Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, December 22, 2012

MVNews this week:  Page 11



 Mountain Views News Saturday, December 22, 2012 




Book Reviews by Jasmine Kelsey Williams 

Review By Sean Kayden


CARRIE PILBY By Caren Lissner 

 Our next selection is another wonderful pick for the 
upcoming holidays, which makes for a very quirky and 
charming gift for any readers in the family; ‘Carrie Pilby’ 
by Caren Lissner will be an even better choice if this is 
given to any teens or young adults who enjoy a good read. 

 The tagline alone of “How far should a teen genius go to 
fit in?” should immediately hook the reader’s attention, 
which will make them question just how teenagers of all 
ages feel when searching for new experiences outside of 
their comfort zone. This is the dilemma of the main protagonist 
and title character Carrie Pilby, a nineteen-year-
old introvert who would rather quietly observe life and 
enjoy the simple pleasures it can bring. The entire story 
is narrated through Carrie’s eyes which gives the reader 
the opportunity to also get into her mindset and to understand 
who she is. According to Carrie’s own thoughts, 
along with those of the summary, Carrie is introverted 
not just because she is a self-described teen genius (it is 
revealed that her intelligence allowed her to skip three 
grades and complete college early), but also because she 
feels out of place in her hometown of New York City. She 
is an introvert, shy, and because of her age, feels awkward 
when trying to break out of her shell to experience what she may be missing in her life. A 
minor character that does make a strong point on Carrie’s shyness is her therapist Dr. Petrov, 
who sets the wheels in motion for Carrie to get out more often, such as joining a club, going 
on a date, her hobbies, telling another person you care for them, and celebrating New Year’s 
with others. 

 Lissner works wonders with her words, and ‘Carrie Pilby’ has received the same praise from 
sources such as Buffalo News, Booklist, and New York Times, making this choice not just a 
recommended read, but one that is beneficial to teenagers to try to help them understand 
themselves better from all walks of life, be they introverts or extroverts. Copyrighted in 
2010, ‘Carrie Pilby’ is not just a fresh read for generations of today, but one that shows that 
there is no rush in finding new experiences in life at your own pace.

 Another year, another top 10 list. They’re never easy to compile. With a 
plethora of favorite songs this year, it was very difficult to come up with my 
personal favorites. Quite a few records fell short of the eclectic list, but in the end 
the following ten bands released indelible, powerful, and thrilling albums. 

10. The XX – “Coexist”

9. The Rest – “Seesaw”

8. Japandroids – “Celebration Rock”

7. The Gaslight Anthem – “Handwritten”

6. Twin Shadow – “Confess”

5. LORD HURON – “LONESOME DREAMS” - The aptly titled Lord Huron’s debut album really 
strikes a cord with the American people. In the age we live in, lonesome dreams are ever so apparent. 
“Lonesome Dreams” is a vast, ambitious, poignant piece of music. It echoes along the borders of Fleet 
Foxes with its harmonies, but they shouldn’t be restrained to just sheer comparisons. While Lord Huron 
may not be completely treading new ground, they’re at least carving their own path. It seems we’re all 
figuring how to do so and “Lonesome Dreams” may just be the soundtrack that leads you down it. 
There is this alluring attribute, a wistful sound that magically spans over the course of the 10-track 
album. The dreariness of long days and sleepless nights are alleviated thorough this tranquil resonance. 
It’s the epitome of a true American album and while the revelations exposed may not be all that new, 
it doesn’t mean they are any less true. The themes of immortality, impending doom, and helplessness 
blues can be discovered here, but also the whimsical cheerfulness in songs such as “Time To Run.” The 
record, an even keel of optimism and perennial caution, remains embedded in the blood that pumps 
out the veins of this album. “Lonesome Dreams” debuted back in October, but it still hummed along 
to a buoyant summer resonance, but also unequivocally finds itself in the melancholic autumn season. 
With this hovering layer of hope and idealism on “Lonesome Dreams,” it becomes a place where the 
heavy hearts, dreamers, and un-conformists can meet and unite as one. 

4. TANLINES – “MIXED EMOTIONS” - Jesse Cohen and Eric Emm, the dynamic duo behind 
Tanlines, have already been on the scene for a couple years. However, it’s not until now that the boys 
from Brooklyn have released their debut LP, “Mixed Emotions.” The influences range from pop, indie, 
dance and even world music. The aptly titled record is exactly what the record feels like—a collection 
of mixed emotions developed into one of the most vivacious sounding records thus far this year. 
Despite the customary lyrics, the real attraction is the band’s overall sound and how Emm’s sprightly 
vocals oscillate with each line. The music absolutely brings the listener to a completely new emotional 
elevation. The bending of genres is both brilliant and utterly alluring. There is something naturally 
genial about “Mixed Emotions.” The songs are constructed in such an effervescent, expressive, and 
earnest manner. I’m not sure if another album this year was filled with so much raw passion, vitality, 
and ebullience. It’s amazing how everything feels perfectly executed. Tanlines have composed a record 
with songs that will either have your feet moving to the beats, your mind contemplating whatever 
troubles you, or your heart finding much needed relief. In the end, “Mixed Emotions” is an outstanding 
achievement that ultimately makes for a truly incredible debut presentation. 

