Yes, I Am On the Verge of Overdoing Both Cat and Sunset Photos

Be that as it may, this is a pretty cool shot.

Upholding the First Law of Cat Lounging

Which is, of course, “all lounging cats must attempt to take up the maximum possible space.” This is especially applicable on desks and beds. Notice Zeus’ extended paw action to claim extra desk space. He’s a pro.

Also for your amusement, the following pensive portrait:

I see this as being his author photo for his scandalous tell-all The Bastards Fed Me Kibble: My Life With the Awful Scalzi Family, in which he reveals that it was I who got him hooked on that demon catnip. Well, it’s true, I suppose. But, hey, I paid for his rehab, you know.

Re-Hipify Me: A Weekend Assignment

So, despite buying a lot of music and having ready access to Rhapsody and indeed the whole of the Internet (and, um, having been a music critic for many years), I’ve fallen prey to a malady common to many people in their late 30s, in which I’m more or less clueless to new musical artists.

My ego steps in at the moment to assure you (and me) that I’m not entirely to blame; hey, I’ve been busy. And, heck, what with the implosion of the music business over the last couple of years, it’s difficult even for the kids to figure out what the kids are listening to these days. Also, let’s face it, when you live in an era in which the two largest forces shaping the direction of popular music are American Idol and The Disney Channel, there is, shall we say, a disincentive for some of us to keep up with what’s going on these days.

Nevertheless, I live in hope. And thus I ask the assembled masses:

Tell me what new music or artists you’re listening to these days.

For the purposes of this discussion, “new” is defined to mean:

1. The artist/band started publicly releasing music (or alternately made their major label debut) after January 2005;


2. The artist/band started publicly releasing music (or alternately made their major label debut) after January 2003, but you only heard about them in the last year.

In either case there’s a hard cap at January 2003. So if you wander in saying something like “Well, I know Emerson Lake and Palmer is an old band, but I started listening to them this year and they’re cool” then you fail (and indeed you fail on so many levels it’s hard to know where to begin).

(One small clarification: Musicians who were previously in bands but released solo albums for the first time since January 2003 get in under the wire. Just use your head: telling me about Rob Thomas’s or Gwen Stefani’s solo excursions isn’t going to do me much good, you know?)

Other than that, no limitations: Any genre, any musician, any band that you like and listen to that’s new, tell me about them. Include a link to a band page or song, if you can, so I and indeed everyone else can take a listen to this cool new band you can’t stop talking about (remember that more than three links a post will trigger automatic moderation, so if you don’t want to wait until I get around to releasing moderated links, stick to a couple links per post). You can suggest as many new band/artists as you like, but don’t just show off your iPod contents to be hipper than the room — stick to the bands/artists you really really like.

To get the ball rolling, I’ll roll out one new artist I do know, albeit because I’m an insensible fan of his dad: Liam Finn, here performing his song “Second Chance”:

He sounds a lot like his dad (which is a good thing to me), but he’s also clearly got his own perspective on things (which is also a good thing to me), and his album I’ll Be Lightning is sweet and a bit sloppy, which I find a bit endearing.

So that’s what I have for you. What do you have for me?