Friday, April 19, 2019

Book Blogger Hop April 19th - April 25th: The Roland TB-303 Bassline Synthesizer Is a Highly Sought After Piece of Equipment


Jen at Crazy for Books restarted her weekly Book Blogger Hop to help book bloggers connect with one another, but then couldn't continue, so she handed the hosting responsibilities off to Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer. The only requirements to participate in the Hop are to write and link a post answering the weekly question and then visit other blogs that are also participating to see if you like their blog and would like to follow them.

This week Billy asks: Do you check how many views your posts have received?

I don't usually pay too much attention to the number of views a post gets. Because I use Blogger as a platform for this blog, the page view count is listed on the default working page, so I see the page views for the most recent couple of posts pretty much every time I go to work on a new post, but I don't really pay much attention to the numbers. I might take note if a page seems to be garnering an unusually large amount of attention, but for the most part I just don't care. I mostly write this blog for my own amusement, so any audience that it gets is basically just a happy accident as far as I'm concerned.


Book Blogger Hop     Home

1944 Retro Hugo Award Finalists (awarded in 2019)

Location: Dublin 2019: An Irish Worldcon in Dublin, Ireland.

Comments: As usual, I will raise my usual objections to the entire concept of the Retro Hugos: (1) They don't have any chance of accurately representing the preferences of the science fiction community of the era they are supposed to represent, and instead are selected by people looking back through mists of both time and nostalgia; and (2) fitting work from a bygone era into categories designed for modern media is a bit like trying to jam a square peg into a round hole. I've raised both of these objections before, and they are no less true now than they were when I first raised them.

To this pair of objections, I will raise yet another: The level of participation in nominating for the Retro Hugos is so low that it is common for several entire categories to be dropped. This year, the glaring absence of the Best Art Book special category from the Retro Hugos is the most obvious example of this fact. When even a special category created specifically for this particular Worldcon is unable to garner enough support to exist as a Retro Hugo category, that is evidence that the Retro Hugos themselves have a problem.

Best Novel

Winner:
TBD

Other Finalists:
Conjure Wife by Fritz Leiber
Earth’s Last Citadel by C.L. Moore and Henry Kuttner
Gather, Darkness! by Fritz Leiber
Das Glasperlenspiel (The Glass Bead Game) by Hermann Hesse
Perelandra by C.S. Lewis
The Weapon Makers by A.E. van Vogt

Best Novella

TBD

Other Finalists:
Attitude by Hal Clement
Clash by Night by C.L. Moore and Henry Kuttner
The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath by H.P. Lovecraft
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
The Magic Bed-Knob; or, How to Become a Witch in Ten Easy Lessons by Mary Norton
We Print the Truth by Anthony Boucher

Best Novelette

Winner:
TBD

Other Finalists:
Citadel of Lost Ships by Leigh Brackett
The Halfling by Leigh Brackett
Mimsy Were the Borogoves by C.L. Moore and Henry Kuttner
The Proud Robot by Henry Kuttner
Symbiotica by Eric Frank Russell
Thieves’ House by Fritz Leiber

Best Short Story

Winner:
TBD

Other Finalists:
Death Sentence by Isaac Asimov
Doorway into Time by C.L. Moore
Exile by Edmond Hamilton
King of the Gray Spaces (aka R is for Rocket) by Ray Bradbury
Q.U.R. by H.H. Holmes
Yours Truly – Jack the Ripper by Robert Bloch

Best Graphic Story

Winner:
TBD

Finalists:
Buck Rogers: Martians Invade Jupiter by Philip Nowlan and Dick Calkins
Flash Gordon: Fiery Desert of Mongo by Alex Raymond
Garth by Steve Dowling
Plastic Man #1: The Game of Death by Jack Cole
Le Secret de la Licorne (The Secret of the Unicorn) by Hergé
Wonder Woman #5: Battle for Womanhood written by William Moulton Marsden, art by Harry G. Peter

