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Miscellaneous Friday Reviews

Well, it’s getting to close to closing time here at the RedMonk home office, not least because I didn’t get home until about 1:30 AM last night from Boston, and had to be up and on the go before 8. But before I head out, I wanted to check in with some miscellaneous and probably totally irrelevant reviews for your consideration:

  • Meal Recommendation:
    If you’re in Boston, and craving a Guinness and some Shepherd’s Pie, I highly suggest Mr. Dooley’s Boston Tavern over in the financial district. I enjoyed a quick meal there before heading to the airport last night, and it was outstanding. Not quite the equal of Molly D’Arcy’s Shepherd’s Pie down in Southie (which is now called the Playwright, I believe), but pretty damn close.

  • Book Recommendation:
    The Geographer’s Library, by Jon Fasman. I agree with the Amazon reviewers that the denouement was rather unfulfilling, and the characterization was a bit implausible at times, but still this was a book more compelling and well written than Codex, which both Bob Sutor and myself found wanting. It is rewarding, however, to see more of these “literary” thrillers – books that require a little more brainpower than the airport trash, in other words. Too many, like Codex or Perez’ The Club Dumas end up being disappointments, but they’re usually worth the effort regardless.

  • Movie Anti-recommendation:
    The Ring 2. As someone who thoroughly enjoyed The Ring, I found this movie very disappointing. It’s not awful, and if it’s on you don’t need to turn it off (particularly if you’re a Naomi Watts fan), but it’s a standard less-than-the-original sequel. More problematic is the fact that it lacks the original’s knack for anticipating – and working against – the viewer’s expectations. It’s far more predictable than the first iteration.

  • Broadway Review:
    Two weekends ago I was in NYC for a family event (which is why I couldn’t meet up with any of the NYC readers – next time I’m out guys), and we caught Spamalot on the Saturday I was there. It was decent, but I found the repetition of Monty Python skits sans the Monty Python accents consistently distracting. The Simpsons’ Hank Azaria and Frazier’s David Hyde Pierce were good, and it’s a reasonably entertaining show, but don’t expect it to be as funny as the original material. But then, what could be?

  • Music Review:
    Last Tuesday the lady friend and I caught Clap Your Hands Say Yeah at the Bluebird Theatre, a Philly band that was the poster child in this NPR story about leveraging the internet to gain a wider audience. Sort of a cross between the Talking Heads and, hmm, Modest Mouse maybe, they’re one of the better new acts I’ve heard in a while (try “Upon This Tidal Wave of Young Blood,” “Is This Home on Ice?” or my favorite – “The Skin of My Yellow Country Teeth”). First brought to my attention over the summer by my friend Matt, it’s one of the few bands that I’ve liked enough to actually burn their entire disk for the car – most albums are lucky if two or three of their tracks make it onto mixes. The show lived up to expectations; while they don’t have much of a stage presence and aren’t much for bantering with the crowd, they put on a great show. Highly recommended if you get the chance.

Anyhow, it’s getting about that time and I’ve got to get ready to head up to Grand Lake for the weekend. Enjoy your respective weekends, and will check back in with you on Monday.

Categories: Completely Off Topic.