After releasing a debut solo record that was both haunting and beautiful, and much quieter than her work with Immaculate Machine and the New Pornographers, Kathryn Calder's second effort lives up to its title. Bright and Vivid is totally apt, as much of the album blasts out of the speakers with NP-like vigor. The calmer, more introspective moments are as lovely as the rest of the record is exciting, and the whole thing comes together quite nicely in the end. We asked her what's been on her mind lately, but first how about a video from the album?

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6HudEFREyNY[/youtube]

BOOKS:
The Enchantress of Florence by Salman Rushdie
I loved this book. It was entertaining, filled with interesting history and of course, Rushdie's captivating dream-like storytelling. I love books like this one, that can transport me to another time and place, interweaving the stories of different characters around each other, until it all finally falls into place and makes sense in the final chapters. Then the book is over, and I have to go out and find another Salman Rushdie book.

Wise Children by Angela Carter
Another book! I love reading! I found this book in a second hand store in New Zealand, recommended to me by a friend. It's a wacky, funny book, filled with nutty characters, nonstop shenanigans, and all around bizarreness that only family dynamics can provide. It took some chapters to figure out the slang and the nicknames, but it was totally worth it. By half way through, I was completely immersed in the world and language of the twins, Nora and Dora Chance, and that's exactly the way I want it to be every time I read a book.

MUSIC:
PJ Harvey - Let England Shake
Aside from what an incredible voice PJ Harvey has, this is a really fascinating album for me. There are many songs about war and world problems, and they can easily fall into cliche and preaching, which I find hard to take sometimes. There is none of that on this album. Although the subject matter is quite grim and political, PJ Harvey pulls it off in a way that is entirely original. Not only are the words smart, they sound good put to music, AND the album has this gentle dissonance to it that I love. The music is not always completely in tune with itself, the instruments sometimes sound just a little bit off key, but it's obvious that it's intentional, and it so perfectly mirrors the crazy and dissonant world we are living in. An all around wonderful record, with great songs, and really neat arrangements. I love the men that sing underneath her. Very 'The Pips'.

MUSIC VIDEO:
Gotye - "Somebody That I Used To Know"
I contributed at least 20 views in a row to the 9 million views that this song is currently at on YouTube. I really love this song! The melody is super catchy, the arrangements are well crafted - sparse in the verse but jump out in the chorus - and I love that he's getting painted into the background in the video. Plus he has an incredible voice that sounds like Peter Gabriel. Love.
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UVNT4wvIGY[/youtube]

GENERAL:
Festive occasions - Thanksgiving
Since it's (Canadian) Thanksgiving the weekend that I'm writing this (second Monday of October officially), I thought I'd talk about really digging food and eating and spending it with people I love. I love the fall, partly because it smells great, partly because I get to eat soup every day and no one even blinks. I love turning my stove on and cooking food so that it gets warm in the kitchen. Most of my favourite food is seasonal in the fall and winter - mashed potatoes, roasted root vegetables, PUMPKIN PIE, lentil shepherd's pie with mushroom gravy (I'm vegetarian) and scalloped potatoes. So, this weekend, I'll be spending Thanksgiving with my nearest and dearest friends and family, and eating pumpkin pie and scalloped potatoes, like I've done every year since I've been able to chew!