What I've been listening to: Neko Case's new album, Middle Cyclone, has been my constant soundtrack for the past week or so. The music is a perfect blend of country, folk and rock. The lyrics are pure poetry. Nature is a recurrent theme, as is love. Neko's voice is perfectly showcased throughout.
I'm having a hard time picking just one favorite song. The title track, Middle Cyclone, is in the running for my favorite. I love the slow, mellowness of it; the simplicity of the guitar; the music box-like tingling sounds. And this song contains my favorite lyric from the whole album:
Can't scrape together quite enough to ride the bus to the outskirts of the fact that I need love.
The album contains 14 songs, then a 30 minute track of quiet bird chirping. I love this little addition. In my head, their thought processes went something like:
Music exec 1: "Well, this is sure a great album, but there's all this leftover space on the disc."
Music exec 2: "I know! Let's put in 30 minutes of quiet bird chirping!"
Music exec 1: "Awesome idea. You deserve a promotion."
What I've been reading: After finishing David Sedaris's underwhelming book, I was pleased to discover such humor in Sloane Crosley's gem, I Was Told There'd Be Cake. The author is a woman only a couple years older than me who lives in New York. Her essays reflect what it's like growing up in suburbia in the 80s and 90s, and what it's like living in the city now. You might not appreciate the humorous situations if you're, say, a 50 year old woman living in a moderately sized city. But if you're an almost-thirtysomething living in NYC, this might be just the book for you.