Jill and Evan and I went to Brooklyn Bowl last week to see Mike Doughty. They were surprised, I think, at how middle-aged he is, or how similar all of his songs are, or something. They are not wrong in this assessment (as Jill so concisely put it, after hearing some of his old stuff, "I guess weird dissipates with age?"). Weirdness also dissipates, sometimes, with being sober, and with being content, and maybe with being happy, and I still can't help but love him, even if half his songs sound like they might be the intro to Circles. (Here is some old Mike, and here is a some new(er) Mike, and here is an actual music video off his latest record!)
I recently discovered this little gem (and am apparently one of the last people on the planet to do so, given its YouTube views), and pretty much want to listen to it all the time:
Nathan recently sent me a mix (by which I mean, in this amazing modern age, that he sent me a URL and I went to said URL and downloaded a zipfile, then unzipped said zipfile and imported it into my itunes -- with Evan's tutelage because I am technologically phobic and sadly ill-informed). One particular song, this weird and gorgeous thing, is currently my commuting music of choice. I put my headphones on, turn up the volume, and stare aggressively out the train windows (preferably the front-most window, out of which one can stare at the oncoming tracks, and which is closest to the door most convenient for my subway stop).
I am slowly putting together a birthday mix for a recently reconnected old friend. I find myself wanting to somehow capture in it the twelve years of our silence, but I've been working at narrowing things down. Just because these new-fangled technologies don't have the built-in limitations of TDK cassette tapes doesn't necessarily mean anyone wants three hours of your favorite tunes, after all. Some of the things that aren't making the cut: Singuila's Mektoubi, from my French/African hiphop phase; Tricky's take on the Cure (mostly because the studio version isn't nearly as creepy or as gorgeous as this); a nearly 20-minute long live recording of Built to Spill's Broken Chairs, because though it captures a certain early-20s angst, who wants to hear twenty minutes of someone else's rage, elegantly and heartbreakingly jagged as it might be?