public libraries have always been an important part of my life. since i was a young child, i would frequent the library in our town with my siblings. my family has always appreciated the value public library offerings (we particularly liked the annual book sales and the gerbils by the checkout in the children’s section). so when i moved to hackney a couple years ago, i was happy to find that the public library was a stone’s throw away.

at a public library, a good music and dvd selection is just as important as the book collection and hackney was doing pretty well in those departments. on a walk through the a.v. area my eyes quickly spotted a full season of six feet under, joy division’s closer, some charlie parker, election, the decemberists, and talladega nights. a disparate, but, i would argue, good selection (ricky bobby AND ian curtis? score!).

but on my last visit there, a rather impromptu stop off on my way home a couple days ago, something rather disappointing and alarming happened. as i left the library with an armful of borrowed material, i noticed a very distinct smell. at first, i thought it was the old man who had just walked by me, so i continued on a block… but it was still there. a bit of a… funky smell which, as i rearranged the pile of books and cds in my arms, i realised was EMANATING from said pile.

after cautiously putting each item up to my nose, i discovered the culprit: mrs. dalloway. a shocking discovery. yes, mrs. dalloway had b.o. and it was bad. i had always thought she was a classy lady, but dang, she was stanky!

sometimes you forget what sluts public library material really is. that stuff really does get around to all kinds of places; some are unsavoury and some look a lot like a plastic bag on my living room table. what can i say? mrs. dalloway’s stank has to be contained while she’s staying with me.

i’ve been reading a lot about how book publishing is changing lately. well, actually, most seem to be saying it’s dying. i’m not sure if i believe that, but either way, there’s good news for printed books and haruki murakami fans alike:

the first print run for murakami’s latest novel, 1Q84, has sold out in japan in a couple days, causing its publishers to double the second print run.

having only started reading murakami in the past year, i’ve quickly made me way through a few of his books (i’ve read three in the past 9 months). all of the ones i’ve read have been fantastic reads. his writing style and narrative arcs are subtle, precise and thus, elegant. i’ve just recently started the wind up bird chronicle (finally) and am already looking forward to 1Q84… and am very curious to see how it sells once it’s printed in english… this may not be the saviour of the printed book, but it does say a lot for star power in publishing and quality writing.

murakami

having emerged from the bell jar today, i’m able to speak again.

so let’s talk about a record i listened to on repeat the other day, all day…

My Latest Novel -  Deaths and Entrances

death and entrances, the new album by my latest novel, is a wonderful offering from the six-piece band from greenock, scotland. the band shows significant growth and maturity on their second album. lush, steady crescendos, varied instrumental and vocal counterpoint and harmonies… at times sparse, showcasing muscianship and poetic lyrics… other times, a very full, but never overwhelming, sound with a chorus of singers.

mmm… through and through. the lack of any mis-steps are a testament to the meticulous planning and keen ears of the band.

go. buy it. NOW!

on a semi-side note, i saw them at bush hall on monday and ooo – how chris deveney’s voice makes me weak at the knees… great cd release gig (their merch guy, though i forget his name, was a very nice man who lives by the glasgow school of art, apparently. go talk to him and he’ll sort you out with all kinds of mln goodies)… since then, i went on a search for pictures of the band, turning up an old photo from a gig they did back home (my old home, anyway) at the legendary horseshoe tavern. i’ve had many a good night at the horseshoe, catching some great acts, often on their first trip through toronto. it made me feel good knowing they’d graced the stage there… and i’d like to think, had i been living there at the time, i’d have caught them, but who the fuck knows… or cares? i’ve seen them twice in the last two months. i’m pretty happy with that.

warming my heart...

(12 march 2007)

enjoythis.

May 19, 2009

some friends of mine started up their own design studio.

check out their brand-spanking-new website here: red hot.

um…

May 14, 2009

my dear brother sent me this link yesterday. don’t know where he got it from, but DAMN!!!

is this website not FUCKING AWFUL?!?!?!… it’s actually incredible how fugly it is…

hideous AND horrible… yet hilarious…

like many others, i’m really excited about the forthcoming where the wild things are live action film (directed by spike jonze) due in october…

… also can’t wait for everyone poops…

pdx?

May 8, 2009

every once in a while, when i imagine an alternate reality and tap into my inner wannabe-uber-indie-chick, i imagine the charmed life i could be leading in… portland. oregon.

i’ve never been there, but portland has a long-established, thriving music scene. pdx is home to the decemberists, the dandy warhols, the shins (adopted home), modest mouse, quasi, stephen malkmus and the jicks, and cultivated the careers of elliott smith and sleater kinney, among countless others. not too shabby. and it’s got that pacific northwest charm, but the indie cred that prevents the entire populous from wearing birkenstock sandals with wool socks (although, i imagine there are quite a few of those as well, unfortunately).

said alternate universe life includes a little house with a nice, wooden porch that has a swinging bench where friends gather for card nights and imported beer – american beer’s shit and you know it – when the weather’s brisk, but warm enough… and a tiny back garden where i throw bbqs in the summer for all my [unpretentious] indie friends… i also own a beat up car that barely leaves the driveway and a super sweet, but very practical bicycle i drunkenly ride home after gigs, even when it’s a bit snowy… yeah, i daydreamed about that life yesterday, induced by reading a portland-based blog, monitor mix.

i’ve been reading monitor mix on and off for about a year. the npr music and culture blog by carrie brownstein, ex-sleater kinney (oh i miss them), strives to be more ‘descriptive as opposed to merely prescriptive’, but has introduced me to some great music along the way (e.g. yesterday’s blog about telekinesis’s track ‘coast of carolina’ – happy summer to us all!).

i went back today to read the f.a.q. for the blog and found this funny bit that makes me think twice about my portland-based alternate universe fantasy:

“Do I belong here?

Is this really a frequently asked question? Don’t despair. If you had to ask, then the answer is probably ‘no’, but please come back when you have higher self esteem.”

i mean, i’ve never asked that question about my daydreamy non-existent portland life or my real life, so maybe i can or really DO belong in portland… or maybe i belong here…

honestly, who the fuck asks that question?? it’s messin’ with the dream.