Keeping Up (Vol. 6)

by Darren Paltrowitz

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

brilliantmistakes_distant_150MUSIC: The Brilliant Mistakes / Distant Drumming – Recorded in the least likely of places for a smart and hooky rock album (Bronx, NY), Distant Drumming is the third full-length from The Brilliant Mistakes.  Power trio lineup in tact, Erik Philbrook and Alan Walker continue to sing and write the songs while Paul Mauceri holds down the rhythm.  Fans of Crowded House, Elvis Costello & The Attractions, and Candy Butchers ought to take note; Mike Viola can be heard on two tracks. (thebrilliantmistakes.com)

LITERATURE: Malcolm Gladwell / Outliers: The Story Of Success – Few writers have as much as a love/hate game with the press as Malcolm Gladwell.  Past successes aside, Outliers is a stroke of originality as Gladwell takes a unique take on why many of today’s renowned success stories have become just that.  From Bill Gates to The Beatles, you may not look at your hero(es) the same way again after reading this book.  (gladwell.com)

TOOL: Soocial – Anyone who has ever lost a cell phone or experienced a computer crash has felt the pain of re-collecting contact information.  Aiming to sync all of your contacts digitally, Soocial operates under the tag line “many places, one address book.”  Users will have to trust the site with their log-in data (e.g. Outlook, Blackberry, Gmail), but in turn will be rewarded with a fail-proof means of having everything in one place.  (soocial.com)

GAME: Guitar Hero: World Tour Also known as “Guitar Hero IV,” Guitar Hero: World Tour is the proper follow-up to Legends Of Rock.  Available on Wii, Xbox 360, Playstation 2, and Playstation 3, the game is the first in the series to allow drumming and singing from gamers.  Over 80 songs are included -- all of which from master recordings -- with artists as diverse as Steely Dan, Tool, Tokio Hotel, and Michael Jackson. This one ought to save any party on decline.   (guitarhero.com)

WEBSITE: People Helping People – With the holiday season in bloom, it just wouldn’t be right to neglect some undeniable goodwill.  On People Helping People, users voluntarily register to help others with particular errands or tasks.  Everything from web design to home assistance is included at present time, showing that >one person’s trade may be another person’s shortcoming.  As the website notes, “it’s not charity, it’s the right thing to do,” so should some free time come your way, you know what to do. (helpingkind.org)

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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