Album: Menneskekollektivet Artist: Lost Girls Release Date: March 26, 2021 Label: Smalltown Supersound Favorite Tracks:
“Carried by Invisible Bodies”
Thoughts: This debut album from a Norwegian duo consisting of singer-songwriter Jenny Hval and multi-instrumentalist Håvard Volden is one of the most remarkable things I’ve rested my ears on in some time. It sounds like ambient music layered on Laurie Anderson avant-garde styles, layered on 90s techno, layered on 70s disco. Maybe it won’t sound that way to you but the best way to describe it is as layered and rich. The lyrics focus on feelings and capture emotions in their sound and repetition as much as in their words. Their is a lot of improvisation and exploration in this music. I expect this will be on my favorite albums list at the end of 2021.
Boston grew first by making new land in Back Bay and the South End. Then it grew even more starting 150 years ago by adding surrounding communities of Roxbury, Dorchester, Brighton, West Roxbury, and Charlestown. Find out how it all happened in this podcast.
A whimsical year-end look at some sports conundrums such as how many seventh graders would you have to put on the court to defeat LeBron James playing solo. Or, what would a NFL field or NBA court be like if they were built with the irregularities common in baseball stadiums.
A look back at some of the great songs that peaked at #2 on the pop charts with a special focus on “Shop Around” by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, “We Got the Beat” by The Go-Gos, and “Since U Been Gone” by Kelly Clarkson.
Around the World for a Good Book Selection for Norway Author: Linn Ullmann Title:The Cold Song Translator: Barbara Haveland Publication Info: New York : Other Press, c2011 Summary/Review:
This novel is a story about a family at seaside summer home and the young woman Milla who comes to work as their nanny, but goes missing and is later found murdered. This is not a spoiler as Milla’s remains are discovered in the first pages of the book, but the manner of Milla’s demise is revealed over the extended flashback that makes up the bulk of the novel. The rest of the cast includes Siri, the A-type restaurateur who hires Milla; Siri’s philandering husband Jon, a novelist struggling with writer’s block; their non-conforming 12-year-old daughter Alma; and Jenny, Siri’s 75-year-old mother who resents the massive birthday party that Siri forces upon her. There’s a lot of tension in this novel as the characters navigate around one another, and while not a crime novel, the imminent crimes against Milla hang there over the whole story.
Besides: Jon would never have used the expression “sell like hotcakes”—not only was it a cliché, it was also inaccurate. Hotcakes no longer sold like hotcakes. He had no statistics to back this up, but he was pretty sure that hotcakes fared poorly compared to smartphones or drafty houses in overpriced areas (like his own, for example) or antiaging creams.
Recommended books: Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan, The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen, and Saturday by Ian McEwan Rating: **1/2
Author: Johan Harstad Title:Buzz Aldrin, What Happened to You in All the Confusion Publication Info: New York : Seven Stories Press, c2011. ISBN: 9781609801359 Summary/Review: This book from Norway, recently translated into English by Deborah Dawkin, is the latest book I’ve received free from the Library Thing Early Reviewers program and a book for my Around the World for a Good Book project. The narrator/protagonist is a young man named Mattias who seems to be content with not standing out or being noticed for anything. Hence his fascination with Buzz Aldrin, the second man on the moon.
After a long-time girlfriend leaves him, Mattias goes to the Faroes Islands with his friend’s band and suffers a mental breakdown. He’s picked up by a psychiatrist who runs a sort of halfway house for people with mental and emotional problems trying to ease back into society. Mattias moves in and over the next couple of years details his new life on the Faroes. Plot is secondary as the narrative is mainly an internal dialogue of a man coming to terms with his loneliness and depression.
Mattias is not always a sympathetic character but I relate to him a lot. I like what Harstad is trying to do exploring the interior anguish of Mattias, but I have to admit that the book is overlong. Still I recommend reading it, I find it reminiscent of the work of Haruki Murakami.
One should beware of Fridays.
They promise so much.
Like movie trailers.
Only rarely do they live up to expectations.
Most Fridays are lousy sequels. Back to the Future Part III.” – p. 43
“The brain is a strange contraption. A library with a messy librarian. And in the floors below, in the cellar, there are vaults, filled to the ceiling with books and journals, dissertations and papers that are scarcely ever asked for.” – p. 181
Recommended Books: The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami, The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx, and The Museum Guard by Howard Norman. Rating: