You’re patient with my impatience.

I’ve spent the morning listening to one album on repeat on my iPod. Surprisingly enough, it is not The Fray. Nope.

Check out The Autumn Film. The Onion said this: “Like a post-collegiate Fiona Apple jamming with Snow Patrol, The Autumn Film serves up a piano-drenched sincerity topped off with a voice that’s wise and heartbroken beyond its years.”

First of all, are you not intrigued by that description? It’s dead on, too. This band is amazing! And they have free music…

I downloaded “The Grey EP” last fall, and found it to be spectacular. The only requirement for a free download is that you send an email recommendation to a friend. And after you hear it, why wouldn’t you want to recommend them?

However, earlier this week, I downloaded another (also free!) EP, “So Loved.” Somehow, it’s even better than “The Grey EP.” I don’t know how. But the third track, “Holding Place,” (lyrics here) may very well be one of the best songs I’ve ever heard in my life. I cannot stop listening.

So…go download some free music. Spread the word. Buy stuff, even, if you want. Just listen!

And, as usual, thanks to Andrew for introducing me to The Autumn Film. My life (and my iPod) would be empty without you. 🙂

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I really like Tuesdays.

Mostly because it’s the day that new music comes out! Today, it was The Fray‘s self-titled album. I’ve already listened to the entire album three times, and of course hit repeat on various other tracks. For once,  I didn’t preview the album online, although it was available. The last two new albums that I’ve bought on release day (Snow Patrol’s A Hundred Million Suns and the Fiction Family debut), I’d heard multiple times online. But this time, I just enjoyed the anticipation–the not knowing–and it felt pretty great to slide the CD in without knowing exactly what the first sound would be.

My early impression is that I love this album. Of course. It’s a good winter album, mellow and melancholy at times, and Isaac Slade on the piano sort of makes me melt a little. 🙂

And now, for your enjoyment, The Fray’s acoustic version of their first single, “You Found Me”:

I Am Legend

iamlegend“But are his needs any more shocking than the needs of other animals and men? Are his deeds more outrageous than the deeds of the parent who drained the spirit from his child? The vampire may foster quickened heartbeats and levitated hair. But is he worse than the parent who gave to society a neurotic child who became a politician? Is he worse than the manufacturer who set up belated foundations with the money he made by handing bombs and guns to suicidal nationalists? Is he worse than the distiller who gave bastardized grain juice to stultify further the brains of those who, sober, were incapable of a progressive thought? (Nay, I apologize for this calumny; I nip the brew that feeds me.) Is he worse, then, than the publisher who filled ubiquitous racks with lust and death wishes? Really, now, search your soul, lovie–is the vampire so bad?

All he does is drink blood.”

* * *

I finished reading I Am Legend last night. It is not the same as the film, and one should not go into it believing that the film is an exact adaptation. Strangely enough, I prefer it this way. Generally, I’m a purist when it comes to movie adaptations, but so much was changed that the book and film are essentially two different stories with similar elements.

This is so because I Am Legend was published in the 1950s and takes place in the 1970s. The film is obviously much more relevant to our time. At times in the novel, I read about Robert Neville’s theories on why he is immune to the disease or about how the vampiris germ spreads, and I found myself thinking, “This isn’t really believable.” Then I reminded myself that I’m reading this more than 50 years after its publication, and most likely, in the 50s, Matheson was way ahead of his time.

The best thing about this book is the commentary on society. I found the above quote fascinating, and it’s great writing, in my opinion. The excerpt comes at a time when Neville is frustrated with his ineffectiveness against fighting the vampires. He’s been alone (well, without the presence of another human) for more than five months, and the time alone is affecting his rationale. He even wonders why he’s fighting so hard–why not just join them? Why keep fighting? And, really…what’s so bad about vampires? 🙂

I won’t spoil the ending, which is a definite surprise and incredibly intriguing. When I finished the book last night and set it down beside me, all sorts of questions ran through my head. What happens when society degrades? Could that happen in America–is it already happening in a way? How is it possible to live when one is the only person left confronting evil?

The book is good. The film is exceptional. The legends are different.

Fifty Book Challenge

I just signed up for a 50 book challenge for 2009. It’s definitely do-able. In fact, I definitely expect to go above and beyond that, especially if I count novels I read for school.

But I definitely just sat down to think about my progress so far. It’s sad. In the month of January, I’ve read a total of four books. Yes, just four. Sadly, three of them I had read before (and the fourth one was a bust). Here they are:

1. Breaking Dawn, Stephenie Meyer. I re-read this for the first time since the release date, when I finished it by 9 that night. It wasn’t as good the second time around, surprisingly. The first time, I was so involved in the story and then relieved at the outcome that I finished with a sigh of relief and a sense of satisfaction. This time, more stuff bothered me. But I won’t go into it here. We can discuss that at another point if any of you are interested.

2. Sophie’s Heart, Lori Wick. Christian romance. My one literary vice. I’m very picky when it comes to these sorts of books, but I do like Lori Wick, mostly because of her storytelling abilites. I have some issues with her writing style, but this one isn’t bad.

3. Homecoming, Cynthia Voigt. The first in a fantastic young adult/children’s series. It had been awhile since I read it, and I decided to pick it up again. If I ever make a list of books about traveling, this one is included.

4. When It Happens, Susane Colasanti. I bought this book last week because it’s published by the same house as all of Sarah Dessen’s books (and because one of the main characters was a musician, and the book was hailed for its musical references). Dessen is a fantastic young adult writer. Colasanti is not. I had issues with the dialogue, with the characters, and with her overuse of the word “like.” I did enjoy that she references James Taylor, Chicago, Journey, and REO Speedwagon. And eventually, I liked the basic plot, enough to keep reading (that and the fact that I was bored in the writing center). But the details, where real writing is made…well, they suck. Don’t read this.

Right now, I’m 60 pages from the end of I Am Legend by Richard Matheson. Yes, the one that was made into the Will Smith movie that I enjoyed so much. I hope to finish reading it this afternoon. Dean Koontz called it “the most clever and riveting vampire novel since Dracula.” Sounds promising, right? Let’s hope so. Perhaps I’ll make a post about it when I’m finished.