Playlist 15 -- Escaping the March doldrums

So what's worse -- being called a monster or being called Kenneth Starr? And what's the difference between the two? They both like hiding under beds. Well, stop the bickering. Read a book, listen to some music, crack open a beer or do whatever else is your playlist.

Here's my Playlist for this past week.

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. Michael Chabon.

I've joked about how long it has taken me to get through this book. That's more of a reflection of my reading time lately, than a judgment on Chabon's Pulitzer Prize-winning 2001 book. The word used to describe Kavalier and Clay in just about every review I've seen is "epic." And I can't think of a more appropriate description. It is epic in scope (covering several decades and spanning New York, Czechoslavakia and Antartica), in its themes (escapism) and its topics (history of comic books, magic, war). Refugee Joe Kavalier and his New York-born cousin Sammy Klayman live out their dreams in The Empire City, creating comic books, but they can't seem escape their own pain. The book is meticulously researched and wonderfully written. And each of the more than 600 pages is truly rewarding.

Soundtracks to Juno and Good Will Hunting.
Who would have thunk that a song by the odd, low-fi, animal costume-wearing Moldy Peaches would be on everyone's lips? Kimbya Dawson's songs, whether as herself, the Moldy Peaches or Antsy Pants, capture the offbeat, eccentricity of Juno so well, which is why I think they've caught on with the public so smitten with that movie. The same can be said for the mood set by the Good Will Hunting soundtrack. GWH was a great movie itself, but I'll always hold it dear for introducing me to Elliot Smith's music. Both soundtracks are stellar because of the other songs tossed in -- The Kinks, Buddy Holly, Sonic Youth, Mott the Hoople in Juno and Gerry Rafferty, Waterboys , Dandy Warhols in Good Will Hunting.

New Seasons. The Sadies.

This Canadian band's music feels like cruising down a darkened highway. Even when they play fast, and they can, there doesn't feel a rush to get anywhere. The Sadies come from the Byrdsian wing of the alt-country movement, but their music nods to garage and surf rock. At times their psychadelic bent is reminiscent of Jefferson Airplane. This late 2007 release is full of excellent songwriting, great guitar work and wonderful harmonies (when they're not going instrumental).

Native Lager.

From the packaging to the taste, this is a no-frills beer. It's light and smooth like my favorite beer Yuengling, with even less aftertaste. A great, refreshing beer for those warm Florida weekend days. As usual, the Beeradvocate and I didn't see eye-to-eye on this one.

Other music I've enjoyed this past week ...
-- Falling Slowly, Glen Hasard and Marketa Irglova, The Swell Season. My favorite part of the Oscars was when Jon Stewart let Marketa Irglova come back onstage after she was so rudely cut off.
Centre for the Holy Wars, The New Pornographers. Mass Romantic.
Centerfield, John Fogerty, Centerfield.

And I'll leave you this week with a little Demetri Martin