Posted in Weekly Updates

Weekly Update: July 18-24, 2022

Happy Sunday, bibliophiles! I hope this week has treated you well.

I suppose this week hasn’t been terribly eventful. I’ve been able to read and draw more often, and I’ve been learning an unexpectedly challenging song on guitar (it’s “Held” by Smog if you’re interested—who knew that 4 chords could be so infuriating) Aside from a weird dream that I had yesterday (and waking up at midnight to screeching foxes in the backyard—welcome to Colorado 😀) that threw me off, I’d say it’s been a nice, peaceful week, one where I could soak up some more summer.

Reading-wise, I’d say it’s been a solid week. I started off with a fantastic book and the first book I’ve ever read with SPD rep (thank you, Not If I Can Help It!!), and while the rest of what I read didn’t get as good as that, I enjoyed the majority of what I read. I came back from the library with a few nice, thick books, so next week should be a promising reading week.

And now I’m a good three weeks into Camp NaNoWriMo! For most of the week, I got to a slower part in the plot of my WIP, and my motivation teetered off a little before I got excited again. There’s something invigorating to me about writing really tense scenes—I feel like my fingers just start speeding across the keys whenever the tension starts to ramp up.

Other than that, I’ve just been drawing, trying to play said Smog song on guitar (insert the sound of my finger squeaking on the high E string here), catching up on the new season of The Umbrella Academy, and listening to the new Superorganism and Jack White albums. (Superorganism was definitely hit or miss, but Jack White…man, as much as I want to hate him, Entering Heaven Alive is just SO GOOD)

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:

Not If I Can Help It – Carolyn Mackler (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)

The Final Strife – Saara El-Arifi (⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)

Follow Your Arrow – Jessica Verdi (⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Fortune Favors the Dead (Pentecost and Parker, #1) – Stephen Spotswood (⭐️⭐️.5)

Two Girls Staring at the Ceiling – Lucy Frank (⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)

Breathe and Count Back from Ten – Natalia Sylvester (⭐️⭐️⭐️.75, rounded up to ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

POSTS AND SUCH:

SONGS:

CURRENTLY READING/TO READ NEXT WEEK:

She Who Became the Sun – Shelley Parker-Chan

Man o’ War – Cory McCarthy

The Blood Trials (The Blood Gift Duology, #1) – N.E. Davenport

Ophelia After All – Racquel Marie

Today’s song:

found this in episode 5 of The Umbrella Academy and I love it!!

That’s it for this week in blogging! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

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Posted in Music

Lucifer on the Sofa – Spoon album review

Happy Saturday, everyone!

Sorry that I went M.I.A. for a bit there. I was visiting family in Florida over President’s Day weekend, and I just had zero energy once I got back. But now I’m here, writing a post that I’ve been excited to write for a few weeks!

You know what I think about a lot? The time my old English teacher though my Spoon shirt was a Morrissey shirt 😭

Spoon is one of those bands that have been a consistent presence in my life. I heard their songs on car rides, and car rides turned to concerts, and concerts turned to albums. For me, they’re one of the few bands I know who are better live than listening remotely—they bring such an exuberance and energy onstage, and their talents as musicians is apparent with every song they play.

So I was so excited to hear that they’d be releasing a new album in 2022! Prior to this, I’d never listened to a full album of theirs (although Gimme Fiction has been on my list for quite some time), but listening to Lucifer on the Sofa was such a bright, energizing experience. It’s only February, but this is already on my list of favorite albums of the year. (Though it’ll have some competition when Everything Was Beautiful comes out…am I getting too hasty?)

Let’s begin this review, shall we?

LUCIFER ON THE SOFA – SPOON ALBUM REVIEW

TRACK 1: “Held” (Smog cover) – 8.5/10

Starting an album off with a cover is a bold move, but at this point, Spoon can do no wrong. And this is a fantastic cover—if I didn’t know that it was a cover, I 100% would’ve thought that this was fully their song. I might even like it better than the original! The steady drumbeat and the melody that feels like it rolls over you create an atmosphere that sets up the whole album for instant success. Needless to say, I have not been able to stop listening to this!

(here’s the original by Smog, if you’re interested.)

TRACK 2: “The Hardest Cut” – 8/10

They’re sayin’ you need a little protection,

But following the leader gonna turn you off the religion…

Spoon, “The Hardest Cut”

This was the first single to come out of this album, and it reminded me of why I love Spoon. The guitars are what shine the most—”The Hardest Cut” doesn’t hesitate to dive into Spoon’s heavier side, and the guitars are the main driving force behind it. At the same time, it’s a relentlessly steady and catchy song, making this song proof of Spoon’s versatility.

TRACK 3: “The Devil and Mister Jones” – 8.5/10

For any album, there are some songs that you know will grab you way before you listen to them, just because of how hooking the title is. I don’t know what it is about the name “The Devil and Mister Jones” that caught my eye, but either way, it’s an undoubted highlight of this album. Catchy and bright-sounding, it has a timeless feel to it, like it could have just as easily come out of the 2010’s or even the 2000’s. LOVE it.

TRACK 4: “Wild” – 8.5/10

I was reminded every measure

Of riding trade winds, buried treasure…

Spoon, “Wild”

This one was the second single that was released, and another absolute earworm! The instrumentation is phenomenal, Britt Daniel’s voice stands out in the best way possible, and the beat makes it impossible for you not to nod your head. Instant classic.

