Last modification: 01/19/08 19:26

A Garden of Curmudgeonly Delights

(Disclaimer: I mention these things for the benefit of Freethinkers of Similar Spirit,
as they seem to be Quite Charming albeit in a rather Dystopian way)

Music  Movies  Documentaries  Fiction  Non-Fiction  Opinions

Timeless Albums:

After The War - Gary Moore
Aquarium - Aqua
Babylon - Ten (oh, the magnificence.)
Bat Out Of Hell - Meatloaf
Beethoven's Last Night - Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Best Of - Simon And Garfunkel (All killer, no filler)
Best Of - Carly Simon (Also see: Warren Zevon)
Blizzard of Ozz - Ozzy Osbourne
Black Tiger - Y&T
Black Mages Vol. 2: The Skies Above - The Black Mages (Hard to find, but worth it)
Boldly Go Down On Me - Warp 11 (RATF Rulez.)
Boston - Boston
Bridge of Sighs - Robin Trower
Brutal Planet - Alice Cooper
Come Dancing With The Kinks - The Kinks
The Complete Hit Singles - Three Dog Night (and I'm not ashamed to admit it!)
Contraband - Contraband
Couldn't Stand the Weather - Stevie Ray Vaughan
Court In The Act - Satan ('orrible name. 'ellishlly good NWOBHM!)
Cultosaurus Erectus - Blue Oyster Cult
Rob Dougan - Furious Angels
Dark Light - H.I.M.
The Definitive Collection - Abba
Deliver Us - Warlord
Destroyer - Kiss
Down To Earth - Rainbow
The Dream Weaver - Gary Wright (Hi, Ronnie)
Eve - The Alan Parsons Project
Erotic Cakes - Guthrie Govan
Excitable Boy - Warren Zevon (heck, all Warren)
Exposed - Vince Neil (all hail Steve Stevens!)
Fear of a Blank Planet - Porcupine Tree
Feels So Good - Chuck Mangione
Feinstein - Third Wish (also see: The Rods)
Five Man Acoustical Jam - Tesla
Fire Down Under - Riot (also prime NWOBHM)
Foreigner - Foreigner
Forever More - Tesla
Friday Night In San Francisco - Meola, McLaughlin, De Lucia
Furious Angels - Rob Dougan
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road - Elton John
Greatest Hits - Al Stewart
Greatest Hits - Cat Stevens (same here)
Greatest Hits - The Doobie Bros. (all downhill after this)
Greatest Hits - Molly Hatchet (lumping all Southern Rock here. Huge props.)
Head East - Head East (Damn good! And a cool cover!)
Heaven and Hell - Black Sabbath
Headboys - The Headboys (Caesar's praying for rain... good luck finding this 'un)
High Tension Wires - Steve Morse Band
Infinity - Journey (all downhill after this)
Hotel California - Eagles
Inner Secrets - Santana (also see: Moonflower)
Invasion of Your Privacy - Ratt (all hail producer Beau Hill!)
Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War Of The Worlds (Phil Lynott -and- Richard Burton? Brilliant!)
Journey to Damascus - Acousticon
Leftoverture - Kansas
Live! - Foghat
Katy Lied - Steely Dan (thanks to Mike B. who gave me this as my very first album back in middle school)
Kerosene Hat - Cracker
Kings Of Sleep - Stu Hamm (it's better than some Satch albums!)
Louder Than Hell - Sam Kinison (comedy, and Sam's smartest. All slowly downhill from here)
Lovedrive - Scorpions (one could say all slowly downhill from here, too)
Mask of Sanity - Sinner
Metal - Brian Bromberg (It's... the new Stu Hamm!)
The Mix - Kraftwerk (to think I used to hate these guys)
Nation - Nation (The best album Yngwie never did. Superb!)
Nightfall - Candlemass (Messiah Marcolin & Dio should double-bill)
No Parole from Rock 'n Roll - Alcatrazz
Octavarium - Dream Theater (bloody heck. DT learned to wank -and- write!)
Open Fire - Ronnie Montrose (heck, all Montrose, & Gamma too)
Physical Graffiti - Led Zeppelin
Please - Pet Shop Boys (Hookmasters.)
Point of Know Return - Kansas
Primal Fear - Primal Fear (Priest done Right.)
The Remains Of Tom Lehrer (Box Set) - Tom Lehrer (comedy, timing & wit beyond belief)
Requiem - John5
Resolution - Andy Timmons
Retrospective, Vol. 1 - Rush (and then, quickly downhill.)
Ride the Lightning - Metallica
The Rods - Wild Dogs (also see: Feinstein)
Rust Never Sleeps - Neal Young
Sehnsucht - Rammstein
Shaolin Monks in the Temple of Metal - Ralph Santolla
Let The Music Do The Talking - Joe Perry Project
Synchestra - The Devon Townsend Band (Wotta mix!)
Time's Up - Living Colour
Top Priority - Rory Gallagher
Under Northern Lights - Keiko Matsui ('Flight' is GENIUS!)
Universe - Dimitar Nalbantov (go AMT!)
Unplugged In New York - Nirvana
Strangers In The Night - UFO (heck, all UFO)
Thunder And Lightning - Thin Lizzy
Van Halen - Van Halen
Various Artists: An Independent Critical Review (Classic Rock Productions series)
The Wall - Pink Floyd
What Do You Want From Live - The Tubes
Whitesnake - Whitesnake (John Sykes. 'nuff said.)
Y & T - Black Tiger
Yngwie J. Malmsteen's Rising Force - Yngwie Malmsteen
You're Never Alone With A Schizophrenic - Ian Hunter
 

