Mental Yoga Sunday :: 5 Favorite Long Form Reads This Week 4.16.17


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Growing up, early Sunday mornings in my house smelled like coffee and the only soundtrack was the rustling of newspapers and the stirring of spoons. Before kids and fantasy football, I followed suit. Sundays were reserved for lazy lounging with a few online go-to sources bookmarked for later reading or a thick novel mounted on my chest like a comforting anvil. My wife and I could move about our apartment like a stop-motion montage, sipping, reading, sharing the best parts of the article or the most shocking plot twists in our books. Nostalgia means something different to every generation and every household. But for me, Mental Yoga Sunday is a throwback to those lazy mornings and afternoons where I found something warm to drink, something immersive and informative to read, and the ticking clock meant absolutely nothing. We're bringing lazy back. Here are our favorite five long form reads this week.


1

His Heart, Her Hands (The Oregonian)

A LIFELONG PIANIST STRUGGLED TO PLAY AS HIS MEMORY BEGAN TO FADE. A PROFESSIONAL MUSICIAN BROUGHT HIS SONGS TO LIFE AGAIN

"All his life, Steve Goodwin had been a private man. No matter the circumstances, he'd say he was doing just fine. But as he sat in his Wilsonville home that Monday morning, he wasn't fine.

Over the weekend, he'd argued with his youngest daughter, Melissa. The blowup ended when his daughter, her voice shaking and tears in her eyes, opened the front door to her home and told him to leave.

As is the case in all families, they'd had minor disagreements before.  But Saturday's battle had been raw. Steve knew he needed to set things straight. It was time to reveal his secret.

With paper and pen, he retreated to a quiet place in his home. He struggled to find the right words, to explain why he'd been so different these past months. When finished, he told his wife, Joni, he was ready...[more]"


A different kind of spa day

A different kind of spa day

Spa treatments have gotten wild in recent years, especially in Southern California, where women pay big bucks for radical remedies like colonics, juice fasts, and a Gwyneth Paltrow fave—the life-changing V-steam. Taffy Brodesser-Akner dons a satin robe and asks: If this is the path to happiness, why am I so freaked out?

"One’s vagina should be steamed in the upright position. In a room that’s lined wall-to-wall with real, actual jade, a woman (OK, me) dressed in a satiny, royal purple sheath that attaches just under the armpits—like the world’s least flattering strapless gown—sits atop a throne. The throne is wood and looks like a toilet, with a deep, dark hole in the middle. The gown goes over the body and the throne, creating a little biodome. Once you’re seated, steam from a container of mugwort tea and herbs rises and slithers up to its target."


3

The Great Super Bowl Jersey Caper (Sports Illustrated)

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Two months ago in Houston, Tom Brady’s jersey was stolen from the Patriots’ postgame locker room. The investigation spanned thousands of miles, involved two nations and unfolded against the backdrop of a tense geopolitical drama. And the culprit might never spend a night in jail

"Agents didn’t tear up the floorboards, toss cabinets or pull kitchen appliances from their wall connections. They didn’t even search the lower floor. They simply asked, Do you have anything else? He did."


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For 30 days, Michael Graff kept an excel spreadsheet that cataloged how he spent each hour and with whom. At the end of the month, he calculated who was, quantitatively, most important to him. And when he found that the people he cared about most — his brother, his friends — didn’t crack the “top five,” he decided to embark on a radical project to cut out negative people from his life. The results were more surprising than you might imagine.


5

The Snarling Girl (Hazlitt)

NOTES ON - AND AGAINST - AMBITION.

"Here is what we know for sure: there is no end to want. Want is a vast universe within other vast universes. There is always more, and more again. There are prizes and grants and fellowships and lists and reviews and recognitions that elude us, mysterious invitations to take up residence at some castle in Italy. One can make a life out of focusing on what one does not have, but that’s no way to live. A seat at the table is plenty. (But is it a good seat? At which end of the table??? Alongside whom!?) A seat at the table means we are free to do our work, the end. Work! What a fantastic privilege.

Feeling like one does not have “enough” of anything (money, status, fame, recognition, shoes, name it): that’s where every kind of terrible shit starts. And the benchmarks of success constantly shift. Ambition is a fool’s game, its rewards fool’s gold. Who is happy, asks the Talmud? She who is happy with what she has."


MENTAL YOGA SUNDAY :: 5 FAVORITE LONG FORM READS THIS WEEK 4.16.17 ~ Fin

-xxx-


Ear Buds :: 10 Songs We Love This Week :: 4.14.17

10

SONGS

WE

LOVE

THIS 

WEEK

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Starring

Bleachers, Sloan Peterson, The Wooden Sky, Nvdes, Maggie Koerner, Paul Shaffer And The World's Most Dangerous Band featuring Jenny Lewis, Hinds, The New Pornographers, Devon Gilfillian & Noga Erez


1

Bleachers :: "Don't Take The Money" :: @bleachersmusic

Jack Antonoff has released a new Bleachers song, “Don’t Take the Money.” It’s taken from the band’s upcoming sophomore album, which has yet to be announced. The song appears to feature backing vocals from Lorde, with whom Antonoff wrote the song.


