Three years ago, I signed up for a 3-part, public, psychology lecture series at the University of Washington.  The series was titled, “The Science of Decision Making”.  The first night, I dutifully strode into Kane Hall and walked into the great hall.  I didn’t bother to consider that there are several lecture rooms in the building that might host my event.

The host began talking and asking the crowd which part of the Medical School they were associated with.  Lots of responses from ‘Psychiatry’, ‘Social Work’, ‘Pharmacology’, ‘Bioethics’ … etc.  I couldn’t choose between thinking, “I’m in the wrong room” and “if the School of Medicine takes over my alumni lecture, it must be a good sign.”  (Yeah, I was in the wrong place; and they were trying to kick people out due to space constraints.)  I sat quietly trying not to look lost.

Dr. Gabor Matē commenced to give a personable lecture about drug addiction, roots of the disease, and what he’s learned about treatment.  He runs a clinic, situated within group housing, in Vancouver B.C.  Fascinating and compassionate, you can read more about him and his work at his website,

He storied us with his own addiction problems.  Yes, people laughed when he described his pursuit of classical music.  His pushers at the record shop would ask him if he had a specific version of Beethoven’s Symphony no. 3, or “you haven’t heard the new Mozart from the London Philharmonic??  You have to buy this.”  But no joke – he was spending $1000s of dollars on CDs and lying to his family about it.  He’d hide the CDs in his car or in the office, he’d smuggle them into his home office and hide them behind medical journals.  He missed his sons’ school activities because he had to “stay late at the clinic”, which included buying and listening to classical music.  When I saw him, he was receiving professional help for this addiction.

And thus we begin the point of my post this evening.  I’ve made a lot of purchases over the past couple of months, and I can’t keep up.  Here’s a partial listing (partial only because I can’t be sure that I’m forgetting something):

  1. The Kills – Keep on Your Mean Side Cat Claw    ( Influenced by Johnny Thunders??)
  2. The Kills – No Wow
  3. The Kills – Midnight Boom
  4. The Kills – Blood Pressures
  5. The Kills – Ash & Ice
  6. Operators – Blue Wave
  7. Warpaint – Heads Up
  8. Tacocat – Lost Time
  9. Beethoven – Symphony No. 9
  10. Beethoven – Piano Sonatas, Po. 2, Nos. 1-3
  11. (2) Rough Trade compilation CDs
  12. (1) Sub Pop compilation CD
  13. Jesca Hoop – memories are now Memories are Now  (I’m liking this new album.  More later.)
  14. Bikini Kill – The First Two Records (one CD)
  15. Parkay Quarts – Tally All the Things That You Broke
  16. Parquet Courts – Light Up Gold
  17. Parquet Courts – Human Performance
  18. Pinkshinyultrablast – Everything Else Matters Umi  (tell your record store clerk, “Pinkshinyultrablast – all one word, spelled just as it sounds”)
  19. Ringo Deathstarr – Colour Trip
  20. Ringo Deathstarr – Pure Mood
  21. Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  22. The Colorist and Emiliana Torrini – An Evening With
  23. Iron & Wine – The Creek Drank the Cradle (vinyl)
  24. MC5 – Kick Out the Jams (vinyl)

Plus, I belong to a (vinyl) record-of-the-month club, I borrow things from the library, I bought some (vinyl) 7” singles, and people point me to things on Spotify and YouTube.  A glorious river of entertainment to wade through, a bender of new things to listen to:  I’m here to help!

More details and recommendations from the list are forthcoming from the list.Until then, I’ve given you 3 samples, via YouTube, just click the bold purple text above.

And, no, I don’t buy this much every month, but when I do, it drives me crazy with delight.


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