Friday 18 January 2008

CDs received.

War Of Words isn't quite as good as it sounded all those years ago - too many throw-aways and fairly undistinguished near-approaches to then-current thrash/death styles. The Halford material is far more substantial, but this is an amiable enough album with 3 or 4 really good songs.

Ritual De Lo Habitual is far more sprawling and diverse than I remember it being. This is good. Also, there was a time when Dave Navarro was a talented guitarist and not just a reality tv tart.

From Beale Street To Oblivion has to be heard on original CD rather than mp3 to hear just how brilliantly it follows through from Robot Hive/Exodus. I had some pretty good quality mp3s, but I'm just picking out so many more of those little details and layers that made Robot Hive/Exodus so fulfilling, and seemed less promininent on this one.

Pretty much the same applies to Leviathan. This album really deserves the expense of the original packaging, the CD and the rather cool booklet. I've gotta order Blood Mountain post-haste.

NOLA is still pretty awesome, not dated at all and Anselmo's contribution is way stronger than on the new Down album.

It's good to have Degradation Trip on OCD, but there's something a little too mainstream about its sensibilities. Then again, once I heard Acid Bath, Alice In Chains never sounded that dark to me again.

The Garden Of Unearthly Delights is a super album, and I love the cheesy artwork with its Black Sabbath reference. That overlong song still sounds overlong, though.

I haven't yet heard the Helloween CD.

I'm continuing to enjoy re-discovering that first Skid Row album more than is strictly healthy or wise.

Books read and being read.

Alan Ginsberg is totally cool, and a huge relief after trying to wade through some Heaney.

Marcovaldo is astounding. In this earlier work, you can see Calvino moving from an RK Narayan-esque whimsy-of-mundane-life, with the sensibility of one of those very earthy Disney shorts where Donald or Goofy would do something very everyday, like spend a day working on a construction site, or go on a fishing trip, and a series of bumblim mishaps would transform the quotidian into the hilariously absurd, to something larger, darker and more surreal.

The Enigmatic Lett, the first Maigret novel by Simenon is rather good reading, but not quite as delectable as some of the stories to follow.

Love Of Seven Dolls is totally sentimental and a bit incredible, but like all Gallico's novels it works, if at all, because of the disarming effect of this tell-not-show mode of storytelling that runs counter to all the advice aspiring writers receive, but actually works remarkably well for writers as diverse as Gallico and Calvino.

It doesn't work quite so well for me, but I'm still firmly in the novice section of the aspiring category.

Movies to see.

Lots. Mostly old horror: The Black Cat, The Revenge Of Frankenstein, Scars Of Dracula, Plan 9 From Outer Space, The Skull and so forth, but I've also got No Country For Old Men and one or two other things more recent lined up.

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