My Summer Music and Book List

Summer is Here

We have almost burned through the first full month of summer. Here in Ottawa, we’ve been breaking heat records when it comes to consecutive number of day’s with temperatures above 30 degrees Celcius. As is often said when it comes to summer heat, it’s not the temperature, but the humidity that hits you the hardest. Here in Ottawa, we generally have to endure many day’s on high humidity, in both summer and winter.

Hot and Humid

It has been so hot that I can’t take my dog for our regular walks and I’ve had to shorten them and just do more. These kind of temperatures can be dangerous for pets as their smaller bodies get overheated much quicker than humans. It’s actually considered dangerous for a dog in temperatures above 26 degrees Celcius. Something pet owner should keep in mind during the hot day’s of summer. Also keep in mind that many people are now reporting pet owners that they feel are neglecting or abusing their pets. It has also become commonplace for people to break the windows of cars if they see a pet inside and the temperatures are such that they cause people concern. It’s also common for news reporters to visit the scenes and then publicize their findings on television or on other media.

What I’m Reading

But now let’s get to the books and the music. I have a subscription to Texture so I can read some of my favorite magazines whenever I get the urge. I generally use Texture to keep up to date with magazines such as Macleans and Time, not to mention my favorite magazine publication, Wired. There are also many other publications on Texture that I will sometimes download and read. When it comes to books, I use either Kobo or the Amazon Kindle app for purchasing and reading books. I use to be one that didn’t like the digital editions and the books had to be in my hands physically before I could read them. But now with the reading apps being so much better, I hardly ever read a physical book anymore and you can’t beat the space a digital book takes up. I have bookcases full of books and was for the most part forced into going digital for lack of space to keep more books. As well, if you do a lot of reading, the digital books are often considerably less expensive than the printed versions and unlike the printed versions, the digital books and the associated apps and hardware, let you resize the font to one that is easiest for you to read. No longer are you stuck with what the publisher thought was the best font size for you to read. Currently, I’m reading the book Bon: The Last Highway. The book is about the life and death of Bon Scott, who was the lead singer for one of the world’s most popular rock bands, AC/DC. For the last several months I have been interested in learning more about the bands and the band members of those I listened to most when I was a teenager. This most recent book about Bon Scott uses references from people who knew him during his days with the band AC/DC and the author no doubt did his research on this book. For anyone who is interested in the way the band worked in its early days and the real story on Bon Scott, I highly recommend this book.

Beyond the Highway to Hell

Other than the book about Bon Scott, I’ve been reading some other books on blogging as well as setting up a YouTube channel. I’m also going through some education books trying to get better at my guitar playing. I have found the books by Joseph Alexander to be some of the best when it comes to learning guitar and bass. They are quite detailed without being over-the-top technically. All of the guitar books I have purchased have included audio files you can download and utilize while going through each lesson to learn exactly how the lick or exercise should sound. Many of the books also include backing tracks you can practice over should you want to create some of your own riffs.

Music I’m Playing

When it comes to music, I’ve stopped buying CD’s and now subscribe to Spotify. I used to buy CD’s on a regular basis many years ago after they replaced the vinyl LP and cassette (remember those?). Like with books, I found that CD’s also took up a lot of space and unless you are listening to them in your car, most people don’t have dedicated CD players in their homes anymore. So when you came home with that new CD, you typically put it in the optical drive of your computer and then ripped it into MP3 or some other format you could put on your phone or tablet, or perhaps your old MP3 player. But these days, at the price of a single CD, you can subscribe to a music streaming service and listen to almost anything you want for a low monthly rate. I find with Spotify, I’m listening to music I would probably never purchase in CD format because there is perhaps only one or two songs on the album that I’m familiar with. Lately, I’ve found myself listening to some old school metal, like Metallica and Slayer. Both of those bands are ones I rarely listened to when they first came on the scene and became immensely popular. It was only a few months ago that I listened to my first Pantera album as I considered it rather abrasive and over-the-top when they first came out as well. I’ve also been listening to Five Finger Death Punch and most recently, Swedish heavy metal band, Ghost. Of course I still listen to some of the old records from my teenage years including the bands Streetheart and Chilliwack. With a service like Spotify, you can download something different to listen to each day in the car while you make your commute.

Hopefully, everyone is also enjoying their summer and getting in some additional reading and exploring new music on those days it’s just too hot to be outside for long. Summer generally goes by quickly and before we know it, we’ll be complaining that we miss being able to go outside in our shorts with just a teeshirt. If you have some favorite books you would like to share or music you believe others would want to hear, leave your suggestions in the comments section.

Time for me to get out the guitar practice books and plug in the Les Paul and make some noise. Hopefully, not so bad as to cause the neighbors to complain.

Cheers,

GP Joa

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