POP your heart out.

Emily Haines & the Soft Skeletons-Doctor Blind

Considering her great work with Metric, Broken Social Scene and Stars, it's really no surprise that Emily Haines's "solo" project is the sort that fans of any of the above three bands will be enjoying, as well. It's the sort of piano oriented dream pop blur with a near hypnotized or hallucination quality. There is a dark, eerie quality to most of her songs, and that loose sense of being carried along the melody. It's a contrast to the rock anthems of Metric, for sure, and even the ambient indie pop of Broken Social Scene provides a different atmosphere. And, since we're familiar with her voice and style, it's great to get this new feeling from an indie pop princess.

Bobby Baby-Lucky Moments

This song is delicate. Not in the way thin, exquisite China is delicate. Not in the way a snowflake is delicate. Not in the sense that it would break apart with whisper of a touch. Delicate, in a really sweet and fluffy way. This song is soft, white puffs of padding. This song is hesitation and nostalgia, care and love. But love is not an accurate way to describe this...love is too violent, unpredictable, stormy. This is floating above the world, carried by the wind and the sky, watching the towns filled with Victorian cottages float by. These touches of reality and experience dipping here and now. Hope. Soaring, at the chorus, with the sort of gentle pressure you'd expect from flying so high. Higher than before. Stronger than before. But perfect. Perfect as before.

The novel: A Long Way Down-Nick Hornby

I read scattered portions of the first half of this book in various stores, which might actually have been a good thing. I liked it, of course. Otherwise it would have never kept me reading, the one book out of the shiny other copies in a bookstore or the books section. This is a book about four totally different and distinctive people who managed to stumble across one another while attempting to jump off a tall building. That is to say, to off themselves. It jumpes from the narration of one character to another, in each's unique voice. Although I suspect Hornby might have overdone the characterizations a bit, and the novel did not flow as well as it could have, the different perspectives were fun to read at once. It definitely had classic Nick Hornby humor and storyline, and some interesting thought points presented in a way that I could totally relate too. Because we all consider it, don't we? This suicide thing. It's natural and not all that unhealthy. So: enjoyable read. Fantastic characters. Interesting themes/ideas. Overall presentation rather good. 4 out of 5. Would read again.

The novel: Wonder Boys-Michael Chabon

Having read the Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay plus part of Summerland before this, I did not expect this from Michael Chabon, at all. That is to say, I expected the (as usual) wonderful prose and style, and the quirky characters with true personality. I did not expect this sort of plot and structure. This near stream of conscious type narrator, fast paced, bizarre events unfolding in rather mesmerizing sequence. This witty, pseudo ironic look at a stoned writer and his gay editor best friend, filled with genius writing and assorted Chabon brilliance. This glimpse at the heart of writing through snippets of the narrator's adventures, this developed, fantastic book that I rather recommend to everyone, ever.

The Lucksmiths-There Is a Light That Never Goes Out

I love this song. Every time I'm in a car, at night, I listen to (some version) of this song. It's rather perfect. The lyrics, the melody, the song.

I love this cover in particular, out of the dozens of different covers, partly because I love the Lucksmiths, and partly because I love male/female vocal harmonies, especially for an ironic romantic song such as this one, but also because all the charm, simplistic sweetness with that touch of good old Morrissey Gothery is present, and at the same time, tweeness prevails with The Lucksmiths' good natured trembling cuteness.

The Lucksmiths are big Smiths fans. You can kinda tell with their name, and their other tribute song to this song, "There Is a Boy That Never Goes Out." And perhaps that's another reason why this cover is so great. Because while I'm sure all of us like the Smiths a whole lot, few of us love them enough to give them multiple tributes. And maybe, it's just because, The Lucksmiths can really do no wrong.

The book: The Collected Stories of Amy Hempel-Amy Hempel

This is a tough, touch book to talk about because it's not so much one book, as a collection of what appears to be every Amy Hempel short story ever published. Which is quite a lot to take in, especially for my first Hempel book. It was probably a bad idea reading the whole thing without taking a break in between story collections...and as a result, many of the stories got jumbled up in my mind.

