Book Lust: Powers and Spy-Girls

Couple of things that I’m drooling over, spotted at Chris Roberson’s blog:

First: PS Publishing has done a limited edition complete Bibliography of the works of Tim Powers. Powers: Secret Histories is 600 pages of notes on every edition of every Powers book published, with notes, interviews, hand-written authorial scribblings, etc. GUH. Three editions: “Standard” edition (1000 copies, signed by Powers) for £40, Slipcased edition (which includes a separately bound 80-page unfinished novel by Powers) for £195, and the uber-deluxe which also includes a facsimile of the original Anubis Gates manuscript for £495.

Me, I’d be just fine with the basic version. Must remember this, for any birthday moolah which might come my way. For anyone else who might be interested — check out the linked web page: PS Publishing is offering a 24-page PDF sample.

Second: I’m a sucker for this kind of stuff — artist Kevin Dart has released Seductive Espionage: The World of Yuki 7: a gorgeous overview of the “Yuki 7” spy films of the 1960s, including movie posters, lobby cards, film stills, the whole shebang. The thing is, the “Yuki 7” films only exist in Dart’s mind, making this a retrospective of a movie series which doesn’t exist. I’m perfectly OK with that.

They’ve also done a book trailer for the release, made to look like a trailer for “A Kiss From Tokyo”, which, as I’m sure you remember, is the best film from the Yuki 7 series:

Friday Music

Here you go, kids:

Sometimes, you hear a cover song and go “buh?” This is one of those times. Take Ms. Britney, and filter her through the perspective of Israeli multi-instrumentalist Yael Naim (best known for “New Soul” from the Apple ads). Result? Crystalline music-box carnival strangeness. Yael Naim – “Toxic.”

Other songs have been covered so many times that new versions can’t really be called “covers” at all. This song was definitively done by Nina Simone (or Michael Bublé, if you’re under 25), and versions have been recorded by everyone from Muse to Sinatra. This version was done by My Brightest Diamond, for the 20th HIV/AIDS fundraiser album by the Red Hot organization, Dark Was The Night: My Brightest Diamond – “Feeling Good.”

Other covers are not much different from the original — take, for example this track from Shiny Toy Guns, which is essentially identical to Peter Schilling’s original, apart from having a female lead singer (and not being German): Shiny Toy Guns – “Major Tom (Coming Home.)”

Staying on an 80s vibe for the moment, here’s one of the many excellent tracks from Tears for Fears which got relatively little attention in the US. Tears for Fears – “Change.”

A Canadian singer-songwriter takes her name from a classic of 80s cinema, and does an album of material which varies from near-Gary-Numan-esque synthpop, through Bangles/Go-Gos New Wave guitars and songs which sound like they’d be at home on a John Hughes soundtrack? Yeah, sign me up. Apparently, this song is going to be covered by Christina Aguilera, so I wanted you to hear it before it got “XTina’d”. Ladyhawke – “My Delirium.”

A fun and snappy bit of turntablism remixing, from Cut Chemist (one of the DJs behind Jurassic 5 — and very much in the same vein as his “Swing Set” piece which I’ve posted before): Nat King Cole and Cut Chemist – “Day In Day Out.”

Retro Soul still chugs along. This one stands out because unlike so many of the other exemplars of the genre, this has a male vocalist. A Frenchman based in L.A. — I’d love to see this guy on a double-bill with Sharon Jones. Fitz and the Tantrums – “Breakin’ The Chains of Love.”

Lastly, in the simultaneous realms of Guilty Pleasure, Earworm and Abuse of an Autotuner, we have: Black Eyed Peas – “Boom Boom Pow.” Don’t hate me. Just shake what yer mamma gave ya.

There you have it. Enjoy. Copy-and-paste any links that give you trouble.

Hands Portrait

and I, from a hand study done by ace photographer Risa Stanley, a mere few weeks after our wedding: