Monthly Archives: October 2013

Album Recommendation – Evil Friends by Portugal. The Man

I don’t talk about music as much as I’d like to here on the blog, because it is one of my favorite things. So I thought I would review and recommend my current album obsession, Evil Friends by Portugal. The Man. And with the focus on Evil, and imagery that makes me think of Dia de los Muertos, it seems a good topic for Halloween!

I am new to this artist, having found them on my favorite source for music: the discography listing for music producer Danger Mouse (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danger_Mouse#Discography). You may know Danger Mouse from projects like Gnarls Barkley, or from work on albums like Demon Days by the Gorillaz or El Camino by the Black Keys.

Something about his work producing these albums, or the artists he chooses to work with… something just really great happens. So I gave Evil Friends a try, and it has not disappointed. Thematically, it has me listening to the lyrics carefully and thoughtfully, and musically it has the sorts of things I love. So below I have a bit more discussion of these aspects, and a couple of (interesting) music videos so you can give a listen!

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Revisiting Old Friends

With the movie for Ender’s Game coming out here in a few days I have been rereading the book. I remember loving the book the first and only time I read it, enough that I read that entire half of the series (I still need to read the Shadow series). Picking it up again I immediately was reminded about how good the book was. From the very beginning I do not want to put the book down. I keep sneaking in moments to read it when I can because even though I know what happens the journey they paint in the book is so well done. I know people are very against Orson Scott Card right now, but this book is good and I appreciate the details put into it. 

The big thing that this has reminded me of are those books, games, movies, TV shows that we either grew up with or it has just been a while since we have engaged with them and suddenly we just decide to pick it up and it is like an old friend. Most of the time we are reminded of how great it was and then other times we look at it and the seams are showing a bit more than we remember. At the same time re-experiencing those moments make us tap in to the original emotions that we felt when experiencing them for the first time. Continue reading

New Marvel Trailers – It’s Trailer Watch Time!

If it hasn’t been obvious, say from posts about Marvel casting choices, I am very excited about the Marvel movie plans. On the Marvel Phase 2 front, we’re expecting films through 2015 right now, and a number of films are expected to be announced here at some point to carry us well into Phase 3.

From other studios, the most exciting is undoubtedly Brian Singer’s Days of Future Past, tapping into one of the most beloved storylines from the X-Men comics, and tying the sequels and prequels all together. There may even be further X-Men movies in the works?

But despite all the news we keep hearing, names of movies, or leaked photos from Brian Singer, official castings… They suddenly hit us with a trailer for two movies this last week. Check those out below! Continue reading

In This One of Many Possible Worlds – A Review of Clockwork Angels

I recently finished reading Clockwork Angels, written by Kevin J. Anderson, based on lyrics by Neil Peart of Rush. I first saw this book sitting on the shelf about a year and a half ago, and was excited to find both that Rush had a new album out, and that someone had finally written a book based on some of the excellent mythologies and stories Rush has produced.

So I listened to the album for quite a while before reading the book finally, which is maybe how it should work with this. With a solid backing in the music – which is, as I understand it, the first total-album concept album by Rush – I then turned to the book. I had some preconceptions, based on the album, based on Rush and their Libertarian leanings, and maybe based a bit on what I was expecting to write about it in the blog once we reached the point where that was a thing.

I see there’s a concert album coming out next month – going to have to get that! They released one of the songs, so let me share that with you:

There will be spoilers to come about this book, but then, it’s based on an album, so in some ways, spoilers were the name of the game. However, if you never planned on reading this anyway, definitely read on to see what they created by combining these two artforms! Especially if you like what you hear in the concert video!

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Time Travel: Alternate Realities / Universes

ChrononautsAlternate universes or alternate realities are often used in time travel stories. I have usually seen it done in two different ways. One is that a change in the timeline creates an alternate reality that has off-shot from the actual timeline. The other is that all possibilities exist simultaneously in an infinite number of alternate realities and universes. The first option is usually used as an explanation for the complication of time travel, although sometimes not explained in a satisfactory matter because the very act of traveling back in time should technically change the timeline. Unless it already happened that way to make the world what it is – you trying to change time is actually what causes the timeline – but that is an entirely separate discussion.

The other option just opens up so many possibilities of how things can be done, especially if you allow the characters the ability to jump between the various realities. This leads to interesting questions of how many realities the characters themselves actually exist in. Then would you traveling to a different time give you the memories of the alternate reality or would the time traveller / reality jumper exist outside of that reality? So many directions you could take this sort of story and so many ways for alternate realities to just break your brain! Continue reading