Best Dramatic Presentation: Long Form

Winner:
TBD

Finalists:
Batman written by Victor McLeod, Leslie Swabacker and Harry L. Fraser
Cabin in the Sky written by Joseph Schrank
A Guy Named Joe written by Frederick Hazlitt Brennan and Dalton Trumbo
Heaven Can Wait written by Samson Raphaelson
Münchhausen written by Erich Kästner and Rudolph Erich Raspe
Phantom of the Opera written by Eric Taylor, Samuel Hoffenstein and Hans Jacoby

Best Dramatic Presentation: Short Form

Winner:
TBD

Other Finalists:
The Ape Man written by Barney A. Sarecky
Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman written by Curt Siodmak
Der Fuehrer’s Face story by Joe Grant and Dick Huemer
I Walked With a Zombie written by Curt Siodmak and Ardel Wray
The Seventh Victim written by Charles O’Neal and DeWitt Bodeen
Super-Rabbit written by Tedd Pierce

Best Professional Editor: Short Form

Winner:
TBD

Other Finalists:
John W. Campbell
Oscar J. Friend
Mary Gnaedinger
Dorothy McIlwraith
Raymond A. Palmer
Donald A. Wollheim

Best Professional Artist

Winner:
TBD

Other Finalists:
Hannes Bok
Margaret Brundage
Virgil Finlay
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
J. Allen St. John
William Timmins

Best Fanzine

Winner:
TBD

Other Finalists:
Fantasy News edited by William S. Sykora
Futurian War Diges edited by J. Michael Rosenblum
The Phantagraph edited by Donald A. Wollheim
Voice of the Imagi-Nation edited by Jack Erman and Myrtle Douglas
YHOS edited by Art Widner
Le Zombie edited by Wilson “Bob” Tucker

Best Fan Writer

Winner:
TBD

Other Finalists:
Forrest J. Ackerman
Myrtle Douglas
Jack Speer
Wilson “Bob” Tucker
Art Widner
Donald A. Wollheim

Go to previous year's finalists: 1943 (awarded in 2018)
Go to subsequent year's finalists: 1946 (awarded in 1996)

What Are the Hugo Awards?

1944 Retro Hugo Award Longlist     Book Award Reviews     Home

Monday, April 15, 2019

Musical Monday - Kiss On My List by Hall and Oates


#1 on the Billboard Hot 100: April 11, 1981 through April 25, 1981.
#1 on the Cash Box Top 100: The week of April 11, 1981.
#1 on the U.K. Chart: Never.

Kiss On My List was the first big hit for Hall and Oates in the 1980s. It wasn't their first big hit overall - they had had a number one hit in the mid-1970s with Rich Girl, but their career had foundered for a half decade until their breakout in 1981 with this song. This was the first of a string of hits by the duo that served to set the tone for popular music over the first half of the 1980s.

Hall and Oates weren't the first identifiably "1980s rock stars" - that distinction probably belongs to Blondie, but they were the first group to establish a "1980s sound". While Blondie's output was eclectic, ranging from punk to disco to new wave to rap, Hall and Oates helped define what direction music would go in the post-disco post-punk era with a smooth and soulful urban almost jazz-influenced sound conducive to a laid back kind of cool that involved wearing animal print suits and skinny ties.

That said, in 1981 it certainly didn't seem like this would be the band that set the tone for music for the next couple of years. Popular music in 1981 was a chaotic swirl of indecision as the music from the 1970s, most notably disco and punk, fell from favor and was replaced by a mélange of styles that were going in a thousand different directions. That Hall and Oates would win the battle for a place at the helm of pop music was not a foregone conclusion in 1981, but it is what happened, strange as it may seem.

Previous Musical Monday: This Ole House by Shakin' Stevens
Subsequent Musical Monday: Making Your Mind Up by Bucks Fizz

Previous #1 on the Billboard Hot 100: Rapture by Blondie
Subsequent #1 on the Billboard Hot 100: Morning Train (Nine to Five) by Sheena Easton

Previous #1 on the Cash Box Top 100: Rapture by Blondie
Subsequent #1 on the Cash Box Top 100: Morning Train (Nine to Five) by Sheena Easton

List of #1 Singles from the Billboard Hot 100 for 1980-1989
List of #1 Singles from the Cash Box Top 100 for 1980-1989
List of #1 Singles on the U.K. Chart for 1980-1989

Hall and Oates     1980s Project     Musical Monday     Home

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Book Blogger Hop April 12th - April 18th: Area Code 302 Is the One and Only Area Code for the State of Delaware


Jen at Crazy for Books restarted her weekly Book Blogger Hop to help book bloggers connect with one another, but then couldn't continue, so she handed the hosting responsibilities off to Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer. The only requirements to participate in the Hop are to write and link a post answering the weekly question and then visit other blogs that are also participating to see if you like their blog and would like to follow them.

