What I plan on listening to and looking at this week, and other things that are making my world a better place:
- Great Lake Swimmers Lost Channels (CD)
Every Great Lake Swimmers album – and there are four of them now – has seemed to show growth, despite the fact that they still sound just like the same band from Album #1. The signs of a sonic break-out from the lo-fi, acoustic, dreamy somnolence of Great Lake Swimmers and Bodies and Minds were apparent on 2007’s Ongiara, where the lo-fi was turned down and the drums and bass were turned up (ever so slightly). Lost Channels begins with “Palmistry,” sounding like a cousin to REM’s “Losing My Religion” with its chimy guitars and gentle backbeat. The album flows gracefully from these pop-flavored moments to the more familiar quiet ones, such as “Stealing Tomorrow” and “Concrete Heart,” in which vocalist Tony Dekker sings a chorus of conversational poetry:
This is the place where I felt
Like the world’s tallest self-supporting tower
Or maybe number two
At least for a little while, anyway.
It is a joy to listen to a band grow steadily while they keep a firm hold onto their musical identity; I’ve been doing so in my truck for almost an entire week now. And, seeing that the band is playing a gig at The Earl in Atlanta this coming Friday (10 April), I may be listening to them extremely soon on a road trip.
“Palmistry” by Great Lake Swimmers, from Lost Channels (2009)
“Concrete Heart” by Great Lake Swimmers, from Lost Channels (2009)
- Printable Paper (website)
Thanks to Wendy at A Passion for Letter Writing (dot com), I was introduced to Printable Paper (dot net), where a plethora of paper layouts can be downloaded, via pdf, for free. Somebody out there is about to receive a handwritten letter from me, written on dotted plotting paper, courtesy of this site. You haven’t lived until you’ve tried to write a letter at a 45° angle on graph paper. Well, okay, if you’ve jumped out of a plane or even bungee-jumped one time, you have most likely lived a more exciting life than me, but it was a unique thrill for this right-angler to challenge his horizontal-line mentality with that exercise. See how creative you can be, and send a kind friend of yours an unexpected update on your week’s activities, written on a volleyball score sheet! It’s the gentlest form of shock and awe.
- Water (consumable)
Yep, good old H2O. I started a carbohydrate fast on Thursday, and by Saturday morning had one of the worst ketosis headaches ever. By Saturday night, I was nearly incapacitated, physically. So incapacitated, in fact, that I forgot that one sure way to speed up the process and get past the hump is to ingest lots and lots of water. I started doing so on Sunday morning, when it finally occurred to me, and within five hours was feeling no pain. Good old H2O. That little episode was enough to make me an ardent fan, until I forget – again – how truly awesome (and essential) water can be for a body.