Terrific Viewing

Airplane!
Almost Famous
Animusic
Apocalypse Now
Bean - The Movie
Black Snake Moan
Blast From The Past
Bottle Shock (based on a true story)
Brazil
A Clockwork Orange
Charlie Wilson's War (almost a documentary)
The Counterfeiters
Dawn of the Dead
Dick (Also see: "Nixon's Nixon", the play by Russell Lee)
Dilbert (TV series)
Excalibur
Fast Times at Ridgemont High
Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Fight Club
FM
Futurama (TV series)
Goodnight and Goodbye (To think that TV news once spoke truth to power)
GWAR - Tour de Scum
Heavy Metal
High Fidelity
The Incredibles (no, it's not about Ayn Rand... grr!!)
The Jim Rose Circus Sideshow (original 1993 VHS)
Josie and the Pussycats (Roger Ebert... grrr....)
Kentucky Fried Movie
Kick Ass
Logan's Run
Monty Python's Flying Circus (TV series)
Network
Oh! Mikey (Japan TV series)
Omen II (Draco Malfoy is no match for Damien)
Pirate Radio
Pleasantville
Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert (the Australian Rocky Horror!)
Race The Sun (for fans of EV's, Hawaii and Halle Berry)
Real Genius
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
School Of Rock (also see: Rock School!)
Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
Something Wild
Summer of '42
Superbad (also see: anything by Paul Feig)
Team America: World Police (and speaking of which...)
Thunderbirds (anything by Gerry Anderson, really)
Total Recall (and for that matter, anything by Philip K. Dick)
Star Trek II - The Wrath Of Khan
Star Wars (just Episode IV, thanks)
Tampopo (incredibly good, this. Best date movie ever.)
Totoro
V For Vendetta
Wallace and Gromit (TV series)
Wayne's World
Watchmen
The Wild Parrots Of Telegraph Hill
Wizards (compare to: "Heavy Metal: The Movie." Or not.)
 

Documentaries (aka, 'Reason for Netflix')