This week Billy asks: When reading a series, do you re-read the previous book/s before reading the newly released book?

I don't even have enough time to read all the new books I want to read, let alone enough time to go back and reread all of the books in a series every time a new volume comes out. To be perfectly honest, I usually resolve this issue by not starting to read a series until all of the books have been published, and then I read them all at once. I usually buy the books when they are released, but often don't get around to reading them until much later. This has the odd side-effect of my owning several series that are in various stages of completion from which I have not yet read a single installment.

Oh well. I own more books than I will ever conceivably be able to read in my lifetime, so why should books that make up a series be any different? So it goes.


Book Blogger Hop     Home

Thursday, April 11, 2019

2019 Hugo Award Finalists

Location: Dublin 2019 - An Irish Worldcon in Dublin, Ireland.

Comments: The first thing to know about this year's Hugo finalists is that for the first time in four years, N.K. Jemisin will not win a Hugo, but only because as far as I can tell, she did not write anything in 2018 eligible to get nominated onto this list. Even without Jemisin, this year's list of finalists is fantastic, with excellent nominees up and down the list in every category.

This year's finalists are notable for two reasons. The first is the introduction of the Best Art Book category, more or less splitting that category off from the Best Related Work category where such works had previously been relegated. The other is the nomination in the Best Related Work category of An Archive of Our Own and The Mexicanx Initiative Experience at Worldcon 76, neither of which are traditional finalists in this category. One might suspect that the first of these two events is at least partially responsible for opening up the field so that the second could occur. This sort of development is among the primary reasons why this is truly a great time to be a science fiction fan.

Best Novel

Winner:
TBD

Finalists:
The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal
Record of a Spaceborn Few by Becky Chambers
Revenant Gun by Yoon Ha Lee
Space Opera by Catherynne M. Valente
Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik
Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse

Best Novella

Winner:
TBD

Finalists:
Artificial Condition by Martha Wells
Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire
Binti: The Night Masquerade by Nnedi Okorafor
The Black God’s Drums by P. Djèlí Clark
Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach by Kelly Robson
The Tea Master and the Detective by Aliette de Bodard

Best Novelette

Winner:
TBD

Finalists:
If at First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try Again by Zen Cho
The Last Banquet of Temporal Confections by Tina Connolly
Nine Last Days on Planet Earth by Daryl Gregory
The Only Harmless Great Thing by Brooke Bolander
The Thing About Ghost Stories by Naomi Kritzer
When We Were Starless by Simone Heller

Best Short Story

Winner:
TBD

Finalists:
The Court Magician by Sarah Pinsker
The Rose MacGregor Drinking and Admiration Society by T. Kingfisher
The Secret Lives of the Nine Negro Teeth of George Washington by P. Djèlí Clark
STET by Sarah Gailey
The Tale of the Three Beautiful Raptor Sisters, and the Prince Who Was Made of Meat by Brooke Bolander
A Witch’s Guide to Escape: A Practical Compendium of Portal Fantasies by Alix E. Harrow

Best Related Work

Winner:
TBD

Finalists:
Archive of Our Own a project of the Organization for Transformative Works
Astounding: John W. Campbell, Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, L. Ron Hubbard, and the Golden Age of Science Fiction by Alec Nevala-Lee
The Hobbit Duology, a documentary in three parts, written and edited by Lindsay Ellis and Angelina Meehan
An Informal History of the Hugos: A Personal Look Back at the Hugo Awards, 1953-2000 by Jo Walton
www.mexicanxinitiative.com: The Mexicanx Initiative Experience at Worldcon 76 by Julia Rios, Libia Brenda, Pablo Defendini, and John Picacio
Ursula K. Le Guin: Conversations on Writing by Ursula K. Le Guin with David Naimon

