Friday, September 09, 2011


Life’s pretty dull if you haven’t got anything to look forward to. I was going to say, not worth living, but then I thought of all the people in the world who really haven’t anything to look forward to, but no doubt appreciate being alive.

I count myself fortunate that I live in a free and reasonably well off society, where there are many pleasures to relish in advance.

Such is the case at present, where I am keenly anticipating both things of a musical nature and things of a literary nature, not to mention the Spring Racing Carnival.


Ryan Adams. as I have mentioned before, is my all time favourite music artist. I’ve got all his CDs and even some memorabilia ( t-shirt and poster) and have seen him perform live five times.

I must admit I have not liked some of his music, his CD Rock N Roll for instance, but in the main I’ve loved most of them.

What I am keenly anticipating is his latest musical offering Ashes & Fire, especially after listening to a couple of tracks that are freely available on the Internet.  You can listen to his first single, Lucky Now here, and watch Ryan playing an acoustic version of the title song here.  They both sound really beautiful to me; Ryan Adams is back with a vengeance.

Ashes & Fire is his first solo record since he took a break from making music after his 2009 tour. So, it has been quite a wait, but judging from what I have heard so far will be well worth it.

Strangely enough, next week I am going to a concert by the similarly named artist Bryan Adams, famous for such songs as Summer of 69 and Cuts Like A Knife.  Yes it’s pop, but I’m certain it will be very enjoyable, despite the  horrible seat I was allocated at the booking office. People have suggested that I should yell out a request for Come Pick Me Up, one of Ryan Adams’ most requested songs, seeing as how at Ryan Adams concerts in the past, rude persons in the audience were wont to yell out “Play Summer of 69!” Of course I wouldn’t do anything of the kind.

A curious coincidence between Ryan and Bryan Adams is that they have the same birthday – 5th November, 1974 and 1959 respectively.


On the book front, I’m waiting for the publication later this month of Neal Stephenson’s new monster (in size, not subject) novel Reamde, purportedly a hi tech thriller.

You have to be somewhat nerdish to be a Neal Stephenson fan, or have the patience and fortitude to read through 1000 plus pages of a novel. But Stephenson generally fills those 1000 plus pages with cool stuff, and he has a racy style of writing that has you turning the pages excitedly. He  also explains complex ideas with engaging simplicity.

I have a shelf of Neal Stephenson novels in hard cover. They’re all pretty hefty tomes, but look impressive lined up together. I’ll have to clear a 60mm space to fit Reamde in alongside.

As well as having Reamde on pre-order, I’ve also placed orders for the new Haruki Murakami novel 1Q84, apparently Murakami’s masterpiece and his take on Orwell’s 1984, due out in October, and the new Umberto Eco novel The Prague Cemetery, which is due in November.

I purchased all the above books, redeeming a gift voucher I received from my brother for my birthday. I regard it as a good haul and will have the pleasure of anticipating new exciting books for the next three or so months.

I’m also still waiting – after six years – for the publication of the 25th Anniversary edition of Little, Big by John Crowley. Whether it will be published this year is up in the air. I’m not holding my breath.

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