Choons and books

Well I said I’d post about choons, books and what-have-you. Of course, having three young kids means that entertainment is primarily domestic (shut up with the tittering at the back there). I have a reasonable DVD collection, but must confess that some discs remain unseen, despite having been owned for two years or more. I aim to sort this out in 2005 as I now have a DVD player in the bedroom as well as downstairs (the presence of said player should sort out the issue touched-upon in the second sentence too).

Notable reads this year included the following:

OK, there were other books, but I now move on to music. I didn’t buy very much at all this year, but what I did get has been awesome. 2004 was the year I re-discovered Rush and the purchase of Rush in Rio very quickly led to my buying Vapor Trails. Wow. Amazing album, love it. It rocks like you would not believe, and Neil Peart has to be the best drummer ever. Well, nearly

Staying in the “R” aisle, this year the Red Hot Chili Peppers released a double live album in the UK, Live in Hyde Park. Needless to say, as a long-term RHCP fan (seventeen years and counting: oof!) I bought it on release day, and was not disappointed. This had a limited release around the world, so if you’re in the US or somewhere equally deprived, pick it up on import — it’s well worth it. This purchase in the summer was augmented at Christmas when my wife got me the Red Hot Chili Peppers - Live At Slane… DVD, which complements the Hyde Park album well: it’s a different set, and the DVD includes some gems from the era not present on the live album.

Talking of Christmas, we picked up a copy of Keane’s Hopes and Fears for my sister-in-law. I’ve had this album for some time, and it is excellent (despite what The Darkness say!) The final track of the album, “Bedshaped” is full-on tingles down the spine stuff. Easily the winner of “keyboard solo of the year” (an award that comes up so often of course).

Finally, one last musical gift for me this year was U2’s How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb. It deserves all the acclaim it has received. Personal highlights include the opener, “Vertigo”, “Sometimes You Can’t Make It On Your Own”, “All Because Of You” and “City Of Blinding Lights”. You should buy it.


  1. Whilst we’re mentioning The Da Vinci Code, a great story from the BBC website concerning Mr. Brown’s impact on the French: Poole#
  2. by the way, this post inspired me to finally procure the U2 album. It'll be part of the new rotation on the way to our sales meeting next week….Ed Brill#
  3. Excellent :-) It really is a good album: actually, I prefer it to All That You Can’t Leave Behind, good as that is (U2 are producing some snappy album titles of late aren’t they?)Ben Poole#
  4. w00t! Nice to see another Rush fan in the community (I think John Head listens to them, too, but he's more of a Dream Theater fan).

    I've been listening to them pretty solidly since 2112 came out (middle school, for me), and I've been to several of their concerts. I missed the 30th Anniversary Tour this past summer (I was in SF taking Portal Server admin training), but I did catch them on the Vapor Trails tour a couple of years ago.

    My only complaint about Vapor Trails is the engineering - it's way over-driven (see this article for a technical rundown). Fortunately, Atlantic is in the process of re-releasing remastered versions of all the Rush albums released since Rush left Mercury for Atlantic aound 1990 (Presto, Roll The Bones, Counterparts, Test For Echo and, eventually, Vapor Trails).Greg Walrath#
  5. It is over-driven,yeah. I don’t think it’s that bad (to quote the article, it doesn’t sound like “dogshit” to me, and I have CDs that sound far worse), but I take the point expressed in the link.

    Thanks for mentioning the re-masters: I shall hold off buying Counterparts and Test For Echo until the new versions are out…. ;-) Ben Poole#
  6. I love that article, Greg. And Rush ROCKS! I actually noticed that trend before I saw the article - of course, that was probably because I'd been making compilations of my fav Rush songs ;) I hate that LET'S MAKE IT SO LOUD YOU CAN'T HEAR ALL THE INSTRUMENTS idea. I always wondered what Geddy, Alex and Neil thought it sounded like. I can't wait for the remasters!
    Ben, Counterparts and Test for Echo are fabulous. I still can't get into Vapor Trails.
    (Of course, now I'm listening to my new Duran Duran CD Astronaut. ;) Easy boys, a girl just can't help it, but Duran Duran are great!!) :)Debbie Byrd#

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