Best Graphic Story

Winner:
TBD

Finalists:
Abbott written by Saladin Ahmed; art by Sami Kivelä
Black Panther: Long Live the King written by Nnedi Okorafor and Aaron Covington; art by André Lima Araújo, Mario Del Pennino, and Tana Ford
Monstress, Volume 3: Haven written by Marjorie Liu; art by Sana Takeda
On a Sunbeam by Tillie Walden
Paper Girls, Volume 4 written by Brian K. Vaughan; art by Cliff Chiang
Saga, Volume 9 written by Brian K. Vaughan; art by Fiona Staples

Best Dramatic Presentation: Long Form

Winner:
TBD

Finalists:
Annihilation
Avengers: Infinity War
Black Panther
A Quiet Place
Sorry to Bother You
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Best Dramatic Presentation: Short Form

Winner:
TBD

Finalists:
Doctor Who: Demons of the Punjab
Dirty Computer by Janelle Monáe and Chuck Lightning
The Expanse: Abaddon’s Gate
The Good Place: Janet(s)
The Good Place: Jeremy Bearimy
Doctor Who: Rosa

Best Professional Editor: Short Form

Winner:
TBD

Finalists:
Neil Clarke
Gardner Dozois
Lee Harris
Julia Rios
Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas
E. Catherine Tobler

Best Professional Editor: Long Form

Winner:
TBD

Finalists:
Sheila E. Gilbert
Anne Lesley Groell
Beth Meacham
Diana Pho
Gillian Redfearn
Navah Wolfe

Best Professional Artist

Winner:
TBD

Finalists:
Galen Dara
Jaime Jones
Victo Ngai
John Picacio
Yuko Shimizu
Charles Vess

Best Semi-Prozine

Winner:
TBD

Finalists:
Beneath Ceaseless Skies editor-in-chief and publisher Scott H. Andrews
Fireside Magazine edited by Julia Rios, managing editor Elsa Sjunneson-Henry, social coordinator Meg Frank, special features editor Tanya DePass, founding editor Brian White, publisher and art director Pablo Defendini
FIYAH Magazine of Black Speculative Fiction executive editors Troy L. Wiggins and DaVaun Sanders, editors L.D. Lewis, Brandon O’Brien, Kaleb Russell, Danny Lore, and Brent Lambert
Shimmer publisher Beth Wodzinski, senior editor E. Catherine Tobler
Strange Horizons edited by Jane Crowley, Kate Dollarhyde, Vanessa Rose Phin, Vajra Chandrasekera, Romie Stott, Maureen Kincaid Speller, and the Strange Horizons Staff
Uncanny Magazine publishers/editors-in-chief Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas, managing editor Michi Trota, podcast producers Erika Ensign and Steven Schapansky, Disabled People Destroy Science Fiction Special Issue editors-in-chief Elsa Sjunneson-Henry and Dominik Parisien

Best Fanzine

Winner:
TBD

Finalists:
Galactic Journey founder Gideon Marcus, editor Janice Marcus
Journey Planet edited by Team Journey Planet
Lady Business edited by Ira, Jodie, KJ, Renay, and Susan
nerds of a feather, flock together edited by Joe Sherry, Vance Kotrla, and The G
Quick Sip Reviews edited by Charles Payseur
Rocket Stack Rank edited by Greg Hullender and Eric Wong

Best Fan Writer

Winner:
TBD

Finalists:
Foz Meadows
James Davis Nicoll
Charles Payseur
Elsa Sjunneson-Henry
Alasdair Stuart
Bogi Takács

Best Fan Artist

Winner:
TBD

Finalists:
Sara Felix
Grace P. Fong
Meg Frank
Ariela Housman
Likhain (Mia Sereno)
Spring Schoenhuth

