Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, May 5, 2012

MVNews this week:  Page 10



 Mountain Views News Saturday, May 5, 2012 



The Book Report

By Jeff Brown

Review By Sean Kayden


 Brooklyn art rockers Suckers strive for more of a straightforward 
record this time with their sophomore release, “Candy Salad.” The 
band’s debut album, “Wild Smile” was critically acclaimed and an undeniably bold, albeit 
inconsistent, experimental opus. I was somewhat of an ardent fan of their first record, 
despite the irregularity of each consecutive track. The songs off “Candy Salad” are definitely 
more communal than the ones from its predeccessor. The follow-up release may not be 
what diehard fans of the band have come to expect, but Suckers have successfully grown 
both lyrically and musically. The latest collection of tunes consists of tight arrangements, 
catchy hooks, and an overall sprawling soundscape. It’s hard to knock the band for taking 
a different direction with this newest effort. 
They’ve stepped out of their own comfort 
zone even though they’ve seemed to enter a 
zone of slight familiarity within the confines 
of the genre. 

 There is a sufficiency of things to enjoy 
from “Candy Salad.” The popper resonance, 
the anthem-like tunes, and consistent vibe 
throughout are anything to snarl at. The band even slows the tempo down a bit with “Leave 
The Light On.” It starts off with a dreamy, twinkling cadence and then sails into a peaceful 
chorus. Toward the end, we have “Roses,” an exquisite, bare bones piano-driven song. A 
lot of the songs off “Candy Salad” are really beautifully arranged. The reason that “Candy 
Salad” may not be as critically acclaimed as “Wild Smile,” is because they’ve taken a so-
called safe route. They took bold risks with their first endeavor and right out of the gate 
people were talking about this much-buzzed about band back in 2010. Now that two years 
have past, the tides have certainly changed. The hype became calm on the front end and 
Suckers were in need of making some waves again. The way they went about it may upset 
their avid supporters from the get-go, but don’t be fooled by their own frustration. Suckers 
have successfully avoided the common sophomore slump curse and, I believe, appear to be 
further complete than before. 

 The closest tune you’re going to get to the likes of something off “Wild Smile” is “George.” 
The tribal resonance within the song’s instrumental aspect will transport you back to the 
days of Suckers circa 2010. In the end, album number two is an entirely comprehensive, 
ebullient, elated experience. It’s a happy record that will guide you into the summer 
effortlessly with its pure sunshine tunes. I commend Suckers for mixing things up. Sure, it’s 
not groundbreaking in the overall soundsphere, but a significant leap forward for a band 
that undoubtedly possesses a copious amount of raw talent. 

Key Tracks: “Going Nowhere”, “Figure It Out”, “Leave The Light On”, “Charmaine”

Grade: 8.5 out of 10 


Twelve Desperate Miles is the incredible story of the SS Contessa’s role in the opening 
salvo of World War II. This unremarkable ship, crewed by seamen from twenty-six different 
nations and eighteen sailors pulled from the Norfolk County jail, became the focus of the 
first invasion of the war as it was rushed to Virginia at the insistence of George Patton and 
quickly retrofitted for war. Patton needed five hundred tons of highly volatile airplane fuel 
and nine hundred tons of bombs delivered to a Moroccan airport to supply his planned air 
campaign against Casablanca, but he faced a major challenge: the river from sea to airport 
city was too shallow for any available transport ship in the entire Allied fleet. As the clock 
ticked down on the invasion, the War Department searched every harbor and cove in the 
Atlantic; only at the last moment they turned up the Contessa, a salt-caked, rust-stained 
Honduran-registered civilian freighter that had spent most of her undistinguished career 
hauling bananas and honeymooners from New Orleans to the river port harbors of the 
Caribbean. Too late to join the safety of the massive convoy sailing for Africa, the Contessa 
set out on her own through the U-Boat-infested waters of the Atlantic to the shores of 
Morocco, where she faced her final and most daunting challenge: the twelve-mile voyage 
up the shallow and well-defended Sebou River, carrying an explosive cocktail of gasoline 
and bombs in her holds. Veteran history writer Tim Brady chronicles one of the great 
untold stories of the war. 

