Amazon Sucks

Weeks ago, I pre-ordered the new Death Cab for Cutie CD “Narrow Stairs” through Amazon so I could review it early on this site. Trying to get the free shipping, I also pre-ordered Cold Play’s Viva la Vida and the next book in the Stephenie Meyer “Twilight” series, Breaking Dawn. In spite of all my efforts to the contrary, Amazon is intent on sending me everything when the Meyer book comes out (in August).

So, rather than getting a nice review of Ben Gibbard’s new stuff…I get to review Amazon’s service for pre-ordering. So here you go:

It Sucks.

Yes, you can quote me. Even though I specifically requested the contrary, they did what was best for them, and went ahead and labeled my purchases to be shipped all together. So there you have it. If you want to pre-order something, AND you were hoping to get it before the rest of the Western Hemisphere got it so that you’d have at least the jump on a few people for a review…don’t go through Amazon.

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Revisiting an Invasion…(Review of The Host)

I recently launched into a new book….now, before I go on, I have to confess, I was never a book reader as a kid, but, after I got through all 7 Potter books, I said to myself, that was thousands of pages of reading…I have time for this kind of stuff!

So, back to the point. I’ve become quite a closet fan of Stephenie Meyer. Her Twilight series is adored by teenie bopper girls the world over…but, I have to say, I like her writing style (plus, most of her books have some foundation in some really great music. Check out her playlists..she often writes an entire book based on a Muse album, or some other great indie band). It’s riveting and thought-provoking. I just picked up her newest book, The Host, for my wife, the Indie girl.

My first reaction–it’s a new spin on an old theme. She’s basically re-wrote Invasion of the Bodysnatchers, the classic 50s movie, with an angle on romance and mystery. I have to say, I like it. It’s intriguing. She also personalizes the “snatchers” more, which makes the read even more invigorating…from the get go, she has you wondering which side you should really be on. Overall, I’d say it’s definitely worth picking up…Don’t be fooled by the copy-cat story premise, it’s got some deeper plot scenarios and, as usual, the most in-depth development of characters I have seen since Mark Twain.

Indie is…

I know what Indie is. You probably know what Indie is, but do you think we’d agree? This blog is dedicated to defining Indie through my own Indie eyes. I think my Indie adventures began when I was 12 years old, thumbing through the “no-name” section at the local record store to find a jewel. You’ve probably had a completely different experience….

so what I’d like to do is get a list of definitions of what you think Indie is. What does it mean to be Indie? Is it just music or is it a lifestyle?

For a little promotional fun, I’ll be posting the best answers on a tab of this blog WITH a link to your own blog (if you have one). So, fame and fortune all for a quick definition. So…what are you waiting for? Add a comment and finish this statement:

Indie is…

Bartimaeus

So, I’m a doctoral student, so I don’t get much time to read (at least, anything outside of the very dense academic stuff…), but I thought I’d try this out. Frankly, being a recovering Potter fanatic, I wasn’t so sure I really wanted to do yet ANOTHER wizardry/magic book, especially not one about an orphan boy, who has powers and training beyond his years who seeks to right the magical world. (sound familiar?)

But don’t let the pretense of this book fool you. It’s darkly alluring. For one, it’s written fantastically. Taken from the perspective of a couple thousand year old Genie (I know, the book calls them Djin or Djinnies, but come on Stroud, who are you fooling?) named Bartimaeus. He’s a sardonic yet insightful character whos quick-witted quips and sarcastic tone make the book incredibly enjoyable. The “orphan boy” character in this one is actually un-likable, in my opinion. I’d call him a stubborn little git, and I’m not too fond of him, but Bartimaeus makes the book series worthwhile…if you can take the length….page counts put the great Jo Rowling to shame.

Juno

I have never been a fan of the life drama movies. They tend to be wayward, pointless, and altogether boring. I could lump a number of movies into this category, and one day, I’ll do a top 10 stupid life drama movies. Rest assured, this movie and this movie will top the list (I’ve never wished more that I could have any 3 hours of my life back than watching those movies).

That being said, Juno may have very likely turned everything around for me. Absolutely amazing movie. It’s not because of the dry humor, or the Indie music, or the ingenious one liners they give Ellen Page (though those are all great reasons to like it too). It’s because it’s real and it’s actually interesting. What’s more, the characters are complex, likable, and so gosh darn intriguing you can’t help but watch. In the end, the message is great: take responsibility for life (The reason the Indie Girl said it was such a good movie). If you haven’t seen Juno…definitely worth watching.

Incidentally…the song at the end of the movie is fantastic. Here’s the video (which WordPress won’t let me embed). Good lyrics…especially the line “we both have shiny happy fits of rage”.

Draft Feinstein?

I’m a huge NBA fan, and I couldn’t help but post this site I recently came across (thanks to my friend Henry at TrueHoop). Apparently, anyone who meets the legal requirements can declare for the NBA draft, but this guy has taken it a step further…He’s created a website to showcase his “qualifications”. Check out his stats, they’re all estimated from pick-up games

His introductory quote on his website says it all:

I, Zachary Feinstein, have declared for the 2008 NBA Draft. As a 5’8″ 130 pound Caucasian, I am the perfect candidate for professional basketball. Also, I do not play basketball.

On a side note, last year I was in New York City and waited in line for over an hour to get tickets to the NBA draft, only to see the tickets be sold out before I had the chance. Maybe next year I’ll declare for the draft and have a better chance of getting in.