Friday, August 24, 2007

media roundup!

In the usual attempt to distract myself from a mounting to-do list and sad things all around, I've been reading and downloading music like mad. Here's a sampling of things I'm in love with lately:

1. Sufjan Stevens (festively pictured above)
who has an amazing voice and songwriting ability, is Christian, and whose discography includes the requisite percentage of very sad songs. My favorites are To Be Alone With You, Abraham, A Size Too Small and The Dress Looks Nice on You. I think they're all on the same album (Seven Swans) but if you're downloading, you probably don't care.

To Be Alone With You is about Christ, and it's very beautiful and even holy. (Here are the lyrics.)
Although I can listen to a few LDS artists, there is a kind of mid-90s lite rock undercurrent there that turns me off. Hence my joy at finding Sufjan Stevens, The Innocence Mission, and others who are Christian and not offensive and help me feel the Spirit without suppressing a laugh.

2. Fame Junkies by Jake Halpern

If, like me, you are a bit befuddled by the American obsession with famous people, you will enjoy this book. The chapter about the Rod Stewart fan is just plain sad. The author goes a bit too far in his use of evolutionary psychology (did I just make that discipline up) to explain celebrity worship, but it's a good read anyhow.

3. The Office

I usually recuse myself from conversations about serial TV shows, but, alas, I can join in now. I have a show, and it's The Office. Mighty fine mind candy. It's on a bit too early to watch at the normal time, but I've been watching the last season on this website:
And it's subtitled in Chinese, for even more fun.

4. Bog Bodies

I know that a deep and abiding love for bogs is not normal. But they are seriously fascinating. In a National Geographic article this month about bog bodies you will find some spookily beautiful pictures of very well-preserved people, some of whom died around the time of Christ. Some may have been sacrificed, some executed for criminal behavior. I am fascinated by the cultures in which these people lived and the ecology of the bogs themselves. Nowhere else do we find such perfectly preserved faces, clothing, even hair; a true encapsulation of a person who lived long ago.


Meredith said...

That is so crazy that you are interested in the Bog Bodies as well. I was just looking at the pictures in our National Geographic the other day and was thinking how interesting they were.

I hope you have a great week!

patty said...

Wow, that bog body really fascinated me. I am going to have to check that out. Actually, I want to check out everything you talked about. Bil has heard of Sufian and heard good things about him, but we have as of yet not heard his music.

I also really want to check out Fame Junkies. I never thought I would be into fame and famous people, but two years ago, I got to meet the drummer for the Killers, Ronnie Vanucci, who happens to be a friend of Bil's. They used to record music together. We got backstage passes and hung out with Ronnie, and the 2 friends we brought with us and I were completely starstruck, which really amused Bil. It was interesting to hear Ronnie talk about old friends and how his fame has affected his relationships (not always for the better). Here's this guy who is totally easygoing and really unaffecting and I was gaga. Kind of embarrassing. (of course it doesn't hurt that Ronnie is really good-looking).

janette said...

I'm glad to see I'm not the only "Office" fan! Tom won't watch it with me; says it's like watching reality TV (apparently the similarities to his own office environment are just too painful).

beckbot said...

That's exactly what I love about The Office; *most* of those people could be real people. Except Dwight.