BECAUSE OF WINN-DIXIE by Kate Dicamillo 

Age Level: 9 and up | Grade Level: 4 and up. The summer Opal and her father, the preacher, 
move to Naomi, Florida, Opal goes into the Winn-Dixie supermarket and comes out with a 
dog. A big, ugly, suffering dog with a sterling sense of humor. A dog she dubs Winn-Dixie. 
Because of Winn-Dixie, the preacher tells Opal ten things about her absent mother, one for 
each year Opal has been alive. Winn-Dixie is better at making friends than anyone Opal 
has ever known, and together they meet the local librarian, Miss Franny Block, who once 
fought off a bear with a copy of WAR AND PEACE. They meet Gloria Dump, who is nearly 
blind but sees with her heart, and Otis, an ex-con who sets the animals in his pet shop loose 
after hours, then lulls them with his guitar. Opal spends all that sweet summer collecting 
stories about her new friends and thinking about her mother. But because of Winn-Dixie 
or perhaps because she has grown, Opal learns to let go, just a little, and that friendship and 
forgiveness can sneak up on you like a sudden summer storm. Here is a funny, poignant, 
and utterly genuine first novel from a major new talent. 

Artist: Suckers 

Album: Candy Salad

Label: Frenchkiss Records

Release Date: April 24th, 2012


By Christopher Nyerges


[Nyerges is the author of 10 books, including 
“How to Survive Anywhere.” He teaches 
outdoor classes, and conducts a weekly podcast 
on Preparedness Radio Network. He can be 
reached at or 
Box 41834, Eagle Rock, CA 90041].


 The “Hunger Games” books were top 
sellers, and more and more teens coming to 
my classes have been telling me to see the 
movie. “But read the book first,” one girl told 
me. Well, I haven’t read the book yet, but I 
did go to see the movie anyway.

 By now, we’ve all heard the story. A futuristic 
North America is divided into 12 districts. 
The ruling district is extravagantly rich, while 
the other districts are impoverished, barely 
surviving. In order to maintain control after 
an attempted rebellion, the ruling district 
takes two teens from each district annually, 
quickly trains them, and then releases them 
into a controlled wilderness arena. There 
they fight to the death until only one winner 
emerges. They call these the Hunger Games, 
and the movie depicts the 74th annual event.

 It’s a disturbing futuristic glimpse of a world 
where everyone watches the kills and the 
strategies for survival. The president states 
that the use of fear helps to control people, 
and the games are taken very seriously. The 
president adds that the only emotion greater 
than fear is hope, and the people from each 
district hope that their candidate will emerge 
a victor.

 But the death of each youth is not without 
its consequences in the territories. Even the 
way in which the game can be played, and 
won, is not without the higher manipulation 
of the winner.

 Woody Harrelson plays Haymitch 
Abernathy, a mentor for the star Katniss 
Everdeen (played by Jennifer Lawrence). 
Abernathy, a past winner of the games, seems 
broken by the games and his society, but he 
knows the rules and he coaches Katniss well. 

 Katniss, who grew up hunting and foraging 
in order to survive, is well suited to emerge 
victorious. And she has a soul, a fact that 
throws a few screws into the machinery of 
the game-makers.

 Some friends told me that the movie 
was both boring and pedestrian, tired old 
concepts that we’ve seen before. Maybe, and 
maybe not. I didn’t evaluate the film based on 
how the camera was held, or even originality 
of plot. We’ve heard there are only a dozen 
or so basic plots, but it’s the way you spin it 
that makes it good and noteworthy.

 I asked myself, how can seeing this 
movie improve my character? What are 
the elements of true survival and even 
spirituality that I should embrace in order to 
be a better person? I wondered as I watched, 
what are the higher traits that I should always 
embrace regardless of my gender, race, or era 
in which I’m born?

 There are a lot of historical analogies you 
might read-into the Hunger Games, such 
as the decadent Romans who delighted in 
feeding Christians to the lions. Or, closer to 
home, the manner in which we hoop and 
cheer at the brutality of football and soccer 
games. Or, after the Lakers win a playoff, 
how the local teens go out onto the streets of 
Los Angeles, “having fun” and “celebrating” 
by smashing windows and burning police 

 The Hunger Games has violence and 
blood, though not as much as you’d expect. 
Still, leave the very young children at home 
since this is a dark and disturbing movie. 

 I’d recommend the Hunger Games. It is 
full of useful lessons, but you have to work to 
find them.