Sunday, September 29, 2013

Weekend Music Roundup

I missed last weekend's roundup due to being away, but I'm back again with another list of all new releases. Some of my favorite bands have put out new albums in the last few weeks, and there's still more to come in the next few. I'm just trying to stay on top and enjoy the wave. There's a nice mix of sounds on here, so hopefully you'll find something that intrigues you. Enjoy.

Dr. Dog - B Room: Due out this week is the eighth studio album from Philly's psychedelic folk heroes. As with last year's Be the Void, this album lacks the chaotic weirdness of their early work in favor of a more digestible sound. Though there are more moments on this record where they return to the sound that endeared them to me so many years ago. So far, I'm definitely enjoying it more than the previous album. "Minding the Usher," "Too Weak to Ramble," "Cuckoo," and "Love" are the real stand out tracks. A solid album that grows on me with each listen.

The Strypes - Snapshot: Released a few weeks ago, this is the debut album from the Irish mod/garage rock revival band. There's an obvious 60's feel to the record, with power chords, Jagger vocals, and pounding back beat. All in all, it works very well. By definition, it's not all that original, but it still sounds pretty good. It reminds a little bit of the first Arctic Monkeys album, at least in attitude. Just fun rock and roll that's definitely worth checking out and keeping an eye on.

White Denim - Corsicana Lemonade: It's been two years since the last album from the Austin based indie band. This is a very loose album, and definitely has has some funk/soul influences, but distorts them into groovy blues rock. The consistent feel is something that I like very much, and in that way it reminds me of Kurt Vile's newest record.  "At Night in Dreams," "New Blue Feeling," "Cheer Up/Blues Ending," and "Distant Relative Salute" are among my favorites.

The Underachievers - The Lords of Flatbush: The first official EP release from the Brooklyn hip hop duo, though they had a mixtape out earlier this year. There are flashes on this where both artists sound dynamic, where the beats are dope, and where they truly sound like they are the lords of Flatbush. But as a whole, it's a bit uneven. Even within the songs, it can be uneven. Still, it's good to hear that old New York sound again.

Bonnie 'Prince' Billy - Bonnie 'Prince' Billy: For his 1000th album, Will Oldham has released this self-titled record. Of course, he doesn't really have a thousand records, though sometimes it feels like. Having been one of my favorite songwriters of the past twenty years, he always manages to put together a solid piece of folky goodness. This album is no different, but that's part of the problem. At some points it feels like he's just singing a list of things he sees in his house. A pleasant album, it just feels a little uninspired.

Kings of Leon - Mechanical Bull: After two albums of arena stardom, the Followill brothers (and one cousin) have returned to their southern rock roots for their sixth album, and first in three years. It doesn't quite go all the way back to their raucous debut, but rather resembles their more mature third album, Because of the Times. Though I enjoyed their last two records, I certainly missed this sound. I've been listening to it all week. Definitely the comeback album of the year.


Kings of Leon - Youth & Young Manhood: After listening to the new album, I went looking up some performances from this 2003 debut and got swept right back into its gritty southern blues sound. Definitely one of my favorite albums of the year when it came out, I still rank it among one of the best debut records of all time. I pulled out the CD a few days ago and listened to it twice that day. I've since listened to it another three times. Every song is amazing, adding up to an incredible tale of disillusioned youth trying to make some sense of the world and finding little to none. It's just as powerful as it was ten years ago.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Past Becomes the Present

After the big rewrite project I recently completed, I'm ready for a change of pace. This past week I started the first chapter of my next manuscript. I wanted to write something younger, and something funny. So I'm returning to fifth grade memories for inspiration, hoping to chronicle that year which is still one of the more vivid years of my life. 

The inspiration for the story came from looking over several pages that I'd written a few years back. It was a few months ago when I found the story and read it, really enjoying the mood. But it wasn't thought out, which is probably why I abandoned it in favor of something else way back when. This time I went about it with a completely different approach, trying to create a very different book than the ones I've written before. And once I had that clear in my mind, I spent time thinking about what would happen during the course of the story and outlined the first few chapters.

I'm really excited to work on this. It's really the first time I'm writing a children's novel that is based on autobiographical material. I'm very interested to see how it will turn out. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Patience in Excess

Over the past few days, I've been going through my posts from the life of this blog to pull out relevant thoughts pertaining to writing for a project I'm working on. And while I found a wealth of intriguing thoughts shared over the years, I also began to feel more than slightly defeated as I came across posts related to manuscripts that have still gone unread. 

