Playing Favorites

Courtney Barnett

By Bob on April 24, 2014 4:43 AM

Our son Cole is our music Sherpa. He guides us up through the dreck and dross of pop culture by introducing us to new artists we'd never find on our own. Our most recent mountain-top experience came by way of Charlotte's birthday (yes, she's finally 30, so stop the jokes about me robbing the cradle) when he gave her the new album from Courtney Barnett.

Courtney Barnett

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This Aussie songstress is a folkie/bluesy delight with a sound that's all her own, but with hints of Nirvana, Kathleen Edwards and Bob Dylan thrown in for good measure. She's a singer/songwriter with an ear for witty (snarky) lyrics that are sometimes funny, often insightful and always brilliant.  

Here's an example. Her single Avant Gardener tells the story of having an anaphylactic panic attack in the midst of an Australian heat wave, with lyrics like "The paramedic thinks I'm clever cos I play guitar, I think she's clever cos she stops people dying." Sure it's a funny line, but she backs it up with a catchy guitar riff that'll make you want to hum along..."I'm having trouble breathing in..."

Courtney Barnett, Avant Gardner  

The Melbourne-based performer's latest release, A Sea of Split Peas, is available on Amazon and iTunes. It's a terrific album that comes with a built-in hipness factor. If someone asks you where you heard about Courtney Barnett, just wink and say, "My music Sherpa led me to her." 

They'll think it's either Cole or Tenzing Norgay. I'm good either way.



Band of Horses

Father John Misty

Ben Howard 

Playing Favorites is a column where Charlotte and I pull back the curtain on our Boomer lives to show you what we're into these days. It may be a movie we've discovered. A new restaurant. Great food. Interesting drink. A song we can't get out of our heads...it could be anything. It's all about discovery and the stuff that makes us happy. So, step inside our world and let us show you around. Don't mind the dust, the housekeeper comes on Thursday.

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Guest Room

Diabetes-Friendly Chicken Burrito Bowl

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By Laura Cipullo and Lisa Mikus, authors of Everyday Diabetes Meals
Image credit: Colin Erricson

Prepare your own Mexican quick fix with this Chipotle-inspired bowl. Carbs are moderated by filling the bowl with beans, extra veggies and chicken. No need for rice, since the beans count as carbs.


If you love tomatoes, increase the quantity to 1/2 cup, but note that the carbohydrates will also increase.

If preparing this recipe for one person, cut all of the ingredients in half. Or simply prepare the full recipe up to the end of step 2 and store leftover chicken and vegetable-bean mixture in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat in the microwave on High for 1 to 2 minutes, or until heated through, and continue with step 3.

Health Bite: The iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper and zinc in black beans help to keep bones strong and healthy.

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Playing Favorites

Windy City

It's been almost 18 years since Alison Krauss gave us a solo album, but the wait is over with Windy City. The release (her fifth solo studio album) features ten covers of classic songs (and some bonus tracks) she picked with producer Buddy Cannon.

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