I am obsessed with this album. Utterly obsessed. Indigo Meadow by The Black Angels is one of the five best albums of the last ten years, and I can’t stop listening to it. I’ve had it for two weeks, and I’ve listened straight through it 14 times, and I’ve heard my favorite tune, “You’re Mine,” 23 times.
And I can’t stop. :)
Indigo Meadow by The Black Angels
The Black Angels are an Austin, TX band, and they are part of the modern psychedelic movement that probably owes it existence to The Brian Jonestown Massacre‘s burst of creativity in the mid 1990s. It’s a genre that loosely includes bands like Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, The Warlocks, the above-mentioned BJM, and newer bands like The Spyrals and my former band, The Atomic Love Bombs.
I’ve caught a few new shows of late that I’m really enjoying. I thought I’d mention them. You know, since The Game of Thrones can bite my ass. Yes, I’m still all cranky about that.
There are spoilers ahead, but I designed my writeups not to reveal more than you might learn in the opening minutes of each show.
This is a new show from the BBC; it airs on BBC America here in the States. The show stars Tatiana Maslany as Sarah, a young ne’er do well trying to sell a big brick of stolen cocaine so she can use the money to get her daughter back, run away, and start life anew somewhere else.
Dragonfly is a new band that has been years in the making, and they recently released their first album, Amplification. Industrial-influenced metal with Turkish, Moroccan, and Indian themes, this 14-song album is a very good listen.
This band is comprised of serious professional studio and live musicians who formed Dragonfly as an “Internet experiment” under Corey Tamas, singer, guitarist, and songwriter for the band.
Aaron Ferrera (drums) is a composer in addition to his work as a drummer, while Olga Zoubkova (backing vocals) has a successful solo career in Europe. Andrew Tokuda (bass) is better known as Digital Droo, and Anward Khurshid played Sitar on the Life of Pi soundtrack. MJ Cyr (backing vocals) is touring North American in support of her own solo album, Canopy.
Corey Tamas – Dragonfly
Dragonfly bills itself as metal, but I think it would be more fair to call the band hard rock, if that even means anything these days. There is plenty of distortion and the metal influence is clear, but the wonderful Middle Eastern, North African, and Subcontinent influences are just as, if not more, prevalent the the metal influences.
In writing, sometimes you just have to get back to basics. I’ve been banging my head against the wall for some time. It turns out that the answer to my problem was pretty simple. In fact, I posted it to my Instagram feed:
Courtesy of My New Dry Erase Board
Something Goes Wrong! Of course! That’s just what I needed. It seems so obvious now, but the truth is it took my friend and fellow writer Dmitri Del Castillo to help ferret it out. He’s great at that sort of thing.
Macworld/iWorld 2013 took place last week. In case you’re unfamiliar, this is an annual trade show and conference for users of Apple’s Mac and iOS products. It’s a ton of fun, and one of the highlight of the week is the party thrown by The Mac Observer and Back Beat Media called Cirque du Mac.
This year marked the 10th Cirque du Mac event, earning it the moniker Cirque du Mac X. See what we did there?
Anyway, I really look forward to it. Not only is it the biggest party of the week, it’s not a schmooze event like most trade show parties. People aren’t there to network, they’re there to have a great time. In recent years, we’ve had a trapeze artist doing an aerial silk act. For many years, we’ve had a face painter and henna tattoo artist who dresses up in the most amazingly awesome costumes.
How Cool Is That?
Photo courtesy of Amanda Pearson
Hey folks, it’s time for another scatter shot post. First up:
OK, how did I miss this? When did Dobby sign with The Stones? To refresh your memory, here he is in one of the Potter films:
And here is is playing guitar with Mick Jagger in the 12-12-12 Concert for Sandy Relief.
Mick’s on the left, Dobby’s on the right.
It’s great to see that even a house elf can get a leg up in the world.
I’ve been working on my first novel, a SciFi book about a PI who gets dragged into something much bigger than he thought. All he wants is to drink his strained-algae coffee, but it turns out he’s going to have to save the world. It’s called The Mason Truman Project, and I’ve blogged about it several times.
I finished the book early last spring, and I’ve been working on refining it off an on since , while I also worked on the second book in the series. I started shopping it out in June, resulting in another raft of fine editing.
I’ve had a fantastic group of beta readers. I’m lucky enough to know lots of very smart folks, and it turns out my mother thinks my book is the bee’s knees. Thanks, Mom!
I’ve also been fortunate to meet some fellow writers, and between the betas and my writer friends, I came to a realization a few weeks ago: I’ve written the book I want to read, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the book I can sell.
There were two problems, the beginning and the ending. OK, those are two huge problems, but let me explain. The beginning of my book is what I think of as a slow burner. The story unfolds organically in a deliberate way while Mason figures out how to get started on the case that gets him entangled with all this messy end-of-the-world stuff that interrupts his coffee time.
So there’s this thing called a blog hop, sort of an informal ring of unrelated sites posting on a related theme. In this case, the blog hop is for writers and the theme is our work-in-progress, meaning the book we’re writing. I found out about it from Diane Carlisle.
As I understand it, the rules are simple:
• Answer the ten questions (see below) about your current W.I.P. (Work In Progress) on your blog.
• Tag five other writers/bloggers and add their links so we can hop over and meet them.
Have you watched Top Gear? There’s two versions—the original is a BBC show featuring three brits as hosts, but the History Channel (of all networks) is broadcasting a U.S. version based on the original with three American hosts. I really enjoy both shows, but there’s something bugging me about the U.S. one, namely: what’s with all the cheating?
In case you’re not familiar with the franchise(s), Top Gear is a show about cars. Three men do mostly manly things with, to, and in cars. They race them, they destroy them, and they test them. They praise the good and lament the bad, they marvel at the new technologies and reminisce about the way things used to be.
In the UK version, they frequently look for new and creative ways to destroy caravans (campers to us Yanks), and they test celebrities by having them do laps in a “reasonably priced car” that is far more entertaining than it might sound. Hosts Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May are also given brutal or hilarious—sometimes both—challenges by the producers. Endurance tests, or tests with ridiculous limitations, speed tests, that sort of thing.
In the U.S., hosts Tanner Foust, Adam Ferrara, and Rutledge Wood also host celebrities in a segment called “Big Star, Small Car.” It’s a little less entertaining for some reason, but it’s still fun. They also undergo similar adventures in the form of producer challenges, though more of those challenges appear to involve modifying their cars in some way. Whatever, it’s a lot of fun.
I got a notification from GoodReads the other day. It was an update letting me know that one of the authors I had tagged—George R.R. Martin in this case—had new blog posts I might like. Here, let me show you what I saw:
Talk about accidental poignancy! Two unrelated blog posts listed in reverse order, and they say, “Life Is…Getting Older.”
Boy, truer words were ne’er spake.
Then last night, I was having a conversation with a friend of mine. During that chat, she asked me if I thought it was true that we undergo major transformations every ten years, or so.