Weekend recs


The IT Crowd, written by Graham Linehan 2006-2010

The humor in British TV series The IT Crowd is both ridiculous and exceedingly clever. Richard Ayoade and co-star Chris O’Dowd play incurably dorky computer techs Roy and Moss, managed by computer illiterate Jen (Katherine Parkinson), working in the IT department of a huge multinational corporation.   Ayoade in particular has impeccable comedic timing — his quirks are infectious and deeply hilarious. I guarantee you’ll find yourself quoting lines from The IT Crowd as much if not more than you quote Dr. Who or Monty Python. — Jen Mandel



For years, RB and I have had a crappy sound system and a stacks of CDs that we rarely played. Finally, last month, we sprang for a SONOS wireless system, and oh man oh man do we love it. SONOS lets you play your music wirelessly from any of your devices — computer, ipad, ipod, phone — and unlike bluetooth wireless systems, this one lets you play the same song on all the speakers throughout the house. SONOS is also loaded with IHeartRadio, Pandora, Songza and Spotify, none of which I’d ever spent time listening to. (Caveat: I still don’t listen to them tons, in support of all you hard-working musicians out there.) The upshot is, the high-quality sound plus the ease of use means that we’re listening to lots more music these days. And we’re going to finally free up all that wall space taken up by now-obsolete CDs, too. — Lisa Parrish


Yo La Tengo, Fade (2013)

To be truthful, I hadn’t expected to get another Yo La Tengo album that I really loved. I’ve listened to them all, but none with the devotion I gave them in the late 1990s, when friends would roadtrip to see shows together or blow out speakers in Baitken’s old cottage in Georgetown, bass pounding until the neighbors complained. I owned Fade for months without really giving it an attentive listen. When I finally did it reminded me why the album is such a lovely format for this band. It’s paced perfectly: from the mathematical percussion and doot-doos of the opener, “Ohm,” to the softly swelling strings and horns of the last track, “Born to Run,” bouncing back and forth between Ira’s whisper and the low, throaty hum of Georgia’s voice. Overall Fade‘s a little more “Tony Orlando’s House” than “Moby Octopad,” but if, like me, you let these voices usher you into adulthood, and if, like me, you set this one aside after a listen or two or only downloaded the singles, do yourself a favor and find some space to give it a few loud plays in a row, beginning to end. Here’s the opening track, with a clever video that will entertain long-time fans, followed by the finale, with video by Georgia’s sister, Emily. — BW

5 responses to “Weekend recs”

  1. Bryan says:

    Lisa — can you do things like stream NPR or other web radio to the speakers? I’m not sure what it means to say this kind of a system is loaded with programs like Spotify or Pandora — wouldn’t it just depend on whether you had these programs on your individual devices anyway?

  2. Trixie says:

    Bryan! Hi.
    I have Sonos too. Not only can you stream NPR, you can listen to any radio station in the world just about.
    Lisa and RB: I signed up for a music service called MOG (the guy who sold me Sonos recommended it). It’s $10/month but you can listen to any full album you choose and any time (from any device, not just through Sonos). This meant that when Swells and Tracy and I were road tripping through gorgeous New Mexico landscapes this summer, we could listen to every Neil Young song our hearts desired!!
    Love my Sonos too. Love changing the song using my iPhone app without getting off the couch.

  3. Dave says:

    That Sonos thingie sounds pretty cool.

    I’ll add to the Fade buzz that if you have the chance to see one of the band’s current gigs, do it. They’re now in the second round of touring this album, and they’ve been doing two-set shows with no opening band. It’s a great mode of performance for such a multifaceted band.

  4. LP says:

    1: As Trixie says, you can stream pretty much any radio station using the Sonos software / interface, which you can download to any of your devices. So it’s one-stop shopping, which is really convenient – you just open your Sonos app on whatever device, and you can control what you listen to in any room of the house. It’s very happy-making.

    2: Ooo! Good to know. Thanks for the tip. I’m glad you jumped in here, because (a) I’m sure you know more about Sonos than I do, and (b) it’s good to have the imprimatur of a true Music Person to back me up! xx

  5. T-Mo says:

    Any time you can see YLT, do it, but especially this tour. Now that they have umpteen records in their back catalogue, seeing just one set can be frustrating because they can only play so many songs. They can really stretch out in two sets.

    I can’t wait until I can play all my dollar records on Sonos, right through my phone!