December 15th, 2007


music plug, and indeed book plug

I got off to a wonky start with Porcupine Tree, fearlessly and entirely erroneously stating that they were Richard Barbieri's band, and I thank the stranger who rode into town and set me straight.
I can't stop listening to them. I now have eleven albums of theirs on my Walkman, and I just go through them, over and over again. I love this stuff. It's as if Steven Wilson, whose band it really is, had pried up the top of my head, checked out what I really like about modern music, and then decided to put together a band to play just that. I'm absolutely astounded that they've been going since 1987 and I'd never heard of them before. There are songs here, like `Dark Matter,' `Prodigal,' `Sever,' `Halo,' and the whole of their most recent album, Fear Of A Blank Planet, which are at the same time warmly familiar and yet quite unlike anything I've heard before. I've even stopped listening to Blackmore's Night for a while.

I don't usually plug a book before I've finished it, but I want to commend to you John Scalzi's The Android's Dream, which I'm a little over a third of the way through and enjoying immensely. I'm not sure whether it's meant to be a satire, but if it is it does it with a totally straight face and is all the better for it, and that's the way I'm reading it. It's reminding me of a couple of early Neal Stephenson novels, The Big U and Zodiac, which I adore. And dammit, Scalzi makes it look so effortless...
  • Current Music
    porcupine tree