Joanna Newsom: Ys.

I’m listening to Joanna Newsom’s album, Ys, for the third time today, and I’m still not sure what to make of it.

Alchemists of Sound.

The people who made sound effects for the BBC in the 50s and 60s did everything by cutting up little bits of tape and sticking them back together in endlessly inventive ways.

A dangerous discovery.

I may never get any work done again.

You are not a unique snowflake, and that’s OK.

It should probably bother me to discover that my listening preferences overlap so heavily with those of a 24-year-old Colombian woman, or with the entire readership of Cat and Girl.

Why do I have a CD full of nature sounds on my computer?

When tells me that my favorite artists are Stereolab and They Might be Giants, I’m inclined to ignore it, even though it’s probably right.

Guitar Poseur!

Guitar Hero allows you to play like a rock star without having to bother with niggly little details like actually learning to play the guitar.

The Decemberists: Picaresque.

Great stuff if drinking-hall operettas are your thing, but if they’re not, these songs can get kind of tedious as they wallow in their quaint mannerisms.

Aimee Mann: The Forgotten Arm.

You don’t really need to pay attention to the saga of Caroline and John if you don’t feel like it, though; you can simply appreciate The Forgotten Arm as a really good album.

Monade: A Few Steps More.

With Monade, Laetitia Sadier has room to do her own arrangements of her own songs, and the result is a much warmer, looser sound than the immaculately-produced soundscapes that Stereolab tends towards.

Navels I gaze into when I’m half-awake and riding the bus to work.

When we hunker down in our seats with a book or a newspaper, we erect a forcefield around our bodies, focusing all our attention on the sports section or the movie reviews.