Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, October 13, 2012

MVNews this week:  Page 12



 Mountain Views News Saturday, October 13, 2012 




Book Reviews by Jasmine Kelsey Williams 

Review By Sean Kayden



 When it comes to a description, there is more than just one way to 
describe ‘Cities of the Plain’. Gripping, raw, and different are just a few 
terms that fit, but it takes the reader to figure out how they can truly 
describe this work by Cormac McCarthy. This selection was introduced 
by a personal recommendation of mine, and it is worth the read; 
although copyrighted in 1998, ‘Cities of the Plain’ is still as gripping 
as it is, with its blunt prose, smooth transitions, and recognition from 
reviewers such as New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Chicago 
Tribune. ‘Cities of the Plain’ is the third in McCarthy’s “Border Trilogy”, 
and picks up where its predecessors (‘All the Pretty Horses’ and ‘The 
Crossing’) left off. The last of this trilogy focuses on John Grady Cole 
and Billy Parham, two cowboys who have a brotherly relationship and work together on a 
cattle ranch in New Mexico during the year of 1952. 

 Although they share their stories, hardships and triumphs, ‘Cities of the Plain’ has a somber 
tone which will clearly suggest to the reader that not all has been well and not all will be 
well. For one, John and Billy both struggle with the fact that the ranch business they are part 
of is becoming a dying industry. Another significant change is the shocking moment when 
the reader can sympathize or reason with John when his love interest takes the form of a 
Mexican prostitute, which can change the reader’s and the other characters’ perspectives. As 
the story progresses, this change for John and his love interest brings about a domino effect of 
events that drastically changes the course for John and Billy and the tone of the story as well. 
Even the formatting is different: throughout the story, the dialogue lacks quotation marks so 
that it is completely dependent on the character John to narrate the entire story, and how he 
must narrate the reactions of the other characters as well. ‘Cities of the Plain’ in its entirety 
brings humor and sorrow to the reader and pieces together a well-written finish on McCarthy’s 
trilogy series, which will serve to fully satisfy the reader’s desire for a genuine tale of loss, 
romance, and experiencing the journey of where life can take you.

 In 2010, Sun Airway released their stunning debut album called “Nocturne 
Of Exploded Crystal Chandelier.” However, in spite of what the pretentious 
appellation may convey, the album itself was an ethereal but lively infusion of 
electronic and dreamy pop rock. With a significant task at hand to follow up 
with another great album, surely the question may be posed, does the band 
have any artistry left over? The short answer is, “Yes”. While the genre has been beaten to a bloody 
pulp by the multitude of bands tying to find the success of electronic aficionados Animal Collective 
and M83, Sun Airway has always struck me as a band that was never trying to replicate any sounds 
of bands before them. They simply have a deep predilection for lavish synths, fuzzed out beats and 
ambitious pop songs, which shouldn’t be held against them for any reason. 

 Main player Jon Barthmus’ singing is loose and somewhat lackadaisical sounding. The Chris 
Martin-esque vocals are peaceful and pretty. The sounds of Sun Airway are really easy-going, 
which often leads to songs whizzing by without realizing a song ended and a new one has started. 
That’s not to say the songs are fast paced, but if you multi-task while listening, you may not even 
become conscious of the song change. Barthmus’ singing has always seemed to take a backseat to 
the music, but with the sophomore record, “Soft 
Fall,” it doesn’t feel entirely secondary all the time. 
Between the two albums, the differences aren’t 
too noticeable at first listen. On repeated listens, 
I discovered Sun Airway honing their craft more 
so than ever. While the debut was a rapturous 
experimental treat, the follow up record sounds 
more like a band feeling at ease inside their skin. 
Instead of feeling like newcomers to the party, Sun 
Airway is now hosting the shindig. The songs here have this fragility stitched to them as if each song 
is cautious and attentive. From the distance, Sun Airway may enthrall you with its warm sound, but 
when you come closer, you’re not as likely to feel the same way. It’s still pleasant to the ears yet the 
tracks just flow right pass you if you don’t pay close too attention. 

 Most songs here need frequent listens before you can get close to them. While no song really 
stands out like a sore thumb, the consistency of the album is fairly superb. The compilation feels 
like one complete set of songs rather than random songs strung together to make an unrelated, 
disconnected record. While things may be difficult for Sun Airway to breakthrough with the 
masses since the genre is overpopulated, at the very least Sun Airway has originality, creativity, and 
integrity to boot. Overall, “Soft Fall” is a pretty damn good sophomore album. It may have not hit 
the same highs of the first record as much as I would have liked it to, but I can respect the noble 
effort. I think I’ve would have preferred an album not limited to its restraints, but concerned with 
pushing even further. Perhaps next time Sun Airway will expand their rich alluring sound to the 
fullest because I still believe the very best is yet to come. 

Grade: 7.7 out of 10

Key Tracks: “Close”, “Laketop Swimmers”, “Soft Fall” “Black Noise”

Artist: Sun Airway

Album: Soft Fall

Release Date: October 2nd, 2012

Label: Dead Oceans



The scene is the Hillview High Gymnasium, decorated 
for the 1952 Fall Formal, themed “Once in 
a Blue Moon.” So come prepared to enjoy an evening 
of fun, costumes (optional) and…murder! 
Dress up in your poodle skirt or formal, leather 
jacket or sport coat and bow tie, and relive this 
special event with an interactive murder mystery 
filled with song and dance!

