• Tim Blane, Clockwork: Tim Blane is the guy who went to Berklee, developed his ridiculous musical skills, puts out one of the best local albums of the last couple of years and is starting to get some serious attention. All of these things should make you want to at least slightly dislike the guy, given that such a background suggests that he MUST be at least a little conceited. And yet you discover that he has a sly sense of humor, penchant for self-deprication and warmth going on. So you can’t hate him. You can only keep on listening to the work and looking forward to the next release.
  • Stevie Wonder, Definitive Collection: A lot of desk dancing happened during the long Stevie jam. The problem is that I typically dance and sing along with Stevie. For the sake of all who would then be involved, I refrained. Barely.


  • New Kids on the Block, The Block: It just needed to happen, so I embraced it and it was glorious. I’ll be replaying this album later this evening, when I’m busily prepping the ingredients that are going to go into my brand new crock pot tomorrow morning. I am giddy excited about the prospect of coming home tomorrow evening, opening the door and smelling homemade beef and vegetable stew. SO EXCITED.
  • Jason Mraz, Live at Wilbur’s (Messiah College) 11-23-2002: I hadn’t thought about the date of this show until I heard Jason talking about gearing up for Thanksgiving. Huh. In some respects, the six years that have passed feel more like at least a solid decade (it feels like a lifetime ago that I was living in DC, as I was at this point back in 2002). The important thing, however, is that this is one of my favorite Mraz live recordings. Not only because it’s a great setlist full of songs from when the musician had a clue (cough cough avocados cough), but also because it was recorded by Paul, a friend with whom I’ve lost touch but always think of fondly when I hear old school Mraz music. It used to be so commonsensical, appreciating the gift this musician had. What went wrong?
  • Elliott Smith, From a Basement on the Hill: If this album doesn’t sound like early winter, I don’t know what does.