One of the great joys of life is knowing that there will ALWAYS be more music I've never heard before, and books I've never read before. Here are some recent discoveries. Some of these artists I'd heard of before, but never fully appreciated, and some of these books I have yet to read, but it warms the cockles of my heart to know that they exist.
"She & Him"
Zooey Deschanel, who is gorgeous and talented, formed a little Indie group with one other guy. The result is chill Indie awesomeness.
I'd heard two songs of hers before, but um, there are a lot more incredible ones. Totally funky, and occasionally really weird. I dig it.
This Indian-born pop lady singer has a sound like nothing I've ever heard of before. It's rap/pop with an occasional Indian edge, and the result is a hard beat and great rhymes.
More slightly weird electronica. They did the theme song for Grey's Anatomy. Chill but funky.
Cheerful Indie, reminiscent of Sondre Lerche with a dash of the Shins. Although I hate to limit artists to the other people they sound like, so I'll also mention the fact that they've got a sound all their own.
"House and Philosophy: Everybody Lies" by Henry Jacoby and William Irwin
A few fellows with loads of intellect and excellent taste in television dramas have applied the ideals of the major philosophers throughout history to Gregory House's brilliant and ego-driven mind. The book goes through and identifies the ways in which House follows the ideals of Socrates, Marx, etc. etc. I'm such a nerd, but I was so thrilled to find this book while working late last night.
"Jeff Herman's Guide to Book Publishers, Editors, & Literary Agents 2009 (19th Ed.): Who They Are! What They Want! How to Win Them Over!" by Jeff Herman
Most of this book is literally an enormous, totally comprehensive contact list for publishers/editors/agents. For each one, it specifies the best way to contact them and what to send. Perfect resource for anyone who has ever written anything that should be published (cough cough Jeff Otero).
"The Power of the Actor" by Ivana Chubbuck
Ivana Chubbuck is one of the most sought-after acting coaches in the business, and she's got these visualization techniques (similar concept to Alba Emoting) to allow an actor to organically create the feelings of being drunk or high, of having romantic chemistry with someone, of being pregnant, etc. without actually having to go out and experience those things. Instead of method, it's visualization. Apparently her techniques are so powerful that some people have been able to kick drug habits, because they're able to manufacture the resulting feelings without actually getting high. I was reading through some of the book at work, and it's now on hold for me to buy with my next paycheck.
"The Big-Ass Book of Crafts" by Mark Montano
I actually bought this one last week. A few of the ideas/projects in it:
• Light fixtures out of 2-liter soda bottles or drinking straws
• Boxes made of dominoes
• Re-upholstering a chair with colored duct tape.
• Window treatments out of paper dolls, or garbage bag ties.
Totally funky and creative. I love it.
I highly recommend check-outage of all of the above.