YOU guess the murderer.

 This is a presentation of SanZman Productions 
Renaissance Murder Mystery Players. At Sierra 
Madre Playhouse, 87 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre, CA 91024. Ample free parking behind 
theatre. Sunday, October 21, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. Admission: $20. Seniors (65+) and students, $17. 

Reservations: (626) 355-4318. Online ticketing:


ASK Dr. Wei-Ching Lee: 


 “Let food be your medicine and your medicine be food”

This is my favorite quote from Hippocrates. What he meant was that diet 
has a profound effect on not only preventing disease, but also treating 
it. This quote lends itself to the saying “We are what we eat.” Below are 
some of my four favorite foods for promoting overall health and wellness

Let me show you how easy it is to eat healthy and feel healthy.

Broccoli: Broccoli is a nutritional powerhouse that protects against cancer 
of the colon, breast, bladder, lung, and prostate. Along with cauliflower 
and other cruciferous vegetables, broccoli contains sulforaphane glucosinolates 
(SGS) and other phytonutrients that shield cells from DNA 
damage, boost immune function, and neutralize carcinogens.

In a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, older men who ate broccoli or 
cauliflower more than once a week were about half as likely to be diagnosed with aggressive prostate 
cancer as men who ate these foods less than once a month. 

Chili Peppers: Chili peppers have a number of health benefits due to its key component capsaicin, 
the compound that gives them their spiciness. The folk uses of cayenne and other hot peppers range 
from treating stomach ulcers to improving circulation and heart disease. Better studied, however, are 
capsaicin’s effects on metabolism and pain.

If you have ever broken into a sweat after eating chili peppers, you know that capsaicin has a thermogenic 
effect. It raises body temperature and burns calories. 

Studies have shown chili peppers to suppress appetite. When Dutch researchers gave red pepper 
powder in tomato juice or capsules to study volunteers 30 minutes before meals, they felt fuller and 
ate less.

Include hot, spicy foods in your daily diet, especially if you’re trying to lose weight. And keep a jar of 
cayenne pepper in the house. 

Applied to the skin, topical capsaicin suppresses substance P, a chemical that delivers pain signals 
to the brain—making it a very powerful topical pain reliever. It is helpful for arthritis, back pain, 
and nerve pain, and even conventional physicians recognize its value as a treatment for the pain of 

Ginger: Ginger is a potent diaphoretic, meaning it stimulates perspiration and warms the body from 
the inside. It is also a well-studied gastrointestinal tonic that helps relieve nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. 
In addition, ginger is rich in zinc, which is important in wound healing and immune function. 
Thus, homemade ginger tea is one of the most satisfying tonics for a cold or flu. Some studies have 
shown that it can also help alleviate pain.

To make a therapeutic ginger tea, grind a one-inch slice of fresh ginger, squeeze the juice of half a 
lemon, and add to a cup of steaming hot water along with ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, if desired. 


Wei-Ching Lee, M.D. is a UCLA-trained board certified physician specializing in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation 
at Arc Motion Rehab Medical Clinic at 55 E. Huntington Dr, Suite 219, Arcadia, CA where she provides 
wellness programs & non-surgical care for muscle, bone, and nerve injuries & conditions. If you have any pain, 
injury or exercise questions for future articles, please email Dr. Lee at 



Did you know that there are different yoga practices for the different seasons 
of the year? The Fall season is cold, dry, light, windy, rough and empty. It is 
nature’s way of making more space. The leaves get dry, and fall off the trees 
leaving them empty. The wind blows and removes the moisture from the air 
leaving it spacious instead of close. As it happens in nature, it happens to 
us. We get a little spacey. Our skin gets dry. As the body changes with the 
environment we can see the effects: back pain, dry skin, poor digestion and 
lack of concentration.

 The yogis have remedies! Well, the sister science to yoga – Ayurveda, has the answers. It’s not just 
a good moisturizer. While moisturizing the skin is good, moisturizing from the inside out is even 
better. The first thing to pay attention to is what dries us out. Coffee, black tea, alcohol and raw foods 
can be big in depleting moisture. Avoid salads. Instead have warm soups and stews and herbal teas 
with fennel. Try switching to oatmeal. Warm, cooked, easily digestible foods are best. Oils are very 
necessary, inside and out. Warm up some sesame oil and massage it all over before your bath or 
shower. Before bed, try warm milk to help you sleep.

What about your asana practice? Your yoga poses should also warm you up. Do Sun salutations. 
Ideally you could do as many as you are old, but let’s just try 12, daily.

Doing forward folds and hip openers, with long holds can help settle you. Then make sure that you 
end with a lovely, long savasana. The benefits of savasana are huge. It is the last pose of practice, 
corpse pose. Set the timer so you can truly relax for 10 minutes without worrying about time. Don’t 
skip this part. You need to calm the system before rushing off to your next event. Keep it calm. Move 

 You will see the results. Actually it is much easier to see the lack of results. Because yoga and Ayurveda 
are about balance and harmony and those things do not get noticed as much as the imbalances. When 
things are off – we know it. We tend to not pay attention to the good health.

I am here to help you notice. Have a peaceful, warm, cozy fall.

Namasté, René