Best Fancast

Winner:
TBD

Finalists:
Be the Serpent presented by Alexandra Rowland, Freya Marske and Jennifer Mace
The Coode Street Podcast presented by Jonathan Strahan and Gary K. Wolfe
Fangirl Happy Hour hosted by Ana Grilo and Renay Williams
Galactic Suburbia hosted by Alisa Krasnostein, Alexandra Pierce, and Tansy Rayner Roberts, produced by Andrew Finch
Our Opinions Are Correct hosted by Annalee Newitz and Charlie Jane Anders
The Skiffy and Fanty Show produced by Jen Zink and Shaun Duke, hosted by the Skiffy and Fanty Crew

Best Series

Winner:
TBD

Finalists:
The Centenal Cycle by Malka Older
The Laundry Files by Charles Stross
Machineries of Empire by Yoon Ha Lee
The October Daye series by Seanan McGuire
The Universe of Xuya by Aliette de Bodard
Wayfarers by Becky Chambers

Best Art Book

Winner:
TBD

Finalists:
The Books of Earthsea: The Complete Illustrated Edition illustrated by Charles Vess, written by Ursula K. Le Guin
Daydreamer’s Journey: The Art of Julie Dillon by Julie Dillon
Dungeons & Dragons Art & Arcana: A Visual History by Michael Witwer, Kyle Newman, Jon Peterson, and Sam Witwer
Spectrum 25: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art edited by John Fleskes
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse – The Art of the Movie by Ramin Zahed
Tolkien: Maker of Middle-Earth edited by Catherine McIlwaine

John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer

Winner:
TBD

Finalists:
Katherine Arden
S.A. Chakraborty
R.F. Kuang
Jeannette Ng
Vina Jie-Min Prasad
Rivers Solomon

Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book

Winner:
TBD

Finalists:
The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
Dread Nation by Justina Ireland
The Invasion by Peadar O’Guilin
Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman

What Are the Hugo Awards?

Go to previous year's nominees: 2018
Go to subsequent year's nominees: 2020

2019 Hugo Award Longlist     Book Award Reviews     Home

Monday, April 8, 2019

Musical Monday - This Ole House by Shakin' Stevens


#1 on the Billboard Hot 100: Never.
#1 on the Cash Box Top 100: Never.
#1 on the U.K. Chart: March 28, 1981 through April 11, 1981.

While the U.S. charts were looking towards the future with the first rap song to reach number one, the U.K. charts were looking backward with a rockabilly song originally sung by Rosemary Clooney but now performed by an Elvis-like Welsh singer at the top spot. I'm not sure what this says about the popular culture of the two countries in 1981, but it does seem to indicate something.

Not only is this song a throwback, hearkening back to a bygone era of music, its lyrics are surprisingly dark for such a bouncy and peppy dance tune. Essentially, the song is about an old house lived in by a man who has lived out his life and is now basically just waiting to die. Or maybe the house is waiting to die. The lyrics aren't really all that clear on that point, but someone is waiting to die. Given these lyrics, the kind of happy dance done by Stevens in the video seems pretty incongruous.

Previous Musical Monday: Rapture by Blondie
Subsequent Musical Monday: Kiss On My List by Hall and Oates

Previous #1 on the U.K. Chart: Jealous Guy by Roxy Music
Subsequent #1 on the U.K. Chart: Making Your Mind Up by Bucks Fizz

List of #1 Singles from the Billboard Hot 100 for 1980-1989
List of #1 Singles from the Cash Box Top 100 for 1980-1989
List of #1 Singles on the U.K. Chart for 1980-1989

Shakin' Stevens     1980s Project     Musical Monday     Home

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Book Blogger Hop April 5th - April 11th: The HTTP Response Status Code "301 Moved Permanently" Is Used for Permanent URL Redirection


Jen at Crazy for Books restarted her weekly Book Blogger Hop to help book bloggers connect with one another, but then couldn't continue, so she handed the hosting responsibilities off to Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer. The only requirements to participate in the Hop are to write and link a post answering the weekly question and then visit other blogs that are also participating to see if you like their blog and would like to follow them.

This week Billy asks: If you could take the place of any fictional character, who would it be and why?

The problem with switching places with a fictional character is that most fictional characters lead lives that are best described as "interesting", and by interesting, I mean dangerous and often quite crappy. There are a lot of characters that are enjoyable to read about, but wouldn't be enjoyable to be.

