Music Mondays: Tengger Calvary

The first Dan Carlin podcast I experienced was Wrath of the Khans which lead me into some fairly deep investigations of Mongolia and her culture. Which is how I discovered Tengger Calvary, a Mongolian Folk Metal band that uses the traditional Mongolian throat singing along with some traditional Mongolian musical instruments all bound together with modern metal. It is an absolutely insane mix that absolutely works. They even use traditional Mongolian folk songs that sing about the open steppes and good horse and praise Genghis Khan. Just set to metal. Modern metal is stagnating hard at the moment. Everyone is locked into

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Music Mondays: Dark Jazz

The modern music scene is a mess. And that’s probably a good thing. Not every one would say so. Record labels are still shaking their heads over the fact that they lost control so quickly. One moment, the masses listened to what they were told to and the next, independent artists were dumping their efforts onto a variety of websites and getting virtual airtime without an agent or an audition or anything. These artists just throw it all out there and hope for the best. It’s chaos. It’s creative anarchy. And it’s probably a really good thing. Now we, the

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Review: Sharp Teeth by Toby Barlow

I crave innovation. Which means my tastes vary wildly and can veer unexpectedly into interesting areas. And I enjoy the side trips and discoveries especially with the aid of modern search engines. Bustling algorithms comb my search histories and spew forth a cacophony of oddness and relevant suggestions that only drive me further into an intense appreciation of human creativity. Which is how I found Sharp Teeth by Toby Barlow. It came recommended from a couple of sites, no doubt filtered down to me from a plethora of searches for the latest Patricia Briggs or Bernard Cornwell books and I would have

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Book Review: The Language of Yoga by Nicolai Bachman

If anything intimidated me about yoga before I began a regular practice, it was the Sanskrit. The language is beautiful to hear but if you look at it written out and romanized, it looks like huge lengths of unpronounceable words. But with any yoga practice, even a superficial one that only focuses on the asanas, one is going to run into Sanskrit. Now you can fake it pretty easily. Jump on Youtube and listen to a few yoga lessons and you’ll hear the terms bandied about and you’ll hear multiple versions of the same word. Pick one you like and

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Book Reviews from the Reading List: Yoga: The Spirit and Practice of Moving into Stillness

I’m moving through a lot of reading material both online and off as part of my immersion class. There is a lot to try out and a lot to process but all of it is fascinating in its own right on some level. But up to this point I haven’t really found a book or video that broke the experience of yoga down and delivered it from a beginner’s perspective.  Most assume prior knowledge and can even be intimidating, showing fairly advance poses with little build up or advice on how to get there. Even more just cover the asanas,

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Music for a Rainy Day

I have rediscovered some of my favorite music on recent rainy day. I think I’ve mentioned before that my tastes are eclectic and the modern music distribution system hasn’t helped me settle to a particular genre. I really don’t believe in the genres anyway. I believe in the artists and the Internet has given us, the listeners, almost immediate access to their work without the filter of corporate marketing. So I offer my rainy day rediscoveries. Perfect for lounging and reading with the white noise of a storm outside. These are primarily independent artists and I’ll direct you to their

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The Unexpected Journey back to the Lord of the Rings

I finished Lord of the Rings recently and the Hobbit soon after and I have to admit that I have reassessed my opinion of Tolkien and his universe. I read the books when I was a teenager and was unimpressed by the extraordinary length of the paragraphs. Tolkien loved words and language and he used them a lot.  And for a teenager who cut his fantasy teeth on Robert E. Howard and Fritz Leiber, it was a bit much.  I pretty much skipped to the action sequences like a soccer mom sitting on the couch with a copy of Fifty

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Bus Stops and Poetry

I was on a bus coming from D.C. on my way back to Texas which is a god-awful trip to take on a bus. Its amazing how a hundred miles can feel like a thousand on one of those things. Several dozen travel weary people angry that they couldn’t afford a plane ticket do not make good company. But around Knoxville, the company changed and I found the seat next to me occupied by a dark haired girl with long bangs, a blue jean jacket and a bright smile. I’m not very outgoing in situations like that. I normally have

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A Great Find…

The Kid was looking for books on samurai so we went to the local library and I stumbled across Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve in the young adult section. The cover had a great illustration of airships and a steampunk looking city which answered to my burgeoning steampunk fetish. So I checked it out along with the Kid’s samurai books and read it at bedtime over the course of a week and, I must say, it’s a damn good read. Not as steampunky as the cover would suggest and a bit dark for young adult but I stayed up a

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