Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Month in Review and of Things to Come

The 'year in books' post is coming tomorrow so I'll suffice it to say, I've read The Final Solution by Michael Chabon, The Last Waltz by Anne Enright, and The Folded World by Catherynne M Valente.  This month I've also made substantial dents in BADASS: The Birth of a Legend by Ben Thompson and Breakable You by Brian Morton as well as a handful of short stories online from various outlets and a few history books.  I tried and I tried and I tried to leave comments for The Last Waltz which is wonderful, but was unable to make any progress.  I don't know why some books pose such a problem and other don't.  If you've ever taken any of my recommendations, go read it; you'll enjoy.  I feel less stressed now that I've finally given up on leaving remarks for this one.  It's been a good, and busy reading month.  

This month was filled with the usual holiday fun and stress that always seems to mark my Decembers.  I went to New York to see my sister which was a nice change to our families usual Christmas blandness.  Had a great time, saw somethings I hadn't seen before, and spent more money than I'd have liked, but that's what one does on vacation, right?  
This was also a really sweet month for live music.  I saw two shows, and plan on one more tonight: Cake--a band of which I know nothing about but I don't have new year's plan, it's free and I have friends going so why not?  BB King isn't my current favorite blues guitarist.  He is, however, one of my all-time favorites.  Ever since his health has led him to do his shows seated the thrill has definitely gone.  He talks more than he plays, his voice has lost much of it's vitality (which is heart breaking when compared with his glory days) and he doesn't even play his own lead breaks any more.  It's not like I paid for this show so I guess I shouldn't complain.  My let down is in part my fault, I was expecting the manic demon shredder/vocalist of the 1960's that gave us Live at the Regal and At a Cook County Jail replete with guest appearances from Buddy Guy and Junior Wells.  What I got was a modern blend of 'smooth jazz,' big band, synthesized strings, and gospel sound that draws a certain kind of crowd.  Good for BB good for the industry, good for "The Blues."  I was expecting too much.  I'd have loved to kick the 'dinner party' crowd out, taken BB his drummer and bass player down to Blind Willies and put the blues back at the forefront of peoples attention in a small seedy dive bar but oh well…  The big surprise this month came from Gavin Degraw at a free show in Atlantic Station.  This boy's swagger is so big it has it's own twitter account.  I was shocked, I was amazed.  Rock Star.  The easy summation is: it was the best live music performance I've ever seen.  Go see this guy live; you will not regret it.  Yeah; I didn't see that coming either…   
I saw Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol as well.  It as fun; as I've said before I don't comment on movies as I expect so little from only seeing a handful in a given year.  
As to what's to come next year, your guess is as good as mine.  I've stopped looking to the future and only enjoy the moment.  Besides, none of my plans ever come to fruition anyways so I'm forgoing the effort. 


Marion said...

(chad went to a movie?)

What did you think of Cake? They get played occassionally on the alt music station I listen to in the car.

Chad Hull said...

I think I saw TWO movies this year; that you very much!

I listened to Cake's sound check and thought they were great, that said the lead singer wasn't singing as to save his voice so it was primarily instrumental. I liked what I heard. I only heard about half hour of the live show. I was working that day for ten hours and was falling asleep so I turned in to the old man that I am and went home and got in bed.

Sad, I know...