With those considerations in mind, I think that the fictional character that I would want to take the place of would be Tom Bombadil from The Lord of the Rings. Overall, Bombadil seems to have a pretty good life. He has virtually unlimited power, a fairly nice house, and a beautiful spouse. The only real problem he has seems to be that his stomping grounds are fairly limited in area, although that may be a self-imposed limitation.

So Tom Bombadil it is. That's who I would take the place of.


Book Blogger Hop     Home

Monday, April 1, 2019

Musical Monday - Rapture by Blondie


#1 on the Billboard Hot 100: March 28, 1981 through April 4, 1981.
#1 on the Cash Box Top 100: March 28, 1981 through April 4, 1981.
#1 on the U.K. Chart: Never.

Rapture is the first "rap" song that reached number one on the charts. I put "rap" in quotes because even though Deborah Harry raps a decent portion of the lyrics, it bears little relationship to what most people regard as rap. There are no samples, the underlying song is a kind of dreamy tune, the actual rapping is fairly rudimentary, and Harry doesn't look or really sound much like what most people expect for a rap artist.

Leaving all of that aside: While acknowledging Rapture's place in history as the first rap song to reach number one, I kind of question its cultural impact. I suspect that if you went to a hundred people and asked them about the song, the vast majority would give you blank stares in return. The song just doesn't seem to be that well remembered, probably due in large part to the fact that rap music as a genre went in a completely orthogonal direction to the style of this song.

As a comparison, one could look to the Sugar Hill Gang's tune Rapper's Delight, which came out in 1979, a few years before Rapture. Rapper's Delight did reasonably well for its artists, but it peaked on the U.S. Billboard charts at number thirty-six. On the other hand, it became culturally pervasive, influencing several generations of rap artists and helping shape the genre, and showing up in odd places such as Las Ketchup's Ketchup Song: The nigh-incomprehensible chorus of the Ketchup Song is an attempt to copy the opening sequence of Rapper's Delight that starts "I said a hip hop, The hippie to the hippie the hip-hip-hop, a you don't stop".

On a side note, Deborah Harry seems to have had a hand in sparking the creation of Rapper's Delight, so her rap credentials run fairly deep, and her appreciation of the genre probably spurred the creation of Rapture, but her foray into rapping seems to have mostly faded from popular memory enough that Jimmy Fallon isn't making a video using snippets from Brian Williams and Lester Holt to make them sing Rapture.

Previous Musical Monday: Jealous Guy by Roxy Music
Subsequent Musical Monday: This Ole House by Shakin' Stevens

Previous #1 on the Billboard Hot 100: Keep On Lovin' You by REO Speedwagon
Subsequent #1 on the Billboard Hot 100: Kiss on My List by Hall and Oates

Previous #1 on the Cash Box Top 100: Woman by John Lennon
Subsequent #1 on the Cash Box Top 100: Kiss on My List by Hall and Oates

List of #1 Singles from the Billboard Hot 100 for 1980-1989
List of #1 Singles from the Cash Box Top 100 for 1980-1989
List of #1 Singles on the U.K. Chart for 1980-1989

Blondie     1980s Project     Musical Monday     Home

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Book Blogger Hop March 29th - April 4th: "300" Was a Stunningly Ahistorical Movie Ostensibly About the Battle of Thermopylae


Jen at Crazy for Books restarted her weekly Book Blogger Hop to help book bloggers connect with one another, but then couldn't continue, so she handed the hosting responsibilities off to Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer. The only requirements to participate in the Hop are to write and link a post answering the weekly question and then visit other blogs that are also participating to see if you like their blog and would like to follow them.

This week Billy asks: Name one classic novel you have always wanted to read.

I would like to read The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Or possibly The Phantom of the Opera. Or maybe Ben Hur. I've read most of the other classic works that I really want to read, including Les Miserables, but I've never read either of those. I own a copy of all three of those books, so I suppose I could sit down and read them over the next couple of weeks, but as I am way behind on almost everything, that seems unlikely. I'll get around to it some time though.

Previous Book Blogger Hop: The Third Samnite War Started in 299 B.C.

