Shows: The Wire is the best show/thing made in the history of
humanity, period. This involves beating out competition from the
pyramids, the Sistine Chapel, and straws. Doctor Who and House of
Cards are ruining my life. Breaking Bad and Arrested Development
are close seconds. Also Archer, The Walking Dead, The League, Game
of Thrones, and It's Always Sunny.
Books: Anything by Dostoyevsky or Murakami. I got into other
existentialist literature like Sarte and Camus, then found it
depressing, then found it inspiring, then found it both at the same
time, then just went and watched Carl Sagan instead and felt better
about the entire gig.
Movies: Lost In Translation. Cowboy Bebop. The Hunt For Red
October. Syriana. Wes Anderson shit.
Music: This section is long and you don't really have to
read it. The TLDR version is that I listen to KEXP a lot, and I try
to see as many shows and discover as much new music as I can. The
super long version is below:
Music has inhabited a large role in my life since I was little and
started taking piano lessons. I played the French horn for over 10
years (it's technically just the "horn," but nobody who doesn't
play it will know what I'm talking about otherwise), and I think
that experience really made me more sensitive to
beautiful/uplifting/tragic music than anything else. I used to have
a section here where I tried to give some very incomplete list of
music I listen to; it has since occurred to me that it might make
for a more descriptive read if I instead list the best moments in
concerts I've been to. Also, this is more fun for me to list. In no
1. Dancing in the pit during LCD Soundsystem at Sasquatch 2010, and
looking up at the amphitheater during "All My Friends" and seeing
the entire crowd raising their hands up and down in unison, then
looking at James Murphy's facial expression while seeing what his
music was doing.
2. Seeing Godspeed You! Black Emperor play for over 2 hours in
Seattle in 2011, and standing there at the end next to their film
projectors while they played "East Hastings" and wishing I could be
as fearlessly creative as everyone involved in that musical
3. Worrying that Massive Attack would be kind of a let down after
I'd grown up on them, and instead seeing the first big show in
which I learned how amazing a live concert experience at the hands
of veteran musicians could be. Then walking back to the Sasquatch
campsite and being able to immediately tell just by looking at
people's eyes whether they'd just seen that same show or not.
4. Standing right next to stage to see Explosions In the Sky at
Neumo's in 2007. First real show I ever went to once I moved to
5. Catching the tail end of M83, and immediately wishing I'd seen
the entire show. Then, going home and really getting into
6. Watching a person dressed in a gorilla suit climb up to the top
of the stage rafters during an Of Montreal show and start setting
off smoke grenades. Best "wtf" moment ever.
7. Amon Tobin's ISAM set at Coachella. The only time an electronic
musician has made me cry. I've never felt so physically overpowered
and overwhelmed by music in my life. If you have a chance to see
him this fall in Seattle, and you are at all into electronic music,
see this performance. Unbelievable.
8. Being exhausted at the end of Coachella, trying to dance to
Modeselektor but having difficulty keeping my energy up (same as
everyone around me), and then in the course of 60 seconds watching
Ed O'Brien walk right behind me and then seeing Thom Yorke come out
on the stage and perform one of the Modeselektor collaborations.
Then walking away, watching HoloTupac, and then passing out in the
9. Getting completely shitfaced and seeing Built to Spill in
Spokane. Fuck yes.
10. Seeing Radiohead twice in a month:
-10a: Crying to "How To Disappear Completely" in Seattle and having
it dawn on me how full circle life can be. Ask me about my tattoo
-10b: Dancing to "Reckoner" at Coachella, promptly hugging every
person I was with when the song was over, and having it dawn on me
that in the end, shit just tends to work out for the best.
11. Portishead. Seattle. The entire thing.