, and for good reasons.

It must have been a glorious burden to interview Schafer (sorry, I couldn't resist). Nice variety in CD player this week! I like the contrast between TfF and The Rotted, among others. I'm curious what you think of Black Ice.

At November 07, 2008 8:04 AM, Blogger Perplexio replied to my musings ...

Right now I'm reading Selden Edwards' The Little Book. It's a time travel tale about a rock musician from the 60s going back to turn of the century Vienna. So far it's an intriguing read. It's Edwards first book and it took the guy over 10 years to write it.

I recently finished King, Kaiser, Tsar by Catrine Clay. It was about the familial relationships and tensions between Tsar Nicholas II, King George V, and Kaiser Wilhelm II that eventually led to World War I.

As for what I'm listening to... A lot of Aussie music lately: James Reyne, Australian Crawl, Mondo Rock, Icehouse, and a wee bit of Crowded House. About the only non Aussie music I'm listening to right now is Bill Champlin's latest solo album, No Place Left to Fall, his first in over 12 years and Steve Lukather's latest solo album, Ever Changing Times. Both of which I'm thoroughly enjoying.

At November 07, 2008 9:22 PM, Blogger The Mad Hatter replied to my musings ...

Right now I'm reading the Constitution, Borges' The Aleph and listening to the Stooges Fun House and Zappa's Burnt Weeny Sandwich alternately.

At November 07, 2008 9:31 PM, Blogger Ray Van Horn, Jr. replied to my musings ...

life isn't worth living without diversity and variety...I forgot that I too had spun WASP's Last Command as well as the s/t album a few times as well.

If I can some squeeze some quite minutes, I'll write up the AC/DC album at TMM...I liked it for its simplicity when I was starting to fall apart...yeah, it's sounding a little old, but at the same time, AC/DC do what they do, joy in repetition...I heard a few Zep and Stones influences in places as well

At November 07, 2008 10:34 PM, Blogger cjk_44 replied to my musings ...

Dave – Thanks for keeping this feature going.

1. AC/DC – mix of Brian Johnson-era
2. Intronaut – Prehistoricisms
3. Baroness – First, Second
4. Pink Floyd – Animals
5. David Baerwald – Here Comes the New Folk Underground

Lately I’ve been taking work home with me so nothing’s being read at the moment except the books I’m reading with the kids before their bedtime.

At November 10, 2008 3:59 PM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

Perplexio: I knew I could count on Champlin being on your list. Who else plays on Lukather's album?

Mad Hatter: I used to try to read the Constitution every year just to remind myself of the basics. It's probably been 15 years since I did that, though.

Ray: I'll look for a Black Ice write-up. Just please don't put a lot of time into it!

CJK: Wow--I haven't listened to Animals in years. Never heard of Intronaut, what is that? And I admire your aural stamina--I can only take about 15 minutes of Brian Johnson in each sitting.

At November 11, 2008 10:45 AM, Anonymous LisaBinDaCity replied to my musings ...

I'm reading these mysteries by J.D. Roth aka Nora Roberts. Before you scoff, they are amazingly well written and super fun. She gets a lot of praise from other mystery writers.

At November 12, 2008 6:50 AM, Blogger cjk_44 replied to my musings ...


My love for AC/DC has more to do with the guitar than the vocals. I actually prefer the Bon Scott-era of the band.

Intronaut is one of the new(er) metal bands in the vein of Isis. They get stuck with the post-metal genre tag. Great dynamics, technically superior playing, and whacked-out songwriting.

When I was younger the only Pink Floyd album that meant anything to me was The Wall. As I've gotten older I've just kept working my way back in time. I find "Animals" to be fascinating.

At November 13, 2008 6:15 PM, Blogger Perplexio replied to my musings ...

David, In addition to Champlin playing on Lukather's solo album, Lukather's own son, Trevor (incidentally, on Champlin's solo album both his son, Will, and his wife, Tamara, also do guest vocals), also plays on it. It also features drummer Abe Laboriel Jr. on all tracks. I'm not sure who else plays on that one off the top of my head though.


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