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Currently reading: White Gold Wielder, the final book of the Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant by Stephen R. Donaldson. Rereading this series for the first time in probably five years and I had forgotten what a great exercise it is for the vocabulary. It's hellishly depressing, too, but that's neither here nor there.

Next up:
-- No Shortcuts to the Top: Climbing the World's 14 Highest Peaks, by Ed Viesturs, the elite American climber and athlete. Viesturs is one of the most highly-regarded mountaineers ever and I'm looking forward to reading his stories.

-- The Driver: My Dangerous Pursuit of Speed and Truth in the Outlaw Racing World, by Alex Roy. Alex is famous (or infamous) for his brushes with the law. He's participated in the Bullrun, the Gumball 3000 Rally numerous times, and plenty of other rallies. He also holds the record for the Los Angeles to New York cross-country run at 31 hours, 4 minutes. See http://www.teampolizeihq.com for more information about him. This book is about his experiences during the Gumball 3000 and Bullrun rallies over the years -- the Team Polizei story from the inside. Looking forward to this one as well.

-- Fool Moon and Grave Peril by Jim Butcher. Two good friends recently turned me on to the Dresden Files series. Having already read the first book and picked up several others in the lengthy series at the local used bookstores, I finally ran them out of copies before I could find the 2nd and 3rd books I needed to continue. So I added these to the list and they showed up in yesterday's shipment from Amazon. Now I can keep going and when I get to the 6th, 8th, 9th and 10th books in the series, I've already got those used. :)

Currently listening: Darwin's Radio: Template for a Generation. [livejournal.com profile] kevinjdog was right about this group -- they are indeed strongly reminiscent of Glass Hammer, of whom I'm a longtime fan. Vocals are higher-pitched but the song structures and the epic prog-rock feel are very similar. Great keyboards.

Next up in today's playlist:

-- Vanden Plas: Far Off Grace. This is still their best album, I think.

-- Tribe of Gypsies -- Tribe of Gypsies III. A recent acquisition. This is guitar / studio wizard Roy Z's Latin-metal project. I wish I could find the first album anywhere for less than $50, though.

-- Firewater -- The Golden Hour. Another recent acquisition. No idea what this will be like. Recommended by [livejournal.com profile] fairgoldberry.

-- Matisyahu -- Shake Off The Dust....Arise. This album entertains me immensely. Jewish reggae, how can you not dig that?

-- Circus Maximus -- Isolate. One of the best prog-metal albums I've heard in the past decade.

-- Genesis -- .....And Then There Were Three. Another recent acquisition, recommended by [livejournal.com profile] kevinjdog some time ago. Still working through the Genesis back catalog.

-- Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble -- Texas Flood. The classic just keeps getting better with age. I miss SRV.

New acquisitions on Blu-Ray:

-- Band of Brothers. The best TV series I've ever seen, bar none. Can't wait to see how this looks in high-def as I've already had it on DVD for years.

-- House of Flying Daggers. One of my favorite wuxia films. Looking forward to this one too.

-- Watchmen: Director's Cut. I am REALLY looking forward to this one, especially to see what else was added in the director's cut.

-- Master and Commander: Far Side of the World. Minimalist Blu-Ray with almost no extras, but all I'm concerned with is the high-def picture and sound. This movie was a feast for the senses and that's all I care about.

-- Troy: Director's Cut. Curious about the director's cut, but more interested in the picture and sound. This is, after all, an epic film, even if somewhat poorly executed.

-- Sin City: Recut, Extended Edition. Rodriguez's masterpiece imagining of Miller's work. This one is said to have incredible picture and sound, a real demo disc for your system. Looking forward to seeing the improvements over the DVD.


How are things with you today? What're you reading, listening to, watching?

-- END OF LINE --

[[The Oracle would like to know what you're doing for Halloween]].

Date: 2009-10-09 11:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kevinjdog.livejournal.com
Glad you like Darwin's Radio. I haven't gotten Template yet, but I did buy their first one.

Genesis is immortal to me. They always return to my playlist at some point. Yes, Kansas, Crimson... they've sort of faded for me somewhat, but Genesis is always there in force.

Also another recommendation: If you haven't bought any Paul Gilbert since Mr. Big, I highly recommend "Get Out Of My Yard" along with "Silence followed by a Deafening Roar." I consider Gilbert to be the equal to Satriani (in fact, his recent stuff kicks Satch's recent music's ass) in the instrumental rock writing department. He doesn't just shred; he actually constructs what he does. He goes from acoustic to funk to hard rock to Haydn to Elvis Costello effortlessly.

I'm not sure how to classify Big Big Train; I'll have to listen to the latter more and let you know.

Muse is something like alternative rock/Eurodisco Queen with a prog edge. Matt Bellamy has a very big, rich, Mercurial voice that radiates sad emo and pomposity in equal measures.
Edited Date: 2009-10-09 11:35 pm (UTC)

Date: 2009-10-10 03:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dslartoo.livejournal.com
"Get Out Of My Yard" was picked up the other day after the PG recommendation and "Silence" is on its way. I loved "Yard" when I heard it enough to grab "Silence" too. Gilbert was always one of my favorite musicians but the stuff I'd heard since Mr. Big was always vocal-accompanied ("King of Clubs" was not to my taste). Some musicians just do better instrumental than vocal music.

I also quite like the two IQ discs I've acquired although the singer is not a huge favorite. Perhaps he'll grow on me. The musicianship is outstanding, though.

cheers,
Phil

Date: 2009-10-13 10:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sassysesame.livejournal.com
As for watching, I highly recommend Psych if you haven't seen it yet. Well written and funny. Good cast. Dexter is also a must see, especially the first and third season. We are watching the fourth season on frostwire. Listening? I'm pretty behind with new music. I believe Muse is the last band that caught my attention. Great live, too. Reading? Currently re-reading Harry Potter to help Sketch with notes for Deadly Abridgment and finished A Big Little Life, memoirs of Trixie Koonst, Dean Koonst's dog. I like his style; I will have to try reading some of his books, and not just the ones his dog wrote.

Halloween we're going to co-worker of Sketch's wedding. Costume shindig. Should be fun! I hope you are halloweening in style. Take care!

Date: 2009-10-16 03:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] normalcyispasse.livejournal.com
After reading your list, "The Driver" sounded interesting and I grabbed a copy at the library. It's fantastic! I've followed the Gumball 3000 since its inception and know the driver and team; this account is really, really engrossing.

The Ed Visteurs book is more reflective than adventurous (I read it a few months ago) but still very engrossing. By the by, later this month Ed Visteurs is coming to the local performing arts theater (where I happen to work) as part of the National Geographic Live! tour. I already have my tickets. Visteurs has been a prominent point in the mountain lore which has fascinated me for so many years, and I'm excited to see him speak.

Date: 2009-10-16 03:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dslartoo.livejournal.com
I agree with you on both, actually -- I finished Ed's book two days after it arrived and finished "The Driver" yesterday. I immediately dashed off a note to all my car-loving friends to go pick up Alex's book because it is indeed fantastic. Really cool stuff. Ed's is less likely to appeal to a wide audience, only mountaineering freaks or exercise freaks. At least I fit the former. :)

cheers,
Phil

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