Book Blogger Hop     Home

Monday, March 25, 2019

Musical Monday - Jealous Guy by Roxy Music


#1 on the Billboard Hot 100: Never.
#1 on the Cash Box Top 100: Never.
#1 on the U.K. Chart: March 14, 1981 through March 21, 1981.

This should be subtitled "Manpain: The Song".

This version of Jealous Guy is a cover or John Lennon's original 1971 recording of the song. It appears that this recording was an attempt to either memorialize or capitalize upon Lennon's death in December 1980, as Roxy Music added a live version of the song to their usual set in the following months and recorded this version in February 1981. Whether this recording is a moving tribute to a fallen icon or a crass and ghoulish attempt to capitalize on a tragedy is probably in the eye of the beholder.

That said, this song is kind of creepy when you break it down. The lyrics seem to be an apology, but they really aren't. They are a series of excuses. The only thing the singer is explicitly sorry for is making his lover cry. When it comes to hurting them, the only statement made is that the singer didn't mean to do it, following by a series of reasons why they did, including the fact that they are a jealous person. The entire tenor of the song is more or less "I didn't mean to hurt you, but instead of dealing with your hurts, let's talk about my pain and insecurities for a while instead".

This centering of male anguish in stories that are ostensibly about male wrongdoing and the harm they cause to the women in their life is something of a recurring theme in popular culture. Songs, books, movies, and television programs in which a guy lashes out at a woman so frequently seem to move away from the pain caused to the victim and instead focus on how the incident disturbed the sensibilities of the aggressor and is now making him feel bad that it is difficult to get annoyed with Lennon for making a song that does the same thing. All the same, I am just so very tired of these sorts of stories of dudes whining about how causing harm to others is actually hurting them. If I never hear another "manpain" tale like this again, it will be too soon.

Previous Musical Monday: Keep On Lovin' You by REO Speedwagon
Subsequent Musical Monday: Rapture by Blondie

Previous #1 on the U.K. Chart: Shaddap You Face by Joe Dolce Music Theatre
Subsequent #1 on the U.K. Chart: This Ole House by Shakin' Stevens

List of #1 Singles from the Billboard Hot 100 for 1980-1989
List of #1 Singles from the Cash Box Top 100 for 1980-1989
List of #1 Singles on the U.K. Chart for 1980-1989

Roxy Music     1980s Project     Musical Monday     Home

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Book Blogger Hop March 22nd - March 28th: The Third Samnite War Started in 299 B.C.


Jen at Crazy for Books restarted her weekly Book Blogger Hop to help book bloggers connect with one another, but then couldn't continue, so she handed the hosting responsibilities off to Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer. The only requirements to participate in the Hop are to write and link a post answering the weekly question and then visit other blogs that are also participating to see if you like their blog and would like to follow them.

This week Billy asks: Do you read along with your audio books?

Since I don't use audio books, the answer to this has to be no. I don't have anything against audio books, I just don't really have the ability to absorb books via that format, so I simply never use audio books.


Book Blogger Hop     Home

Monday, March 18, 2019

Musical Monday - Keep On Lovin' You by REO Speedwagon


#1 on the Billboard Hot 100: The week of March 21, 1981.
#1 on the Cash Box Top 100: The week of March 7, 1981.
#1 on the U.K. Chart: Never.

The 1980s were the era of the power ballad, and REO Speedwagon's Keep On Lovin' You was one of the first of the big hit power ballads. Actually, I think this may be the first power ballad to reach the peak position on the pop charts, and as a result pioneered a music form that would come to dominate the decade. It seems odd that pretty much every hair metal band of the mid- to late-1980s would follow the musical lead of a band like REO Speedwagon, but that seems to have been what happened.

I recall seeing some interviews with the band members about the development of Keep On Lovin' You that essentially amounted to saying that REO Speedwagon stumbled on to the power ballad formula almost by accident. Kevin Cronin, the band's lead singer, was apparently a folk singer by inclination, which is one of the reasons that he left the band for a time during the 1970s. When he sat down to write Keep On Lovin' You, he wanted to merge the had rock style of the rest of the band with his tendency towards folk ballads, and the result was the power ballad. I'm not entirely sure that one can credit REO Speedwagon with the creation of the power ballad - this anecdote is based on my recollection of stories told in an interview by band members in a documentary that I only dimly recall - but they were definitely responsible for helping to make power ballads the signature sound of the decade.

