Monday, August 24, 2009


... I can't blog tonight; I'm busy resting after a terribly strenuous day on the lake:

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Rock of Ages

This is one of those CDs that went straight into itunes so I could listen to it on my ipod at the gym - the Original Broadway Cast Recording of Rock of Ages.

I hadn't heard much about the musical before my CD came in, which is really too bad, because it sounds like a fantastic program. You can see the Making of Soundtrack video here on YouTube.

Rock of Ages is a five-time Tony Award nominated Broadway musical, and it stars Constantine Maroulis (an American Idol finalist). The story of Rock of Ages follows the old "small town girl runs off to the big city" plot line, but it appears that most of the action takes place in a legendary Sunset Strip rock club, in 1987. I'm a huge fan of 80's music, so this is a match made in heaven: Rock of Ages features all the hits of the era, from artists like Journey, Bon Jovi,
Styx, Reo Speedwagon, Pat Benatar, Foreigner, Twisted Sister, Poison, Asia, and Whitesnake.

I mean, just look at this track listing:

Just Like Paradise / Nothin' But A Good Time
Sister Christian
We Built This City / Too Much Time On My Hands
I Wanna Rock
We're Not Gonna Take It
Heaven/More Than Words / To Be With You
Waiting For A Girl Like You
Wanted Dead Or Alive
I Want To Know What Love Is
Cum On Feel The Noize / We're Not Gonna Take It (Reprise)
Harden My Heart / Shadows Of The Night
Here I Go Again
The Final Countdown
Any Way You Want It / I Wanna Rock (Reprise)
High Enough
I Hate Myself For Loving You / Heat Of The Moment
Hit Me With Your Best Shot
Can't Fight This Feeling
Every Rose Has Its Thorn
Oh Sherrie
The Search Is Over
Don't Stop Believin

Being a musical, these are all the classic rock songs sung by different singers, the songs don't all run the full length of the original, and there's a bit of dialogue interspersed between songs. However, the singers do a great job and you can really feel the story unfold over the course of the CD. I particularly enjoyed the We Built This City / Too Much Time On My Hands track, with my second favorite being the closing track Don't Stop Believin'. (Oh, and there's a little bonus at the end of this song!)

Interested? You can purchase your own copy of the Rock of Ages soundtrack here on Amazon.

My copy of the CD kindly provided by the lovely women over at

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Peer pressure. . . cont.

Following yesterday's update on what I'm watching, here comes

What I've Been Reading
Or, Half-Finished Books On My Nightstand

  • Would you believe, I'm still trying to finish Death By Gaslight. Yeah, that link leads to a blog entry from September of last year. On the one hand, the book got lost among the boxes when I moved, and I just found it recently. On the other, I've been dreading the ending and so I keep putting it off -- I really only have about three chapters left to go.

    So far, I get the feeling that I might have enjoyed the story quite a bit more if the author had used original characters; a book that makes a protagonist of the evil nemesis and an antagonist of the good guy can be quite interesting. However, because these are characters that I have known and loved (except the nemesis) since elementary school, every time they behave out of ... well, out of character, it pulls me out of the story.

    Of course, I can also see where the author is coming from. It is ever so much easier to use well-established characters when writing in that the audience knows Sherlock Holmes; almost anyone can at least pull up a mental image of the Great Detective. It is almost certainly easier to write hero-as-antagonist when it's been firmly established for a century just how good the "good guy" is.

    But it's just not working for me in this book. I'll write more once I finish, but I get the feeling my opinion won't change much.
  • The Dragon Lensman. A party favor from a comic-con themed party Ivy threw a few years back. Thin, yet hard to finish, but I hate to leave a book once I've started reading it.

  • The Cheapskate Monthly Money Makeover. Because I am currently enjoying a brief period of respite between living paycheck-to-paycheck and being a broke graduate student -- it seems like a good time to read this book.

  • The Final Solution. Loaned to me by a fellow book-lover who knows what a huge Sherlock Holmes fan I am.

  • Rumspringa. A castoff from my soon-to-be Anthropology student little brother.

  • Under The Black Flag. A birthday gift, I believe from my ex. I do love nonfiction works about things relating to what I love in fiction: this one's about pirates, and next on my list are biographies of Rudyard Kipling and Arthur Conan Doyle.
Not sure what I'll do tomorrow. Either "What I'm Listening To" ("To What I'm Listening"?) or "What I'm Doing".

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Peer pressure

It's been pointed out that I haven't updated my blog in a very long time.

So here comes a series of short updates. [And look for a CD review in few days, too!]

What I've Been Watching

  • Last night, my Bigshot Critic friend scored us some tickets to a production of Little Shop of Horrors at the Long Center. It was the first time I'd seen a live version of Little Shop, and the experience was highly enjoyable; the acting and singing were a few steps up from what I'd expected, and there was a good sense of comedic timing overall. Definitely a play to check out, although I hear that the show's been sold out recently.

  • Leverage! TNT has a good summary of the program:

    [Timothy] Hutton stars as Nate Ford, a former insurance investigator determined to bring down the kind of corrupt bigwigs whose neglect led to the death of his son. His highly skilled team includes Sophie Devereaux (Gina Bellman – Coupling), a grifter who uses her acting skills to corner her marks; Eliot Spencer (Christian Kane – TNT’s Into the West), a “retrieval specialist” with bone-crunching fighting skills; Alec Hardison (Aldis Hodge – Friday Night Lights), a gadget and technology wizard who keeps the team connected and informed; and Parker (Beth Riesgraf – Alvin and the Chipmunks), a slightly off-center thief adept at repelling off buildings or squeezing into tight places. Together, the team puts their energy, quick minds and keen intellects toward securing justice for society’s underdogs.

    Thanks to Netflix I was able to catch up on Season 1 before the summer season started three weeks ago. In addition to some fantastic writing, Leverage has an amazing cast and chemistry going for it. I don't watch tv much anymore, but I catch enough to know that Leverage is easily one of the smartest shows on TV at the moment. And you can find most of the cast and writers on Twitter. For example, Hutton posted this photo today, which I may use as my new desktop background.

  • A-Team (finished season 1, now on season 2), and CSI: NY (finished season 5, working on season 1). These shows are completely unrelated, except for the fact that I'm watching both through Netflix. Well, Netflix actually only had the most recent season of CSI: NY available, but for $12 I got the season 1 box set from ebay. After the horror that is CSI: Miami (it has so many drama units per square inch that I can't finish an entire episode), I'm not sure what made me try the NY version, but I'm glad I did. While occasionally farfetched, the plots are always interesting, and I could watch Gary Sinise act all day long. As far at the A-Team is concerned, I missed a lot of the show when it was on tv, since it started its run three years before I was born. However, I am definitely enjoying the catching up. It might just be the soft spot in my heart for almost everything 80's (except the fashions), but I'm hard pressed to just watch one episode at a time.
Check back tomorrow for What I've Been Reading