- Victoria-based singer-songwriter Aidan Knight was mentioned on CBC's North By Northwest a couple of weeks ago and I checked out his new album -- fantastic.
- What I've heard from the new Arcade Fire album seems a bit mixed to me, but maybe it's a good sign that I didn't immediately listen too much and burn out on it. A few songs sound great, and even the ones I didn't much like were at least interesting.
- East Coasters Wintersleep also have a new album out, and I was a bit lukewarm on it at first. The single didn't grab me, but Mirror Matters and Mausoleum stood out as strong tracks. Now the whole thing has been growing on me after multiple listens.
- I found a pile of Bach's violin concertos with Itzhak Perlman as the soloist, and they're incredible. Many of the melodies were familiar, although I wouldn't have known they were Bach.
- Mendelssohn's violin concerto and octet for strings, both brilliant.
- I greatly enjoyed two memoirs published by my mom -- her Uncle Henry and Aunt Hilda each wrote one in 2006 and gave them to their kids and grand-kids as gifts. And what a gift, especially since Uncle Henry passed away. I found their stories very compelling.
- The Art of Choosing -- this one had to go back to the library before I finished it, but I'll get it again. Some fascinating ideas about why we always assume that more choice would be better, when it's not always the case.
- My friend and riding buddy Richard wrote a novel years ago called Holistic Motors, loosely based on his experience working as a mechanic in a local VW repair shop. I had started reading it a while back, but misplaced my copy...a couple of weeks ago he gave me another one and I finished it the next day. Trippy and fun, weird and reflective -- and very cool that he wrote it.
- Empress of Asia by local Penticton author Adam Lewis Schroeder, a sweeping tale ranging all over the planet, but rooted in the Okanagan. It's odd to read entirely in the first-person, but the writing is snappy and intense. He's getting some buzz on his latest novel, which I've ordered.
- I love Miyazaki and really looked forward to Ponyo, but what a piece of junk. Some beautiful scenes couldn't help salvage a stupid plot.
- I had lower expectations for 9 after cousin J's non-recommendation, but I actually enjoyed it way more -- incredible visual style and character design. Unfortunately, the original short film was better, not so bogged down in the effort to thrill non-stop for an hour and half.
- Andrew and I did an all day seminar about documentary film-making that was really engaging, and gave us the opportunity to sample all kinds of documentaries. It got me excited to see more films this winter, and maybe even to attempt making some simple shorts of my own.