Keeping Up (Vol. 16)

by Darren Paltrowitz

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

ALBUM: Guns ‘N Roses / Chinese Democracy – Released in late 2008, I am late to the game in realizing the greatness of this album. Is it 14-years-in-the-making great? That is an entirely subjective matter, but “Better” has to be one of the best singles I have heard in recent years. Fingers crossed that GNR can hit the road for a summer 2009 tour in support of the album. (gunsnroses.com)

grungeisdead_200BOOK: Greg Prato / Grunge Is Dead – At the polar opposite of Chinese Democracy – in spite of participation from ex-GNR bassist Duff McKagan – Grunge Is Dead is the story of Seattle’s alternative music scene. Presented as an oral history, Long Island native Greg Prato interviewed dozens of people who were there for the rise and fall of what most folks call “grunge.” Members of Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains, Soundgarden and Mudhoney are among the participants, making this a book that even less-frequent readers will enjoy. (ecwpress.com/books/grunge_dead)

TOOL: Thrive – A cost-free service created by The Lending Tree, Thrive considers itself as a “24/7 financial advisory for young adults.” If you sign up and add in your log-in information for your banking, credit cards, and investments, Thrive will provide live-time analysis of your financial well-being. In turn, users get advice about how they can improve their budgeting and credit score. For the record, this writer now knows where to a higher-yield online savings account. (justthrive.com)

FILM: Anvil! The Story Of Anvil – As hinted by introductory testimonials from members of Metallica, Motorhead and GNR – three mentions in one column! – Canada’s Anvil has long been one of the influential bands that never got the attention of the general public. Director Sasha Gervasi – a follower of Anvil since his teens – compassionately explores why the things did not pan out as expected. While some will peg this as a “real life Spinal Tap” due to the similar situations and overall story arc, it is a heart-warming story that will undoubtedly give Anvil (still featuring original frontman/guitarist Steve “Lips” Kudlow and drummer Robb Reiner) their overdue acclaim. (anvilthemovie.com)

ARTICLE: Mark Burnett in Best Life Magazine, April 2009 – Mark Burnett first became a household name when he created the reality program Survivor. Since then he has worked to develop over a dozen other prime-time programs, from The Apprentice to Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader? In this article, Burnett gives back, talking about how his salad days as a Los Angeles nanny – following a past in the British military – taught him a lot of what he knows. Ultimately, readers ought to come away with an inspiring message that not only is anything possible, but also that knowledge often comes when least expected. (bestlifeonline.com)

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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