It does, however, happily identify Amy Hempel's style, a sort of darting, rambling exploration of the human condition and emotions. Reoccuring themes were the likes of deep man/woman relationships, the quality of animals, confused minds, broken pasts, all sorts of things that might have appeared mundane but gets an air of art with Hempel's writing. She's simplistic and minimalistic in her approach, but catches on every detail and records accurate visions of reality. There's something poetic in her deep delve into the various narrators' minds, and even the time flashes that can sometimes result in a confusing plot, but fasinating reading.

Anyway, this thing, as a whole, was probably too much to digest. Sometimes I felt this emptiness after finishing a story, this mild confusion as to what it was all about. I'm not sure if it's supposed to be there. Sometimes I really liked the stories, sometimes I could barely wait to get on to the next one. I can't think of anything super intelligent say regarding this, and I can't really justify all the praise I read on the introduction. But I can say that I enjoyed it, and sometimes, even when it comes to supposed literary master writers like Amy Hempel, even that's enough.

Basically: I'm in need of a little time not to go through my emails, but to dig up something really sparkling and attention snapping to head back into B.L.O.G.G.E.R. mode . I know it seems like I've been sort of doing this on and off lately, but my programming is a bit askew with the new school year. In the mean time, enjoy yourself with those rather brilliant gems on the sidebar and check back often. By that, I mean, I might just be back to exploding blogstardom tomorrow...

What Made Milwaukee Famous-Hellodrama

I remember this band from way back (when I still wasn't sure what I was doing...click and you'll see what I mean), and now I've just found out that Barsuk is re-releasing their 2002 album. Which means that a. my taste in music is impeccable even from the start ;), and b. if you've never heart this song, then you're required to do so now.

This is fantastic indie pop, so catchy and hook filled, with enough bounce and simple but clever lyrics to sing along to, that twittering, rather genius line of melody, and probably most importantly, that bridge thing half way through the song, the chanted, the flickers and claps bursting with irrestible charm...and although I can't vouch for the rest of their album (nothing really meets the high expectations set by this song, and this song being the first song I ever heard by them certainly lit up the expectations), What Made Milwaukee Famous has promise, and this is pure proof o fit.

Watch: The Mountain Goats-Woke Up New

It must be difficult making a video for The Mountain Goats, as the music itself is already charged with busy, personal lyrics and emotions balancing with the actual melody, but this video feels only fitting. The muted color scheme, deliberate but discreet editing effects add to give the video its charm. John Darnielle front view, singing to the viewer in parts of the video suits the song and his general style, and the camera in camera, recording in recording screens are rather neat to look at in any case. Although this probably isn't the most activity or fun filled video, it's just the sort to match the music and should be enjoyed.

(thx, Antville for the video refresher/catch up!)

I'm From Barcelona-Oversleeping

This is the song to set as your alarm in the morning. And there are a couple of reasons why that is. A really important reason is that it actually features alarm beeping sounds at the beginning of the song, therefore simulating an actual alarm experience without having to sit through the repetative beeping. Another reason is that it's about hurrying to make it in time. Another reason is that it suggests within its catchy, repetative lyrics that, should you not get up immediately, upon hearing this song, you'll have to skip to wear clothes, skip breakfast, and run to make it in time. Another reason is that it's really short, so that if you told yourself you'd get up upon the end of the song, that end comes really soon. A bad part is that such a catchy, glittering thing will end really soon. But that's all really a part of its appeal, isn't it?

I'm too busying LOLing at all the going ons of the Interwebs today to do an actual post...

I don't get MTV (um...on my cable, that is), but if I did, I probably would have watched the VMAs for the hell of it, and then proceeded to do snarky live blogging.

Speaking of snarky, Stereogum's repeated commenters requesting them to talk about "The Pitchfork leak" sparked my curiosity, and after a little investigating, I came across this:

So basically--since I don't seem to want to do any writing of my own today--Dave explains it best. This would be hilarious by any standards, but even better since this follows on the heels of Stereogum's anti-P-fork lashing once again.

And while we're on the topic of hipsters fucking up, here's an unrelated but wonderful clip of Panic! At the Disco getting hit in the face with a bottle. Pure bliss!

And since YouTube is that addicting anyway, we'll wrap up the day with our favorite American Idol pop star singing with retarded Yellowcard band member and Metal Skool. It's rather amazing.


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