1. The Randy Newman Songbook, Vol. 1
Randy Newman is the best possible mixture of political satire and bedtime storyteller. My favorite is his classic "Political Science":
Asia's crowded and Europe's too old
Africa is far too hot
And Canada's too cold
And South America stole our name
Let's drop the big one
There'll be no one left to blame us
2. Konk, by U.K. rock group the Kooks. This is one of those albums that makes you forget where you are and start skipping.
3. Fiona Apple is pretty much the classiest little lady with the biggest, most surprising voice. Zach Galifianakis has got deadpan down pat, and has nailed that fine line between awkwardness and ironic wit. Now, the two of them together...well, check our Not About Love.
4. I fell in love with Bon Iver through NPR's Live Concerts podcast. Bon Iver, or "good winter" in French, is the result of one of Justin Vernon's better winters. And then I stumbled upon La Blogotheque, a French music criticism website. Their videos show how music create communities:
Oh, Skinny Love. I want to be someone's.
5. This final group wins for weirdest (a.k.a. best) name: Blitzen Trapper. What does that mean, anyway? It means the newest, hippest version of Bob Dylan, complete with trendy glasses and Portland boys decked out in plaid.
All of these songs are the stories that at some point were just thoughts in heads.
I am going to think about that, go to sleep, and wake up inspired.