In search of home

This song is everything I need right now:

As a words person, I’m frantically trying to learn the language it takes to describe the sonic landscapes that are really doing it for me these days, and thanks to everyone who’s been patient with me in trying to get more of it into my system (Evan Scott Matt and for the Flume tip, Samyak)!

It’s got all the swelling instrumentation, sweet layered vocals, and slow-attack bass of this:

…but with far more appropriate lyrics for my current state of mind: that strange sort of “anticipated grief” or pre-nostalgia that comes on the verge of a purposeful decision that’s going to change a Whole Lot all at once. [I’ve written previously about the related feelings that come after the shift.]

Plus a healthy dose of the same overall feeling — that I love, by the way — of Continue reading

Live music + visual art = yes please

I just caught a fascinating performance on KALW, a live interpretation of an essay written by an inmate comparing and contrasting two photographs of movie screens with eerie music in the background… was hoping I’d be able to Google up the photographs described and was thrilled to find a video of the entire performance:

I was quite moved by the live music / commentary + film performed during Brent Green and Sam Green: Live Cinema at the Exploratorium a month ago

and so if I weren’t going to be out of town that weekend, I would definitely be checking out Paul Dresher Ensemble’s They Will Have Been So Beautiful: The Electro-Acoustic Band In Concert with Guest Artist Amy X Neuburg at Z Space:
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4+1 ways to boggle your brain!

[Meta Method 1, Part 1] First, fall in love with this exact version of Andrew Bird’s Tables and Chairs, and listen to it at least once per week for a decade (give or take one year):

[Method 2] All the while, contemplate its lyrics, wondering in particular whether he is painting a picture of a utopian or dystopian future*… and in either case,

[Method 3] ask yourself both what this perspective might reveal about your professional calling’s current overlap with the FinTech industry, and finally,

[Method 4] debate whether either of the above matter in the short term, if at all.

[Meta Method 1, Part 2] Then, watch this video of him playing the same song (while marveling again at both his incredible talent AND how privileged we are to witness live performances):

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Appreciating the wizards behind the musical curtains

Last night I drove up to Sonoma to see, among other bands that I like, Sandy’s play in a barn at the Huichica Music Festival.

One of the things I really appreciate about live performances, and especially intimate ones like last night’s, is that we get to experience all the work that we hear the results of but never get to see on the records: the load-in, the sound checks, the broken strings and forgotten lyrics, the moments of accidental ear-piercing feedback, and the communication between the musicians and people like Jeremy Harris behind the soundboard supporting Sandy’s.

Jeremy ripped it up onstage during Vetiver‘s set later in the night. A lovely human being in general, Continue reading

The point your love song misses

I’m going to see Andrew Bird tomorrow night, so I’m trying to catch up on his latest… but since discovering this duet I’ve barely been able to focus on anything else. What a spot-on depiction of That sort of conversation, gah!


The whole album (what I’ve made it through so far, at least) is stabbing me between the ribs in that Andrew-Bird-is-a-fucking-genius, “how does he KNOW this is perfect?!” kind of way Continue reading

Image courtesy of Quest Expedition 2001.

Spring upwelling: as within, so without

Big changes in the physical landscape never fail to put “big” changes in my life into perspective; this week, it’s been calming to think about seasonal shifts that affect West Marin.

On my way to work yesterday there were so many egrets hunting I pulled over to watch for a bit – there’s clearly more life in the lagoon these days. The Spring Winds have started, and Sito was telling me that the water temperature dropped dramatically over the last week. Then Sam posted this amazing piece… it’s all connected. Continue reading