Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Whatcha Readin’ and Listenin’ To Wednesday: November 12, 2008

I appreciate your response to this new feature. It’s been great to see what’s getting your attention, and it’s given me a few ideas for future readings and listenings. Don’t worry—this Wednesday thing will not supplant all other posts here; despite a crazy couple of weeks, I’ll have a “traditional” rant post up later this week.

I’ve finally wrapped up Thomas Friedman’s Hot, Flat, and Crowded. (Trust me, listening to a book read over 17 CDs is no easy feat.) A couple of books have had me spending ample time tiring my eyes, as you’ll see below, but it’s a musical highlight I’ll share with you this week.

For more years than I care to count, I’ve admired and respected the music of Steve Hackett, so much so that I planned a trip to London a few years ago around the chance to see his triumphant acoustic concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall.

Hackett was the lead guitarist in Genesis back in the classic days of the band—when Peter Gabriel sang, before pop trumped progressive for the group’s soul. His catalog since he left the band in 1977 has included some aural brilliance, including one of my featured CDs this week, Spectral Mornings (1979). The title track, in particular, is a moving instrumental piece that this week—like in many occasions before—brought tears to my ears upon a focused listen.

I don’t care what flavor of music you enjoy the most—pop, rock, classical, metal, you name it—get this song from iTunes. Then grab a glass of your favorite wine, turn the lights down, breathe deeply, and bask in the pure emotion he brings out of his guitar.


The Road, Cormac McCarthy: I bought this a while back when it first came out in paperback. But I only just got around to reading it, spurred on by a blurb about the forthcoming movie adaptation, starring Viggo Mortensen. The last time I saw a movie without having read the book upon which it was based (The Golden Compass, based on Philip Pullman’s Northern Lights) I vowed to read the book first. It’s sparsely written and dark—it is McCarthy, after all—but hard to put down.

Death By Black Hole and Other Cosmic Quandaries, Neil deGrasse Tyson: The most publicity-savvy astronomer of our generation explores aspects of space and our place in it—including what would happen to you if you fell into a black hole. Often repetitive, but greatly entertaining.

Listening To:

Steve Hackett, Spectral Mornings
Finger Eleven, The Greyest of Blue Skies
Frameshift, Unweaving the Rainbow
Anthrax, Persistence of Time
Don Henley, Building the Perfect Beast
The Who, Who’s Next


At November 12, 2008 2:43 PM, Blogger Jessica replied to my musings ...

I love Steve Hackett thanks to you! :) I wrote a post a while back needing music recommendations, and you mentioned him. His music is so great.

Funny you are reading about black holes, I was having a conversation about them this weekend. From what I gather if you were to fall in, for you, time stops. You can see your body being stretched etc? Never read extensively on the topic, but that's what I gathered from my conversation. Interesting stuff!

Today I'm listening to:

Barenaked Ladies
Nya Jade
Iron Savior
and Counting Crows.

I'm reading:
The Enlightened Mind, edited by Steven Mitchell. So far, very enlightening.

At November 12, 2008 7:43 PM, Blogger Barbara(aka Layla) replied to my musings ...

Yo David.

I have "The Road" on my nightstand waiting for me to finish volume three of Maya Angelou AND the latest book I picked up. "Interview with a Vampire". I had never read any Anne Rice and someone told me I'd like her so here I am deeply involved in the lives of LeStat and Louis....

As for music, I have been listening to stuff I have never heard before and therefore can't even remember the names of the bands.

Mitch Mitchell died today :(

At November 12, 2008 8:04 PM, Blogger Jim replied to my musings ...

copy the audio CDs to your iPod -- I never appreciated what a screenwriter does in adapting a novel to a screenplay until I had to switch in and out 14 CDs if a book takes 10 or more hours to read aloud think of trying to cut that to 1 1/2 or 2 hours of screen time.

mindile<-an island where you go to think

At November 12, 2008 8:26 PM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

Jessica: I'm glad you've enjoyed his music. That makes my day. I haven't listened to Barenaked Ladies in some time (unless One Week or It's All Been Done pops up in shuffle on my iPod).

Barbara: Yo. Don't start The Road unless you want to stay up all night nervously turning every page. I warned you!

Jim: It does take a keen sense to condense work while retaining the style and message. "Mindle?" Really? That's the most wordlike comment verification I've seen.

At November 12, 2008 9:48 PM, Blogger cjk_44 replied to my musings ...

The book I will attempt to read this week is “Boom! Voices of the Sixties” written by Tom Brokaw.

Music in my ears this past week or so:

1. Scar Symmetry – Holographic Universe
2. U2 – random tracks
3. Windmills by the Ocean – s/t
4. The Who – Who Are You
5. Intronaut – Prehistoricisms

Much like I've gone back in time to discover the entire Pink Floyd catalog I've begun to do the same for Geneis, but not Steve Hackett's solo work - but I will check it out soon.

