Tag Archives: folk

fall 2016 on last.fm

screen-shot-2016-11-28-at-4-44-28-pm Continue reading

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Jewel City

JEWEL CITY

airy, brazen invisible strings
vibrating, erratic, dimly squeezing
a constellation of city lights—
it’s San Francisco, the city
of bridges, visionary legions,
future-destined legends.

every day a moment
renewed by the pianoforte
fog creeping, sneaking—
a holy, wondrous, consecrated,
wet, beautiful thing
adhering to every home.

and the bass? bombastic and
silent and teeming, a mass crashing
against the cliff side, oceanic
connector of disparate worlds,
salty cell body binding wild lives,
eternal caution to us all:

today!
we are triple blessed in the Jewel City. Continue reading

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my top ten albums of 2014

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Blacklisted — Neko Case
Chicago Transit Authority — Chicago
Chronological Calloway Vol. 1: The Early Years 1930-1934 — Cab Calloway
Do It Again — Röyksopp & Robyn
Dreaming of You — Selena
The Feast of the Broken Heart — Hercules & Love Affair
January 07003 | Bell Studies for the Clock of the Long Now — Brian Eno
Los Angeles 6/10 — Daedelus / Teebs
Lost in the Spectacle — York Factory Complaint
On the Water — Future Islands
Suicide — Suicide
World Psychedelic Classics, Vol. 4: The Existential Soul of Tim Maia: Nobody Can Live Forever — Tim Maia
Yellow mY skYcaptain — Paz Lenchantin Continue reading

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mosquito inspiration

mosquito, equally empty, equally to be loved, equally a coming Buddha. Continue reading

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Bookends

1

spent the night fueling. drinking water. cooked a salmon w Xanthe’s guidance, raw segments of flesh lining the thicker bits. soft orzo mixed in w onion, garlic, and mushrooms on the side. very filling. tons of water. whiskey. laughter, a shower, and confidence.

walked to BART. into the Mission. above to the streets.

the drugged and the homeless on their wayward trips. a few blocks to Public Works, and there i was, for the first time in a year, encircled by youth, liquor, and deeply throbbing bass. church.

i ordered a whiskey ginger, which i sipped while swaying to the sultry beats alongside Mark and Marie. Mark disappeared but Marie and i continued dancing; the music like a phoenix burned into grey ashes and rose again within moments to thumping New York City leftfield disco, fat w bass, happy w horns, alive w love. perfect. dance. music. so we danced.

then we stepped outside for a brief smoke, awaiting the arrival of our much beloved Norwegian prince, Todd Terje. when we went back in, “Delorean Dynamite.”

Mark and Marie edged into an unfortunate section so i ditched them for something more suitable, sonically speaking. as i pushed in from the back left corner of the crowd, a pretty girl nudged me and, when i turned, said, “you have the most incredible aura.”

and so i danced.

2

worked all day, dressed so sharp. same blue levi’s but the deer print tee has been replaced by a blue pinstripe button down. hair ain’t down, it’s all the way up. dreadbun.

Cab Calloway’s big band’s banging away in my headphones as i step onto the BART car, as the pretty girl sitting there eyes me and smiles. i smile back, standing near her. she glances up at me (or tries not to) one too many times, so i pull an earphone off and ask, “should i remember your name?”

“no.. i just like your energy.”

“ah.. i see. well, thanks, but shouldn’t you be up in the desert with all those other energy-reading folk?”

she laughs, then asks, “what are you listening to?”

i laugh too, and hand her the headphones. 1930s jazz strikes her eardrums, and from the very first moment she’s surprised, but i’m not.

“wasn’t expecting that,” she says.

“i know,” i laugh.

some silence.

