Dreamy folk rock out of my sweet home Chicago. This is music that grows on you like a vine as songs evolve into multi-instrumental soundscapes of reverie. Listen to their debut album, Light Upon the Lake. You’ll feeler cooler in no time.
While by no means a definitive list, here are some international gems for your listening pleasure:
Made In Medina, Rachid Taha (2000)
Artaud, Pescado Rabioso (1973)
Lonerism, Tame Impala (2012)
Black Sea, Fennesz (2008)
Exuma, Exuma (1970)
Djangology, Django Reinhardt (1949)
Oyster, Heather Nova (1994)
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bitanga I Princeza, Bijelo Dugme (1979)
Acabou Chorare, Novos Baianos (1972)
Le Mystère Des Voix Bulgares: Volume 1, Le Mystère Des Voix Bulgares (1975)
Funeral, Arcade Fire (2004)
Alcachofa, Ricardo Villalobos (2003)
Fu Zao, Faye Wong (1996)
Un Día Normal, Juanes (2002)
Time, Time (1972)
Buena Vista Social Club, Buena Vista Social Club (1997)
French duo’s slinky debut Green Juice is a subdued dance album that’ll make you want to boogie on a terrace in Paris with a cig on your lip. Give them a listen if you want to be hip.
Just finished this fascinating book by George Case. Highly recommend it as a breezy summer read.
“Take a trip through rock ‘n’ roll’s haziest, craziest period, beginning with the Beatles and Bob Dylan “turning on” in a New York hotel, and continuing on through two-decades of wonderful, colorful, history-changing music. From psychedelic Woodstock warriors like Hendrix and the Jefferson Airplane to psycho-stereo adventurers Pink Floyd; from the post-hippie bliss of Neil Young and cosmic cowboy Willie Nelson to the druggy blues of Black Sabbath and the hemp-happy rhythms of Peter Tosh and Bob Marley, Out of Our Heads gleefully celebrates music’s most creative minds – and their chemically induced expansion.
“This is the rare book that is unafraid to bask in the groovy good times of rock ‘n’ roll without the politically correct preaching that has helped stifle the party. To all those who have ever listened to Dark Side of the Moon on a pair of headphones and said “Wow”: this book is for you.”
“Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free
Silhouetted by the sea, circled by the circus sands
With all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves
Let me forget about today until tomorrow.”
–Mr. Tambourine Man
Of all the artists who have walked this earth, none have spoken to my core as profoundly as the Midwestern troubadour known as Bob Dylan. He is easily my favorite poet, able to paint masterpieces with words both down-home and surrealistic.
Dylan has always epitomized Caucasian cool, his nonchalant approach to fame seeming more and more quaint as the American pop cultural landscape has become overrun with “look at me” types. While he continues to churn out albums as a senior citizen, it is the young Dylan, wise beyond his years, hair growing in a million different directions, that will be venerated for decades to come.
May the bulb that illuminated his mind continue to shine a little light on us all.
Best singer-songwriter I’ve heard in a while. Soulful and musically masterful. A great lowkey album that’ll sound great on a front porch in summer as you sip on a cold beverage in the breeze. A kind California country vibe permeates his songs.
Sounds like: Ray LaMontagne
Listen to his latest album, Cautionary Tale.
Though this trio of films received a combined zero nominations from the Academy, all three are award-worthy and worth a watch.
The End of the Tour
Synopsis: The story of the five-day interview between Rolling Stone reporter David Lipsky and acclaimed novelist David Foster Wallace, which took place right after the 1996 publication of Wallace’s groundbreaking epic novel, ‘Infinite Jest.’
This movie is not for everybody. It’s a simple character study about two literary intellectuals discussing the merits of art and fame. Jason Segel does an excellent job disappearing into his role and provides the film with a low-key depth.
Love & Mercy
Synopsis: In the 1960s, Beach Boys leader Brian Wilson struggles with emerging psychosis as he attempts to craft his avant-garde pop masterpiece. In the 1980s, he is a broken, confused man under the 24-hour watch of shady therapist Dr. Eugene Landy.
A fascinating look at the life of a musical genius. This is a film for not only fans of the Beach Boys, but for anyone who’s intrigued by the intersection of creativity and mental illness. The use of sound throughout is especially remarkable.
Synopsis: A working girl tears through Tinseltown on Christmas Eve searching for the pimp who broke her heart.
Another flick that’s probably not for everyone. Shot entirely on iPhones, this tragicomedy follows a group of underrepresented characters through the seediest parts of L.A. on a kinetic and colorful journey. It’s a small story but one that deserved to be told.