My “Now” page is where I share stuff I’ve enjoyed recently, in the hopes that you’ll find something you’ll enjoy too.
Spiritualized, Everything Was Beautiful
Spiritualized is probably in my all-time top 20. Along with 2018’s And Nothing Hurt, J. Spaceman is doing a bit of a valedictory tour of the sounds he’s been plying since his time in Spacemen 3 in the ’80s: Space-rock with hints of garage, gospel, ’60s R&B and psych. With a focus on songs over fuzzed-out jams, it’s a good entry point for newbies.
Papercuts, Past Life Regression
“Indie-pop perfection” is a category I go deep on, but I only recently came across Papercuts. Past Life Regression is dream-pop with a range of influences, with ’60s and ’80s underground pop heaviest among them (to these ears). There’s some real songcraft here. R.I.Y.L. Real Estate, Proper Ornaments, Quivers & Big Star.
Various Artists, For Ukraine (Volume 2)
An excellent ambient compilation, for a good cause. In some moments, this is closer to modern composition, though one of the benefits of a compilation like this is the broad range of styles & textures. Ideal for Sunday mornings, rainy days & deep work. All proceeds benefit the International Rescue Committee. (Volume 1, which is also worth your time, raised over $7k.)
(I link to Bandcamp whenever possible, since it’s the platform that returns the most money to the artists.)
How to Be Perfect: The Correct Answer to Every Moral Question, Michael Schur
This is a comparison of the prominent schools of Western philosophy, with a focus on practical application. It’s easy to absorb and written with humor. (The title of the book is the first joke.) If you’re interested in being a better person, or curious about philosophy without wanting to dive into some pretty dense source texts, this is as good a starting point as any. As a bonus, if you’re a fan of The Good Place, you’ll learn which characters are stand-ins for which schools of thought.
The Price We Pay, Marty Makary, MD
I read this for a client project. It’s an eye-opening, often infuriating look at our extremely broken health care system. In short, there are too many middlemen, too many lawyers, and too many corporations concerned with profits instead of health. Makary does the legwork, criss-crossing the country to meet with good players and bad. And while it’s unfair to expect a single book to provide a full solution, Makary does outline the steps that we can take, in our politics and in our personal lives.
No personal travel since the last Now page update in February.
Coming up: Newport, RI, and a return to the Oregon coast and wine country.
Publican is very close to our place, and we’ve descended upon it more than once to enjoy happy hour on its patio. Highlights include $1 oysters, poutine, three $25 bottles of wine to choose from, and a highly underrated burger. On at least one recent Thursday, a combination of the above was a badly-needed reset during a very crazy week.
As of this writing, I’ve exercised 133 of 142 days this year. This month is a strength month on the Peloton (pushing for PRs); next month is about distance. As to the future of Peloton’s stock price, your guess is as good as mine.
Questions on any of the above? Got something to share of your own? Drop me a line: matthew(at)threedeuce(dot)com.