2

The New Pornographers :: "High Ticket Attractions" :: @TheNewPornos :: New Album Whiteout Conditions out now

The New Pornographers :: "High Ticket Attractions"

The New Pornographers :: "High Ticket Attractions"

The New Pornographers are A.C. Newman, Blaine Thurier, Dan Bejar, Joe Seiders, John Collins, Kathryn Calder, Neko Case, and Todd Fancey. Whiteout Conditions, the new full-length record is out now. The album is the first release on the band’s own Collected Works Records.

About the new album’s first single, NPR declares, “Hold on tight: it’s another relentlessly exuberant, propulsive jam from The New Pornographers. The latest in the band’s deep catalog of clever and addictive power pop is “High Ticket Attractions.”

Since their debut in 2000, The New Pornographers have released six studio albums including their most recent, Brill Bruisers, hailed as an “exuberant, synthpop-infused set” by Rolling Stone, “infectious” by Harper’s Bazaar and “the grand and purposeful hookfest that you would hope these guys would come back with” by Stereogum. Pitchfork went on to note that “with the futurist sound of Brill Bruisers, the whole band embraces a more electric version of itself-bulked-up in chrome-plated armor, firing on all cylinders, and ready to steamroll anything in its path.” Source: newpornographers.com


3

Paul Shaffer And The World's Most Dangerous Band featuring Jenny Lewis :: "Sorrow" :: @paulshaffer :: @jennylewis :: New SELF-Titled Album out now

Paul Shaffer, the longtime David Letterman bandleader, has put out a new album with his band, still going by the moniker "The World’s Most Dangerous Band". The LP features collaborations with a truly bizarre array of guests: Bill Murray, Shaggy, Darius Rucker. But the best song on the album is "Sorrow". A tribute of sorts to David Bowie with the always terrific Jenny Lewis. Originally a 1965 McCoys song, Bowie covered the track on his '73 album 'Pin Ups'. Lewis and Shaffer's version of the song is more refined and polished, but damn, Jenny Lewis could sing the liner notes and I'd be all in.



4

Sloan Peterson :: "105" :: @Sloanpeterson_ :: Forthcoming self-titled debut EP that will be out 7.13.17 :: Available for purchase here

Sloan Peterson :: "105"

Sloan Peterson :: "105"

Sloan Peterson - the new project from Sydney, Australia-based songwriter Joe Jackson - has released the music video for her debut single, "105." The video is the first video to be shot in the historic Sydney building since David Bowie's music video for "Let's Dance."

Of the song, Jackson says, "I wrote '105' pretty absentmindedly and at the time I don't think I even knew if the 105 was an actual highway or street at all, ha! But the last verse was written about a lost lover of mine, who clearly lacked emotion and devotion, making my life at that period a little painful. It was a natural development of words from my heart; a sense of having someone but not really having them at all, trying to figure out all the question marks that go around relationships.

"105" is the first single released from Sloan Peterson's forthcoming self-titled debut EP that will be out July 13th, 2017 via Mirror Records.

Although only 24, Sloan Peterson is the second band Jackson has formed and fronted. Having moved in with her sister at age 16, she forged her taste for music through involvement in the DIY art scene of Sydney, where she was living at the time. She spent years recording music through her laptop, filming homemade music videos, sifting through dusty records searching for lost gems with friends and lovers as they came and went from her life. It was there she started her previous band Black Zeros and began making a name for herself.

Now, she returns as Sloan Peterson: a love child of '50s guitar pop and modern garage rock, bursting with a warmth that's inseparable from her private identity. Influenced by everything from Elvis, to Latin legend Xavier Cugat, or the fashion statements of Nancy Sinatra and Bowie - Sloan Peterson is the sum of these influences that adds up to so much more.


5

The Wooden Sky :: "Swimming in Strange Waters" :: @thewoodensky :: New Album Swimming in Strange Waters out now

The Wooden Sky :: "Swimming in Stranger Waters"

The Wooden Sky :: "Swimming in Stranger Waters"

From the Toronto based band themselves, "It's alive!  Very excited to release our 5th LP today.  Swimming in Strange Waters has been a labour of love from day one and has seen a lot of different hands help it along the way.  A big thanks to all our friends, family and loved ones that helped inspire us and made this record possible.  Hope you'll enjoy."

The grit and vitality doesn't always translate to a record but this one has both in spades. I can't recommend this entire album enough.