“you know,” i say, “this is really funny because it’s the second time it’s happened to me in the past few days.”

i tell her something about the girl at Public Works. i proceed to pontificate about how i’m more freaked out about someone commenting on aura because it implies that they’re literally seeing colors in the air around my body like i’m the bloody virgin mary, but then i think about Meryl and realize that it might not be so farfetched. i say all of this, minus mentioning Meryl, plus all the added doubting and philosophy. i also, during this time, notice her hairy armpits.

and she never stops smiling. i got on at Montgomery, she bounces at Civic Center, and that’s that. Continue reading

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possible reasons i got an ocular migraine today

Woods
too much computer?
hungry?
biking too much?
walnuts
quit drinking
few peanut M&Ms
few ritz crackers
few cheesy popcorn
oreo
fish
potato salad
beans & rice
salad
english muffin with jam Continue reading

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The Last Waltz

just two posts in blank verse, and it’s already difficult to write normally. every sentence i write–nay–every insignificant gathering of words renders in my head a certain rhythmic value. a-SIR, ten-RHY, thmic-VAL, you see? Ovid has volleyed me off my whatever rickety rocker i had left to lean on.

thankfully, i’ve finally finished reading his Metamorphoses. it’s a bittersweet feeling. sweet because after reading fifteen books, a thousand lines each, about the creation of the universe, the turning of the sun and the moon, the war and peace of brother and sister, the wailing of bloodshed, the blossoming of milk and honey, the reasons why there are birds, the reasons why there are beasts, the madness of men, the madness of the gods… you start to get a bit worn out. bitter, though, because it’s the finest fucking literature i’ve read since i left Oscar Wilde a few months ago. and it’s easily the best poetry i’ve read in the past year.

you know it’s been 2,005 years since the thing was originally published. i mean, Jove!

i feel so peaceful, like when rosy-fingered Aurora first rises in the dawn, but Ovid can’t be completely to blame. Muddy Waters neither. my bass neither. no, the reason has been written on this thing before, and i’m almost afraid to talk about it.

how many times can i talk about it? how many people can i tell? i need a meadow. i need a pasture to wander, so i can sit on stumps, and proclaim my love to any daffodils that would bother to listen.

“there is a girl, my friend,” i’d say, lifting an errant lock of hair away from my face.

“oh?” the daffodil would reply.

“yes, yes, there is a girl, and i do believe i love her.”

“and how is that?”

“well, when my eyes meet her eyes, it’s as if though the skies have fallen to the earth–rain, aether, stars, gods, all–banishing every disharmony in the universe into a puff of nothing that never was and never will be.”

“my!”

“yes, and when i wrap my arm around her little light waist, light as a breeze in golden summer’s heat, the waves sloshing inside my veins tune together into a perfect symphony, beating, racing, pressing on in perfect time.

“i do enjoy a light summer breeze!”

“yes, and when i press my lips against her lips, two eternities of poetry pour from our eager mouths, unheard by neither but felt by both; it is divine, little daffodil, it is divine poetry when we kiss.”

“there is a girl indeed! but i have a question.”

“what is it?”

“though you truly adore this girl to such fiery, passionate ends, how can you stand these moments away from her love?”

“ah, my pretty friend of a daffodil, you funny thing. my love for her knows such great bounds that it rebounds and resounds throughout my life, wherever and whenever i may go. at night, when i bathe alone, dipping my toes into steaming water returns me to her feminine warmth, encircling me like a sleepless lioness in the savannah. in the afternoon, when i bite into the juicy nectarine delivered to my beggar hands by Gaia’s grace, i taste her love. in the morning, when i wake from life-stealing dreams, i breathe in the day’s first breath of life, that is, her love. even now, sitting upon this simple stump in this ordinary pasture, i see her radiant peace resting upon your yellow face.”

“me!”

