Book Review: “Heavier Than Heaven” by Charles Cross

2020 has been crazy. Somehow, I just finished my 65th book of the yearHeavier Than Heaven, a biography of Kurt Cobain by Charles Cross.

I vaguely remember how big of a deal Kurt Cobain’s death was when I was in middle school, but I never really thought too much about him as a person, or the deeper meaning behind various Nirvana songs. All this, despite being a huge part of the sound track of my teenage life.

One of my biggest takeaways after reading this book was: how can you help those who don’t want it?

What a tortured, tormented soul who really struggled with life. I honestly felt down and depressed after reading certain parts of this book. I would put it down and mope about the house while I processed what I just read.

That said, another part of the book that I really enjoyed and appreciated was hearing how much joy and life his daughter brought to his life and how much he loved being a dad.

Also, after reading this, I think it’s incredible and seemingly improbable that Nirvana actually happened.

I often found myself flipping between this book and Spotify to listen to various Nirvana songs that were mentioned, trying to appreciate them in a new light and really hear them and looking at various performances on YouTube.

My top music of 2013

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Bob Dylan

Thanks to things like Rdio and Sonos, I listened to a ridiculous amount of music in 2013. Here are my top bands from the last year. See also 2012 and 2011.

1. Bob Dylan (509 plays)
2. Pretty Lights (488 plays)
3. Daft Punk (382 plays)
4. Dispatch (377 plays)
5. Calexico (372 plays)
6. Frank Turner (366 plays)
7. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis (365 plays)
8. Alt-J (323 plays)
9. Wild Belle (318 plays)
10. The Sounds (268 plays)

Data via Last.FM

My top music of 2012

Thanks to Last.FM, I’ve compiled a list of the top artists I listened to in 2012. See my previous list for 2011 right here.

My top artists and musicians of 2012:

1. Mocean Worker (463 plays)
2. Hot Water Music (383 plays)
3. Johnny Cash (373 plays)
4. Imagine Dragons (359 plays)
5. Alt-J (337 plays)
6. Trampled by Turtles (282 plays)
7. The International Noise Conspiracy (268 plays)
8. State Radio (267 plays)
9. Of Monsters and Men (220 plays)
10. Bob Dylan (207 plays)

Fox Theater in Oakland

This past Friday, we saw Beats Antique play at the Fox Theater in Oakland.

In fact, I’ve written about them before, 2 years ago! It was a fantastic show — featuring a combination of electronic / world music and belly dancing.

Here are few photos from around Fox Theater before the show (taken with iPhone 4 and Hipstamatic).

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My top music of 2011

According to my Last.FM profile, here are my top artists (and number of times I’ve listened to their songs) for 2011.

      1. Bob Dylan (557 plays)
      2. Hot Water Music (556 plays)
      3. The Wooden Birds (502 plays)
      4. Daft Punk (433 plays)
      5. Johnny Cash (422 plays)
      6. Bad Religion (406 plays)
      7. State Radio (358 plays)
      8. Otis Redding (338 plays)
      9. Against Me! (329 plays)
      10. Amos Lee (325 plays)

It’s Monday, but it isn’t…

I’ve been messing around with the ridiculously cheesy (but pretty fun) Songify app on the iPhone which auto-tunes spoken word and applies it to a backing musical track.

I thought I’d make my own musical debut. Rebecca Black, watch out!

It’s Monday. (Only it isn’t, because I’m dumb and recorded this song this morning — when it was actually Tuesday.)

[audio:http://daveschumaker.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Dave-Schumaker_-_Its-Monday.mp3|titles=Dave-Schumaker_-_Its-Monday]

[MP3 link]

Everyone hates Ticketmaster

Interesting read in Wired about the rise of Ticketmaster: “Everyone Hates Ticketmaster — But No One Can Take It Down”

In 2008, Ticketmaster had made veteran industry shark Irving Azoff—a man so cutthroat (and so short) he is known as the Poison Dwarf—its CEO. Manager of the Eagles since the mid-’70s, Azoff is famously aggressive. He once sent a gift-wrapped boa constrictor to a manager whose wife he considered snakelike, with a note that read “Now you have two!”