Patience is a quality all writers must possess in abundance. The process itself requires near limitless amounts of it just to finish a single story. But the need does not diminish after the manuscript is done. There is still more waiting to be done. And sometimes the waiting feels endless, because sometimes it is. Through it all, one needs an abundance of confidence. When that well runs dry, there is nothing more to wait for.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Fiction Friday (21)

It's time for another installment of Fiction Friday. This week I'm sharing two reviews of books I read quite some time ago. Both are science-fiction, but they represent completely different elements of the genre. I think they illustrate the diverse nature of the genre, which is probably far too broad a term to encompass all that falls under its umbrella. One is science fiction in the traditional sense of space travel and aliens, while the other is literature that simply takes liberty with science. As a genre, I feel science fiction is one of the labels where most readers have preconceived notions, but as with all genres, there is a rich diversity to be found within it. Enjoy.

Sugar in the Air by E.C. Large

A fascinating read in many ways and for many different reasons. Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of this novel is the fact that it was written in 1937, because it seems so current. While the idea of manufacturing a synthetic sugar from various particles around you would seem like impossible science fiction in the period this book was written, to modern readers, it won't seem very far fetched at all. We don't have to suspend our disbelief anywhere near to the degree of the book's contemporary readership, allowing us to focus on the real theme of the novel; a satirical critique of the workings of corporate capitalism.

The story follows a young man named Pry in a time of economic turmoil, which is one of the immediate ways in which the book connects to our present day. Pry is lucky enough to land a job, at a decent pay, with a company that has invested in an idea that sounds great, but seems to have little chance of succeeding. Pry eventually, through a series of brilliant innovations and blind luck, is able to turn that idea into a success, only to have this potentially new industry sabotaged by petty personal backstabbing and the ignorance of board members who don't necessarily care to know anything about the business they run. There are many parallels that can be drawn to our own corporate run world and how greed can so easily destroy innovation.

However, the heart of the story lies within Pry's personal struggle to keep a dream going in the face of so much stubborn and ill-informed opposition. Any one who has ever worked in a large company, or even for a boss who refuses to listen, can identify with Pry's frustration at how office politics can get in the way of productivity.

This book is certainly not for everyone. To be honest, it wasn't what I'd expected at all. Unlike the descriptions I'd read, it certainly does not feel like science fiction, and certainly has none of the outrageousness of a "mash-up." If you go into it with those expectations, you may be disappointed.

Babel-17/ Empire Star by Samuel R. Delany

In my experience, Science-Fiction as a genre tends to emphasize plot and concept over character, which is one reason I don't read as much of it as I would like. I love the concepts, but as a reader and a writer, I'm drawn to character. Thankfully, Samuel R. Delany doesn't follow that mold. Babel-17, though heavy on concept, never loses track of the need for a intriguing character to be the heart of his story. Rydra Wong is a great protagonist, trying to solve the mystery of herself as intensely as the mystery of this new language Babel-17. In fact the two are interconnected in a wonderful way. The result is a fascinating book about the idea of how the language running through our internal monologues shapes our perception of the universe. Though certainly Sci-Fi in its tone, the book is just as much a profile in psychology. 

The inclusion of the brief novel Empire Star, though very loosely connected to Babel-17, did very little for me. Though it began with an interesting character, it soon felt rushed. Character growth leaped from chapter to chapter without earning it. And what may have been an interesting concept of applying a leveled structure to the perception of the universe simply became repetitive and inconsistent. The other large concept concerning time was lazily constructed. In my opinion, Empire Star reads like the first draft of what could become a really good novel.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Weekend Music Roundup

This weekend, I'm only reviewing new releases. There have been a lot in the last few weeks, but this is one week that I'm especially excited about. It's been a long time since there was a week when so many artists that I've followed for years have new records at the same time. Some have been a little disappointing, while others have surprised me by surpassing expectations. Either way, it's been enjoyable listening over the past few days. Enjoy.

