28/05/2011

Now That's What I Don't Call Music

My reaction to contemporary pop music is easily summarized: I don't get it. God knows I've often been at odds with fashions and trends but I could at least understand the other side's arguments whereas the appeal of this, this, this or that for instance is unfathomable to me. I find these "songs" to be loud, heavy, repetitive and musically crude, and the only emotions they elicit from me are boredom and irritation. Now I realize that this stuff is primarily aimed at dancefloors as are two-thirds of pop music nowadays, but a tune can be both danced with the feet and listened with the ears. I can see how Single Ladies might eventually fit the first requirement, but the second one? Besides, is dance everything there is to music? By dint of focusing on danceability, technology and look (not necessarily in that order) that brand of pop ends letting go of the basics of not only songwriting but music as a whole. And no, I don't get it.

22/05/2011

How Do They Say "Asking for Information" in Norwegian?

It's yard sale season here now which means I buy lots of books - even though my reader's block is still painfully in force; go figure. Among my latest purchases is a book by a Norwegian writer previously unknown to me, Gunnar Staalesen. Has anyone read him? I ask this question as I know several readers of this blog hail from Scandinavia and may be familiar with his work.

01/05/2011

Still Here, More or Less

I haven't posted anything in almost two months and I'd like to reassure those kind enough to keep visiting the Villa: the blog is not dead, just sleepy - not for too long, I hope.

This is not the place to discuss my private life - not that I'm one to dwell on it anyway - so let's just say that I'm currently not in the mood for blogging. Not to help things out, I'm stuck with major reader's block - my house is filled with books that sound great, but the impetus to read them is missing. There again I can't but hope it doesn't last too much longer. But enough with the autobiographical stuff.

One of the reasons why I started At The Villa Rose was a perceived dearth of blogs exclusively focusing on older mystery fiction; now there were recurrent events like Patti Abbott's Friday Forgotten Books and erudite diarists like Martin Edwards frequently payed tribute to the classics but still most of the mystery blogosphere was primarily concerned with contemporary writing. Four years on I can't say this blog is extremely popular (my very irregular posting habits certainly accounting in no little part for that) but at least it exists and I hope its few readers enjoy it overall. What's more, it's no longer alone in defending and promoting the old stuff as the excellent blogs Detection by Moonlight, At The Scene of the Crime, Pretty Sinister Books, In Search of the Classic Mystery Novel and Tipping My Fedora demonstrate. I've added them to my favorites and I strongly suggest you do the same.

All that could give an impression that I'm comtemplating retirement, but I'm not. While regular posting is out of the question for now, I have no plans to retire and I'll try to post at least once or twice a month, if only not to lose my grip. So keep an eye on the Villa; it's not empty yet.