A Brief History of Time
An Inconvenient Truth
Anvil! - The Story Of Anvil
Building The Alaska Highway
The Business Of Being Born
Classic Albums: The Making Of... (series)
Confessions Of A Superhero
Control Room (Bad press? Blow it up!)
Courting Condi
Crossing The Line
Crumb (That's R. Crumb to you)
The Decline Of Western Civilization, Part II: The Metal Years
Extreme Engineering (Discovery Channel series)
The Eyes of Tammy Faye
Fahrenheit 9/11
Fires Of Kuwait: IMAX
The Fog Of War (Sobering.)
Fuzz: The Sound That Revolutionized The World
Going Upriver: The Long War Of John Kerry
Grizzly Man
Guns, Germs and Steel (National Geographic)
Hacking Democracy
Heavy Metal In Baghdad (also read: "Heavy Metal Islam", by Mark Levine)
Helvetica
Home Movie
A Hot Dog Program (PBS)
Ice Road Truckers (History Channel series)
Keep The River On Your Right (unusual!)
King Corn
The King Of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters
Kon-Tiki
Magnetic Storm
March Of The Penguins
Metallica: Some Kind Of Monster
Microcosmos (great for kids)
Mr. Death: Fred A. Leuchter, Jr.
Newton's Dark Secrets: Nova
Off The Charts: The Song Poem Story
Paul McCartney: Wingspan - An Intimate Portrait
Penn & Teller's Magic & Mystery Tour
Power Trip
Ralph Nader: An Unreasonable Man
Religulous
Riding the Rails : American Experience
Rock School ('School Of Rock' was based on this)
Sandwiches That You Will Like (PBS)
The Social Network
30 Days (reality TV series)
This Film Is Not Yet Rated (gotta love the title)
Unwrapped (Food Network series)
Who Killed The Electric Car?
Why We Fight (compare to: "The Fog Of War". Discuss.)
The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill
 

Great Fiction:

"There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written or badly written. That is all." - Oscar Wilde

Aesop's Fables - Aesop (it's not just for kids!)
The Boondocks (comic series) - Aaron McGruder
Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
The Chronicles Of Corum (series) - Michael Moorcock
Chicken Every Sunday (A classic! Thanks, Dammy)
Cryptonomicon - Neal Stephenson
The Devils' Apocrypha - John A. DeVito
Dune - Frank Herbert
Einstein's Bridge - John Cramer
Elric of Melnibone (series) - Michael Moorcock
Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser (series) - Fritz Leiber
Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury
The Foundation Trilogy - Isaac Asimov
IV - Chuck Klosterman
Fear And Loathing in Las Vegas - Hunter S. Thompson (too nutty for 'non-fiction', sorry)
Gateway - Frederick Pohl
Girl Genius (graphic novel series) - Phil Foglio
The Godfather - Mario Puzo
God's Debris - Scott Adams (and you can download it here.
)
Harry Potter (pre-teens & up, series) - J.K. Rowling
James and the Giant Peach (anything by Roald Dahl really, pre-teens)
Just So Stories (Rudyard Kipling - pre-teens)
Lloyd: What Happened: A Novel Of Business - Stanley Bing
The Lord of the Rings - J.R.R. Tolkien
Lucky Wander Boy
Master Of The Five Magics (series) - Lyndon Hardy
McDuff Stories (children's series) - Rosemary Wells & Susan Jeffers
Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur S. Golden
My Book House (Golden Era children's literature series)

1984 - George Orwell
Neuromancer - William Gibson
One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest - Ken Kesey
Only The Super-Rich Can Save Us! - Ralph Nader (wish this was non-fiction!)
oPtion$: the secret life of Steve Jobs - Daniel Lyons
The Phantom Tollbooth - (pre-teens) Norton Juster
Snow Crash - Neal Stephenson
Thieves' World (series)
The Trial of Colonel Sweeto (and Other Stories) - Nicholas Gurewitch
Tom Corbett, Space Cadet (Golden Era sci-fi series)
A Wrinkle In Time (pre-teens) - Madeleine L'Engle
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance - Robert M. Pirsig

 

