Sunday, December 31, 2006

The Best of 2006

2006 is almost over. I have a lot of good memories from this year. I also have some bad ones. But you can't have the yin without the yang.

I haven't seen as many Top 10 lists this year. And the ones I've seen have all been different. I think our culture is fragmenting into little fifedoms of art. I blame the internet.

Here's what I liked this year:

I liked the Modern Containment series, especially Hush Arbors and Kinski

I liked Terrastock 6

I liked seeing MV + EE and the Bummer Road at Wave Farm

I liked The Life Pursuit by Belle and Sebastian and I liked Dreamt for Light Years in the Belly of a Mountain by Sparklehorse

I liked seeing Comets on Fire live, and I liked their new record

I liked seeing Six Organs of Admittance

I liked the Feathers record

I liked A Scanner Darkly

I liked the Konono No. 1 show

I liked the Ray Davies show and the Bob Dylan show

I liked The Foreign Press shows and The Plums shows

I'm sure there's more that I forgot...

I also liked the earth ships outside of Taos and of course the leanto on the mountain in Vermont. I liked making friends with the pastor and the dentist (a.k.a. The Magician) at the community garden. I'm glad for those friends who found love and I'm sorry for those friends who lost it. I'm glad they caught my mom's cancer in time. I'm glad Brendan met Susannah. Gab's new tattoo rocks. I'm grateful to Hannu for releasing my record. And I'm grateful for all the good things in my life. And the bad. See you next year.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

With The Radio On

Take a look at this long article on Joanna Newsom in Arthur.

And another nice, in-depth article on Powell St. John of the 13th Floor Elevators.

An amusing little interview with Andy Partridge (XTC)

Over the past few weeks I've become addicted to Radio Blog

Rest in Peace, James Brown

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Power to the People


EXCERPT FROM FORMER BLACK FLAG BASSIST CHUCK DUKOWSKI INTERVIEW IN ARTHUR NO. 25:

"The people in power don’t want to have places where young people can get together easily in any numbers, to associate and trade ideas and have some community besides the schools where they’re super-segregated and super-repressed. I remember when Chief Davis, the former LAPD police chief, said in an interview, ‘What you need to do is bear down on them when they’re young. You break them like a horse and then you can ride them the rest of their lives.’
"I think it was Davis, maybe it was his predecessor, but I remember reading that in the damn paper! Motherfuck! It was something that I, on the outside of things, had been thinking was going on, and now I realized that that WAS what was going on. We’d go do our [Black Flag] concert, come outside and see the cops beating up all the people who came to hear us. They’d bust them all up, breaking legs and arms. Just beating the crap out of people. It was all about keeping people down and showing them who’s boss before they get a chance to feel like they can do something with their lives.

"About a year and a half ago, I went to a friend’s party where he had these Jarocho musicians playing. The music is from the Veracruz part of Mexico, it’s a kind of music that’s African and indigenous. These groups are made up of extended families. So the whole group, this extended family, is performing in different combinations and different groups, from the oldest people to the youngest: everybody’s getting their little cameos, everybody’s playing support to everybody else or taking a moment where they’re the ‘star,’ so to speak. What was interesting to me was the breakdown of the ageism. Everybody was participating in it. I started thinking that this is probably closer to where people are coming from, naturally.

"The division by age is probably on purpose. There’s always a desire to divide and pit various groups in the culture against one another, and thereby weaken any chance of people getting together and coming up with alternatives to the governmental infrastructure for holding things together, and the giant corporations and things that hire them. It’s like at school, where they line everybody up by age, and then have them line up by height, or make them learn to march in lines: all of this kind of programming and dividing people up, and ultimately pitting them against one another, is so that they’re easier to control. It’s so much easier to take advantage of somebody who is denied the insights of their forebears. It’s so much easier to take advantage of somebody if they are robbed of the energy of their offspring. I think you need to keep everybody engaged with each other, and then the culture is rich, and has the life and vitality of the whole human family that’s there."

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Monday, December 11, 2006

Freaky Sounds from the United Kingdom and Beyond

I recently purchased a compilation entitled "Singing at the Moon" from a U.K. label called Singing Knives. I hadn't heard of any of the artists listed nor the label so it was a bit of a gamble but it came recommended and was the price of a couple of beers (my standard metric for buying music).

My favorite track is "Santa Flauta" by the Michael Flower Band, who appear to be influenced by Angus Maclise judging from the manic hand drumming, droning organ, and that most psychedelic of sounds: the flute played through a delay pedal (other practitioners of this technique include Bardo Pond and Meat Beat Manifesto)

There are a couple of tracks I skip through but overall there's an interesting mix of sounds on this disc.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The Harder They Come


Last week after work one day I listened to the Jimmy Cliff song "Sitting in Limbo", off the soundtrack "The Harder They Come". I hadn't listened to the album in several years but that day the song kept going through my head. Back in the day this album was an essential part of every record collection. I remember sitting on a sand bar in the middle of the Wisconsin River on a hot summer day with a bunch of friends, coolers of beer, and a tape player with one tape playing the soundtrack over and over again (and with our wasted group singing along to "Pressure Drop"). Fast forward to last week; the day after playing the album I saw the obituary for Perry Henzell, who created the film. Chalk it up to cosmic coincidence...

Monday, November 20, 2006

Spiritualized

The other night I pulled out a copy of the Spiritualized album Lazer Guided Melodies for the first time in a long while. I found it just as good as ever. I started thinking about J. Spaceman's reputation and wondered how a strung-out junkie could have such a methodical approach to his music with such attention to detail. When I hear Chinese Rocks I don't doubt that Johnny Thunders was living from one fix to the next but Spiritualized has always sounded like the work of someone who is more together than his image suggests. In this interview, Jason Pierce shines a light on his current state.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Monday, November 06, 2006

Thoughts on How the Music Business Sucks


The Wall Street Journal ran an article today about a PlayStation game called Guitar Hero. The game is sort of a karaoke approach to guitar playing where the player presses buttons on a little guitar to hit the notes of a song. The WSJ piece talks about how musicians such as Korn, My Chemical Romance, Incubus and other crappy bands play the game so much that they miss recording sessions and sound checks. If these guys were really into music, if they were really musicians and not manufactured celebrities, they'd spend their time furthering their craft, not playing a PlayStation game.