3. PASSION PIT – “GOSSAMER” - Hailing from Cambridge, Massachusetts, electropop darlings 
Passion Pit find themselves bursting back onto the scene with “Gossamer,” the successor to their 
2009 breakthrough album, “Manners”. Simply put, “Gossamer” is pure awesomeness for the summer 
season. It’s glorious, beautiful, amazing in every aspect. It’s brighter and bubblier than their last outing, 
which is saying a whole lot if you’re already familiar with their previous material. Passion Pit mixes 
synthesizers, tweaked post-production vocals, funky beats, the occasional R&B vibe and an overall pop 
sound that is exceptionally revitalizing. “Gossamer” is a smashingly high-quality record that should 
cater to both indie and mainstream fans equally. The fun seriously never stops for its 48 minutes of 
length. While some people may mistake the album for being grandiloquent in nature, I absolutely 
love the overblown sound. The high flowing energy “Gossamer” brings to the table is not only mind-
blowing, but also commendable on Passion Pit’s part. They slow down a bit in the R&B inspired tune, 
“Constant Conversations”. It’s a welcoming small departure that’s smooth, sexy, and is easily superior 
to anything that’s been released by artists who are confined to that genre as their dominant stomping 
ground. Credit is due for Passion Pit for their tremendous efforts of not only expanding upon their 
artistic abilities, but also pushing the envelope even further. The record outdoes its predecessor in every 
imaginative way possible and ends up being the closest thing to a pop masterpiece in quite sometime.

2. BEACH HOUSE – “BLOOM” - Dream-pop aficionados, Beach House, have somehow managed to 
stay within the margins of their genre of expertise, but further expand their dreamy and hauntingly 
immaculate resonance on their latest record. “Bloom,” comes off the heels of their acclaimed 2010 
opus, “Teen Dream,” which wowed critics and fans alike. “Bloom” dazzles and hypnotizes with its 
atmospheric haze that embodies the ten glorious tracks. The innately organic tone Beach House offers 
is a marvel to become fully immersed with. There is something truly remarkable to the weightlessness 
each track plays off. That’s not to say they don’t provide any substance because they do, but attempting 
to discover this kind of utter beauty anywhere else may as well be a futile task. Darkly layered rhythms 
and immensely personal, “Bloom” takes you on an ethereal journey. Composed of stunning melodies 
and a deep complexity of arrangements, the album is a passage to an unearthly reality. Seemingly 
flawless from start to finish, “Bloom” is exactly what it’s named after—a period of time which sparks 
the utmost exquisiteness and imagination. The real treat with “Bloom” is the voyage from beginning to 
end—one I may add, will stay with you far after your return back. 

1. MOTORAMA – “CALENDAR” - Motorama are a band hailing from Rostov-on-Don (Southern 
river port), Russia. Their sound is considered to be post-punk rock, but you’ll unmistakably notice the 
‘80s new wave style blended into their unique style. However, to lump them into any genre isn’t fair. 
“Calendar” features ten remarkable tracks. The consistency of the album is astounding. That’s not to 
say the band plays anything too safe because they hardly ever do. Their talent of crafting soothing and 
peaceful melodies is rather astonishing. Rarely can a group put you in a perpetual reverie state like the 
way this five-piece band does. There is no denying how their sound induces a strong presence, one that 
needs not to be ignored or freely dismissed. If you’re looking for some of the best music offered in any 
country, look no further than Motorama. These guys will shock you on how great they are. , Motorama 
will completely surprise you on every track. Their sound is sweet and while it gallops fluently, it will 
draw you in like a strong vortex. Listening to their sophomore album, “Calendar” is like heading to 
unknown terrain. You don’t know what you’ll discover, but when you do find that something, you’ll 
realize it’s exactly that very thing you’ve been missing all along. “Calendar” brings you an arsenal of 
pensively twee pop tunes. There’s no lack of warmth, heart, or soul. Everything found on the album was 
unexpected pleasure matched with unparalleled beauty. With some of the best sounding arrangements 
I’ve ever heard, Motorama’s follow-up album, “Calendar,” is an extraordinary accomplishment on all 
levels of production. This isn’t just the best album of the year, but one of the greatest albums in quite 



There is a lot of bustle out there. How do we not get so sucked 
in? Especially now, it is important to stay quiet inside. The drama 
is everywhere and the more we focus on it, the bigger it gets. It's 
time to go inside and reflect on the beauty that we see in there. Time to reflect on the 
Divine Spirit that lives in each of us. Try to find just even a few minutes a day to sit quietly 
and breathe. If we can sit with who we really are, then our true nature can shine out. 
When family and friends descend upon us, sometimes we forget. When we are stressed 
out trying to get it all done, we forget. 

When we are gorging on food and drink, we forget. But when we spend time quietly reflecting, 
we remember. When we walk in nature, do yoga!, worship and have a peaceful 
loving meal, we remember. If we remember every day, we can make a change. We can 
be powerful in our peace. Making this time to remember is the most important thing we 
can do for ourselves and the world right now. The world hasn't ended and it is up to us 
to spread the peace and love - starting with ourselves. It's the perfect time to begin, don't 
wait for the new year. Begin the journey inward to peace. It's a beautiful place.

Love and Light to you for the Holidays.