Non-Fiction

The Age Of American Unreason - Susan Jacoby
Alien Hand Syndrome (And Other Too-Weird-Not-To-Be-True Stories) - Alan Bellows, ed.
American Shogun - Robert Harvey
Animals in Translation - Temple Grandin
Antimatter - Frank Close
Armed Madhouse - Greg Palast
The Assault on Reason - Al Gore
The Autobiography of Malcolm X - Alex Haley
Banana: The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World - Dan Koeppel
The Battery: How Portable Power Helped Spark A Technological Revolution - Henry Schlesinger
Big Dead Place: Inside the Strange and Menacing World of Antarctica - Nicholas Johnson
Blank Spots On The Map: The Dark Geography Of The Pentagon's Secret World - Trevor Paglen
Bobos in Paradise - David Brooks
Bonk - Mary Roach
Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life - Steve Martin
Bouncing-Bomb Man: The Science of Sir Barnes Wallis - Iain Murray
Bumping Into Geniuses - Danny Goldberg
Candyfreak - Steve Almond
This Common Secret - Susan Wicklund
Computer Lib / Dream Machines - Ted Nelson
Censored 2008: The Top 25 Censored News Stories (series) - Project Censored
The Collectors' Guide To Heavy Metal (series) - Martin Popoff
The Computer Music Tutorial - Curtis Roads
Confessions of An Economic Hitman - Jon Perkins
The Demon-Haunted World - Carl Sagan
Don't Think Of An Elephant! - George Lakoff (eye-opening.)
Dreams Of My Father - Barack Obama
Driving Mr. Albert: A Trip Across America with Einstein's Brain - Michael Paterniti
The Economic Naturalist - Robert H. Frank
The Edge of Paradise : America in Micronesia -P.F. Kluge
The Elements: A Visual Exploration Of Every Known Atom In The Universe - Theodore Grey & Nick Mann
Elephants on Acid: And Other Bizarre Experiments - Alex Boese
The Elfish Gene: Dungeons, Dragons And Growing Up Strange (a Memoir) - Mark Barrowcliffe
The Emperor Of Scent - Chandler Burr
The End Of America : Letter Of Warning to A Young Patriot - Naomi Wolf
The End Of Faith - Sam Harris
The Fortune Cookie Chronicles - Jennifer 8. Lee
Freakonomics - Levitt & Dubner
The Fruit Hunters - Adam Leith Gollner
Game Change - Obama & the Clintons, McCain & Palin, & the Race of a Lifetime - Heilemann & Halperin
The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists - Neil Strauss

Generation X - Douglas Coupland
The Genius Factory - David Plotz
Getting Stoned With Savages - J. Maarten Troost
Goa Freaks - Cleo Odzer (Rest in peace, Cleo.)
The God Delusion - Richard Dawkins
Goodbye Madame Butterfly: Sumie Kawakami
Hegemony or Survival
- Noam Chomsky
Hella Nation - Evan Wright
Here Comes Trouble - Michael Moore
Here, There and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of the Beatles - Geoff Emerick
Honolulu Madam - Iolana Mitsuko
How To Pick Up Japanese Chicks (and Doom Your Immortal Soul) - Josh Muggins
How to Rig an Election - Allen Raymond
Hump True Tales Of Sex After Kids - Kimberley Ford
I Hate New Music: The Classic Rock Manifesto - Dave Thompson
The Impostor's Daughter: A True Memoir (graphic novel) - Laurie Sandell

The Inventor of Stereo: The Life and Works of Alan Dower Blumlein - Robert Alexander
Island of Shame: The Secret History of the U.S. Military Base On Diego Garcia - David Vine
Kill The Messenger: How The CIA's Crack-Cocaine Controversy Destroyed Journalist Gary Webb - Nick Schou
Kitchen Confidential - Anthony Bourdain
Laika (graphic novel) - Nick Abadzis
Lies My Teacher Told Me - James W. Loewen
Logicomix: An Epic Search For Truth (graphic novel) -  Doxiadis & Papadimitriou

