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I have a shameful confession to make: I haven't read a book in a month.

I usually tear through one or two books a week, even gleefully rereading old favorites if I haven't had the chance to get out and get something new. But, ever since I gave up on The Last Voyage of the Valentina, I haven't managed to crack open another book.
So, I need some suggestions. Keep in mind that I try to avoid horror books, self-help, Tom Clancy and most chick-lit type books. If what's sitting next to you on the couch doesn't fit those bills, what are you reading that I might enjoy?

There are few things I love more than a fantastic house or techno record. Fortunately, I subscribe to a podcast called "Dance Department: The Best Beats To Go" so I get access on a weekly basis to some of the freshest gems from around the world.

"All Alone" by Splitter is the first track on this week's session and fits the fantastic record bill perfectly. This may be one 12 inch I head over to Amoeba Music to buy today.

Splitter is a collaboration between Dutch house DJ Martijn Ten Velden, born and bred in the original Haarlem, and UK alternative producer/musician Mark Yardley. Boy oh boy, they should collaborate more because they get the job done. It's not a hugely complicated track. There are only three sung lines to the whole song:

"I don't feel like going home...without you.
I don't feel like going home...all alone.
I don't feel like going home."

If I were out somewhere dancing and the DJ was playing "All Alone", I wouldn't want to go home either. You can go to Mark's MySpace page or to Martijn's to hear "All Alone" in the music players. But, you might want to put on your dancing shoes first .

You ever hear songs that you just don't want to end?

The first time I heard Nelly Furtado's "Say It Right" I was so captivated by everything that was going on both musically and lyrically that I immediately went and downloaded it from iTunes. Timbaland definitely outdid himself on the beat and Furtado's vocals touch you in this odd place.

She herself has said, "We had this Eurythmics thing going on in the studio. I kept calling Tim 'Dave' and he'd call me 'Annie.' Eurythmics had this spooky, keyboard-driven pop sound. That song 'Here Comes the Rain Again' I'm not 100 percent sure what it's about, but it always takes me away to another place, and I love it. That's how I feel about 'Say It Right'; even though I wrote it, I don't really know what it's about, but it captures the feeling I had when I wrote it, and it taps into this other sphere."

It's interesting that she doesn't know what it's about but to me song seems to be about unrequited love or the love that got away. I'll confess, I was a bit surprised to hear Furtado singing this song because she's seemed so intent on being "Promiscuous" and a "Maneater", two songs off her latest cd that I didn't care for at all. I really like "Say It Right" a whole lot though. I rocked it in the car while driving up the coast to Santa Barbara a couple of weeks ago...and again, it's one of those songs that brought the tears on. The chorus is a real emotion-jerker for me:
"Oh you don't mean nothing at all to me
No you don't mean nothing at all to me
Do you got what it takes to set me free?
Oh you could mean everything to me."

Who hasn't felt that way before? We've all been there before. For all I know, you might be there right now. You can watch the video of the song on youtube if you haven't heard it before, but I highly recommend taking a listen with your eyes closed first....then you'll hear how great it is and why I never want it to end.

I love scanning the radio dial and stumbling across wonderful songs I haven't heard for awhile. This morning I heard Alexander O'Neal's 1985 love song, "If You Were Here Tonight".

It sounds as fresh now as it did when I was back in college. sounds as fresh as it did when I was back in high school at the occasional dance at the local YMCA. His voice engages you with a smoothness that testifies to his Natchez, Mississippi roots. He could teach some of todays supposed R&B kings a thing or two.

O'Neal always came across to me as a "real man" in his songs, especially since real men in my book aren't afraid to express their emotions. He sings:

"As the night moves in
Love takes on a new meaning
If you were here
You would know what I mean to say
The circumstance leaves me only waiting

For the chance
I only want to love you more ... more."

What woman doesn't want to have a man sing that to her? Most women I know would melt to the floor if the man they love sang that.

You can click here to watch the original music video and hear the song. The video is a bit cheesy. It's very early 1980's. Just let the screensaver come on, turn up the volume, close your eyes and listen.

"You said I’m crazy, I know.

You said I’m crazy, I know.
All I can say is that the drugs don’t work no more."

Everytime I hear those lyrics from "Metro" by The Vincent Black Shadow, they just make me laugh a bit. I'm always feeling a little crazy, particularly nowadays with all the bad pre-holiday LA traffic.

I first heard the song on Fuse's "Guilty Pleasures" countdown. "Metro" has a poppy sound despite the dark alternative/goth look of the group. They are from Vancouver and I know they are named after a motorcycle but I don't know much else about them. I just like the song. Probably because I'm crazy.

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