Stuff I should have read in school

It occurred to me recently (actually, it's been more of an ongoing thing) that there are a lot of books that I haven't read. Erm, yeah. What I mean is there are a lot of books I really ought to have read by now. Some of them are classics or other things that may have been assigned reading in various classes that I somehow passed, or things that friends have recommended & lent me, or cultural touchpoints, or books that just seem like they would be interesting or enjoyable.

I really can't explain why I would not have read these by now, but it might be something to do with having trouble deciding what to read next, and rather than making that decision, just not reading anything. To overcome this, I had to come up with an objective system for deciding what order to read things in. It seemed to me that the simplest thing would be to read them in chronological order of when they were created.

So starting from Gilgamesh and The Book of Job, and working my way forward through time, up to the present. If I realize I missed something along the way, I'll back up and catch it, then jump back in to the timestream.

Now, I'm not exactly proud of what I haven't read, it really is more than a bit shameful, and you might be surprised or disappointed that I haven't read these things. That's kind of the point of this. I needed a systematic way of making up for this failing, and figured that doing it semi-publicly like this makes the situation more "real" and puts pressure on me to follow-through.

I've got the list over at Goodreads, if you want to see the scale of my literary ignorance. If there's something that's not on there that you think really ought to be (assuming it's not one of the few things I've actually read), I'll consider recommendations; similarly, if you can point me to any of those compiled lists of things people should read (heck, that might include a syllabus from an English class).

Over on the left of this page, you should see where I am currently in this project, if you want to follow along for some reason.

Devo - What We Do

A nifty interactive and satirically commercial, while being actually commercial, new music video for Devo's "What We Do," from their recent and underrated Something For Everybody:

Interact, click & drag around to be financially exploited!

Turkish Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood

It strikes me as a bit odd that I have yet to post anything from Dolapdere Big Gang. Their whole deal is doing western pop music, but with traditional Turkish influences and instrumentation (including the law) - fairly appropriate considering what a cultural keystone the region is.

Here they are doing the "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood," which was written by Bennie Benjamin, Gloria Caldwell and Sol Marcus for Nina Simone but you are probably more familiar with The Animals version.

This almost never happens when I ride the bus.

You can find it on Just Feel; the songs on it were chosen by their fans, through their website.

Since I've kept Dolapdere Big Gang to myself for so long, I'll make up for it by including a second song. Here's their version of Deep Purple's "Smoke On The Water."

It's on their first album, Local Strangers, the songs for which were chosen by their label.

The songs on their third album, Art-İst, were chosen by the band. I'm looking forward to their next release, since word is that it will be at least primarily original compositions.

Comments problems

Apologies, comments have gone all wonky. I'm working to get it straightened out.

The Temptations doing Ball Of Confusion

I can't remember when I found out Love & Rockets version of Ball of Confusion was a cover, but I can assure you that it was shamefully recent.

It made no sense - I couldn't imagine it being done by anyone else with that kind of definition and angst; I especially couldn't have imagined it being done by the same folks that recorded such sweetly naive tracks as "My Girl" and "The Way You Do The Things You Do."

Upon actually hearing the original Temptations version?

Oh, my.

What a weak shadow of a song Love & Rockets recorded. From the opening funk bassline, tightly followed by those dissonant sounds, clearly reflecting what the lyrics were saying abut society. This was strong, it was mighty. The intensity of this presentation said so much more that the simple, non-specific complaint recorded by Love & Rockets did. This was accusatory. It didn't simply level the charges against something as vague as society, so that I could lamely agree, "yeah, society sucks!"

It accused us. Me. Why was I not doing something? Yeah, why not? Ah, but the the Temptations agree with me there. The song doesn't just accuse, it is frustrated. With the same lyrics, it doesn't just express frustration, the song itself sounds frustrated, helpless - but not giving up.

You can find The Temptations' version on their Definitive Collection, and the Love & Rockets version is on Express.

Syndicate content