A Long Way To Go For A Date - Henry Makow
Looking for Calvin and Hobbes: The Unconventional Story of Bill Watterson - Nevin Martell
Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger's - John Elder Robison
Lost On Planet China - J. Maarten Troost
Loving John : the Untold Story - May Pang & Henry Edwards
Manchild In The Promised Land - Claude Brown
The Men Who Stare At Goats - Jon Ronson
Mauve: How One Man Invented A Color That Changed The World - Simon Garfield
Mozart in the Jungle: Sex, Drugs, and Classical Music - Blair Tindall
Mr. China - Tim Clissold
My Life: A Spoken Autobiography - Ignacio Ramonet & Fidel Castro
The Mythical Man-Month - Fred Brooks, Jr.
Napoleon's Buttons: 17 Molecules That Changed History - Couteur & Burreson
NutureShock - Po Bronson & Ashley Merryman
Off the Grid: Inside the Movement for More Space, Less Government, and True Independence in Modern America - Nick Rosen
 On the Edge: the Spectacular Rise and Fall of Commodore - Brian Bagnall
Outliers: The Story of Success - Malcolm Gladwell
And Party Every Day: The Inside Story Of Casablanca Records - Larry Harris
Patpong Sisters - Cleo Odzer
A People's History of American Empire (graphic novel) - Zinn, Konopacki & Buhle
The Perfect Scent - Chandler Burr (compare to : Twinkie, Deconstructed)
The Peter Principle: Why Things Always Go Wrong - Peter, Hull & Sutton
A Piece Of Blue Sky - Jon Atack
Pimp: The Story Of My Life - Iceberg Slim
Priming the Pump: How TRS-80 Enthusiasts Helped Spark the PC Revolution - David & Theresa Welsh
The Principles of Digital Audio - Ken Pohlmann
Racing The Beam: The Atari Video Compuer System - Monfort & Bogost
The Ramen King And I - Andy Raskin
The Rape of Nanking - Iris Chang (there's a statue of her in Nanjing)
Recording The Beatles - Kevin Ryan & Brian Kehew (Best coffee table book ever)
Reversing: Secrets of Reverse Engineering - Eldad Eilam
Riding Rockets - Mike Mullane
Rock Star Mommy: My Life as A Rocker Mom - Judy Davids
The Science of Radio - Paul J. Nahin
The Secret History of the American Empire - John Perkins
The Sex Lives Of Cannibals: Adrift In The Equatorial Pacific - J. Maarten Troost
Silk Road To Ruin - Ted Rall (heck - anything by Ted Rall)
Sex And Rockets: The Occult World of Jack Parsons - John Carter
The Shadow Factory - James Bamford
The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism - Naomi Klein
Sh*t My Dad Says - Justin Halpern
The Soul Of A New Machine - Tracy Kidder (Also see: "What The Dormouse Said")
Speech-less: Tales of a White House Survivor - Matthew Lattimer
Stan Veit's History of the Personal Computer - Stan Veit
Starbucked - Taylor Clark
State of Denial - Bob Woodward (So, Bob - third time gets it right, eh?)
Static: Government Liars, Media Cheerleaders, and the People Who Fight Back - Amy & David Goodman
Superstud (inspired the movie 'Superbad'? Discuss.) - Paul Feig
Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman! - Richard Feynman
Talking Right - Geoffrey Nunberg (the follow up to Lakoff's "Elephant"?)
Thread of the Silkworm - Iris Chang (Rest in peace, Iris.)
To Live Is to Die: The Life and Death of Metallica's Cliff Burton - Joel McIver
Toscanini's Fumble and Other Tales of Clinical Neurology - Harold L. Klawans (Oliver Sacks territory here)
Truth and Duty: The Press, the President, & the Privilege of Power - Mary Mapes (compare to: 'Kill The Messenger')
Toy Monster - The Big, Bad World Of Mattel - Jerry Oppenheimer
The Tube Guys - Norman H. Pond
Turkmeniscam: How Washington Lobbyists Fought To Flack For A Stalinist Dictorship - Ken Silverstein
Twinkie, Deconstructed: Steve Ettlinger
Uncle Tungsten: Memories of a Chemical Boyhood - Oliver Sacks (my favorite author!)
Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art (graphic novel) - Scott Mccloud
What's The Matter With Kansas? - Thomas Frank (Brilliant.)
What's My Name, Fool? Sports and Resistance in the United States - Dave Zirin
What the Dormouse Said - John Markoff (My forgotten tribe. Thanks, John)
What Every American Should Know About Who's Really Running The World - Melissa Rossi
When Science Goes Wrong: Twelve Tales From The Dark Side Of Discovery - Simon LeVay
Womansword: What Japanese Words Say about Women - Kittredge Cherry
The Xenophobe's Guide To... (insert country here) - Various Authors
Your Inner Fish: A Journey Into The 3.5 Billion-Year History of the Human Body - Neil Shubin
Zen Guitar - Philip Tosho Sudo

...meanwhile, some of my favorite books on music & audio production can be found here.

 

And some Opinions

Book & Music Reviews at Amazon.com.
Restaurant Reviews at Yelp.com.
Soda (!?) Reviews at Bevnet.com.

 


 

 


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