The Dog House

Oct 29

Hey, Theater Dogs — it’s time to check in with the hip, the hot, the happening in the world of theater and beoynd. I figure that a common-denominator blog such as this one, where readers (and the writer) gather because they love theater, will also enjoy similar tastes elsewhere, in music, books, TV, movies, etc.

So, from time to time, I’ll share what’s being watched, listened to and otherwise enjoyed in my Dog House, and I’d like for you to do the same. But rather than posting a comment (which you’re still welcome to do), e-mail your hot-list enthusiasms to me directly at cjones@bayareanewsgroup.com, and I’ll post them here in the main column, where they’re more visible and accessible.

So here’s what I’ve been enjoying recently:


TV: “Pushing Daisies,” Wednesdays on ABC, and not just because Broadway vet Kristin Chenoweth is so delightful (and she sang “Hopefully Devoted to You” a couple episodes back, which makes this television’s only musical series after the welcome demise of “Viva Laughlin.” “Pushing Daisies” is a whimsical delight and feels like a weekly dose of the French movie Amelie. And last week’s was another tiny slice of musical heaven with Chenoweth and Ellen Greene singing They Might Be Giants’ “Birdhouse in Your Soul.” Oh, this is good TV.

BOOKS: Hero by Perry Moore (Hyperion, $16.99). They call this a young-adult novel, but boy howdy, young adult novels sure have changed since I was a young adult (but then again, we didn’t have Internet porn then, which is something that comes up in this book, along with some decidedly adult language). This fascinating book is about high schooler Thom Creed, who’s dealing with his single dad, a disgraced super hero, and dealing with his own budding super-hero powers as well as his emerging homosexuality. Moore’s deft novel combines the best of the coming-out novel with the excitement of the geeky super-hero world. This will make a great movie (or heck, great musical). Check out Moore’s Web site here.

MUSIC: Jens Lekman, “Night Falls Over Kortedala” (Secretly Canadian, $14.98). This disc is such a charming surprise I can’t quite get over my delight with each song on this Swedish crooner’s latest. I’m a fan of big orchestrations (must be the show tune genes at work), and Lekman never met an orchestral sample he couldn’t use. His sound, awash in strings, horns and catchy hooks, is somewhere between Burt Bacharach and Belle & Sebastian, but with its own unique charm. Check out the record company’s Web site here, where you can download songs (I recommend all of them, but do “The Opposite of Hallelujah” first

Here’s Lekman live singing “The Opposite of Hallelujah.”

Now it’s your turn.

3 comments

  1. Chad, I love Jens Lekman, too!

  2. Can’t say enough good things about “Pushing Daisies” – and I’m glad you are branching out. Thanks for the Chad chats on TV, music and books.

  3. Yes, there used to be picture books, chapter books and then, for those advanced readers, difficult adult classics. Now there new genres appealing to precocious children and readers of all ages. I am reading a YA novel by Ellen Wittlinger called “Parrotfish,” a coming out story of a transgendered teen. I’ll let you know what I think of it when I’m finished.

    I love the “Dog House” and I look forward to all things read, listened to, watched, and observed by Chad Jones and his theater dogs.

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