Kylie and I put up a single run of Christmas lights across the front wall of our apartment. We also bought and wrapped our first presents. The holiday spirit haunts us early this year. We even have a gingerbread candle burning on the table.
Thanksgiving is coming up in two days, and I don’t know if you participate in the Black Friday riots to kick off the nationwide pre-Christmas shopping spree, but we’re doing another free promotion for Book One on Tuesday and Wednesday of next week. If you know anyone with a Kindle, feel free to recommend it to them.
I’ve been drinking strawberry wine from the farmer’s market tonight, so I thought this would be a good time to give some recommendations for Christmas gifts. I’m going to do this as much as possible until the year is over, with emphasis on things I’ve discovered this year. Let’s start with music . . .
Two Recommended Albums
Up From Below by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
Raw by Hopsin (WARNING: EXPLICIT CONTENT)
I’ve discovered two new and exciting musicians this year, both up-and-comers, largely (or completely) independent, and completely different from one another.
The first is Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, a folk, blues, rock, hippie band in no way represented by these genre tags. Kylie and I saw them live with two friends at Iroquois Amphitheater in Louisville a few months ago. The only other band I’ve ever seen who delivers such a crisp performance while seamlessly changing tempo, improvising, jamming, etc., is the Dave Matthews Band.
The front man of the group, Alex Ebert, shares the stage with his wife, Jade Castrinos. Wait, this is the internet. I can just embed a YouTube video. And I know what I’m going to pick. Their David Letterman performance of “Man on Fire” from their newest album Here:
My other recommendation is Hopsin, a completely self-produced rapper who even makes his own music videos. Hopsin raps in a way that makes you feel like he’s speaking to you directly. He raps in conversation, in speeches. It’s quite unique. He also acknowledges what the music industry has done to rap music and seeks to have a positive influence on others through poignant and revealing parody.
Here is an example of what Hopsin is all about. It’s called “The Ill Mind of Hopsin 5” and again, I warn you, this music contains explicit language and adult themes. Please do not click play if you are one who is easily offended:
What do you think of these guys?