Previous Musical Monday: Shaddap You Face by Joe Dolce Music Theatre
Subsequent Musical Monday: Jealous Guy by Roxy Music

Previous #1 on the Billboard Hot 100: I Love a Rainy Night by Eddie Rabbitt
Subsequent #1 on the Billboard Hot 100: Rapture by Blondie

Previous #1 on the Cash Box Top 100: 9 to 5 by Dolly Parton
Subsequent #1 on the Cash Box Top 100: Woman by John Lennon

List of #1 Singles from the Billboard Hot 100 for 1980-1989
List of #1 Singles from the Cash Box Top 100 for 1980-1989
List of #1 Singles on the U.K. Chart for 1980-1989

REO Speedwagon     1980s Project     Musical Monday     Home

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Book Blogger Hop March 15th - March 21st: 298 Baptistina Is the Namesake of the Baptistina Asteroid Family


Jen at Crazy for Books restarted her weekly Book Blogger Hop to help book bloggers connect with one another, but then couldn't continue, so she handed the hosting responsibilities off to Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer. The only requirements to participate in the Hop are to write and link a post answering the weekly question and then visit other blogs that are also participating to see if you like their blog and would like to follow them.

This week Billy asks: Do you use NetGalley, Edelweiss, both, or neither?

Nope. I don't use either of those services, or any other similar service.

Previous Book Blogger Hop: +297 Is a Restaurant in Aruba
Subsequent Book Blogger Hop: The Third Samnite War Started in 299 B.C.

Book Blogger Hop     Home

Monday, March 11, 2019

Musical Monday - Shaddap You Face by Joe Dolce Music Theatre


#1 on the Billboard Hot 100: Never.
#1 on the Cash Box Top 100: Never.
#1 on the U.K. Chart: February 21, 1981 through March 7, 1981.

I can't even.

The only explanation I can come up with for this song is that every now and then the entire U.K. simply fucking loses its collective mind. Compounding the insanity, this idiotic song was number one in the U.K. for three weeks. This song rather famously kept Ultravox's Vienna from reaching the number one spot in the U.K., which doesn't really seem like that big of a loss until one considers that Shaddup You Face is insipidness personified while Vienna is only pretentiously ponderous.

After listening to this song I can kind of understand how Brexit happened.

Previous Musical Monday: 9 to 5 by Dolly Parton
Subsequent Musical Monday: Keep On Lovin' You by REO Speedwagon

Previous #1 on the U.K. Chart: Woman by John Lennon
Subsequent #1 on the U.K. Chart: Jealous Guy by Roxy Music

List of #1 Singles from the Billboard Hot 100 for 1980-1989
List of #1 Singles from the Cash Box Top 100 for 1980-1989
List of #1 Singles on the U.K. Chart for 1980-1989

Joe Dolce Music Theatre     1980s Project     Musical Monday     Home

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Book Blogger Hop March 8th - March 14th: +297 Is a Restaurant in Aruba


Jen at Crazy for Books restarted her weekly Book Blogger Hop to help book bloggers connect with one another, but then couldn't continue, so she handed the hosting responsibilities off to Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer. The only requirements to participate in the Hop are to write and link a post answering the weekly question and then visit other blogs that are also participating to see if you like their blog and would like to follow them.

This week Billy asks: Do you buy all your books? If yes, do you keep it all? If no, where do you source them?

No. I have bought most of my books, but I didn't buy all of them. The books I didn't buy, I obtained in a variety of ways.

Some of my books I have been given as review copies.

Some of my books I have obtained as "swag" at conventions. I suppose that since I paid to go to the conventions, technically I paid for the books, just in a roundabout way. There was no real obligation on the part of the convention to give them to me, so I think these count as "free" anyway.

Some of my books I have received as giveaways from contests.

Some of my books I have obtained via things like the "freebie" table at events.

And, obviously, I have received some books as gifts.


Book Blogger Hop     Home