Uncle Roger's Notebooks of Daily Life

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

New Music

Rachel (and the kids) got me a gift certificate to Amazon for Father's day and I finally got around to using it. I was able to parlay that into a dozen albums and two films. I got a nice selection of stuff; I'm trying to avoid just buying all Blues music these days so the kids get exposed to a wide variety of music. So, what was in this order? Here ya go:

Retrospective: The Best of Suzanne Vega -- Suzanne Vega
Suzanne Vega is a very underrated artist -- she's known for a few songs but that's just a small part of her body of work. I really like her almost surrealistic style. She kinda reminds me of Fiona Apple.
Ah Via Musicom -- Eric Johnson
I've heard Eric Johnson's song Cliffs of Dover on KFOG's online broadcast (they sometimes replace commercials with it when they can't use the commercials online). He seems to have a dedicated following and a large catalog, so I'm looking forward to listening to this in depth. Think Joe Satriani with a bit of Gary Moore thrown in, from what I've heard.
Perennial Favorites -- Squirrel Nut Zippers
I'm not sure how I came across these guys, but at some point, I added them to my wish list. Their FreeCDDB entry lists this album as swing, but I'm not sure that's entirely accurate. Still, I can't think of anything better.
Stevie Wonder - The Definitive Collection -- Stevie Wonder
Stevie Wonder. I didn't have any and I should have. 'nuff said.
Sugar in My Bowl: Vintage Sex Songs 1923-1952 -- Various Artists
If you know the names Sippie Wallace, Bessie Smith, and Sister Rosetta Tharpe, you'll get this. If not, well, suffice it to say it's old stuff. If you're intrigued, you probably want to look for something a little more mainstream from that era first. If it's the sex part that caught your eye, you'll be disappointed -- this collection ends about the time Playboy got started and think how tame the early issues of that seem now.
Madrigal History Tour -- The King's Singers
It was inexpensive, it covers a number of styles, and it's a known group. I figured it would be good to play for the kids.
The Reminder -- Feist
You've probably seen the video for her song 1234, but if you haven't already, check out the "making of" video on YouTube. Or, if it's more your style, try her version from Sesame Street.
Various Positions -- Leonard Cohen
I bought this particular album to compare Cohen's version of Hallelujah to Jeff Buckley's cover -- it's no contest; Buckley does much better with it -- but once I got it, I was curious how his version of Dance Me to the End of Love would compare to Madeleine Peyroux's (both are good, but they are very different.)
Hell Freezes Over -- Eagles
Can you believe I had no Eagles albums? I know that I had, at the very least, a copy of Hotel California, so it's either in storage somewhere (along with a whole lot of other albums) or it got stolen at some point.
Vivaldi: The Four Seasons; Violin Concertos -- Itzak Perlman
Can you believe I didn't have a recording of the four seasons? I have various albums that have parts, but not the complete work. It's probably because I don't think it's the red priest's best work (that would be his Lute concertos, of which I have an autographed copy). Still, because it's probably his most popular work, I figure it's important for the kids to know it (and, truth be told, it's grown on me over the years too.) This version has Itzak Perlman, yet it was a bargain disc -- just five bucks!
We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things -- Jason Mraz
His song I'm Yours has gotten a lot of airplay lately and I really like his fast patter style. Alas, after a quick listen, it seems the rest of the disc is not the same style. Still, it's enjoyable and I know I'll be listening to it a lot in the near future. I'll probably check out other albums; I especially like his song Wordplay which features the same patter style.
The Very Best of Kool & the Gang -- Kool & the Gang
Celebration! What more can I say? Time to party!

The two movies I got were the new Stargate movie, Stargate Continuum, and the Milagro Beanfield War. The latter I had seen but not for a long time. It's a great film. You should watch it. I had forgotten that it was directed by Robert Redford, but not that it had Christopher Walken in it. Stargate Continuum is a continuation of the Stargate SG-1 series, bringing the characters back to where they started, on the big screen. Except that it never made it into theatres; it went straight to DVD. Still, it's the original (television) cast, plus the totally cool Vala Mal Doran. I haven't had a chance to watch it yet, but I am definitely looking forward to it.

Journal Description

My life is, to me, ripe with frequent challenges, occasional successes, spontaneous laughter, adequate tears, and enough *life* to last me a lifetime. To you, however, it surely seems most pedestrian. And therefore, I recycle the name I used previously and call this my Notebooks of Daily Life. Daily, because it's everyday in nature, ordinary. These conglomeration of events that are my life are of interest to me because I live it, perhaps mildly so to those who are touched by it, and could only be of perverse, morbid curiosity to anyone else. Yet, I offer them here nonetheless. Make of them what you will, and perhaps you can learn from my mistakes.