This week in the Casamara Club leisure diaries, Erica gets into the groove.
This week, between a couple of long travel days and what Tracksmith affectionately calls “mileage season
,” I’ve been wearing my headphones a lot (probably too much, if we’re being honest), and have been in pursuit of a more varied soundtrack than usual. A total cultural refresh — new music, new podcasts, new audiobooks, you name it. Eventually, we’ll see if any of it sticks, or if once the novelty wears off I go back to listening to the same five albums on repeat. But in the meantime, I’d like to share a few highlights from the journey.
Danger Mouse produced two excellent albums that have come out in the last couple of months. The first, Cheat Codes
with Black Thought of the legendary Roots crew, is the sort of cinematic thrill you would expect from their collaboration. Danger Mouse is a self-identified musical chameleon, who can embody and blend genres, seeing the ways that they naturally intersect and where they can be bridged. A recent interview with Craig Jenkins
for NY Mag is an excellent glimpse into the how and why he’s worked with everyone from Gorillaz
and The Black Keys
to MF Doom
and Norah Jones
(don’t sleep on that Norah Jones album..). With Black Thought, everything from soul to indie rock is infused with his hip hop sensibility, punctuated by Thought’s lyricism. The second, Into the Blue
, is the first Broken Bells
project in nearly a decade (with James Mercer of The Shins), and seems almost an inversion of Cheat Codes
— dreamy rock ballads underpinned by sophisticated beats. For me, they work well as a pairing, one album after the other.
Have we talked about the Libby
app yet? It's by far the easiest way to access a library's digital collection, whether you are looking for ebooks, audiobooks, or even periodicals, depending on your library branch. The app integrates seamlessly with Kindle (if you must), or can download full ebooks and audiobooks onto the app itself that you can read on your phone, which comes in handy if you are out in the world and need a book to read instantly (happens more often than you think!). I just finished One Last Stop,
by Casey McQuiston
, which presents as a pretty straightforward romance novel — girl meets girl on the train, sparks fly, eventually they find their "happily ever after.” But after a few chapters, it’s clear that the story is so much more, veering into multiple timelines (a fine vehicle for sharing historical points of queer activism not commonly known), exploring the concept of chosen family, and a thorough rendering of how a new city becomes your home that hit me in my heart strings.
There’s a lot more where that came from… But for now, let’s take the weekend and check back in soon.