Life is complex. It’s strange and delightful

11 Sep

Life is complex. It’s multi-layered, both dark and bright in all its facets. As time (seems to) move forward, our tendency as humans is to form a narrative to make sense and meaning about why things happen from one day to the next and to justify our own actions in the world.

These narratives come from many places: the media, organized religion, works of art (books, music, fine arts), networks of friends and colleagues, our own reflections. With social media here to stay, it’s as if every variation of the “how and why” is competing for space in our thoughts.

When a significant event like 9/11 manifests, the powers that influence and control the larger narratives fight for the “one true meaning” that will shape public policy, the frames that the mainstream media position themselves within and the overriding conversations that we, the people, have in our daily lives.

9/11 brought put the big guns, so to speak, of the narrative creators. In the emotionally potent weeks afterwards, we created the AUMF (authorization to use military force) that led to so many things: from Guantanamo to torture to drone assassination strikes to arming rebels in several countries to a huge surplus of military equipment filtering down to local law.

I believe it’s important to question everything, especially the assumptions in any narrative, lest we move through the world on autopilot, becoming drones ourselves to the stories forced upon us from people we’ve never met. We all have our own story… and many stories we tell ourselves, imagining we can keep our sense of self together and coherent.

Today is a good day to reflect on what your own story is… who you are in this world, why you’re here and exactly where all these stories have come from. Don’t doubt for a minute that you are your own best arbiter of your own definition. Keep it fluid, keep it close to your heart. Who else knows you better than you… the one who has walked more miles in your own shoes than anyone else?

Make your own stories. Don’t live anyone else’s. And know when to end a story and pick up a new one. Stories have a tricky way of wanting to hang around too long through nostalgia and recurring memories triggered through traumas big and small.

Hold someone you love today. Close your eyes. Feel their heartbeat, the rise and fall of their breath, the warmth in their skin. Forget everything in that moment and just be with the glory of life itself. See how long that moment can last and when you part, stay connected with that deeper source you just touched and make a new life from that silence… stay amazed at the stories that start to emerge, pick one and play with it, have fun, be courageous and smile a big smile of welcoming home to the next stranger you meet. Life is strange and delightful. You can be, too!

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ULUV Music Day, June 21st

19 Jun

ULUV Music Day, June 21st

Just a quick note to y’all that this Saturday is the big ULUV Music Day all across San Francisco.  I will be playing at the north side of the Ferry Building at 3pm.  Check out the listings here for all of the venues and times.  Excited!

4 performances for the month of June

4 Jun

I just wrapped up a great 3-hour show at the No Name Bar in Sausalito after a few month performance hiatus. It was great to be back in the hot (performance) seat. I’ve been working on a new approach to performing that I will detail out in another post, but first I wanted to let you know of some other opportunities to come see me play **THIS MONTH**!

Bazaar Cafe, Palo Alto World Music Day, ULUV San Francisco Music Day…

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The Fiece, The Violent, The Uncontrolled

18 Dec

SAVAGES are the fuel to the fire, the winds from over the sea, the rocks of the heartland, the strong quantum force that keeps the universe from falling into itself.  I came across their opening video and was stopped in my tracks.

Listen to them and you can’t help but wake up, even just a little bit, to the power and dynamics of life itself.  These women, and yes this is an all-powerful all-female band, are touching the third rail, they’ve stuck a fork in the power outlet, they’ve reached up to the sky and grabbed hold of every power line all at while their feet are firmly planted and stomping on the ground.  Wow! Wow! Woooahhawow!

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The Dusty Drone

17 Dec

I discovered this album during the heat of the summer and it was a perfect backdrop to the lazy, relaxed vibe the SF bay area went through. The Dusted Sessions from Date Palms has been a go to sonic space for chilling out or as a soundtrack to anything that might take more than a few minutes. Tune in, turn on and drop this album into your spiritual rotation.

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The Soul Dream

13 Dec

This album, Overgrown, has slowly been opening long forgotten chambers in my dreams and imaginations.  I didn’t think James Blake could get any better than the his fantastic debut from two years ago, but here we are with another young artist exploring new worlds and defining (or rather un-defining) new genres of expression.  Spend some time with this album and you will be better for it.

The Mad Hatter of Psychedelia

12 Dec

Flaming Lips are led by an endless fount of creativity in Wayne Coyne.  They have been at it for nearly 30 years and don’t seem to be slowing down.  In fact, “The Terror“, is being called one of their best albums ever.  With over 15 studio albums and many more compilations and extended singles, that says a lot.  When I first heard this album I wasn’t in a good space to hear it and I thought it seemed abrasive and confrontational.  But, when I returned to it a few months later, the depth of its rhythms and sound textures and its angelic/demonic vocals took me to another more beautiful place.  Theses guys are as good as they’ve ever been with their collective music making.  I can’t say enough how much this album in particular has become a source of inspiration and delight.

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The Sound Alchemist

11 Dec

Tim Hecker doesn’t appear before you but the sounds he inhabits work their way from the inside out to complete a part of you that was unknown to even you.  The sonic landscapes are more than textures.  They are stories that somehow unfold from within.  He is more than an architect of sound, an invisible puppeteer of evolving sonic histories.  His album, Virgins, has quickly become a fixture in my world.

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The Master Hunter

10 Dec

Laura Marling sings from an amazingly stable place in her heart.  She sings of love and of personal awakenings.  She is a fiery feminist with a preternatural self-awareness.  She knows both of her instruments, her voice and her guitar, as if they were one.  Her album, Once I Was An Eagle, is one of my favorites of 2013.  It happens to be her fourth studio album and she’s only 23.  I look forward to many more works of art from her.

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This is part of my list of favorite albums of 2013.  I don’t like lists, but I like to share what moved me.

Music inspires me

15 Oct

The making of it, the experience of it, the sharing of it, the possibility of it.

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