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Saturday, April 29, 2017

New Music from the Gorillaz

I know I'm a little behind the curve on this, but my goodness, is the new music from the Gorillaz really, really good.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Illustrated Man

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Earlier this year I read an incredible biography of Ray Bradbury entitled: "The Bradbury Chronicles". It is one of the best biographies I've ever read. After reading it, I feel like I knew Bradbury the man. Plus one cool part is the author of the book is a professor at Columbia College here in Chicago, and I was able to interview him for the new season of my podcast 'The Looking Glass'.

Anyways, after I finished reading the biography, I thought it would be fun to go and read one of Bradbury's books. So the book I selected is 'The Illustrated Man'. It's a collection of short stories that are interconnected in an interesting manner. The stories in the book are "tattoos" on a traveling man, and the proceed to tell their stories to a hiker at night.

It's an incredible book. I'm utterly blown away with how great Bradbury is at short stories. Many of the stories in "The Illustrated Man" are emotional, frightening, unnerving, happy, and hard hitting. One of the things that Sam Weller, author of "the Bradbury Chronicles", told me in our interview is that he believes Bradbury will be mentioned in the same breathe as Poe, Hemingway, and Shakespeare. After reading "Illustrated Man", and earlier the "Martian Chronicles" and "Fahrenheit 451", I must say, I agree with that statement.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Sherlock Holmes on Vinyl

One of my new great pleasures in life is listening to the old Basil Rathborne Sherlock Holmes' movies on vinyl. I first came across these amazing pieces of memorabilia about a year ago.

I was record shopping with one of my dear friends at the Reckless Records in Wicker Park, and I found 'The Voice of Terror' in the oddities/soundtrack section of the store. For the small, small price of $1, I purchased one of my all time favorite Sherlock Holmes stories.

Surprisingly, these films translate very well to the audio medium. They are rich in sound recordings, and the performances are terrific. They truly showcase b-movies/film noir at its best.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

And Speaking of 'The Looking Glass'

And speaking of 'The Looking Glass', here's my announcement regarding season 2 of my podcast series.

Finding Some Unexpected Inspiration Today

So I'm in full production mode on season 2 of my podcast series, 'The Looking Glass'. I'm really excited about this upcoming season, as I feel like this season's stories are really strong. What will probably end up being my season premiere will be an interview I conducted with Sam Weller, Associate Professor of Creating Writing at Columbia College Chicago. Professor Weller is/was the "official" biographer of literary titan Ray Bradbury. His biography, "The Bradbury Chronicles" is one of the best biographies that I've ever read.

The interview went great!! Professor Weller is a really nice guy, and he gave a great interview. But there was something that he said that really stuck out at me. We were talking about the creative process, and Bradbury's thoughts on the matter. According to Weller, Bradbury truly believed that creativity was a spiritual exercise, and if you were going to be "something", i.e. writer, storyteller etc., you needed to just do it. Don't worry if it's bad, the only way you get better is by doing.

I feel like I subscribe to the same philosophy, and it was just really rewarding to have this ideal reenforced by someone who became a very close personal friend of Bradbury. I feel a sense of re-energization with my podcast and my other storytelling exercises.