Thanks to busy developments at the day job, as well as a lot of stuff for the Pitch, I’ve been slacking over here at Rock Star Journalist. Record Store Day was this past Saturday, too, leaving me with a stack of new tunes with which to be further distracted (pictures of Love Garden’s shenanigans viewable at Wayward Blog).
It probably doesn’t help that I’ve worked my way through all the stuff that’s recently come in for review, leaving me with little to no material for writing about. On a positive note, I’ve got some things coming in the mail, as well as e-mails that are chock full of news and free music for you all, so expect a return to form over the course of this week.
However, I’ve been reading some non-music-related books lately, and they deserve a mention. Richard Conniff‘s the Species Seekers is a wonderful tome tracing the discovery of new species by scientists and explorers in the years since Carolus Linnaeus first devised his system of taxonomy. It’s divided wonderfully, and some chapters read like adventure, while others are like medical thrillers. The book can be summed up best in this quote that comes near the end:
“And this may be the single biggest discovery, both delightful and daunting, that the species seekers have given us: Nature is not just weird, but limitlessly so.”
Speaking of weird, the metric ton of movies listed in Wheeler Winston Dixon‘s A History of Horror could have easily overwhelmed. However, thanks to witty and clever summations, as well as his ability to group films in such a way as to provide an excellent overview, the book is a breeze for this horror fan. While not quite as delightfully whimsical as David Skal’s the Monster Show, even a casual reader will find themselves needing to keep a notepad handy, so as to keep track of everything you’ll want to search out. Also valuable is the way Dixon advises readers to keep away from certain films, like those of Al Adamson (Blood of Ghastly Horror, Blood of Dracula’s Castle, among many other terrible works):
“Interesting solely as cultural artifacts of a bygone era in low-budget filmmaking; they are otherwise nearly devoid of initiative, talent or craftsmanship.”
Both books are highly recommended, and will do well to get you through the rainy, windy, and otherwise unpredictable spring we seem to be having.