Manic Street Preachers - Rewind the Film: With their eleventh album, the Manics return after a three year break. Easily one of my favorite bands of all time, each new release is an event I look forward to. This album is a change of pace from some of their more recent work. There are moments where they echo their Everything Must Go album, others where they channel Lifeblood and This is My Truth. In mood, it definitely continues the maturity of the last album, moving away from their more radical politics to a sense of living for ourselves. They no longer seem to be preaching an all out revolution so much as a revolution of perspective and personal discovery. There are truly amazing songs on here, "3 Ways to See Despair," "As Holy as the Soil," "Anthem for a Lost Cause," and the title track among them. Not their most immediate record, but then again "Wish you Were Here" wasn't Pink Floyd's most immediate album either.

Placebo - Loud Like Love: Hard to believe this British indie rock band has been around for 20 years, and yet still don't seem to age. Four years ago, Battle for the Sun was a return to form for the band, packed with the kind of glam-rock eccentricities that they've always done so well. I was looking forward to this album, but it left me feeling a little flat. The crafting is fine, the presentation is fine, but somehow the album lacks imagination, almost as if they weren't really inspired. There are still moments where their greatness shines through. "Scene of the Crime" is the real stand-out song in my opinion. Worthwhile for fans, newbies should check out some of their previous work first.

Travis - Where You Stand: It's been five years since the band from Glasgow last released an album, and 16 years since their debut. During their career, Travis has always delivered high quality indie-pop. I've always thought they should be bigger, being much more talented than Coldplay, yet always overshadowed. Their 2001 album, "The Invisible Band" is a near masterpiece of the genre. This album carries the same feel, if not quite the same weight. Or perhaps it's their consistency that makes this album feel less interesting. Perhaps if this had been the album I'd been listening to for over a decade, I would see them oppositely. This album has that potential. The songs are simple, beautiful, and super easy to listen to. A great morning album for the Fall.

Neko Case - The Worse Things Get, the Harder I Fight...: Four years ago, Neko Case looked as if she was going to be the biggest star in the indie alt-country genre, riding a wave of success from 2006's "Fox Confessor" and 2009's "Middle Cyclone," not to mention the rise of the band she was in, The New Pornographers. But without a release since, others swooped in to fill the void. Back now after such a long break, Neko returns with her best work to date. This album sounds like a coherent folkish version Fionna Apple. The songs are amazing and that will definitely get a lot of play and be a contender for my best of the year list. "Night Comes Still" is fantastic.

Mazzy Star - Seasons of Your Day: For the longest time it appeared we'd never get another album from this phenomenal L.A. dream pop band. But next week, after 17 years, the world is given the gift of another Mazzy Star album. I still remember clearly the first time I heard "Among My Swan." It was late one December night in 1996, having just come home from a Christmas party at Windows on the World, the restaurant that was located on the top floor of the World Trade Center. I had bought the CD earlier that afternoon and wanted to hear it before going to bed. I laid on the bed of my St. Mark's apartment and drank in the heartbreaking beauty and it's been one of my favorite albums ever since. This album, though not as outwardly drenched in sadness, feels very much like the natural continuation of its predecessor. Every song is soothingly beautiful, and captures the wonder and worry of being alone. Worth the wait...definitely.

MGMT - MGMT: Five years ago, MGMT proved to be a band worth watching after the release of their fantastic "Oracular Spectacular." Two years later, they seemed eager to abandon the formula that endeared them to most, and went into a new phase with "Congratulations," which in addition to being unfocused and meandering, also happened to feature some of the worst cover art ever. I wasn't expecting much with this new album, and perhaps that's exactly why it snuck up on me. This is the refined sound of the messy bits from the last album. There is a definite Flaming Lips vibe to this record, with many layers to its psychedelic soundscape. Sounds better than anything Radiohead has done in a decade.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Legend of Korra (Episodes 11-12)

(Catch up on previous episodes here)

The final two episodes of Legend of Korra are among the best in the season, and bring the story to a beautifully written conclusion. After the invasion, the eleventh episode opens with Amon in charge of Republic City. Team Avatar has been living in an underground shanty town with the homeless, and other refugees from the city above. However, Korra and Mako have been disguising themselves as equalist soldiers in order to keep track of what's happening in the city, which mainly consists of Amon "cleansing" benders of their ability. These are remarkably powerful scenes that capture an authentic feel to living under siege, and the injustice of ethnic conflict.