Also speaking of the music business, The Register ran an interesting interview with Peter Jenner, former manager of the Clash and Pink Floyd, where he talks about the stupidity of the current major labels and his ideas for new ways to make money making music in the new era.

And in this interview Ian Mackaye (Minor Threat, Fugazi, The Evens) share some interesting thoughts on the business of establishing ticket prices for shows and why playing shows in bars (or seeing shows in bars) is such a drag.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Jason Diemilio of Azusa Plane, R.I.P.

What if you were a musician and you lost your hearing? Jason Diemilio experienced this and made a sad choice. Michael Chaiken remembers him:

There are a few people in my life whose existence alone protects me somehow. Jason Diemilio was one of them. In the last years of his life he had become subsumed by underground, electronic, dance music. He traveled the world--visiting clubs in London, Spain and Ibiza. We spent several delirious nights together at a now defunct afterhours spot in the Tribeca section of New York City called Arc. Totally consumed by this music, Jason had envisioned carrying on the Azusa Plane--but in a totally new direction. He had begun teaching himself how to mix and produce, but his ensuing health problems forced him to stop, which was absolutely devastating for him. Not only was he unable to make music, but was also eventually deprived of his greatest single pleasure--simply listening to music. Jason suffered from a chronic and seemingly incurable pain. He had a seriously debilitating condition known as tinnitus and hypercusis that was brought about by extreme sound exposure; a result of playing in bands most of his life without protection for his ears. The nerve damage was severe and irreversible. Recently it had become even more acute. He held out for as long as he could and lived as he died. With grace and indefatigable courage. Jason was open to the simplest beauties of the world and never could stop being enraged at what fouled it. I loved him to the very core of my being. He will be missed. By many.

R.I.P. (listen to today's Drug Music set of his work)

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

And Climbing the Charts at Number 35 is...

me!

free103point9 Online Radio
August 2006 Top 40

1. Scanner with MCs from the New Horizon Youth Centre, Night Jam (Bette)
2. Edmund Mooney, The Eight Nerve (self)
3. Shawn Onsgard, Pachyderm (self)
4. Lycaon Pictus, Personal Disaster (Avant-God)
5. Various artists, Montreal Sound Matter/Montreal matiere sonore (Pogus)
With Chantal Dumas, Tomas Phillips, Francisco Lopez, and others.
6. Fluorescent Grey, Lying on the floor mingling with god in a tijuana motel room next door to a veterinary supply store (Isolate Records)
7. Fortner Anderson, Six Silk Purses
With Chantal Dumas, Christof Migone, and others.
8. Anla Courtis, Tape Works (Pogus Productions)
9. Sabir Mateen's Shapes, Textures, and Sound Ensemble, Prophecies Comes to Pass (577)
10. Judy Dunaway, Mother of Balloon Music (innova)
With Damian Catera, Flux Quartet, Ryuko Mizutani, and others.
11. John Blum Astrogeny Quartet, John Blum Astrogeny Quartet (Eremite)
With William Parker, Denis Charles, and Antonio Grippi.
12. Dan Joseph, Archae (mutablemusic)
13. The Khan Jamal Creative Arts Ensemble, Drumdance to the Motherland (Eremite)
14. Carnival Skin, Carnival Skin (Nemu Records)
With Bruce Eisenbeil, Klaus Kugel, Perry Robinson, Peter Evans, Hilliard Greene.
15. Bitrate, NF3 (db Recording)
16. Bhob Rainey, Two Bites of a Bitter Sweet 7" (Evolving Ear)
17. Matt Rogalsky, Memory Like Water (XI Records)
18. Prana Trio, After Dark (Circavision)
19. Insects with Tits, Insects with Tits (804noise)
20. Lily Gottlieb-McHale, Car Harp '05-'06 (self)
21. Kidd Jordan + Hamid Drake + William Parker, Palm of Soul (Aum Fidelity)
22. Dual, Pyroclastics (Quodibet Recordings)
23. Michael Evans + Jeff Arnal, MEJA (C3R)
24. dreamSTATE, Between Realities (espace)
25. Peeesseye, commuting between the surface & the underworld (Evolving Ear)
26. Andy McWain + Albey Balgochian + Laurence Cook, Vigil (Fuller Street Music)
27. Rothkamm, Astronaut of Inner Space (Flux Records)
28. The Moglass, Sparrow Juice (Nexsound)
29. My Fun, The Quality of Something Audible (thelandof.org)
30. Pee in My Face with Surgery, Damnation Road (Chocolate Monk)
31. Various artists, Electricity is Your Friend (3pinrecordings)
DisinVectant, Sara Ayers, and others.
32. Laura Ortman, Tens of Thousands (self)
33. Ground Monkeys/Mouthus/Dosdedos/Tan as Fuck 7" (Heat Retention #7)
34. a.m. salad, toporific cd-r (Sloth Jinni)
35. Leafy Green, Leafy Green (self)
36. George Steeltoe Ensemble, Church of Yuh (Heat Retention)
With Michael Barker, Daniel Carter, Thomas Clark, Jay Dunbar, Lathan Hardy, Trevor Healy, Brian Osborne, Jeffrey Hayden Shurdut, and Marc Zajack.
37. Jeff Arnal + Seth Misterka + Reuben Radding + Nate Wooley, Transit (Clean Feed)
38. The Sky Drops, Clouds of People (Fridabear)
39. Various artists, 8 Sound Works (New York Society for Acoustic Ecology)
Works from free103point9's "Tune (Out)))side" show July 4, 2005 at Wave Farm from EA, Andy Graydon, mpld, Michelle Nagai + Mike Hallenbeck, Ben Owen, Andrea Polli, Vatic, and Edmund Mooney.
40. Negativland, It's All in Your Head FM (Seeland)

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Halloween Death Trip


As October slides into the dark night of November we gather tonight to celebrate the onset of darkness dressed as skeletons, devils, witches, and, uh, beer cans.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Life, Death, and Record Stores


oldnow
Originally uploaded by BarrettJ.

As I type this post I see people walking by on the street below carrying yellow Tower Records bags. Those bags will soon be memorabilia as the chain is set to disappear. I bought my first record in a Caldor in Ridgefield, Connecticut. I'm pretty certain it was Some Girls, which was the latest Rolling Stones record at the time. I still have it, with the original cover, the one that includes all the photos of celebrities, before it was pulled. (No Beatles Butcher Block though). So I started this post to talk about record stores and wound up on a nostalgia trip. But it is kind of weird to realize that many of the stores where I once bought music are gone. And not just the stores have changed. Listening to music used to involve getting up and flipping the record every 20 minutes. Then you had the CDs that played for an hour. Now my iTunes library measures music not by hours but by days. So much for original album covers...