TRACK 5: “My Babe” – 7.5/10

“My Babe” was the final single to be released from Lucifer on the Sofa, and although it’s my least favorite of the three, it’s still a perfect head-nodding, shoulder-swaying kind of song. However, there’s something about the lyrics that feels off-kilter. Not so much the message, but the way they sound, if that makes sense? I’m not sure. Not as strong as the others, but that’s a high bar—”My Babe” is still a good one.

TRACK 6: “Feels Alright” – 8/10

Standing here by myself,

A photograph with no correction

From me or anybody else…

Spoon, “Feels Alright”

Here’s another one that feels distinctly timeless. There’s an a quality to it that makes it feel ageless. For all we know, it could be from today, from the 2010’s, the 2000’s…even the future, who knows what Spoon will be doing five or ten years from now? That aside, it’s such a strong song! I especially love the piano/keyboard work on this one.

TRACK 7: “On the Radio” – 8.5/10

(I just realized that the animation for the official audios just zooms in on the album cover’s face…IT’S SO CURSED)

(WHY IS IT LOOKING AT ME LIKE THAT)

“On the Radio” distinctly feels like the last few singles pre-Lucifer—something about the key, the fast tempo, the overall tightness of the whole song that makes me remember hearing “No Bullets Spent” for the first time. The guitars feel so full and rich, and the effects layered over them only adds to the effect. Another winner!

TRACK 8: “Astral Jacket” – 8.5/10

“Astral Jacket” is where Lucifer slows down—just in tempo, certainly not in quality. This song, along with “Satellite,” remind me of how well Spoon can convey tenderness through music; there’s an atmosphere around it that feels like a tired hug on a warm night. Simply lovely.

TRACK 9: “Satellite” – 8.5/10

Continuing the soft, tender atmosphere that “Astral Jacket” started, “Satellite” creates a floating-in-space atmosphere that fills up my heart. It reminds me most of “The Delicate Place,” my favorite Spoon song; the melody goes up and down, but it’s consistent in its warmth.

TRACK 10: “Lucifer on the Sofa” – 8/10

And I’m chasing every thought

And I’m walking over water,

Thinking about what I lost…

Spoon, “Lucifer on the Sofa”

For Spoon, my focus is usually the music over the lyrics, but for “Lucifer on the Sofa,” it’s both. I love all the descriptions in this one, from ash on lips to winter skies. There’s a consistency to the music as well—the saxophones are a strange addition, but it works perfectly for the smoky feel of this song. Not my favorite of this album, but a great little closer.

I averaged out the scores for each track, and it came out to a solid 8.3! Feels just right for the album; I haven’t listened to enough full Spoon albums to say where it ranks on the list, but it’s a success regardless. I remember periods of my life in terms of albums, and Lucifer on the Sofa will surely be among the ranks of albums I remember this year by. Can’t wait to see them again this May!

Since this is an album review post, consider the entire album today’s song.

That’s it for this album review! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!

Posted in Weekly Updates

Weekly Update: February 7-13, 2022

Happy Sunday, bibliophiles! I hope this week has treated you well.

This week has generally been quiet; reading poetry in my English classes, studying for far too many quizzes and tests for my liking, and enjoying four relatively sunny days before we got snowed on again. Just low-key, and I like it that way.

I broke out of my brief reading slump, and I really liked most of what I read! I’ve been continuing to focus on books by Black authors this month for Black history month, and I’ve been finding lots of sequels to books that I’ve been eager to read (Redemptor, Adulthood Rites, etc.). I also got to stop by the comics shop, so I got some single-issues to read as well.

In the writing department, I’ve gotten more serious about the editing process; I’ve gotten into the weeds of re-reading and doing a more comprehensive edit, and I’ve been working on resurrecting a few brief scenes. I’m getting better at snipping out some of these continuity errors, but I got [ahem] sidetracked by deciding my one human character’s birthday, so 🥴

writing drawing gif | WiffleGif

Other than that, I’ve just been studying, listening to Portishead, Mitski, and the new Spoon album, and watching Raised by Wolves. We’re also getting a new puppy soon, and we got to visit the litter yesterday!! THEY WERE SO CUTE 😭 We’ll be taking one home in a few weeks, and I will most definitely post a picture when we get him!

WHAT I READ THIS WEEK:

Noor – Nnedi Okorafor (⭐️⭐️⭐️.75, rounded up to ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: Noor: 9780756416096: Okorafor, Nnedi: Books

Redemptor (Raybearer, #2) – Jordan Ifueko (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: Redemptor (Raybearer Book 2): 9781419739842: Ifueko, Jordan:  Books

Cold the Night, Fast the Wolves – Meg Long (⭐️⭐️)

Amazon.com: Cold the Night, Fast the Wolves: A Novel: 9781250785060: Long,  Meg: Books

White Smoke – Tiffany D. Jackson (⭐️⭐️⭐️.5)

White Smoke by Tiffany D. Jackson

POSTS AND SUCH:

SONGS:

CURRENTLY READING/TO READ NEXT WEEK

(fairly sparse this week since I wasn’t able to volunteer at the library, but here’s what’s on the agenda for now)

Adulthood Rites (Xenogenesis, #2) – Octavia E. Butler

Amazon.com: Adulthood Rites (The Xenogenesis Trilogy Book 2) eBook : Butler,  Octavia E.: Kindle Store

The Road – Cormac McCarthy (for school)

The Road (Oprah's Book Club): Cormac McCarthy: 9780307387899: Amazon.com:  Books

Today’s song:

SUCH A GOOD ALBUM DANG I’ll try to review it soon

That’s it for this week in blogging! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!