“yes, you and the grass at your feet and the soil beneath and the rock further down and the blazing core and burning Helios in heaven and the bright eyes in the night sky and the air we breathe and the water we drink are all otherworldly manifestations of my one true love. she is my death every night and my life every day.”

sometimes i get nervous because i imagine the only people reading these words are either ex-lovers or my lover. if you’re an ex-lover, just know that i love you still. if you’re my lover, ignore that last thing i said.

this weekend, i’m doing that thing where i drive to the suburbs to watch over my friends’ dog and house. i will drink water, eat food, read poetry, play bass, listen to records, savor the hot tub, and hopefully love my love of loves. flying the suburban spacecraft solo is a trip, but i don’t do it solo unless i have to.

this past monday, i bought a Technics SL-1200M3D, meaning i now have two wheels of steel. sunday, i helped plan the next Daft Brunch, our (apparently) quarterly disco party in the Mission sun. saturday, i digitally djed a coworker’s wedding in California wine country. friday, i spun vinyl at a strange “underground” party in the Sunset.

based on this series of events, i’m starting to think i’m actually a dj.

oh yeah, i’ve also decided to host (and dj) the family new year’s party at my house. didn’t really consult anyone but my mom and roommates on that one. it just makes sense. that, as i explained to Natalie the other day, is part of what i consider being a dj. some people might define it as whipping out a laptop (or maybe some other equipment) and combining a bunch of tracks together over some duration so as to make a mix of music. maybe some would take their definitions a step further and declare the purpose of this being to make people move their feet against the ground. it’s so much bigger though. first of all, you’re correct, we’re all djs. anyone that’s ever plugged in their phone in the car to play songs on a roadtrip. hell, anyone that’s ever sat in the back on the roadtrip and said, “please change this piece of shit song.” if you’ve brought speakers or guitars to the park or if you’ve made someone a mix cd, you are a dj. but more… there’s more… if you’ve ever opened your mouth to make a sound, you are a dj. if you’ve ever walked around or brushed past a clangy fence, if you’ve ever felt the wind against your face, if you’ve ever breathed, you are a dj.

we’re all in this together, spinning subtle space tunes. Continue reading

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Quintilis

famous boobs, giant boobs, fat boobs, tiny boobs, boobs on stage, boobs in my mouth, boobs backstage, boobs all around!

so.

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many.

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boobs.

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that right there’s Jenny Lewis, the bodacious female vocal lead for the Postal Service, who i just saw perform last night at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley. decked out with giant fluffy hair, a dazzling little black dress, and white fishnets… isn’t she such a fucking rock star? her guitar work’s as sexy as she is too.

overall, i loved the show. the band made no qualms about it: everybody was there to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Give Up, the band’s only studio album. seems like just yesterday we were all in high school trying to figure out how to get laid and ace our classes with the least work possible while simultaneously deciding on where to go to college to maximize our chances of actually getting laid and acing our classes with the least work possible. oh, the frustration, the insecurity, the arrogance… and the music. while Nine Inch Nails, Tool, and Aphex Twin were the heartkillers, i always left a little bit of room for the cheesier easier shit like Broken Social Scene, the Flaming Lips, Spoon, Bright Eyes, and, of course, the Postal Service.

and last night, they did not disappoint, playing pretty much everything from that old classic album. perhaps my only criticism would be–and this is hardly something they could avoid considering the nature of the music–that half the music shot out of a computer. most of the beats and a lot of the bass, all programmed. it was like watching Ben Gibbard and Jenny Lewis sing karaoke to all their old hits. but who’s complaining?

ironically, exactly six years ago to the night–July 27, 2007–i saw two other musicians do nothing but bob their heads and poke electronic equipment at the very same venue. yup, Daft Punk. freaky coincidence, right? i went w Adam, and that was my very first time seeing the French fuckers electrifying us from atop their mystical pyramid in the fog. instant. crush.

as if that weren’t coincident enough, one of the songs that played while roadies readied the stage for the Postal Service was “Instant Crush,” off of Daft Punk’s latest. my mind just couldn’t handle all the intersections, so after that the universe switched gears and played “Pump Up the Jam.” that made a lot less sense, i was cool w that.

