5 1/2 months since vol. 1. Off to a good start with this “series,” eh?

Seen

A Show, with Ze Frank

Welcome back, sir! And thanks for the inspirational opening video. No, really. I’m filing this one alongside Jay Smooth’s Little Hater and Merlin Mann’s Courageous Sucking as part of the eternal battle to get over the f’ing fear.

Heard

BADBADNOTGOOD

This non-drinking age crew got their initial notice thanks to their jazz treatment of Odd Future tunes last year and has since gone on to release two albums and two more live albums. I was shocked to hear kids this young (those whippersnappers!) could making such innovative, interesting music. It’s dark, it’s complex, it’s the next logical step after nu jazz (or, at least, a parallel step). All their material is available for free via their site or Bandcamp.

Here’s a video of a recent track of them, which features the group eating cereal. And that’s it.

Read

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

My friend Alex turned me onto Murakami a number of years ago and I’ve been slowly working my way through his back catalog. I was especially excited when the English translation of 1Q84 hit the shelves late last year. It was originally released as three separate books in Japan, but the Knopf version combines all three volumes and weighs in at a hefty 944 pages. I’m about a third of the way through the book, which means that at this pace, I’ll finish the book at about the one-year mark.

True to his previous work, 1Q84 presents a hazy, dreamlike tale in a such a fashion that it seems completely plausible that a women would descend a latter beside a highway and find herself in a slightly alternate version of 1984.

I’m definitely enjoying this one so far and look forward to continuing to savor it throughout the rest of the year.