Want to feel old? The alt-country icons Cowboy Junkies have been around long enough that their own record label, Latent Recordings, is celebrating its 35th anniversary. To mark the occasion, the band has organized something its calls Latent Lounge, a four-week concert series (March 22 to April 12, at the Monarch Tavern) featuring the label's artists. Guitarist Michael Timmins isn't about rear-view mirrors, however. He's looking forward to a new book, a new baseball season, and seeing how a snazzy HBO drama ends (for the second time).
What he's tuned into: "Every weekday morning begins with CBC Radio One's Metro Morning. It's an excellent way to catch up on the recent news as well as finding out what is happening in the city. I think host Matt Galloway is one of the toughest interviewers on radio or TV: He refuses to let politicians and public servants get away with talking in circles and saying nothing. I then listen to the first 30 minutes of The Current and then I flip over to the Fan 590 and The Jeff Blair Show, because it's spring training and every day should start with some good baseball talk."
What he's reading: "I just finished All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews. It's such a beautiful book with a perfect balance of humour and sorrow. When I finished it, I just wanted to search her out and give her a big hug – an appreciative hug as well as a supportive hug. But that would've been weird, so I didn't. I've just started Patrick deWitt's Undermajordomo Minor. I really enjoyed his previous book, The Sisters Brothers. He has a brilliant knack for creating these unfamiliar, familiar worlds inhabited by these cartoon yet completely believable characters. The jury is still out on this new one, but, so far, I'm excited to get back to it each night."
What he's watching: "I've been hooked by HBO's new series Big Little Lies. I listened to the audio book during a very long drive a couple of summers ago and really enjoyed it. Fortunately, I can't remember how it ends and who killed who. (It's one of the benefits of aging – you can read, watch and listen to all sorts of old favourites as if it were the first time.) The show reminds me of my days on the Clinton School playground negotiating play dates, birthday parties and fall-fair responsibilities with the other parents. (Not really …well, kind of.)"
The Cowboy Junkies (and HarpAcash & the Morals) play the Monarch Tavern, March 29, 7 p.m. $20. 12 Clinton St., http://www.ticketfly.com/search/?q=latent+lounge.