Sunday, June 25, 2006

Book on Indian art/mythology

The Much Maligned Monster - recommended by Goeun

Friday, January 20, 2006


Tuesday, January 17, 2006

John's blog

A friend in India

Calvin Phelp's blog

Recent posts include songs by The Aluminum Group and Talk Talk, the interactive ‘HAPPYFACE’ by Jason Pickleman and a fantastic essay by Ivan Chvatík titled The Heretical Conception of the European Heritage in the Late Essays of Jan Patocka. Be sure to come by often, as I update 2 or 3 times a week. Look for more music, images and text coming soon.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Music recommendations from Laurel

Music! Always glad to recommend, and I think it's funny that you got the impression I am into rave/trance! Those CDs were my friend Trevor's, and while I certainly like to go out dancing every now and then, what I listen to at home is very different. I tend to like Jazz (especially bebop / 50s) and Brazillian / bossa nova, but am really enraptured by percussion of all kinds.

If you haven't heard Thievery Corporation, you should try them out! They are a DJ duo from Washington, DC who take all kinds of world music (African, Indian, Middle Eastern, South American, Reggae) and break it down into bits: drum lines, melodies, vocals, and then reconstruct original songs using the pieces. It's "dancy" in a sense, but extremely downtempo / ambient. Their latest album is called "Cosmic Game" but all of their CDs are great... I think it would be good to work to... upbeat but not overpowering.

Another similar group called The Outernationalists put out a great disc last year, Ethnomixicology.

Two movie soundtracks that I think you would like: "Donnie Darko" (also the movie is amazing... ), which has a haunting score surrounded by some great New Wave tracks from the 80s (Tears for Fears, Joy Division, Echo & The Bunnymen, The Church). And "The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou" which has a ton of David Bowie / Ziggy Stardust era covers done in Portuguese by a Brazillian musician named Seu Jorge, along with a great score by Mark Mothersbaugh (who does all of Wed Anderson's movie soundtracks... "Rushmore" and "The Royal Tenenbaums")

And three ladies you should check out: Jolie Holland (Escondida), Joanna Newsom (The Milk-Eyed Mender), and M.I.A. (Arular). Holland's voice is that of an older soul, sounding like a cross between Billie Holiday and... Loretta Lynn? And Newsom sounds like an American Bjork, traipsing through the woods with her harp. M.I.A. is a Sri Lanka refugee who moved to London 12 years ago or so. Her album may be a bit too jarring for your tastes, but it is an eclectic mix of Dancehall Reggae, Garage, and nonsense, and is the Latest Thing for people who are looking for new sounds. The album was released last year in England, but was just put out recently in the US. You may want to give it a listen (try downloading her first hit, "Galang") just because you are living close to the part of the world where she's from.

And finally, you should definitely check out a radio show on the web called Traveler, done by Six Degrees records founder Bob Duskis. You can listen to it streaming at:

The Six Degrees label is always looking for funky, new, genre-defying music and has a new 2-hour program weekly, which they run continuously at that website (or on iTunes if you have that... look under the Radio in the categories "Electronica" or "Eclectic").

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Book Recommendations

Shantideva's "The Way of the Bodhisattva"
Dalai Lama "Ancient Wisdom Modern World"
Soygal Rinpoche "Tibet Book of Living and Dying".
"The Upanishads"
"The Future of Mankind - Affluence without wisdom is Self-destructive" , "A
Gift for all Mankind" Tara Singh
"Awakening a Child from within"
"The Buddha's Law among the Birds" translated by Conze.
"The Way of the White Clouds" by Lama Anagarika Govinda - tale of a devoted westerner's pilgrammage to live and learn with a great master in the Himalayas.
"Essays in Idleness" from the 14th Century Japanese monk Kenko is a classic.
"Autobiography of a Yogi" by Paramahansa Yogananda
and "God talks with Arjuna: the Bhagavad Gita"
"Raja Yoga" by Swami Vivekenanda
"Self-Enquiry" and "A Practical guide to Know Yourself - Conversations
with Ramana Maharishi"- the conversations of Bhagavan Ramana are unique.
"The Awakening of Intelligence." Jiddu Krishnamurti
"The Gospel of Ramakrishna" is worth a read.
Sufi poetry by Hafiz and Rumi
Books on the Sufis by Idries Shah are illuminating
Of Western writers, I am fond of Emerson. Whitman, Thoreau and Lincoln.
John Keats is marvelous. I also like the jottings of John Ruskin.
"A Course in Miracles" is a breath of fresh air to christian thought
(given to man by Christ himself).
"Authentic Happiness" by Martin Seligman. He was the founder of "Positive Psychology", a subject which explores the pysiological and pyschological aspects of the state of happiness. An excellent read with some good research.
"The Anatomy of Thought" by Ian Glynn. He discusses the biochemistry of the mind.

Valmiki's "Ramayana", I think you will enjoy it, because Valmiki was a man of
violence (rapist, thief, murderer) who underwent an amazing transformation and wrote Ramayana, which is so full of wisdom and beauty.

Dilgo Khyenste Rinpoche - The Heart Treasure of the Enlightened
- Sits amongst the tomes that must form the teachings of any aspiring

"The Conference of the Birds." An old Sufi
"Enneads" Plotonius - the quintessential gold of Greece
"The Multiorgasmic Man." Mantak Chia

I will leave you with a poem by Hafiz,

"Where is the door to God?
In the sound of a barking dog,
In the ring of a hammer,
In a drop of rain,
In the face of Everyone I see"


One from Wordsworth:

With deep devotion, Nature, did I feel
In that great City what I owed to thee
High thoughts of God and Man, and love of Man,
Triumphant over all those loathsome sights
Of wretchedness and vice; a watchful eye,
Which with the outside of human life
Not satisfied, must read the inner mind.

Thursday, May 05, 2005


Go see "We Love Huckabees," with Lily Tomlin, Dustin Hoffman, et al. It's
a quasi-existential comedy that will keep you hopping!