This morning I feel a bit like Jim Carrey hearing the voices and problems of everyone in Bruce Almighty. Except I'm hearing nothing but Duran Duran fans arguing over the band's most recent album Red Carpet Massacre, which is at least humorous. I'm guessing that like GNR and Journey fans, they can probably keep going on this one for a while. *cough* Not that there's anything wrong with that...
I had a good weekend, and thought I would share few moments from, and items acquired during my weekend with you all. As you're reading this, I'm still staring at the calendar in disbelief, checking to make ABSOLUTELY sure that there are no holidays this week, after two holiday weekends in a row!
Friday afternoon, I accepted an invitation to go to the Rock Hall with my buddy Brian and his wife Annie. Dinner was acquired after our Rock Hall visit at Melt, and we wrapped up the day with our good friend RADam at Phoenix Coffee in Lakewood. This was my 2nd visit to Phoenix in a week, and I think I might be developing an addiction - to hot chocolate.
Lucky for me, Brian detailed the entire day in his fabulous blog post here.
After parting ways with my three compadres, I decided to make a trip out to my ongoing addiction known as Half Price Books. I picked up a few things, and thought that I would share the rundown with you here:
CD: Bonnie Raitt - Sweet Forgiveness (1977) (purchase) - I'm continuing to make my way through Bonnie's Warner Brothers years, working to catch up. My Bonnie mission is one-part fueled by being a longtime fan, one-part influence from my old boss Greg, and one-part Bob Lefsetz, from the various things he's written about classic Bonnie in recent years. It seems like everytime I go to Half Price Books, they have another one of Bonnie's WB CDs sitting there. This time, it was Sweet Forgiveness, and when I turned the CD over and saw "Three Time Loser" and "My Opening Farewell" in the track listing, I knew I would enjoy it more than my previous Bonnie purchase of Nine Lives.
CD: The Classic National Lampoon Box Set (4-CD) (2005) (purchase) - Picked this up for Greg (mentioned above,) knowing he would want a copy of this. The actual set seems pretty bare bones - 4 National Lampoon albums packaged together in one box set, but there is no booklet, and no individual liner notes for each album. Still, it seemed like good value at 10 bucks.
VINYL: The Cars - Heartbeat City (1984) (purchase) - Snagged this for a buck, and then came home realizing that I probably already have this one. I love the title track, and I realized while listening to the album that it is probably one of my favorite albums from the 80s. And I'd add that I think it's one of the best sounding albums from the decade, in the same category as Bryan Adams' Reckless. Those two albums still sound amazing every time I listen to them.
DVD: Aerosmith - The Making of Pump (1990) (purchase) - Saw this for cheap, and couldn't resist picking it up. This is one of my favorite music documentaries, documenting one of my favorite Aerosmith albums. Pump is another album that I would have worn holes in the CD from the amount of times that I listened to it.
DVD: Elizabethtown (2005) (purchase) - Directed by Cameron Crowe, I really loved this one when I saw it around the original time of release. When I watched it again this weekend, I had the thought that the combination of film imagery and musical soundtrack in Elizabethtown made the most powerful connection with me since Say Anything.
And there's a good reason for that - David Lifton reminded me on Twitter that Say Anything was of course, also directed by Crowe. I'm not sure how I spaced out on that fact, but I completely did. From Kathleen Edwards to Tom Petty to Ryan Adams, the two volume soundtrack for Elizabethtown comes up often on my Ipod musical choices. Pick up Crowe's Almost Famous with the previous two movies mentioned, and you've got an excellent Cameron Crowe mini-film festival ready to go.
Just a note on the soundtracks for Elizabethtown: While they are both excellent, at least one of them was infected with that Sony root kit fiasco. Your best move is to download them from Amazon MP3 where they are available DRM-free. I listened to both soundtracks today, and man, I love 'em both so much. I'll agree with one of the Amazon reviews that the second volume might be just a tad better than the original soundtrack.
Here's one of my favorites from the second volume:
Rachel Yamagata - Jesus Was A Crossmaker (Hollies cover)
Heart fans will also want to grab the film score, by Heart guitarist Nancy Wilson, who happens to also be Crowe's wife!
CD: 10,000 Maniacs - Our Time in Eden (1992) (purchase) - Another snag for a buck, this time on CD. I had this one back in the day, and lost it at some point. A previous attempt to pick this one up (at The Exchange for a dollar,) found me at home, opening the CD to play it, and instead of 10,000 Maniacs, I saw the CD for 311's Grassroots, staring me in the face. I might have been pretty stoked about that, if I didn't already own Grassroots. This time around, I opened the CD case, and the familiar purple/green CD was in there, and in nice shape. I'm still mystified trying to figure out why Natalie Merchant and I are not together.
BOOK: When We Get To Surf City by Bob Greene (2008) (purchase) - I first encountered the writings of Bob Greene as a ten year old kid living in Texas. I found a copy of Greene's book Good Morning, Merry Sunshine in a thrift shop which I enjoyed immensely, and later read Greene's Chicago Tribune column during our time living in Illinois in the late 80s. When We Get To Surf City is a chronicle of the nearly 15 year musical journey that Greene took as a touring member of the backing band for Jan and Dean beginning in the early 90s. I heard about the book via Lefsetz, put it on my Amazon wish list, and then I forgot about it until I was standing in Half Price Books and saw the cover. As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to read it, and it looks like a book that I will have to pass on to others as well. The cover of When We Get To Surf City makes me want to take vacation days....
BOOK: Summer in the Land of Skin by Jody Gehrman (2004) (purchase) - Summer in the Land of Skin proves the theory that if you put a girl and a guitar, two of my favorite things in life, on the cover of your book, I will buy it. I purchased this book at the new Books-a-Million location in Rocky River. Several friends had told me that I needed to check out Books-a-Million, and so there I was, looking at books when I came across this one. It's been years since I've read ANYTHING fiction, but this one looks like a winner. Of course, I had an interesting experience buying the book once I got up to the counter, because the name of the book was slightly obscured by the price sticker.
CLERK: Summer of love....Summer in love...Summer...
ME: Summer in the Land of Skin. *now waiting for the female clerk to give me a disgusted look* It's a musical kinda book. (Which is always a great cop-out. Take one image from the cover, and go with it.)
CLERK: Do you play music?
ME: No, but I'm a big music fan.
CLERK: Me too.
ME: Right on.
CLERK: Have a nice night.
So I emerged relatively unscathed by the experience - it definitely could have been a lot worse.
Verdict: Half Price Books, always impressed. Books-a-Million, Eh.
What are some of your recent purchases?
I've got some good reading and listening ahead, and I chose Summer in the Land of Skin as my next bit of reading material. I wanted to put that one in front, since it's been so long since I've read fiction. I'll probably follow that with Greene's book.
Speaking of reading material, gotta throw a plug to a cool site I came across this past weekend - This Is Not Pitchfork. Love the name, and the premise behind the site, which is reviewing my music collection, one memory at a time. Cool concept, great writing, and I imagine that you'll dig it too!
P.S. - got new glasses. *Sigh,* the whole experience was expensive. I guess the upside is that I finally have new glasses after a year of dealing with my current scratched up frames. They had to order the lenses, so it will be about a week to 10 days before I actually have them.
Stay tuned, kids!