Playlist 44 is a Real Maverick

Some of you who know my devotion to Philly sports might think I'm hyped today. Phillies playing Game 4 of the NLDS. And the Eagles taking on the Washington Redskins at the same time. But hyped isn't quite the word.

It's more like dread.

It's quite possible that the Phillies, whose offense has gone missing again, could lose in Milwaukee (setting up a terrifying Game 5) right around the same time that my injury-plagued Birds could be falling to 2-3 and deep into the NFC East cellar.

I'm currently reading Matthew Quick's wonderful debut novel -- The Silver Linings Playbook. (More on the book next week). In it, the main character's father is in a foul mood almost all of the time except when the Eagles win. During one highly disappointing game, he breaks the television set.

I'm going to to remove any big, tossable objects from my living room right now.

Hey wait a minute. What am I doing? I'm setting up some pretty low expectations for my teams, aren't I? But maybe that works. Maybe, I should try it at work.

What if I showed up and blathered on about nothing and when directly questioned by my boss, appeared clueless. Then, at my next meeting, as long as I didn't burn down the building or vomit or cry, everyone will think I'm a pretty smart guy. Heck, I'll be so confident, I'll even wink at all the bosses.

Yeah, that's the gosh darn ticket.

For no apparent reason, our Weekly Wikipedia link is the the television show Maverick.

Now onto the Playlist ...

Victory Shorts. Absentee.
I love this album. Deep-voiced Dan Michaelson writes big hook-filled rock songs and gorgeous ballads with a unique turn of words. The London-based five-piece indie band also includes Melinda Bronstein on vocals, glockenspiel and keyboards. Absentee sounds like a mix between the Silver Jews (see Playlist 39) and Magic Numbers. I can't say much more, except that I highly recommended this. I've put two songs onto the Hear This! tool on the right-hand side. Give it a listen.

Starbucks Nation: A Novel. Chris Ver Weil.
First of all, this is a novel. It's in the title. But I could see how someone might walk by it thinking it another piece of barista-filled wit and wisdom. Second, to know how dead on Ver Weil's take on Hollywood, celebrity and today's coffee- and text messaging-obsessed youth is, just look at your local movie page where you'll find the new film Chihuahua in Beverly Hills. Ver Weil's story follows screenwriter Morgan Beale, who is suffering from writers' block while he's supposed to be penning the script for Chihuahua in the Blue Prada Bag. In the first few chapters, particularly as Beale talks to a young People reporter, Ver Weil is a joy to read. The book soon descends into a strange, sleeping-drug induced tale of Beale in a giant hole outside of a Starbucks. I preferred the start of the book, but still found Starbucks Nation to be very biting. Very funny. And very creative.

Decline of Western Civilization. Holy Sons.

Holy Sons is actually one person -- Emil Amos who wrote all the songs and plays every note on this dark album. He's wildly talented, and he must be a real bummer at parties. The song titles fit right in with the lo-fi trudging music -- Nothing Left, Bleakest Picture, Satanic Androids and Decline's closer -- Things You Do While Waiting for the Apocolypse. No, it's certainly not going to cheer you up, but it's great music if you have a seat of headphones and rainy day.

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