It’s a simple yet sublime pleasure, and just thinking about it can make you feel a little calmer, a little more content. Imagine: You bring out one of the good rocks glasses (or your favorite mug or a special occasion tea cup) and pour a couple fingers of amber liquid (or something dark and strong or just some whole milk). You drop the needle on the jazz platter (or pull up a blues album on your mp3 player or dig out that mixtape from college). Ensconcing yourself in the coziest seat in the house, you crack the spine on a classic (or find your place in that sci-fi paperback or pull up a biography on your e-book reader). And then, you go away for a while. Ah, bliss.
In this series, some of NTSIB’s friends share beloved albums, books and drinks to recommend or inspire.
When I took over the blog a year ago, when April commenced her (now over) hiatus, I put up submission guidelines in which I asked artists to give me their “elevator pitch.” Since then I’ve gotten all flavors, sizes and shapes -- some good, some bad, some just there.
A week or so ago, Paul Bohak‘s submission sailed over the transom, and his pitch was “press play.”
Hmm. I thought. And then, because it was late at night and sometimes I like to live dangerously: All right.
Both records have become music I come back to regularly, to be soothed, and also to cleanse my musical palate.
Before I Lose You is from Vagabond’s Wealth, one of two solo albums he released this year, after over 25 years writing songs, mostly while in bands. It is not the first song I listened to, but it is the first one to sink its hooks into me.
This is Headlights from Saraswati Radio, his first solo album, and the one I want to put on a road trip playlist. It seems perfect for long stretches of interstate broken up only by billboards and fast food billboards glowing in the enveloping darkness.
And with that, I turn the floor over to Paul Bohak, who join us today from Bozeman, Montana, to share a favorite book, record and drink:
A Good Read:
Danny the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl. This is a book I read when I was a kid, but never forgot about. It follows the life of a young boy and his father. They live in an old gypsy carriage type of thing. I think what was so intriguing about it was, not only the shorter stories that are told throughout the larger narrative, but the ability to identify with this boy and his life. I recently bought it again and am looking forward to giving it another read.
A Good Listen:
Know By Heart by The American Analog Set. A friend of mine gave me his old iPod a few years back and it was loaded with a bunch of music I’d never heard. Know By Heart was on there and I immediately dug it. It’s so mellow, the kind of music you can put on at any time. There’s such a great mood that it creates, almost like a kind of soundtrack. So it’s a combination of droning vibe and really great songs, if that makes sense. The Postman, Know By Heart and Aaron & Maria are three of my favorite songs. I’ve listened to this album many, many times since I first heard it and continue to keep it in rotation.
A Good Drink:
Spiffy Cola. Nothing fancy . . . it’s a cola drink that’s been around since 1934. It comes in a glass bottle, which is really the only way to drink a soda, and the label looks like it hasn’t changed since it came out so long ago. I found it mixed in with a bunch of other obscure soda drinks at the grocery store. What more can I say . . . it’s super tasty!