On the Mouth by Superchunk - CD (10/10)

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Although it can be a toss-up between On the Mouth and Foolish, it think this is my favorite Superchunk record. It has just the right ratio of punkiness in the mix. These songs are for jumping around and spazzing-out but they have just enough maturity and songwriting craft there to escalate them above your typical sophomoric “pop-punk.” I still think “The Question Is How Fast” is their best song ever.

No Pocky for Kitty by Superchunk - CD (10/10)

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This was my introduction to Superchunk so, although I don’t think it’s their best, it still is one of my favorites. The only time I ever saw them live was during the tour for this record. I went to the show because Kevin Seconds’ Drop Acid was opening up. I had no idea who Superchunk was, but I was quickly converted as they bounce around on stage and blew away that opening band which was so forgettable that I forgot I typed their name one sentence ago. Side-note: I remember that it was also the night that Magic Johnson announced that he had AIDS. Surprisingly both Magic and Superchunk are still going strong today.

Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets by Nassim Nicholas Taleb (8/10)

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I’ve heard a few interviews with Taleb and he can be very interesting so I tried to give one of his books a try knowing that much of it would probably be over my head. It really wasn’t as dense as I expected. In fact, he uses many easily understandable anecdotes and examples to demonstrate his observations on why we tend to incorrectly confuse random outcomes with successful insights/predictions. Maybe a little too much focus on finance than I really need to hear, but overall an provocative read.

Halloween Movie Nights Part III

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It was a rainy Halloween here in Chicago so my usual program of manning the front door, blasting creepy sound effects records and watching old (mildly) kid-friendly horror movies was cut a little shorter than usual. I did manage to watch Mario Bava’s Baron Blood. Not his best work but it has its moments. If you think burnt pilgrims are scary, this is the movie for you.

I also re-watched Four Flies on Grey Velvet. This is another Argento film that gets better with every viewing (I gave it a 7 when I first saw it). The plot is full of holes and has a vital clue that relies on such phony, crap science that it’s hard to suspend disbelief at all. But this is another Argento that is filled with humor, stunning visuals and another great, experimental Morricone score. So, if I were to rank Argento films this is how I would do it:

  1. Suspiria
  2. Deep Red
  3. The Bird With the Crystal Plumage
  4. Inferno
  5. Tenebre
  6. Four Flies on Grey Velvet
  7. Opera
  8. Phenomena
  9. Cat o’ Nine Tails
  10. The Stendahl Syndrome
  11. Jennifer (from Masters of Horror)

Beyond these there’s just a bunch of forgettable garbage.