Saturday, September 08, 2007

For the first time in a long time, we went and saw a rock show at a bar.

I was in a guitar store last week looking for a new electric when I saw a flyer for a "prog rock" night at a bar about 30 minutes from our place. There were two bands, Parallels, a Yes tribute band, and Trilogy, a Rush tribute band. The show was supposed to start at 8 PM but didn't get going till close to 9:30 so we only got to see one of the bands, Parallels. From the looks of things, it looks like 8 PM was just a mistake and they would have started at 9PM but they were having problems getting the sound right.

Parallels did a pretty good job of covering Yes songs like Heart of the Sunrise and Roundabout and even did a few surprises like Gates of Delirium. As is to be expected at a rock show, the sound was fairly awful. I'm not sure why 90% of live rock music has such terrible sound mixing even when they have dedicated sound people.

Overall, it was a fun night even with the late start.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

I just finished Starfish by Peter Watts, his first book and the first book in a trilogy dealing with a group of people who become adapted to living at extreme ocean depths.

Watts has a very dark take on human nature -- all the characters in his books that I have read have featured characters with very damaged psyches.

In Starfish, the corporation setting up operations to facilities at extreme ocean depths theorizes that people who have been through severe personal stress situations, whether as abuser or abusee, will be best able to tolerate the conditions found there. Combine those characters with the claustrophobic environs, a dystopian world and an unexpected threat and you have the core of Starfish.

Even though the characters and situations are very grim, they are at least interesting and Watts speculations on human nature are engaging if not convincing. If you're tolerant of the dark themes and anti-heroes, Starfish is a good read and I will probably follow up with the other books in the trilogy.

Amazon link: Starfish