1. In A Space Outta Sound (2006), Nightmares on Wax… Funky, soulful downtempo—check out the “Flip Ya Lid” track for an ultra-smooth kickstart.
2. Miss Perfumado (1992,
released in U.S. in ’98), Cesaria Evora… Off to a slow morning? Try
some slow morna—a rhythmically balladic blend of African blues and
3. The Life Aquatic Sessions (2005), Seu Jorge… Acoustic guitar covers of David Bowie hits sung in Portuguese—what could be better? Seriously.
4. Go (1962, remastered in ‘05), Dexter Gordon… Nothing goes better with coffee than this jazz standard.
5. Careless Love (2004),
Madeleine Peyroux… It’s modernized retro-torch songs, country ballads,
blues and swingtime jazz—and yeah, this chick totally sounds like
Gotta put in some time at the office, or at home writing:
1. Like the Deserts Miss the Rain, Everything But the Girl… This jazzy techno-folk-pop always makes me yearn for San Francisco fog.
2. The Lost Art of the Idle Moment (2005), Carmen Rizzo… Hypnotic chill-out with non-distracting vocals.
3. Mule Variations (1999), Tom
Waits… I find Waits’ gravelly voice and eclectic use of industrial
instruments to be wholly inspiring—kind of reinvigorates the rebellious
geeky art chick in me.
Feeling a little saucy—in the mood for love but no one’s around… hmm… where’s my batteries?
1. Black Cherry (2003),
Goldfrapp… A sexy, dance floor and downtempo electro treasure! When
Alison Goldfrapp sings, “Put your dirty angel face between my legs and
knicker lace” on “Twist” and simply moans through the largely
instrumental slinker “Slippage,” I swoon. See also Massive Attack’s Mezzanine (1998) and Tricky’s Maxinquaye (1995) for more self-pleasuring electronica.
2. With Teeth (2005), Nine
Inch Nails… All that deep, dark brooding and pent-up rage Trent Reznor
breathily scream-emotes really does something to me. For similar
reasons, see also Deftones’ Deftones (2003) and Tool’s Undertow (1993).
Went out to get groceries looking haggard, ran into an ex—with his new girlfriend
1. 4-Track Demos (1993), PJ Harvey… I live vicariously through Harvey’s angst-ridden, raw, razor-sharp wailings-that-rock. Grrrr!
2. So Jealous (2004), Tegan
and Sara… Who better than indie rock identical twin sisters who sound
like the lesbian love children of Sinead O’Connor and Joan Jett to
carry me through this torment?
3. She Hangs Brightly (1991), Mazzy Star… A melancholy, dark folksy classic.
4. Sea Change (2002), Beck… I
almost just can’t listen to this one, it’s so depressing—especially
with songs like “Lost Cause,” “Lonesome Tears,” “Already Dead” and
“Nothing I Haven’t Seen.” But sometimes, this bitter medicine is just
what the Love Doctor ordered.
Got bored with being depressed, had a glass of wine, and am now dancing around my living room in very unsexy underwear
1. Playing the Angel (2005), Depeche Mode… Actually, I’m obsessed with this one by the ‘80s electro-gods.
2. Supernature (2005), Goldfrapp… Synthesized disco for sequined hipsters.
3. Times of Romance (2005), The Lovemakers… Sexy dance-pop with a sense of humor, from the Bay Area.
4. Brazilian Girls (2005), Brazilian Girls… Playful, seductive trip-hop.
5. This Island (2004), Le
Tigre… I can’t help but do the pogo to Kathleen Hanna’s electro-pop
punk cover of the Pointer Sisters’ “I’m So Excited.”
All that excitement is making me sleepy…
1. Jazz for Lovers (1999),
Various Artists… I’ll admit to putting Gene Ammons’ sultry sax-drenched
“Someone to Watch Over Me” on continuous play, but after I get over
that, by the time Clark Terry’s “Lullaby” kicks in, I’m counting zzz’s.
2. Mozart at Midnight (1994)…
it’s definitely soothing night music but I can’t help but wonder if
there’s any validity to the theory that listening to Mozart’s music
actually makes us smarter. If it does, it’s apparently only working in
3. Instrumental Peace (2002),
Barry Flanagan… for some reason, this one lulls me to dream of
waterfalls and lush tropical rainforests—so I always make sure my
bladder is empty before dozing off to this one.
4. For Your Dreams (2002), Various Artists… this is a romantic, classical mix featuring my favorite operatic piece composed by Leo Delibes.
5. Greatest Hits of the Kali Yoga
(2004), Krishna Das… the only non-instrumental album in the bunch is
probably one of my guiltier pleasures; I may hesitate to tell my
friends, but this album of Indian devotional chanting soothes the
savage beast in my soul.
Samantha Campos was once a contributing writer for a now defunct music magazine called, There’s Never Enough Cowbell.