When the United Forces finally arrive to liberate the city, it turns out to be a trap. The equalists have placed ship mines in the harbor. As the fleet is grounded, they come under attack from another of Mr. Sato's deadly inventions, a squad of World War I style bi-wing air planes. Korra leaps into the battle, and she's on top of her game, giving her best showing so far as the avatar. Eventually the enemy is simply too overwhelming, and she is forced to retreat back to the shanty town, this time with General Iroh. They raido the 2nd Fleet, under the command of Tenzin's brother (another of Aang's sons), warning him of the danger. 

Iroh leads Bolin and Asami to the equalist airfield in order to take out the runways and give the 2nd Fleet an advantage. Meanwhile, Korra and Mako go to Air Temple Island to face Amon. There they discover Tarrlok and learn that he's really Amon's brother. In a lengthy flashback, we see how their father Yokone raised them to get revenge on the Avatar for removing his bending. He trains his young sons to become ruthless bloodbenders, but the two brothers end up on very different paths. Armed with this information, Korra plans to expose Amon as a bender at his upcoming rally and cripple the revolution.

Once she gets to the rally, things don't go as planned. The people don't believe her, and then Amon tells them a different tale about a firebender killing his family. When he removes his mask, his face is scarred, suggesting his story is true. Then unveils a terrible surprise, having Tenzin and his children brought on stage, promising to rid the world of airbending once and for all. The sight of the children in distress is enough to cause Mako and Korra to risk everything and attack. Together, they manage to free Tenzin and chase Amon through the back halls of the arena.

On the other side of Republic City, Iroh and the others have found the airfield, only to fall prey to an electric fence that surrounds it. Mr. Sato visits his daughter in the base's jail, explaining that he overheard their radio message and that the planes are going to destroy the 2nd Fleet. When things look hopeless, they are saved by Naga, the polar dog. Together, Bolin, Asami, and Iroh manage to destroy the planes and rip up the airfield. Then we get the final fight between Asami and her father, ending with Mr. Sato being brought to justice.

Back at the arena, Amon has been able to take both Mako and Korra under his bloodbending power. In a shocking scene, he removes Korra's bending. The unthinkable has happend, Amon has defeated the Avatar. But then, just as he's about take Mako's bending, Korra is able to airbend. She goes after him, and though he escapes, he is forced to expose himself as a waterbender, thus destroying his support among the people. In the end, it is Tarrlok who brings an end to Amon, sacrificing himself in the process.

Though the war has been won, there is still the devastating defeat to deal with. Returning to the Southern Water Tribe, they do everything to try and restore Korra's bending without success. Korra is crushed and completely distraught. When she is at her absolute lowest, the spiritual realm opens to her. She meets all the previous Avatars, and it is Aang who returns her powers. In the final scene, we get to see Korra in the Avatar state for the first time, and she's totally bad-ass. I feel sorry for her enemies in season two.

Friday, September 13, 2013

A Second Look at a Secret Universe

Yesterday, I finally finished work on the endless second draft of middle grade manuscript that has been three years in the making. The first draft was completed over two years ago, and then it sat on my desk collecting dust. Late last spring, I picked it up and decided to give it a read. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed what was there, but also realized it needed a lot of work. Feeling motivated, I dove in.

Besides the basic storyline and characters, this was nearly a complete rewrite. While the skeleton stayed intact, the other layers were reconstructed to give the story more depth, more heart, and more adventure. The resulting tally:

180 pages added (40 original pages deleted), bringing it 345 pages.
3 minor characters added
2 major storylines dropped
4 major storylines added

The next step is to read through the new manuscript and see how it feels. But I'm keeping positive. There is a lot of imagination, and a lot of work, put into this story. It involves fairy tales, secret universes, Pandora's box, giant spiders, ghouls, a slave rebellion, ancient curses, first love, two-headed Sirens, pesky little siblings, and one kick-ass twelve year old girl named Sylvie who is destined to save the world. What more could you ask for?

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Weekend Music Roundup

For weeks I've been telling you all that I've been catching up on old albums as a way of freeing myself for a wave of fall releases. I've eluded to it so often without offering any proof that many of you have probably doubted the existence of said albums. Well, I'm happy to bring you the first tide of fresh material. This week saw several highly anticipated albums in my world and I've been listening to them religiously. Just to keep it interesting, there are a few albums from the past thrown in for flavor. More new releases to come next week. Enjoy.