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

What You Bring Is Who You Are



The other day as I was packing for a two night backpacking trip on the Appalachian Trail I thought about a post I'd read recently by Pete Townshend who talked about what travelers take with them when they travel. With backpacking you have to eliminate everything that isn't necessary because whatever you bring you have to carry on your back. Even the little things add up. Do you sense an analogy developing here?

Out on the trail, in a woods where the silence was punctuated only by the sounds of bird songs and rustling leaves, we passed a hiker listening to his iPod as he hiked. What he considered necessary seemed ludicrous to me. But obvious to him.

So what did I bring? Besides the obvious food-clothes-shelter? I brought a book. And a camera. I like books because the act of reading allows room for my imagination to play. And I like taking pictures for the same reason.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Afternoon in the Dream House


Yesterday I traveled to New York city to visit the Dream House, the sound and light exhibit created by LaMonte Young and Marian Zazeela. I've wanted to go for years but never made it for one reason or another. The house is on a busy street in the Tribeca neighborhood. Young and Zazeela live in the same building, one floor above the installation.

I'm still in the early stages of learning about the work of LaMonte Young. I'd heard that John Cale had collaborated with him in the early 60's and I knew that Spacemen 3 were devotees but that was about it until fairly recently when I began to take a closer look at the New York avante-garde music scene of the early 60's.

Anyway, back to yesterday. I climbed up the stairs to the third floor where I removed my shoes and entered the apartment. Once inside, I walked down a hall to a large carpeted front room lit in magenta light with four speakers putting out a very loud range of drones. My first impression was that it sounded like a big engine. The really trippy aspect to this installation is that the sound changes depending on where you sit or stand. So if you move your head slowly, various ranges of drones will come in and out of hearing. It's hard to describe but fantastic to experience. When I left I was surprised to discover that I'd spent two hours in the room. I had no idea I'd been in there that long.

And just to give you an idea of the complexity of Young's work, here is the title of the piece that was playing in the dream house yesterday (which he's been working on for the past 15 years and has yet to complete):
The base 9:7:4 Symmetry in Prime Time When Centered Above and Below the Lowest Term Primes in the Range 288 to 224 with the Addition of 279 and 261 in Which the Half of the Symmetric Division Mapped Above and Including 288 Consists of the Powers of 2 Multiplied by the Primes Within the Ranges of 144 to 128, 72 to 64 and 36 to 32 Which Are Symmetrical to Those Primes in Lowest Terms in the Half of the Symmetric Division Mapped Below and Including 224 Within the Ranges 126 to 112, 63 to 56 and 31.5 to 28 with the Addition of 119.

Got that?

Monday, September 11, 2006

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Fire Purification Ritual

Comets on Fire finally blasted through DC this past Friday night, during the height of Hurricane Ernesto. I'd wanted to see them for years after I heard a track ("Beneath the Ice Age") on a Ptolemaic Terrascope sampler (POT-33) that was such a total Amon Duul II freak out it caught my ear immediately. They played the Ottobar in Baltimore last summer but I missed that show.

(Sounds of) Kaleidoscope opened. They used to have a mid-sixties Kinks sound. Now they sound more like Jesus and Marychain. I like both those bands (but I'll take "Waterloo Sunset" over "Just Like Honey" every time).

(Sof)K are loud, but Comets on Fire are louder. You know a band is loud when they wear earplugs onstage. I chose to bathe unprotected in the full sonic assualt. Molar-rattling volume puts me in an altered state (the Black Cat's pint glass rum and cokes probably contribute). Kevin Shields spoke of My Bloody Valentine shows where "...people would experience a type of sensory deprivation, and they would lose the sense of time. It would force them to be in the moment, and since people don’t usually get to experience that, there’d be a sense of elation...1/3 of the audience would always think it was really shit, and try to leave, or get as far away as they could, and the other 2/3 really liked it." By the time the set ended, the area in front of the stage was almost empty. But those of us who liked it managed to get them out for one encore. After that there was nothing left but a high-pitched ringing in our ears.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Ironic Moment

Friday afternoon in a cafe inside the headquarters of the International Monetary Fund. Groups of well-groomed men and women in business attire sit at tables, discussing global financial matters. In a corner near the coffee counter a boombox plays a song at low volume. It's Bob Marley, singing "Them belly full but we hungry"

Monday, August 21, 2006

Robyn Hitchcock on Syd Barrett

"I feel really sad about Syd´s death. I´d just got used to the idea that he´ d never do anything again - just sit there forever in Cambridge, being Roger. And with Syd a dwindling spectre in the distance, his host body Roger could potter about, this strange combination of old man and small child. The idea that he actually died is an incredibly decisive thing to do, for him; it´s the highest profile thing he´s done since 1972, although it wasn´t his idea.

I suppose I hoped, like a lot of people, that there´d be some kind of rekindling. Not that he´d write songs again, but maybe he´d give an interview - that there´d be some sort of glimpse of how he saw it all, before he went. But obviously there isn´t. That´s it. He´s taken his silence to the grave.

I think there was a struggle between "Syd" and "Roger". I know he didn´t like to be known as Syd. The people in the Floyd camp say he was upset by being reminded of what he´d been. He had this struggle because he was briefly a glamorous pop star, but he was also an avant-garde artist, and this was back in 1967. And I think he found the two incompatible. But I think he probably also blamed himself for not being able to hold onto it. He was very frustrated with himself, but you can´t really see into how he must have felt, at having been so creative and losing it. He did paint. I think he probably rebuilt himself to carry on where he´d left off as an art student. And I know he´d had fantasies about being a doctor because that´s what his father was. So I think he tried to rebuild a life, skirting around the crater of having been Syd Barrett. We´re all talking about "Syd Barrett", who really hasn´t existed since 1971. But behind that, there was this human who, however distorted things became, felt the emotions that produced that intense, beautiful, solitary music, which are still my three all-time favourite records. What I love about his work is that you can feel the person in there. He probably wasn´t capable of introspection; maybe that´s why he flipped out so badly. I´m one of the few who prefers the solo work. There´s a real honesty about it, in a world where so much is doctored and calculated and done for effect - even being a rock´n ´roll casualty. What Barrett produced, he couldn´t help producing. And when it had gone, he could do no more. There are a lot of people making records now who´ve been stars in the past, and their records aren´t bad. But they just don´t matter. I don´t think that Barrett ever made a record that didn´t matter.