6

Devon Gilfillian :: "Here And Now" :: @DevonGilfillian :: Self-titled EP Out Now

Nashville-based artist Devon Gilfillian fires twin barrels of gospel-blues and southern soul on his debut EP. Fueled by groove, guitar, and the powerful punch of Gilfillian's voice, the songs shine a light on a young songwriter who grew up outside of Philadelphia, absorbing everything from the R&B swagger of Al Green and Ray Charles to the rock & roll heroics of Jimi Hendrix. Gilfillian puts a personalized stamp on those childhood influences, rolling them into five original songs that showcase not only his songwriting and singing, but also his talent as an instrumentalist. 


7

Nvdes :: "The Other Side" :: @nvdesmusic

Nvdes :: "The Other Side"

Nvdes :: "The Other Side"

NVDES is a Los Angeles producer that has been showering us in seriously fun and quirky indie pop lately. I've already featured his fun track "Don't Fvck Your Neighbor". "The Other Side" is just as fun and I love the backstory on this one:

"'The Other Side' is based on a fling with a girl who liked to dress me up in some of her clothes before we would hook up, this song is an attempt to capture the strange and the fun that went along with it."

 


8

Noga Erez :: "Off The Radar" :: @nogaerez :: New album 'Off The Radar ' arrives in June, 2017

Noga Erez :: "Off The Radar"

Noga Erez :: "Off The Radar"

"On the title track of her upcoming June album of the same name, Erez tackles contemporary fears of being forgotten, and our desire to share thoughts and desires simply to get a kick out of gaining likes and positive comments. But while she sings about flattening the bumps and capturing “your muscles and your bones,” it’s all set against her some of the boldest, brightest melodies we’ve heard from her to date. Marching beats and the constant refrain of a distinctive, almost brassy synth keep ‘Off The Radar’ urgent. She might sing “hear me no-one, sees me no-one,” but with tracks like this Noga Erez is making sure people take notice." (DIYMAG.com)


9

Hinds :: "Davey Crockett" :: @hindsband :: Davey Crockett IS off Hinds' 2015 EP Very Best of Hinds So Far :: Newest CD Leave Me Alone

Hinds is a Spanish indie rock band from Madrid, formed in 2011, consisting of Carlotta Cosials (vocals, guitar), Ana Perrote (vocals, guitar), Ade Martin (bass, backing vocals) and Amber Grimbergen (drums). The original name of the band was Deers, but they were forced to change it at the end of 2014, due to the threat of legal action from a similarly named band. The group chose "Hinds" which as we all know is a female deer.


10

Maggie Koerner :: "Dig Down Deep"

Maggie Koerner :: "Dig Down Deep"

Maggie Koerner :: "Dig Down Deep" :: @MaggieKoerner :: New EP Dig Down Deep out now

The R’COUP’D label announces the release of the “Dig Down Deep” EP from New Orleans-based singer-songwriter Maggie Koerner.

Comprising four tracks, the EP was recorded in four different sessions over two years with a lengthy list of collaborating musicians, including executive production from the face of Fink and R’COUP’D head himself, Fin Greenall. 

Her relationship with Greenall so too represents a sort of sonic kismet. After meeting a mutual contact in a treehouse in France, Koerner repeatedly emailed demos, caught his attention with EP track “Cayute Woman” and they went on to work together in Berlin, Los Angeles and New Orleans.

On Koerner, Greenall says:

“Maggie’s voice is stunning, her material is honest to the bone, and she is a rare, true, artist. Capable of incredible highs and incredible lows, Maggie and her art are inseparable—and all true artists can relate to that.” 

Koerner’s process is markedly patient and relaxed, and reflects her belief that “you don’t need a controlled environment to make music”—but that’s not to say it’s aimless. Title track “Dig Down Deep“, released today, reflects Koerner’s ethical and musical upbringing which she says taught her to “make music matter.” On the track, she expands:

“I want music to make people feel again, to ask questions again about what the hell is happening around us.“

Encouraging the listener to dig down deep, in its myriad interpretations, carries especially significant meaning in the current climate of domestic and global affairs, which in turn contribute to her unique perspective as a songwriter.

Koerner is already recognizable on the US tour circuit for her incredible live performances with esteemed, festival-favorite acts. Now stepping  out in a more intimate direction—and with Fink producing—her new material is where her voice is given room to slowly smolder, leaving behind a chilled but haunting trace.


4.14.17 MUSIC RELEASES

Barenaked Ladies, Lillie Mae, Julia Fordham, Leslie Mendelson, The String Cheese Incident, Fionn Regan, Splashh, Little Dragon, John Mayer, Kendrick Lamar, Actress, Part Chimp, William Joseph Cook, Richie Kotzen, Sam Outlaw, Bailey Bryan & Deep State

EAR BUDS :: 10 SONGS WE LOVE THIS WEEK :: 4.14.17

-xxx-