Arctic Monkeys - AM:  There's something so fantastic when a band not only lives up to the hype of their earliest days, but then goes on to surpass it. This is the case with the Sheffield lads whose 2006 debut album was hailed as the saving grace of British rock. Now with their fifth album, due out this week, they've cemented themselves as one of the best rock bands around. AM maintains the heavier groove of their last album, but adds the eerie elements of psychedelic pop. They're not as angry as they were on their first two albums, but they make up for the lack of angst by upping the musicianship to yet another level. Easily one of the best albums of the year so far, it is packed with amazing songs. "RU Mine," "Arabella," "Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High," and "Snap Out of It" are among my favorites.

Babyshambles - Sequel to the Prequel: It's been six years since Pete Doherty's band last released an album and in that time, it looked as if not only would the band never release another album, but that it was unlikely Pete would survive his well-publicized addictions. And though recent footage shows that he is still struggling heavily, it doesn't show through on this wonderful comeback album. Pete is definitely one of the voices of his generation, offering poetic insights on the world through the perspective of a disillusioned and tragic romantic. Musically, like previous Babyshambles records, the album draws on a wide-range of influences that come together in vagabond brilliance. I've been loving this record from beginning to end, but "Dr. No," "Minefield," "New Pair," and "Nothing Comes to Nothing" are definite stand-out tracks.

Robert Wyatt - Rock Bottom: During his years in Soft Machine, Robert Wyatt recorded some of my favorite albums. Then he went on to form the interesting progressive folk band Matching Mole. In 1973, he considered reforming Mole, but the plan was sidetracked when Wyatt fell from a third story window, paralyzing him from the waist down. This 1974 solo record, while the songs were written prior to the accident, captures the lost feeling that must have followed, as the title suggests. It continues the jazz folk hybrid sound that he created with his earlier bands. What I love about his music is the sense of storytelling that exists within the sounds. This is a beautiful and fragile record, not for all occasions, but perfect for some.

Fresh Maggots - Fresh Maggots: This 1971 self-titled album is the only release from this UK psychedelic folk duo. It's one of those lost gems of the genre that I'd been searching out for quite a while. The tin whistle, combined with searing guitar gives the album an early Jethro Tull sound, which certainly is a good thing. But there is also some beautiful melodies, rooted in traditional folk that create an authenticity to their sound. It's rare to find true psychedelic folk albums, and this is one of them.

Okkervil River - The Silver Gymnasium: It's been two years since their last album, but the wait finally ended this week with the release of the Austin indie folk band's seventh album. One of my favorite bands of the last decade, Okkervil River is always consistently on their game. This album feels like a return to "The Stand Ins"/ "The Stage Names" era, losing the rock edge from their last album. Though I enjoyed the last album, it take me time to warm to it, whereas this album slipped right on like an old favorite shirt. "Down, Down The Deep River," "Pink Slips," and "Black Nemo" are exceptional tracks.

Black Spiders - This Savage Land: The Sheffield stoner metal band's second album, released this month, is an in your face rock opus. What makes it stand out is the obvious Judas Priest and AC/DC influence that blends extremely well with modern stoner rock riffs. Meanwhile, there is a punk attitude to the lyrics, all of which adds up to something that sounds fresh and familiar at the same time. It's an album to crank up and play LOUD!

Children Eating Birds - Of Hospitals: Another side project of the great Jordaan Mason, who frequent visitors to the Roundup will recognize as one of the songwriters currently occupying a big place in my imagination. His lo-fi warblings, reminiscent of Jeff Mangum, are so transportive, taking me into another world that is slightly different from the one we exist in. I love listening to his music while I'm writing, it just seems to capture the same mood that I often aim for. This album is available for free download on

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Hazardous Life

Beware all those who wish to become writers. There are times when you will come to hate the story you once loved. Working on a manuscript will often feel like playing a game of she-loves-me, she-loves-me-not as you go from one page to the next wondering if you've made some terrible mistake. It's not an easy relationship to pursue, yet you feel compelled to work at it, waiting for that moment when it all clicks together. Those rare and perfect glimpses are the reason you endure. 

