Well it's the end of May and the weather here in Los Angeles is absolutely wonderful (though I fear the imminent onset of what the natives refer to as "the June Gloom"). I bought a mountain bike the weekend before last which pretty much broke the band but has been making me real happy. I went for a couple of great rides this past weekend (also did some rollerskating, frisbeeing, and croqueting) and now I'm sporting one of those almost-burns. Bring on the melanoma, I love it!

I've still been listening to a lot of records I've mentioned previously, but here's some new stuff I haven't been able to get enough of, some of which you can sample on this very page:

Boards of Canada, Music Has the Right to Children. Former Epitonic editor Lando turned me on to this. I have listened to very little electronic music over the years. I mean, I have albums I never listen to at home by Plastikman and Amon Tobin. I used to listen to this Orb album when I got stoned my freshman year of college. I have crossover stuff that employs a lot of electronics. I have hip hop albums. But that's about it. If you're like me, Boards of Canada is probably not a bad place to start. Because it's soulful and playful. The album fuses machine funk to cool synth pleasures in a way that's really revelatory and enjoyable. It's like ambient instrumental hip hop. I can't get enough. And I want to pick up their new record, Geogaddi, as soon as I have a few dollars to spare.

Herbie Hancock, Sextant. Three surprisingly minimal tracks of spacey, funky jazz ambience. The record's second side, the 20-minute-long "Hornets," is simply mind-blowing.

J-Live, All of the Above. A true hip hop opus, clocking in at something like 80 minutes. J-Live throws everything he's got at you, calling to mind the Roots, KRS-1, De La Soul, and many others at different times, while crafting his own distinctive style with help from producer DJ Spinna. He's a great MC, laying down hard, smooth rhymes that often crack you up. The guy is smart. My only complaint is that the album contains just a few too many digs at mainstream hip hop; by the end of the album, you've gotten the message over and over again and you want J-Live to turn his considerable lyrical ability to more worthy subjects.

Arco, Coming to Terms. This morose, breathy indie rock album is undoubtedly the sort of thing I would listen to in high school. If you're on the sad and quiet tip, you'll like Arco. For fans of stuff like the Clientele, Trembling Blue Stars, Low, and Red House Painters.

The Feelies, Only Life. Their third LP, from 1988. Probably a lot folkier than their early material. Jangly, smart indie rock. Reminds me of Yo La Tengo at times. Features a good cover of the Velvet Underground song "What Goes On."