Favourite track: "Wolfpack". Or "Rats", the angry child taking it out on himself."

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Un-Plugging

Earlier this month I spent over a week off the grid. No email, no web browsing. Didn't use a cell phone, didn't read a newspaper. Didn't even wear a watch. I hadn't really planned to unplug, it just felt like the right thing to do. For part of this time I was in the woods of Vermont, so a lot of my technology gear wasn't available. But for part of the time I was back home, in a place where I normally plug in and join the online world.

Having that time away made me realize how much time I devote to web things, and what rewards I get from them. I found that I was happier in my own head, or talking with Stereogab, than when I'm typing at the terminal. Because with the terminal, while there's always the possibility of connecting with other people, it often feels like I'm typing and posting in a vacuum.

Over the years I've posted MP3s of my music to various places. It's not satisfying; there's no sense of an audience. Music is the most immediate of the arts and isolating it on a web server (or, for that matter, on a CD even) devalues the experience.

I'm beginning to think that maybe the web, for all its community aspect (blogs, forums, etc), actually enforces our isolation. When was the last time you surfed the web with a friend sitting next to you?

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Mike Tamburo and Larkin Grimm tour

August 25 kingston, ny alternative books (early show 6pm) August 27 syracuse, ny a cena
August 28 baltimore, md
August 29 washington dc the red and the black
August 30 new york, ny the lucky cat (with jesse sparhawk)
August 31 philadelphia, pa the compound
September 2 amherst, ma tba (with larkin grimm, niagara falls, mv/ee and bummer road, christina carter, max ochs and a bunch more)
September 3 chicago, il spare room gallery (with zelienople and kathleen baird)
September 4 iowa city, ia hall mall
September 5 omaha, ne tip top
September 8 san diego, ca the habitat
September 9 los angeles, ca il coral (with refrigerator mothers)
September 12 san francisco, ca the make out room (with sean smith)
September 13 bay area (help needed) tba
September 14 bay

Monday, July 24, 2006

Konono No. 1 at the Black Cat

I guess we're a little behind the curve on discovering the Congotronics sound, although I recall Hackmuth playing me a track a long time ago. But after Tom turned us on to the second disc, which includes some amazing footage of performances on DVD, we were big fans. So we bought our tickets many weeks before this Friday's show and awaited the night with great anticipation.

When we got to the BC there were some frat boys at the door asking for their money back but we didn't pay them any mind, figuring they didn't like the music. So we got stamped and climbed the stairs to enter the main room to find ......... no air conditioning. None. Not a trace. It was fiercely hot. Congo hot. After bitching we resigned ourselves to a sweaty night.

What gives with the Black Cat? There wasn't any air conditioning in the back room when we saw the Foreign Press earlier this summer. This is DC in the summer. People need air conditioning.

So anyway, back to Friday night. It must have been 120 degrees at least in the club. Sweat poured off us. Coked-up college kids were smoking cigarettes and having loud conversations. Chopteeth, the opening band, was terrible, but Konono No. 1 was fantastic, with waves and waves of interwoven rhythms just going and going and going. At times, with the heat and the Red Stripe in my system I began drifting to another plane. We danced and danced. We danced away the frat boys, we danced away the cig smokers, we danced away the wars in the world and the violence in our city, we danced away every single care, and when we came out onto the street, soaked through, we felt cleansed. That's what music is supposed to do, right?

Friday, July 21, 2006

Touch of Gray


chefwendell
Originally uploaded by stereogab.
Deep in the dog days of summer it's time to celebrate my dad's birthday today. Happy Birthday Dad!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

To Be Viewed With Your Third Eye


transart
Originally uploaded by BarrettJ.
All is illusion...

Monday, July 17, 2006

a weekend at Wave Farm


mvwavefarm
Originally uploaded by BarrettJ.
We spent the past weekend at the Campfire Sounds festival, which took place at Wave Farm in upstate New York, up the road from Saugerties. Wave Farm is thirty acres of forest and fields owned by free103point9. Performers on Saturday included Dust Dive, MV+EE+Bummer Road, and others. Stars Like Fleas did a great set up in the woods beneath a big old tree. But the performances were really just an added bonus. The real pleasure was camping at the edge of a sunny field, walking around listening to the day's set being broadcast to dozens of radios scattered throughout the property, and mingling with the crowd, which was a mix of students, musicians, artists and friendly fellow-travelers.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

More Syd Barrett Stories


Story of a blind date with Syd in 1967

Nick Kent on Syd

Syd's astrology life path number 9

Syd Barrett perfume

A Pitchfork feature

A previously unknown Arnold Layne video

An interview with his sister

Two friends remember

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Syd Barrett Links

A 1971 Rolling Stone interview

A BBC tribute site with some interesting comments

A Newsnight tribute broadcast last night

Joe Boyd remembers

Pink Floyd performing on Look of the Week back in the day

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Scream Thy Last Scream: Syd Barrett's Last Trip

By now the news is spreading like wildfire. I'm sure in the next few days there will be more outpourings like this one. I know many fans cared deeply for the man even though they'd never met him. I suppose I'm one of them, although over time I've come to realize that my interest in "Syd" was more about what he represented than who he actually was. For a very short span of time he channeled some very intense energy into a small body of work: "Piper At The Gates of Dawn", one song on "Saucerful of Secrets", two solo albums- "Barrett" and "The Madcap Laughs" - and some unreleased gems like "Vegetable Man" and "Scream Thy Last Scream". Then he disappeared, walking from London back to Cambridge, as the legend goes, to live a life of seclusion. It's all very Romantic English Poet Tragic, a pop-culture Keats trajectory that still resonates thirty-years on. But while the story is fascinating, and the pictures are fun to look at, it's the music that first spoke to me and continues to speak to me all these years later. Songs like "Lucifer Sam" and "It's No Good Trying" are the heaviest psychedelic shit I have ever heard. Heavier even than "I Am The Walrus" or "Purple Haze". Heavier than the dozens of lesser-known bands whose output I have collected obsessively over the years since I first heard "See Emily Play" and thought this sounds fantastic! The music was a transmission from a higher plane, portraying a revolution in consciousness where typical words and chords were transformed into something new, unique, and exciting. And that's the lasting appeal of Syd. Like the shamans of long ago he took the trip and came back to communicate what he'd glimpsed so that all of us could share the experience. That's the work of a true artist and that's who Syd Barrett was. Rest in Peace.