Over the past few weeks, I've fallen in and out of love dozens of times. Now as I reach the end of a major rewrite, I can hear my characters whispering for me to remain calm. "Don't worry," they tell me. "We will do you proud in the end." Despite my better judgement, I'm starting to believe them.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Weekend Music Roundup

The roundup is back! Sorry about last weekend, I was traveling and didn't have the energy to write up reviews by the time I returned to my office in the late afternoon. Not that I'm really concerned that anyone's weekend was ruined by it, or even that anyone noticed, but still I feel the need to explain myself. Anyway, I'm back this week with new reviews of albums I've been listening to of the past few weeks. Some new releases, some from the past few years that managed to slip through the cracks, and some just plain oldies but goodies. Enjoy.

The Cave Singers - Invitation Songs: This is the Seattle folk rock band's 2007 debut, but I'm only coming to it after hearing their third and fourth albums. While later albums focus a little more on the "rock" aspect, this album is more rooted in the "folk" aspects of their music. One review I read said the first four songs sounded like Lindsey Buckingham, which nearly ruined it for me, until I realized it wasn't completely accurate. In fact, this album feels more akin to the Fleetwood Mac years between Peter Green and Lindsey Buckingham, an era that I feel is greatly underrated. There is a powerful spiritual element to this record that really makes it stand out. "Called," "Dancing on Our Graves," and "Cold Eye" are among my favorite tracks on a really solid album.

The Antlers - Hospice: Released in 2009, this is the NYC indie folk band's breakout third album. I've been familiar with some of the songs from this album from the Daytrotter Sessions they did for it, which I love, but for whatever reason never picked up the whole album. A few weeks ago, I finally gave it a full listen. It's a concept album about being in the hospital, and there are very emotional moments of beauty and loss. It's lyricism is undeniable, but at times feel muted into a sleepy haze. Though I like this album, I have to say that My Chemical Romance's "The Black Parade" is a better concept album about sickness. The song "Two" is one of my favorite songs of the last several years, though I prefer the acoustic version that can be found on

The Kooks - Junk of the Heart: For whatever reason, I failed to get this album when it came out two years ago, despite enjoying the album previous. Now that I've been listening to that album a lot, I went back and finally acquired this one. Like their other work, this is pop rock heavy in Britpop roots. The album opens with the phenonmenal title track, a trademark love song with a touch of up tempo sadness.  "Killing Me' is one of the band's finest moments, a perfectly catchy pop rock song. "Mr. Nice Guy" has a good Suede meets Travis feel to it, which actually might be a good way to describe them in general. A solid album and I hope they release something new soon.

Marianne Faithfull - Marianne Faithfull: The iconic performer's 1965 debut, recorded when she was a teenager. I picked this up several months back on vinyl for a few dollars. The album features the Jagger/Richards penned hit "As Tears Go By," and her other early hit, "Come Stay With Me." Basically a compilation of her early singles, this shows the slightly more pop side of the singer who would later become a figure more associated with the underground. As always, her amazing voice makes the album what it is.

Belle and Sebastian - The Third Eye Centre: Released this month, this is the band's third compilation of B-Sides and rarities, this one comprising of songs from the last few years. In the last decade or so, they have moved away from their folk pop roots to become a more indie pop band, but the sound serves them well. Being a compilation, this album features a lot of different styles. Having not been familiar with their recent singles, all of these songs were new for me and serve as a nice showcase. What I thought would just be a curiosity album has become one of my favorites of the past week. Even after almost 20 years, they are as fun and insightful as ever.

Dead Meadow - Warble Womb: One of the reigning kings of stoner rock returns with their first album in three years. Due out this Fall, Warble Womb is another fantastic achievement in fuzzed out stoner bliss. I've always loved the way they meld heavy psyche influences from the late '60s with heavy riffs, yet manage to keep this California easy vibe going. This is definitely one that will be on my radar for my best of the year list.

Red Sled Choir - Wintersongs: I discovered this beautiful EP via Jordaan Mason's bandcamp page and have absolutely loved it. Hailing from New Paltz, my neck of the woods, Red Sled Choir is Matt Gordon. This was recorded and released in 2009, and was an attempt to capture the mood of snowy winter days. It does so perfectly in five mainly instrumental avant folk pieces. It's perfectly suited for those cold grey days of staring out the window. I highly recommend picking this up before the season. It's available for free download on bandcamp.