Branden’s Picks

What I’m listening to:

The Magnetic Fields - Love at the Bottom of the SeaThe Magnetic Fields’ Love at the Bottom of the Sea

The first song I heard off of the Magnetic Fields’ 2012 album was Andrew in Drag, an ode to explorations of gender and sexual identity, as well as an ethereal longing for the impossible. After listening to it about a hundred times, I finally picked up this album to see what else The Magnetic Fields had to offer. The rest of the album contains sounds as magical and dreamy as one might expect from titles like I’ve Run Away to Join the Fairies, with lyrics as irreverent and witty as All She Cares About is Mariachi or The Horrible Party would suggest.

What I’m reading:

Michael Ondaatje - The Collected Works of Billy the KidMichael Ondaatje’s The Collected Works of Billy the Kid

Gun fights, liquor, women, quiet nights in the desert spent talking on front porches, and long weeks of solitary healing in abandoned barns. Ondaatje assumes Billy’s voice to tell his own story, and turns out a surprisingly reflective book of prose and poetry. Historical fiction told via the characters’ viewpoints isn’t exactly unheard of, but  to re-imagine the outlaw as  a poet and artist in their own right is a bold move.

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