Friday, July 07, 2006

The Office Culture of Cost Cutting

At my work they're suddenly running out of money. Strange for an institution that is supposed to advise the countries of the world on how to plan their economies. But there you have it; the revenue streams are drying up and it's time to trim the fat. So what's on the chopping block? The Executive Dining Room? Lord no! The director's limousine service? That must stay! Fly economy class? Are you insane? Subsidized parking spots? Never! So what to cut?

First, an obvious money-drainer: bathroom cleaning. Now bathrooms are only cleaned once a day. So the pile of green phlegm that was in the men's room sink at 10 a.m. is still there at 5 p.m.- YUM!

Second to go: salary increases. Lower tier staff get a 2.5 % increase and upper tier staff get a 4.5 % increase. So upper tier staff, who are already paid more, get a bigger percentage increase than lower tier staff. Since these are economists, it must make sense to them. All I know is that my salary increase for this year won't even pay a month of my rent.

Next on the chopping block: library services. Cost-cutters are taking a hard look at the library's wasteful practice of buying books, journals, and databases used by the organization's staff for their research. Why are we paying for this stuff when it's all out on the Internet for free?

Stay tuned for further details...

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Happy Birthday!


barrettwparents
Originally uploaded by stereogab.

Today is my mom's birthday. My mom has been through a lot this year. Her Swedish Minnesota Lutheran upbringing equipped her with the strength and stoicism to endure the various hardships that life has tossed her way over the years. She is now the matriarch of her family, having outlived her three sisters. She keeps in touch with her nieces and nephews and even marks the birthdays of their children. She touches many children's lives in her work as librarian in a public library. I am happy to honor her today, and every day.

Friday, June 30, 2006

resistance


townhallflag
Originally uploaded by BarrettJ.
Today I put up resistance against what I consider an injustice. I don't like confrontation, I prefer peace. But confrontation is as necessary as peace sometimes and now is one of those times. We're all pawns in somebody's game; it's just a question of figuring out the next move. And I figured it out and did it today. So in the REAL spirit of the fourth of July I salute all you fighting for your rights. Keep on fighting!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Latvian Repose


IMG_2154.JPG
Originally uploaded by tomcakuls.
Tom C is in Latvia right now. he posted some summer solstice snaps. funny, I was just thinking about him, wondering how his visit is going.

here in DC on the solstice we cooked the first veggies from our garden (zucchini, sage, radishes). I don't know if they taste better because they're so fresh or because we grew them.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Black Star

My friend Chet is from Ghana. His family lives near the capital, Accra. He's a member of the Ga tribe, one of many tribes in Ghana. Yesterday we sat together in the cafeteria at work and watched the World Cup match between the United States and Ghana. The World Cup is a big deal here at work. They have TVs set up everywhere, with broadcasts of all the games. It's funny to see clusters of normally staid economists whooping and cheering for their teams. And everyone is doing it; as I watched the game, Chet was seated to my right and to my left was my boss's boss's boss.

I don't really follow the World Cup but I wanted to watch the match with Chet because he was so excited about it. After the second goal by Ghana he was so nervous and excited he was almost shaking. When they won he jumped up and cheered at the top of his lungs. The rest of the crowd laughed and applauded; he was the only one from Ghana in the room and they were happy for him and for the underdog team that had pulled off such an upset. On our way back to our offices he kept running into fellow Ghanaians and hugging them. He gave me a high five slap so hard my hand stung for half an hour afterwards.

I read a New York Times article today about the troubles in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (once known as Zaire). The article said 1000 people are dying every day as a result of a four-year civil war. Four million have died so far. That's a lot of people. To us Westerners, Africa is a backwards place, kind of a nightmare continent. If we think about it at all it's usually with pity ("those poor starving people"). Or contempt ("why can't they get it together?"). Much of it is fucked up but its also home to millions of people who are proud of their lives. People like to be proud of their home. And they invest their emotions in a team (the Redskins, etc) because they feel the team represents their home and when that team wins, they can share the pride of being on the winning side. In that sense it's more than just a soccer match. It's fulfilling a basic human need: pride.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Living on the Mechanical Leash

Last month, my parent's computer died. So did the transmission on their car. So did their air conditioner. As for me, in the last 30 days my MOTU stopped working, a DVD I ordered arrived unplayable, and the key to the door of my apartment stopped working. And just as I type this post, the warning "Could not connect to Blogger.com. Saving and publishing may fail" suddenly popped up.

Even when the gadgets are working, I find myself distracted with all the choices: create more iTunes playlists? or update my Flickr page? Yesterday out on the road (in another mechanized piece of my life!) I passed a guy who was typing on his Blackberry while driving 65 mph. I doubt he could compose a very coherent email right then. He certainly couldn't drive coherently.

I've come to realize that the more I automate my life, the more I lose control of my life. There are many things in my life I can't control anyway (death, the weather) but where I have the choice, I now try to run it through the metric "Do I really need this?" "Does this really matter?"

The more things we buy, the more beholden we are to the companies that make them.

I'd type more but I have to call support. I just got an email that my roeshad.com domain has expired...

Thursday, June 15, 2006

John Lennon Reads About Brian Jones

Hackmuth alerted me to this great photo, which appeared on The Wit of the Staircase. This is around 1969, when Lennon was looking like a pilgrim and Jones was looking like a Nazi. The SS uniform was his (German) girlfriend Anita Pallenberg's idea. They did a series of photos, some with Brian standing in jackboots on a toy doll. It was supposed to signify an anti-fascist stance but it came across as nothing more (or less) than a blonde rock star dressed as a Nazi. Not a good idea.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Office Culture of Process

A community is usually thought of as a group of individuals geographically near each other, united in a common pursuit of sustaining the community, which used to involve planting fields of crops and tending to livestock but these days is something a bit more abstract, like parent-teacher conferences and city council meetings.

