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Monthly Archives: September 2013

New Music – October

Next month has a good bunch of records that I’m very excited about. So. I wanted to tell you about them. So. Let’s go.

October 1:

B-Room – Dr. Dog

Dr. Dog is one of those bands that have a relentless schedule of new music released. I love every record and always look forward to anything they put out. This is no exception. Here’s “Broken Heart:”

The 20/20 Experience 2 – Justin Timberlake

If this record is as half as good as the first one, it will be worth the price of admission. Timberlake knows how to make great, thought-provoking pop music. The first single is more upbeat and a little less fleshed out as anything off the first 20/20 but it’s still a killer tune:

Pure Heroine – Lorde

Lorde, 16-year-old Ella Yelich-O’Conner from New Zealand, is making incredible pop music. You might have heard her first single and might not know who she is. I’m not sure if this song is going to be on her debut album but I can’t get it out of my head. Here’s “Royals:”

October 8:

Melophobia – Cage the Elephant

This is just one of those fun rock bands that are just great to listen to. I saw them open for Manchester Orchestra and they put on a really good show. This is the first single from the new album, “Come a Little Closer:”

October 15:

Magpie and the Dandelion – The Avett Brothers

I’m so excited that there was such a quick turnaround since their last album. You can’t have too much Avett Brothers. Saw them last year at ACL. Chad Smith from Red Hot Chili Peppers came out and played a song with them. Anyways, I’m looking forward to this new album. The first single:

Make a Move – Gavin DeGraw

For 10 years, Gavin DeGraw has been putting out great piano pop music. He has a very distinctive voice and songwriting style that is his own while still fitting onto pop radio. I still think his debut record is one of the best debut pop albums. Since then, I still look forward and jam out to every subsequent release by him. His first single is just as catchy as anything he’s written:

New – Paul McCartney

There’s not much I can say about Paul McCartney that you don’t already know. As one of the greatest and most prolific songwriters in the world, I look forward to any new stuff from him. And from the first single, this album sounds like it’ll be a great one.

October 29:

Reflektor – Arcade Fire

Arcade Fire’s last album was considered the best album of 2010 by numerous publications (and rightfully so). Because of that, everybody has high hopes for this new record. And guessing from the first single, the album will live up to any hype and expectations that people have. The music video is great, the song is killer. I can’t wait for this album.

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Anyways, support your favorite artist. Buy your music. Or not. Whatever. Just listen to great music.

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Posted by on September 24, 2013 in Lists, Music

 

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100 Greatest Novels: A Handful of Dust, As I Lay Dying, & All the King’s Men

There’s no time. Let’s get right to it. Three more of the 100 greatest novels:

Dust300A Handful of Dust by Evelyn Waugh

Having never heard of this author and not being familiar with the story, I didn’t know what to expect. The novel started out very similar to numerous novels on this list: wealthy British couple, London parties, and infidelity. A lot of novels written around the turn of the century have all of these elements. There’s usually at least one American character, a few unruly servants, and lots of gossip.

And yet the farther I got into the story, the more unexpected turns I came across. Just small things at first but by the last few chapters of the novel, I had no clue what was going to happen. All expectations based off previous novels were out the window and we were in new territory (figuratively and literally). And the result was a very enjoyable novel.

175px-AsILayDyingAs I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

Wow, what a depressing read. As I Lay Dying is a story of a backwoods family from Mississippi fulfilling the dying mother’s last wish, to be buried with her family in her hometown of Jefferson. Seems like an easy task, right? When you have the luck of the Bundrens, no task is easy. Barn fires, washed away bridges, accidents, injuries, and everything else comes in between this family and their destination.

Narrated by over a dozen different characters, each chapter has a different point of view. Some chapters are as short as one sentence: “My mother is a fish.” Some chapters have the viewpoint of minor characters we never fully meet. The narration of each chapter changes depending on the character. Some chapters are full of streams of conscious writing and others are very heavy on the person’s vernacular. The narration never becomes difficult to read because of this but some events aren’t completely understood until a chapter or two later depending on who first experiences the event. Even though this book was thoroughly depressing, I still really enjoyed the journey and look forward to reading it again.

200px-AllTheKingsMenAll the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren

The first political novel in this list, I thought this was a great read. Published in 1946, the novel follows Jack Burden, the right hand man of a southern politician, and the rise of the politician, Willie Stark. Jack starts as a political reporter following the story of Stark, a farmer running for governor, and over time works his way into the inner circle of Stark’s political machine. His story and the story of the governor are intertwined as political successes, personal tragedies, and historical events push the narration forward.

Written from Jack’s point of view, and as a student of history, Jack takes multiple tangents into stories that aren’t obviously connected to the story. Sometimes, I forgot about the governor and his campaigns while I was lost in some story Jack was telling. Ultimately, all of Jack’s ramblings and storytellings pay off as everything comes together in the end.

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Alright, we’re still heading forward. The next novel, The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder, doesn’t have a Kindle edition. I think I do have the physical book at my parent’s house somewhere. I’ll be there this weekend so I’ll have to look for it.

 
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Posted by on September 11, 2013 in 100 Greatest Novels, Book Review, Literature

 

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