At November 12, 2008 10:54 PM, Blogger Ray Van Horn, Jr. replied to my musings ...

Oh, fragging hell, Mitch Mitchell died? Dammit! One of the best drummers of all-time!!! Arrgh!

I just got sent a paperback copy of Nikki Sixx's book for review and I'm currently reviewing the Derek Hess and Kent Smith collab art/prose book Please God Save Us, a very scatching political book with Derek Hess' decidedly anti-Republican artwork...mindblowing at times

cjk, nice pull on Windmills! love that disc My big spinner and review for this week is the new Fiftywatthead...good shite!

Mondo Spin List:

AC/DC - Black Ice
AC/DC - Highway to Hell
AC/DC - Dirty Deeds
AC/DC - High Voltage
Rush - Grace Under Pressure
Rush - Moving Pictures
Rush - Permanent Waves
Rush - Signals
Bigelf - Cheat the Gallows
Bloodbath - The Fathomless Mastery
Jeff Beck - Performing This Week... Live at Ronnie Scott's
Primus - Antipop
Jason Becker - Collection
The Rotted - Get Dead Or Die Trying
Bionic - Black Blood
Prince - Come
Prince - Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic
Prince - Controversy
John Scofield - What We Do
Ascension of the Watchers - Numinosum
Canvas Solaris - The Atomized Dream
Fiftywatthead - Fogcutter
Girlschool - Legacy
Withered - Folie Circulaire

At November 12, 2008 10:57 PM, Blogger The Mad Hatter replied to my musings ...

Oh, man. Persistence Of Time. I haven't listened to that in ages. I think I might have to pull it up ... right ... now.

At November 13, 2008 6:07 AM, Blogger Metal Mark replied to my musings ...

I have been reading books on volcanoes because I have a program on them at my work soon.

Tank-This means war (re-issue)
Skull Hammer-Fear the truth
Los Difuntos-s/t
X/World/5-New universal order
Sammy Hagar-Cosmic Universal Fashion
Ancestors-Neptune with fire
Ogre-Plague of the planet
Randy Piper's Animal-Virus
WASP-The Last Command

At November 13, 2008 6:17 AM, Blogger David Amulet replied to my musings ...

CJK: Tell me how Brokaw's book is. I doubt he'll do for the '60s what he did for the "greatest generation," but I could be wrong. Next week I'll post about the new Gabriel-era Genesis box set, which I got last night and will be spinning all week.

Ray: I'm curious about Nikki's new book. The Heroin Diaries was initially engaging but became repetitive. Although i have Rush in almost every week, I can't recall the last time I listening to all of Signals or Grace Under Pressure, two of my least favorite Rush albums.

MH: That's one of the cool things about this feature--getting prompted to give some old favorite a listen.

Mark: With your focus on volcanos, I think you should have been listening to Van Halen's first album, specifically "Eruption."

At November 13, 2008 4:04 PM, Blogger angel, jr. replied to my musings ...

Not really listening to anything in particular.

I'm still trying to get through "Good Omens" by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. But it seems like I never have time to read anymore.

At November 13, 2008 6:35 PM, Blogger Perplexio replied to my musings ...

Currently Reading: A Question of Loyalty by Douglas Waller. It's the true story of the high profile court martial of Col. Billy Mitchell in 1925. Considering Mitchell's foresight into the importance of air combat in future wars the book is quite an intriguing read. Mitchell even predicted the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor over 16 years before it actually happened!

Currently Listening To:
Australian Crawl - The Boys Light Up
Australian Crawl - Sirocco
James Reyne - ...and the horse you rode in on
James Reyne - Every Man a King
Paul Kelly - Songs Form the South: The Best of Paul Kelly
Hunters & Collectors - Juggernaut
Mondo Rock - Chemistry
Mondo Rock - Nuovo Mondo
Icehouse - Great Southern Land
Gustav Mahler - Ninth Symphony in D Major
Johann Strauss II - Tales from the Vienna Woods
Johann Strauss II - The Blue Danube Waltz

So basically a bunch of Australian music and a couple of Austrian longhairs...

At November 14, 2008 12:31 AM, Blogger Phats replied to my musings ...

I am reading a dean koontz book called False Memory. Pretty good actually. I am also reading The Biography of Eleanor Roosevelt, since that is what I assigned for my AP history class I teach.

Listening to right now as I type this T-Pain. Sean Kingston in my car

At November 14, 2008 8:02 AM, Blogger Perplexio replied to my musings ...

phats: I know I'm not David but I had to reply to your comment, I read False Memory a few years back. It was good enough to hold my interest 'til the end. Although I'll be curious to see whether or not you come away from it with the same feeling I did. I don't want to say more for fear of ruining it for you.


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