the night before, i went to church:

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it was my fifth time djing for the First Church of the Sacred Silversexual and my sixth time seeing them perform. and boy, they killed it. i honestly do believe they get better and better every time i see them, this time truly taking it to the next level with impeccable guitar solos, flying tits, and a great story to follow. praise be.

i especially savored this performance because i had never performed a venue quite as great as the Rickshaw Stop. it’s not actually a very big place, but it’s big enough for me to have seen both Akron/Family and (light of my life, fire of my loins) The Field perform there. so, perpetually thinking “i’m going to dj where The Field once played, i’m going to dj where The Field once played” leading up to the show, i couldn’t help but be overly excited. i think i did alright. disco, funk, and r&b all evening as promised by “Diamant, the Deacon of Funk,” glittery beard and all. beautiful beat matching there, shitty reverbery mixing there, etc etc.

friends of all sorts came out, which made everything that much better. a couple of them–Chris and Xanthe–had seen the spectacle before, but a few of them–Natalie, Morgan, Alison–were virgins bleeding diamond tears for the very first time. it was truly a glorious night.

in fact, it’s been a truly glorious month!

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last saturday, i hosted the very first house show at the orange gray! (i know, i know, it’s not as brilliant and clever and catchy as “bermuda,” but what can you do? we’re the fucking orange.) Caroline Rose… is beautiful. she and her boy ate up a third of my living room with their PA, pedals, guitars, and everything else, leaving the rest of the space for over 20 people to get cozy. it was madness. there were even people in the hallway listening to her because her guitar sucked you in, her voice captivated you, suspended you in space, while Jer’s bass or mandolin work made the floating easy. i’m so thankful her whirlwind passed through my home.

also so thankful for the earlier performers, Brendan with his guitars and Natalie with her piano. i definitely found myself rocking the hell out to a couple of Brendan’s tracks and Natalie’s piano… well… it’s Chopin. what do you think happened to my head?

but that’s not how we started partying this month, nope, nope. we started with disco:

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Daft Brunch was a success. end of story. thanks to the combined powers of Elliot (w his big, bountiful backyard full of booze), Mark (w his big, booming sound system), Andrew (w his sexy decks and mixer), and myself (w 16″ of spherical mirrors), we channeled our 100+ guests to sunny champagne heaven. disco.

and now? now this month’s coming to a close and a new one’s awaking… w mysterious treasures unseen by me. in exactly four weeks, supposedly, when the moon looks the same as it does today, i will be cruising north w my roomie and my lover toward the heart of the desert… for what? i have no idea. it will cost a lot of money and it will take a lot of planning and work and once i get there, it will be no Malibu, but i am doing it w smiles and eager expectation.

i live for today, but i love tomorrow. Continue reading

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my favorite albums from 2012

all the important decades are here except the 90s. Continue reading

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Silver & Gold

like the very celebration of the solstice itself, everybody seems to think a different thing about holiday music.

growing up, i distinctly remember sitting in the living room with my father (the mood in this scene demands i call him that) with all the lights off save for the twinkling twinkling of the christmas tree. there we sat and stared at the dazzling reflections on the white ceiling, an array of red and white and green and blue and gold bending wildly through the evergreen needles of the conifer’s branches. it looked and smelled beautiful.

and it sounded beautiful too:

i was either never told the name “Nat King Cole” or i never remembered because it wasn’t until the fourth month of this year that i could say with total certainty that he was the one that had helped enchant my mind in those early winter years. in case you didn’t know, “O Tannenbaum” is German for “O Fir Tree.” i didn’t know. but it doesn’t matter. the great song streaming effortlessly, angelically from my dad’s reel-to-reel and to our ears magically seems to have managed to match the music of the universe, being and meaning and living with the fire of a thousand billion suns.

that’s only greater than the number of stars in our own solar system. may you have a super solstice. Continue reading

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