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Of food, technology, movies, music, and travel—or whatever else strikes my fancy

Too much of a good thing?

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Much as I like So You Think You Can Dance Canada, having episodes daily, many two hours long, has been a bit onerous. Of course, it’s just the auditions; it’s not really essential viewing. But they just have such a great ratio of actual dancing vs. blah-blah about dance that they’re a bit hard to resist.

Anyway, I’ve finally caught up. Of course, I’m behind on all other TV viewing, but this time of year, that isn’t so much anyway. Sunday they announce “our” Top 20. Let’s just hope CTV doesn’t start making these kids dance (and us vote) twice a week, in order to fit this all in before all the Fall shows come back with new episodes.

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Apart from sitting on the couch watching gorgeous young people sweat through dance numbers, I’ve acquired four new CDs in the last week (and one’s a double CD). Even for me, that’s rather a lot, but when shopping for used stuff, you got to grab it when it comes up.

The one I got totally new, though, and in digital download format only, is Arcade Fire’s Suburbia. Given that the album is number 1 in Canada, US, and Great Britain, guess I’m none too original on that front. But this is my first Arcade Fire album (or song or anything). I just grew intrigued from reading the reviews.

I love that it’s a concept album. I love that the concept is the suburbs, as representing emptiness and loss and waste. I love people barely 30 being nostalgic for the past: “I used to write letters. But by the time we met things had already changed. We used to wait.” (Very Ray Davies and Village Green Preservation Society, that way.) The songs are smart and sound gorgeous. I don’t mind pretentious when it’s backed by talent.

Oh, and a tip: Don’t buy the albums on iTunes. It’s $12 there. Get it directly from Arcade Fire’s website — $8.

My remaining purchases are all of old favorites. With the acquisition of Flash Gordon, I now, finally, own every Queen album. Course, this one is the weirdo, as it really is a movie soundtrack in the old sense of the term: Not a bunch of pop songs that play over montages in the movie, but the actual score that sets the tone and mood of the scenes. So it’s mostly instrumentals, along with bits of movie dialog (and the insanely catchy theme song).

So obviously, not the one to get if you’re only going to buy one Queen album. Or even 10. But within the movie score genre, it’s actually quite good.

And, I finally completed my Lowest of the Low collection by getting their final album, Sordid Fiction. I need to give all these more listens, but so far it appears to be just as good as their first three: same catchy pop with an alternative edge, smart lyrics with plenty of Canadian references.

And den I got The Who: Live at the Isle of Wight. I actually don’t own all of their albums yet—haven’t quite convinced myself I need their first two albums. And not sure how I convinced myself I needed this double CD, given that it already have this on DVD, not to mention that it contains yet another version of Tommy. So I think I have 8 versions of that particular opera, at this point.

And, you know, The Who really were great that night, at 4 in the morning or whatever, performing at the Isle of Wight. The only problem is that this is a very similar set to Live at Leeds. And Live at Leeds is just better, in both performance and sound quality. But at least Wight features the entire concert, in the proper order. That’s something.

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Oh, and one more set of CDs that came into my possession this week is the unabridged (9 CD) audio version of the novel The Wife’s Tale by Lori Lansens. This is courtesy of the author herself, who read my earlier blog post lamenting my difficulty in acquiring the audio version of this book. Isn’t that cool? And the timing is perfect for our upcoming driving trip to Quebec.

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