General Meandering Post

Looks like the weather for the coming three day weekend at KCRF will be phenominal. Highs in the mid-60s, lows in the upper 40s. Of course, the two drawbacks are: 1) surviving three days, and 2) Columbus Day, the annual hosting of the Future Felons of America.

Anybody know of any good social stuff going on after Faire this weekend? I’ve been stuck in the house all week, and I want to cut loose a bit.

In other news, I went to the bookstore earlier this week and picked up a couple of goodies, including the first novel from a new imprint doing good old-fashioned hard-boiled crime fiction, Hard Case Crime. The first novel in the line is from Stephen King, and is a tribute to the days of Raymond Chandler, Dashiel Hammet and Mickey Spillane. I’m in heaven. Hell, even the books themselves are made to look like old paperbacks:

I also scored a major coup in the bargain bin. My favorite manga series, Five Star Stories, which I had been reading occasionally in Japanese since the late 80s, had been released in oversized English translation editions. I had picked up the first 3 volumes when I was living in NYC. Well, Hastings had volumes 4 through 12 in the bargain bin, priced at 1.99 each (rather than the 10 bucks per that they usually go for). Kick-ass Renaissance-themed Giant Robot manga for 80% off? Yes please.

I mean, Jesus….look at this:

Friday Music

Fall has finally arrived, and I’m in a great mood. So, without further ado:

Kicking things off with one of my favorite bass riffs ever: The English Beat – “Twist and Crawl”. Nothing like a little bit of second-wave ska to get people bouncing at their desks on a Friday.

Take what may be the best Bond theme ever, composed by John Barry, add David Arnold’s production and conducting skills and then give it to a couple of electronic musicians to screw around with it, and you end up with this brilliant bit of work: The Propellerheads – “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.” Give it a listen all the way through. Trust me — when the bass synth and drums finally kick in, well over a minute into the track, you’ll agree that this might be one of the best driving-really-fast-to-very-loud-music songs EVER.

My favorite track from Prince’s 1988 soundtrack to the film Batman. A lot of comic geeks were annoyed by the funked-up music, preferring instead Danny Elfman’s dark and brooding score. They missed out on some really excellent music…especially if all they heard was the awful single “Batdance” (which was needlessly schizophrenic, as it contained samples of every song on the album). This song, however, stood out (for me at least): Prince – “Electric Chair.” “If a man is considered guilty for what goes on in his mind, then give me the electric chair for all my future crimes.”

I saw the video for this song on VH1 Classic last night, and I literally had not heard it in almost 20 years. I had complete forgotten about it, and how much I liked it at the time (especially the brass-synth fanfare that forms the main hook). So, I had to track down a copy, and here ya go: Emerson, Lake and Powell – “Touch and Go.”

A nice bit of UK alternative from the heady days of the 1990s. I love the lyrics of this one. Lush – “Ladykillers.”

I’ve heard that Kate Bush is working on a new album. I’m looking forward to that — in the meantime, though, I’ll share with you the last song of hers that really grabbed me, from her early-nineties album The Sensual World: Kate Bush – “Love and Anger.”

Lastly, here’s another track from DJ Shadow’s groundbreaking debut album Endtroducing. The slow sax riff in this song makes it a perfect soundtrack to a crisp Fall day: DJ Shadow – “What Does Your Soul Look Like (Part 1 – Blue Sky Revisit)”

Another week done.