I have a list of tunes from back in the 70s—basically my teen years—that I listened to for inspiration. And by listened to, I mean that I would play these songs over and over again in my bedroom at full volume, and would actually see images that suggested stories I would tell years later. I still sample those oldies now and again when I’m feeling inert or stuck, when the sandbox I was only a day before happily playing in has suddenly become hardpan.

Some of the songs below are old, stuff I would listen to on KSJO or KOME growing up in the Bay Area. Some are newer-ish, but not too new, as the newest music tends to get scooped up right away for any and everything these days, and takes away my own pictures. But all of them are cinematic in my book …