The subtitle of Susan Cain’s 2012 New York Times Bestseller Quiet is “The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking”. Quiet is a well-researched look into how introverts handle a world that is geared towards celebrating the extrovert ideal. There are many examples that introverts will readily notice in themselves. The Harvard student who feels like he’s yelling if he talks above his normal, low speaking voice, the woman whose husband wants to entertain friends every week and the professor who has to seek out quiet areas after giving (very well received) speeches.
Cain’s writing style is interesting and can be quite funny at times. Some of the material feels geared to more of an extreme introvert, can be a bit too rah rah for the quiet ones, and a bit too harsh in regards to society. I would consider myself an introvert but have never been uncomfortable in work places that have cubicles and generally enjoyed my co-workers chatter. However, I definitely seek out quiet at the end of the day in order to recharge the batteries. It is nice to read that some of the social tics introverts have are felt by others and that it’s perfectly OK to say no to nights out on the town vs staying at home to read.
Before releasing the commercially and critically unsuccessful punk rock album Animal Rights in 1996, Moby was a rising star in the world of dance music. His 1995 release, Everything Is Wrong was rated as Spin’s album of the year and is solidly one of this writer’s favourite discs of all time. Moby’s first book, Porcelain, focuses on his rise through the New York DJ ranks to his mid-90s commercial failures and the recording of Play that would make him a mega star. The conflicted Christian and staunch vegan, it is interesting to read Moby navigate New York’s music world while remaining sober through much of it. The book is not only a look at Moby but also what living in NY was like on a shoestring budget. It’s hard to like Moby at times but it’s a fascinating read for even those with a passing interest in the music industry and electronic music world. The follow-up, Then It Fell Apart, came out on May 7th.
Prairie Fire – Volume 39, No. 4, Winter 2018
Prairie Fire – Volume 38, No. 4, Winter 2017
Sometimes going back and looking at your own “best of lists” from past years can be painful. While Solange’s last album, A Seat At The Table, was in our top 5, somehow the towering loveliness “Cranes in the Sky” didn’t even get into our top 20 songs (gulp!!). The expansive song appeared on CBC Radio 2 earlier this week and still sounds magnificent. Solange released her follow-up, When I Get Home, in March to enthusiastic reviews.
19 tracks appear in 39 minutes with plenty of interludes between the longer songs. The first track to really hit is “Way To The Show” with its 80s influenced synths. “Stay Flo” is a slinky jam guaranteed to make shoulders dance. “Almeda” is harder hitting with its lyrics about brown liquor and a strong cameo from Playboi Carti. Co-Produced by Panda Bear, album highlight “Binz” is the bounciest track here with the playful vocal play hitting all the right notes. When I Get Home could use a few more substantial tracks but it plays like a really good jazz record that burns with cool blues in the background and hot reds that grab your attention.