Song of the Week: “Hold On When You Get Love And Let Go When You Give It” by Stars

I’m introducing a new feature to the Panorama of the Mountains blog, a “song of the week” post.   I’m going to try to highlight one current song a week that I like and want to share with others.   My hope having recently turned 39 is to keep up with current music trends rather than lolling about in nostalgia.

The debut song for this feature is “Hold On When You Get Love And Let Go When You Give It” by the band Stars.

I like the epic 80s-style synthpop vibe and the female vocalist who sings toward the end is reminiscent of Kate Bush.

This of course brings up the problem of liking new music only  because it sounds like old music.  It seems that much of the current music I like is reminiscent of 80s era punk and New Wave or 60s/70 soul in some revival or another.  If you’re reading this and know of music that is truly unique and representative of the 2012, let me know in the comments.

Book Review: The Song of the Quarkbeast by Jasper Fforde

AuthorJasper Fforde
TitleThe Song of the Quarkbeast
Publication Info: Hodder & Stoughton Ltd (2011)

The second book in the Kazam series returns to Hereford where dictatorial King Snodd IV is looking to corner the market on magic.  The only person who can stop him appears to be Jennifer Strange, the orphan teenager who manages employment for a house of sorcerers.  In typical Fforde fashion, humorous and quirky events intertwine to bring this story to an entertaining resolution.  I look forward to reading more about Jennifer and her companions in future installments.

Rating: ***

Book Review: The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde

Author: Jasper Fforde
TitleThe Last Dragonslayer
Publication Info: London : Hodder & Stoughton, 2010.

This is the first in a series of books for young adults by the ever-so-brilliant Welsh author Jasper Fforde.  He sets his books in an alternate universe, this time a balkanized Britain the Ununited Kingdom, specifically the Kingdom of Snodd led by a cruel despot of a king.  In this world, magic is real with physical properties, but it has faded leaving many sorcerers near-powerless and only able to perform simple tasks or tricks.  Teenage orphan Jennifer Strange is tasked with finding work for a house of sorcerers called Kazam.  As the novel develops, it is revealed that Jennifer is destined to be The Last Dragonslayer, although she is not magical herself.  The problem is, she does not want to kill the dragons.  A brilliant and creative book from the mind of Fforde, it is a recommended read for teens and adults alike.

Rating: ****