An office is a community too. In an office there are people situated geographically near one another (on the floor of an office building, for example) and they are united in a common pursuit. You'd think the common pursuit in an office would be to contribute to the well-being of the company, but in my experience, the common pursuit of an office culture is to maintain the illusion of working towards a common pursuit. The illusion is what counts; the actual common pursuit (making money for the company, ending world poverty, etc) is secondary. People in offices have to work very hard to keep up the illusion of work. To be kind, let's substitute the word "illusion" for a more neutral term: "process". Here are some examples of process:

REPORTING
Reporting is a very important component of office culture. Here is my monthly reporting schedule: I meet an hour each week with my manager to report my work; I meet an hour each week with my manager and group to report my work; I meet an hour every other week with another manager to report my work; I write a biweekly report to report my work; I fill out two separate monthly reports to report my work; and I fill out an annual report to report my work. There is even a code in my time sheet for this reporting work ("General Administration of the Section").

STATISTICS
Statistics are also a key component of office culture. According to my department's statistics, one of the teams answered 5000 requests in the month of January. Given that there are 3 people on the team and 25 days in the month that means that each team member is answering 66 requests a day. As each request takes roughly an hour to answer, they are each doing 66 hours of work in a 7 hour day (they get an hour off for lunch). Isn't that amazing?

AD INFINITUM
If your work is the process of work (not work itself, remember, just the process) you will always have a lot to do because process is never-ending. For example, recently a group was formed to make recommendations on how to manage a certain resource in my office. The group met several times and came up with the recommendation to form another group to discuss managing the resource. Process triumphs!

...to be continued

Monday, June 12, 2006

blues


blues
Originally uploaded by BarrettJ.
here's a kinda blue photo for a stormy monday

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

6.6.06



via sleep, eat food, have visions

The Hog Farm network

"In the 70's the Hog Farm had several different Downtown SJ addresses...I stayed for several days at a house on S 13th and another on S 16th, (wherethe bus was parked being fixed ,as always) , in the Fall of '71, one of astring of homes from Oregon to New Mexico, all the way East to NYC and up tonorthern...extreme northern...Canada was across the back fence...Vermont. A network of literally thousands of people, if a bus broke down or someone got popped or hurt, anywhere, the Hog Farm had a friend who would drive the 50 miles, put us up, help us fix it...if you had a phone you could always call Louie or someone who could call Louie and he would get out the "Book" and make some calls. Lawyers, doctors, mechanics, moms, ex-girlfriends as well as musicians, artists, publishers, promoters, loan sharks, famed chefs with fancy restaurants, actors and actresses, writers, filmmakers...everybody was in the "Book" and help was on the way. Of course you were in the "Book" also and would get your calls as well..." recounts an old timer in this blog post

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

W.I.T.C.H.

W I T C H activities, 1968-9. from "Playpower" by Richard Neville:
W I T C H — Women’s International Terrorist Conspiracy from Hell, has conducted several (black) mass demonstrations outside New York business institutions. Witches, it is pointed out, have been the original guerrillas and resistance fighters against oppression down through the ages. Historically witches are seen as non-conformist, free, intelligent, joyous, aggressive, creative, scientific and actively rebellious (birth-controllers, abortionists, herbalists, heads and pushers). On Hallowe’en Eve (1968) W I T C H haunted the New York Stock Exchange. Nervous commissionaires barred the way while witches in black fairytale cloaks claimed they had an appointment with the Chief Executor of Wall Street himself — Satan. (’With closed eyes and lowered heads the women incanted the Berber Yeall — sacred to Algerian witches — and proclaimed the coming demise of various stocks. A few hours later the market closed 1.5 points down, and the following day it dropped five points.’ Rat, 6 Novem ber 1968.) On St. Valentine’s Day (1969) witches disrupted New York’s first Bridal Fair at Madison Square Garden (a sample slogan: Love starts at Chase Manhattan) and were roughed up by uniformed bouncers who screamed, ‘You’re sick, you’re sick, you’re sick.’

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Edie Sedgwick - Pretty Doomed


Over the past few months I've learned a lot about the life and times of Edie Sedgwick. I read her biography and after I finished the book I rented Ciao Manhattan which is a totally weird, trainwreck of a movie and is only interesting if you're researching all things Edie. I guess others are thinking of Edie too, because there's a movie coming out called Factory Girl (which I have a feeling is going to suck as much as the recent Brian Jones biopic) and Urban Outfitters is selling this (which Gab discovered the day she finished reading the book). Synchronicity, huh?

In the extra on the Ciao Manhattan DVD there is an interview with George Plimpton, who edited the Edie biography. In the interview he notes that she really had no ideas or talent, yet she was appealing because she was so pretty, vulnerable and sparked.

I guess her story is interesting to me because she was one of a number of sixties characters (Nico, Jim Morrison, et al) who lived for the moment with a reckless intensity that is completely unimaginable in these modern, careful times when the biggest news is Britney Spears driving without her child in a car seat.



Monday, May 22, 2006

Friends in Finland (and all over)

Hannu Haahti runs a small CD-R label in Finland. He's been kind enough to put out two of my songs. The first was on a compilation that came out around Christmas last year. The second just came out. It is entitled Kanoja, Myös Hanoja . I have no idea what the title means but I like the cover a lot, and to be on a compilation whose lineup includes Ben Reynolds and Robert Horton is kickass.

Speaking of good musicians- my friend Mike Tamburo came through town this past Friday. He performed a long set that built to an amazing crescendo. He's really expanded his sound since I saw him last summer. Accompanying him on this tour was Nick Schillace. Nick is another solo steel-string guitar player. He has a very fluid, fast style, which you can hear on his album Box Canyon

I get by with a little help from my friends.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Friday, May 12, 2006

Notes from a Wise Old Rat

"Animals talk and convey information but they do not write. They cannot make information available to future generations or to animals outside the range of their communication system. This is the crucial distinction between men and other animals. WRITING. Korzybski, who
developed the concept of General Semantics, the meaning of meaning, has pointed out this human distinction and described man as ‘the time binding animal’. He can make information to other men over a length of time through writing. Animals talk. They don’t write. Now a wise old rat may know a lot about traps and poison but he cannot write a text book on DEATH TRAPS IN YOUR WAREHOUSE for the Reader’s Digest with tactics for ganging up on digs and ferrets and taking care of wise guys who stuff steel wool up our holes."
From The Electronic Revolution (pdf) by William S. Burroughs.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Mike Tamburo

My friend Mike Tamburo is on the road again, this time with Nick Schillace.

