I'm currently in the taper mode of my marathon training, which means I'm cutting down on the mileage in the weeks leading up to the race (which takes place in 13 days). Now I just have to hope for nice, cool weather on the 14th.
Drop the puck:
- My sports nirvana continues. The AL playoffs look to be pretty good, with the Sox playing the Angels and the Yankees taking on the Indians. Hopefully, the Sox and Yankees will face each other in the ALCS again. Meanwhile, the NHL season got underway over the weekend with a couple of games in London, with everybody else starting on Wednesday. And the NFL marches on through a strange season in which underdogs are winning left and right.
- Over the weekend, I just finished "Everything I'm Cracked Up to Be" by Jen Trynin, an excellent look at Trynin's dizzying rise and fall as the next big thing in rock in the mid-90s who never quite made it. Being based in Boston, Trynin was on my radar screen somewhat early on. I picked up both her excellent albums, Cockamamie and Gun Shy Trigger Happy, back in the day when they came out and saw her headline TT the Bears back in '95 at the height of her "fame." Trynin got plenty of radio play in Boston and was the center of a major label bidding war that found her signing to Warner. But despite excellent material, she unfortunately fell victim to major label politics and also had the misfortune of having her first album come out at the same time as the debut of one Alanis Morissette. She ended up essentially leaving the music biz in the late '90s to get married and raise a family and then wrote this book chronicling her short-lived dealings with the labels. Part of the fun is guessing who some of the pseudonyms belong to; she names the big names, but the local figures are renamed. She also does a great job of explaining how effed up the typical record contract is; even though she managed to get a great deal, she details just how hard it is for an artist to actually make money after you get done with recoupables and all the other arcane parts of the record contract. This book actually came out last year, but like movies, I don't usually get to books until long after they're out. If you have an interest in music, I'd recommend checking this one out.
- Speaking of the music industry, Radiohead is trying something interesting by announcing plans to sell its new album digitally to fans for whatever price they want to pay. With no label deal to adhere to, Radiohead can afford to sell the album themselves (the CD version will be out early next year) and build the buzz for their upcoming tour, where they'll make a mint. They've got such a huge and loyal fanbase that they'll do just fine, thank you.