A few tunes to start the day

You know Steve Burns from Blue's Clues. But did you know he's also an indie rocker? Yep, it's true; the drummer for the Flaming Lips even moonlights in Burns's band. I don't remember exactly how I came across his first album, Songs for Dustmites, but I go back to it every now and then, and always find it an extremely pleasant listen.

Girlsareshort was another blip on the radar, putting out just two albums before folding. Earlynorthamerican is one of the most charming, summery, pleasant albums I've ever heard.

It is impossible to go wrong with Bowie, but Heroes is my go-to song whenever I need a lift; it picked me up many a time in Azerbaijan when things just got a little too much, but I had somewhere I needed to be -- I'd bring it up on the iPod on the walk to wherever, and by the time I got there, things would be better.