MIKE TAMBURO & NICK SCHILLACE TOUR DATES
May 12 2006 avant gentlemen's lodge philadelphia, PA
May 14 2006 Radio Bean burlington, VT
May 14 2006 WFMU (taping at 10am to be played on may 15)
May 15 2006 strange maine portland, ME
May 16 2006 PA's Lounge Somerville, MA
May 17 2006 TBA (probably once twice sound) Baltimore, MD
May 18 2006 Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar Charlottesville, VA
May 19 2006 611 florida washington d.c.
May 20 2006 garfield artworks (early show 6pm) pittsburgh, PA

We'll be opening for them on May 19th at 611 Florida.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Reading the Future


mrslaura
Originally uploaded by BarrettJ.
Which way to go? I can tell you one thing: the future is always ahead. There's no way to dodge it and stay alive.

Sometimes living day-by-day ceases to cut it and I have to stop and make a plan. Navigating the world is difficult but with some luck and lots of sweat it is possible to live our dreams.

Speaking of dreams coming true, see New York Doll to learn how it happened to Arthur "Killer" Kane.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Transmission from Planet GONG

at 9pm gmt

join your brothers and sisters on the telepathic airways.

what else do we contact?

this is the mystery of gong. nobody stops you from knowing but yourself.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Maya


Maya has come into this world, courtesy of Phong and Sabine.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Dead Head



When I was in high school I was a Dead Head. I saw them at the Hartford Civic Center and the New Haven Coliseum. Then I went to college and started listening to SST bands. I lapsed while living in Los Angeles, where I saw them at the Sports Arena in 1994. Then I went back into denial until about four years ago when I went to see Phil Lesh and Friends in Hersey, PA. Since then I have come to accept that I am a Dead Head. While my loved ones have come to accept my condition, they fear it will get worse. But while I have no intention of getting dancing bears tatooed around my bicep, or glued to my car, I still crave The Dead sometimes.

That's where the collection on archive.org comes in handy. Last year, in response to a request from The Dead Organization (or whatever their business arm is called), the sound board recordings were made available in streaming media format only, as opposed to files for downloading that had been available previously. But thanks to Audio Hijack, I can now listen to hours of Grateful Dead shows. Just as long as I keep my headphones on, that is ; )

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Thursday, April 20, 2006

4:20 4/20

"'420' began its sub-rosa linguistic career in 1971 as a bit of slang casually used by a group of high school kids at San Rafael High School in California. '420' (always pronounced "four-twenty," never "four hundred and twenty") came to be an accepted part of the argot within that group of about a dozen pot smokers, beginning as a reminder of the time they planned to meet to light up, 4:20 p.m." snopes

The DCist blog explains 420

Monday, April 17, 2006

Terrastock

KFJC will be broadcasting the entire weekend's worth of music.

The following are scheduled to play:
Avarus (Finland)
Bardo Pond
Black Forest / Black Sea
Bridget St John
Brothers of the Occult Sisterhood (Australia)
Charalambides
Cul de Sac
Damon and Naomi
Fursaxa
Ghost (Japan)
Glenn Jones
The Green Pajamas
Kemialliset Ystävät (Finland)
Kinski
The Kitchen Cynics (Scotland)
Sharron Kraus (England)
Landing
Larkin Grimm
Lightning Bolt
The Magic Carpathians Project (Poland)
Major Stars
Marissa Nadler
MV&EE with the Bummer Road
Paik
P.G. Six
Tom Rapp
Jack Rose
Salamander
St Joan (England)
Spacious Mind (Sweden)
Spires that in the Sunset Rise
Tanakh (Italy)
Thought Forms (England)
Urdog
Windy & Carl

Friday, April 07, 2006

DRS, Russell Crowe and Ravi Shankar


"IF APRIL 7 IS YOUR BIRTHDAY: Because you're dynamic and energetic, you approach life with much physicality. You're enthusiastic about whatever you like. Your success is due to your belief in yourself. People often come to depend on you. (You don't mind this.) Privately, you're quite spiritual. The year ahead is full of exciting, fresh new beginnings. Open any door!"

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Seahorse Staircase Gets a Review!

The Spring 314 Green letter featured a review of our Planetarium show by our friend Phong; it's now on roeshad. thanks phong!

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

God Save Ray Davies

I first heard the Kinks on the radio. "All Day and All of the Night" and "You Really Got Me". Those songs rocked. I wanted more, so I went to the local Caldor and bought "The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society". It sounded totally different. I was a bit disappointed, but still intrigued. Then my cousin sent me a copy of "Arthur". That was more like it. A few years later I picked up "Face to Face". My friend Lars, a diehard Kinks fan, gave me "Soap Opera" for my birthday. So over the years I grew to appreciate the width and depth of The Kinks's work. From "Fancy" to "Apeman" to "Low Budget".

So last night, we trekked to the 9:30 Club to join the many faithful to hear Ray Davies. It was a funny crowd- parents with their children, parents with their parents, fortysomethings on dates, DC hipsters- and not a single cell phone ring or loud conversation to interrupt the show.

The set was an array of tunes from all eras of The Kinks, from "You Really Got Me" to "Days" to "Picture Book" to "Dead End Street" to "Oklahoma USA" to "Lola". Over the course of the show he took the crowd through many moods- quiet, loud, sad, happy, serious and silly. He looked like he was having as much fun as we were.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Vernal Equinox Thoughts



Today is the vernal equinox, which means the first day of spring for those of us inhabiting the northern hemisphere. The equinox is the only day when the sun is above the horizon for the same amount of time that it is below the horizon. People around the world celebrate the equinox but here in Washington DC it's just another day. This isn't a city that's connected to nature. But cities are the culmination of human's efforts to control nature, so I guess it's not realistic to expect them to acknowledge nature, other than spring sales, easter candy, and asparagus in the grocery stores. But then again, there is a certain energy on the street that wasn't there a month ago. Not just the birds are singing different songs.

