Keeping Up (Vol. 5)

by Darren Paltrowitz

Here are 5 quick picks for you, the loyal reader:

MUSIC: We Are Balboa / Space Between Bodies – Originally hailing from Madrid, We Are Balboa now calls Brooklyn their home.   With an album produced by Jon Gray (Radio 4, The Subways, Editors) and tour dates alongside The Sounds, Primal Scream, and The Charlatans UK, you would be right to assume that “Space Between Bodies” is a collection of upbeat, jangly, Brit-inspired pop-rock.  But above all, there is undeniable chemistry between vocalist Lua and guitarist Carlos del Amo coming across in the music.  This is the finest Spanish musical export to reach our shores in quite some time.  In my opinion, of course. (myspace.com/wearebalboa)

johnlennon_thelife_302LITERATURE: Philip Norman / John Lennon: The Life – A lot of controversy surrounds this biography, which was originally endorsed by Yoko Ono.  While its 851 pages – including table of contents – are intimidating at first glance, the book is a case of quantity practically equaling quality.  From childhood to fatherhood, Philip Norman covers all phases on John Lennon’s life.  Insiders may be taking issue with some of Norman’s claims, but “The Life” is undoubtedly the most comprehensive biography of Lennon published to date. (harpercollins.com/authors/28478/Philip_Norman/index.aspx)

WEBSITE: Mr. Cheap Stuff – It almost goes without saying that all ends of our global economy have seen better days.  So as an aggregator of free and discounted goods, Mr. Cheap Stuff’s name practically says it all.  Updated continuously throughout the day, founder Dean and contributors Mark Haimoto, Sunnie Hedley and Jenny Robinson add in links as they find them.  Ultimately, the site can be browsed by store and cost, enabling visitors to immediately get the content they are looking for. (mrcheapstuff.com)

COMEDY: Rodney Dangerfield / Greatest Bits The first comedian to have an official Web site, Rodney Dangerfield lives on through his legacy.  Released by Shout! Factory, Greatest Bits is a compilation of material from Dangerfield’s albums, including novelty rap classic, “Rappin’ Rodney,” and “Finiculi Finicula” from the Easy Money soundtrack; dated musical selections aside, the comedy still sounds ripe in 2008.  Rounded out by liner notes from Dangerfield’s widow Joan, consider this a smart gift for anyone in need of a laugh.  (rodney.com)

ARTICLE: Trendwatching “Top 15 Trend Questions” – Relying on feedback from more than 8,000 trend-spotters in more than 120 countries, Trendwatching is an independent consumer trends firm. Regularly putting out reports which analyze new and emerging developments in the business world, the site also offers up cost-free content.  “Top 15 Trend Questions” is an FAQ of sorts, asking and answering questions with visual aids as needed.  This article is not only recommended to people with curiosity towards where particular industries may be heading, but those earning income as consultants and self-employed entrepreneuers. (trendwatching.com/briefing)

As always, if I’m missing something that’s worthwhile and deserving of column space, please reach out with an e-mail: darren.paltrowitz@gmail.com.

In the meantime, stay tuned for another 5 picks...

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