Leafy Green

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The Ides of March

Today is the day Marcus Brutus stabbed Julius Caeser. Once I visited Rome and saw the steps to the Capitol where he was murdered. Caeser's tomb is nearby. People still leave flowers and offerings there. Up the hill from the tomb is the Forum, where Marcus Antonius addressed the citizens after the murder. In Shakespeare's version, he says the following:

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones;
So let it be with Caesar. The noble Brutus
Hath told you Caesar was ambitious:
If it were so, it was a grievous fault,
And grievously hath Caesar answer'd it.
Here, under leave of Brutus and the rest--
For Brutus is an honourable man;
So are they all, all honourable men--
Come I to speak in Caesar's funeral.
He was my friend, faithful and just to me:
But Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honourable man.
He hath brought many captives home to Rome
Whose ransoms did the general coffers fill:
Did this in Caesar seem ambitious?
When that the poor have cried, Caesar hath wept:
Ambition should be made of sterner stuff:
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And Brutus is an honourable man.
You all did see that on the Lupercal
I thrice presented him a kingly crown,
Which he did thrice refuse: was this ambition?
Yet Brutus says he was ambitious;
And, sure, he is an honourable man.
I speak not to disprove what Brutus spoke,
But here I am to speak what I do know.
You all did love him once, not without cause:
What cause withholds you then, to mourn for him?
O judgment! thou art fled to brutish beasts,
And men have lost their reason. Bear with me;
My heart is in the coffin there with Caesar,
And I must pause till it come back to me.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Ali Farka Toure R.I.P.

Every summer the Smithsonian Museum here in Washington DC holds a Folklife Festival on the Mall. The festival features the arts and culture of a region of America as well as that of a few countries. Different ones are selected each year. In 2003 it was Mali. One night Ali Farka Toure showed up to play. It wasn't really publicized, but the tent was packed that night. The folks from Mali sat up front to see their main man. We stood in the back. It was really hot, we were dripping sweat and guzzling water until it ran out. Farka Toure played for hours. He was sweating too, and women from the audience would jump up onstage to slap paper money on his sweaty skin. Everyone was having a blast. His guitar playing was psychedelic; it was African; it was the blues; it was everything that night. He had a couple percussion players and maybe a rhythm guitar. Not a whole band. He was dressed in black, he looked like a star. And he was. Here's his obituary.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Film: The Station Agent

The Station Agent (2003) is a charming movie. It's one of those movies that does a good job telling a story visually. There are lots of nice shots, lots of summertime green trees and golden light. There are three main characters and they all seem to be different sides of the same problem. The pacing and camera work reminded me a bit of George Washington (2000).

Monday, February 27, 2006

Memo From The Sex Pistols

The Sex Pistols declined an invitation to join the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with a hilarious dead-on memo. The Hall of Fame, the Grammys, Hard Rock Cafe, and other manifestations of the "rock and roll establishment" serve only the executives and accountants who profit from the products they foist on consumers whose idea of music is a ring-tone. Just as McDonalds is anti-food, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is anti-music.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Great God Pan

The Great God Pan blog is a good source for super-obscure California hippy culture past and present.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Dada


When I was 15 I realized that life was absurd. I guess my viewpoint hasn't changed that much because Dada looked just as disturbing and fun yesterday at the National Gallery exhibit as it did when I was a 15 year old checking out library books on Dada and Surrealism. Every era needs its agitprop. Even ours...

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Monday, February 13, 2006

Good News Regarding Belle and Sebastian


Their new album is sooo good. Good hooks, good songs, good recording, and if you buy the deluxe edition with the DVD, good packaging. It is better than "Boy With the Arab Strap". I thought they were as done for as a deep-fried Snickers bar but they are back in full glory and life is good.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Snowstorm

Well I listen to the weather
And he's changed his tone of voice
They can see it on the radar
Only seven hours away

"Snowstorm" Galaxy 500

Monday, February 06, 2006

Babylon System is a Vampire

The District of Columbia requires that all adult residents who have not been convicted of a felony in the past ten years serve five weeks on a Grand Jury. All cases that go in front of a trial jury (a.k.a. Petit Jury) must first appear in front of a Grand Jury. The Grand Jury must vote to issue an indictment for the case to proceed to jury trial. This might be old news to those of you who watch Law and Order. Thanks to my Grand Jury experience, I now know what a pimp circle is, and what smoking boat means, and a host of other things I'd rather not know.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

All of My Friends Were There

And not just my friends but their best friends too.

Hackmuth should be proud of the night of music and films at DCAC that he conjured up. The Foreign Press rocked their set, "Dutch Flowers" and all. We got to play all four of our songs. Gab finally got to play through a real bass amp and remarked how much easier it is to play when the volume is up. Amen to that! Speaking of volume- my ears are still ringing from The Plums, who got some serious space truckin' grooves going. And Portions Toll had this weird synchronicity with the seventies commercials that were showing behind them; when John sang a lyric about being upset there was a man shouting in rage onscreen.

It's so great to be part of a creative scene where we make the shows that we want happen. Thanks to everyone who came out and supported us.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

New Weird Article

The Birmingham Black and White City Paper published my article today.

Monday, January 23, 2006

A Night Under the Stars

We had a great time under the night sky at the Montgomery College Planetarium this Saturday. Amber Dunleavy rocked the theremin, Gabriela debuted on bass, David played his "Persian glass drums" and I fiddled with guitar fx while Dr. Williams (who referred to us as "Starhorse Seacase") did his red and green laser show. Much thanks to all who came out, it was great fun sharing the stars with you.

We go right back onstage (minus Amber, who can't make the show) at DCAC this Saturday> here's the flyer

Thursday, January 19, 2006

A New Leafy Green Song

This one is called Mushroom Man
Also up is a track from my Pink Floyd Plunderphonix project

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Some Thoughts About New Mexico

I spent a week in New Mexico and came away with the following observations.
-Santa Fe has a lot of elderly, rich white people
-People go to casinos in the morning. THE MORNING
-If you find yourself in Albuquerque, leave immediately
-Cowboy hats aren't fashion accessories
-70 MPH is slow
-You can build a house out of tires and live off the grid
-Some snaps from our hike in Frijoles Canyon are here

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Field Report on Roger "Syd" Barrett's Fingers

From a list:
I AM in contact with a member of his family AND a neighbor, that is all I will say about that. He has not lost any fingers or "parts of fingers" and walks and rides his bike regularly. Someone that is close to him once told me "That boy can walk"! He paints but he likes "wood working" now, making sculptures and such. The only reason I speak up is because I understand some may be concerned about this (his health) and I wanted to let you know that so far he is doing good and has all his fingers and what not.