“I got some groceries, some peanut butter, to last a couple of days… ￼I got three passports, a couple of visas – You don’t even know my real name”
this ain’t no disco This ain’t no fooling around No time for dancing, or lovey dovey I ain’t got time for that now… (Actually, i have allll the time for lovey dovey ;))
The fact that this peanut butter is like as good as any peanut butter I’ve ever had in the world, and it’s available at a certain store that the wife found and totally reasonably priced, organic, made in Canada and delicious… makes Japan perfect for me , no change required (well maybe a few things about the patriarchy but that’s another post)
In 2009, i made an very off-the-cuff audition show for Vancouver’s then-new, now-defunct “The Shore 104” radio station with the idea create a rather eclectic music and story-telling show.
The “show” was recorded live in one take, no takebacks (though i shoulda/coulda) with John Bollwitt engineering at his West End apartment. Later added an intro bit which kinda got messed up but anyhow,… the project went nowhere as the station struggled out the gates and soon fired most on-air folks and changed format blah blah blah. As such, getting it off the harddrive and into your ears so you can laugh at my cheesiness and rock out to the setlist.
How Music Works is David Byrne’s remarkable and buoyant celebration of a subject he’s spent a lifetime thinking about. He explains how profoundly music is shaped by its time and place, and how the advent of recording technology forever changed our relationship to playing, performing, and listening to music. Acting as historian and anthropologist, raconteur and social scientist, he searches for patterns—and tells us how they have affected his own work over the years with Talking Heads and his many collaborators. Touching on the joy, physics, and the business of making music, he also shows how it is inextricably linked to its cultural and physical context. His range is panoptic, taking us from La Scala to African villages, from his teenage reel-to-reel recordings to his latest work in a home music studio. How Music Works is a brainy, irresistible adventure and an impassioned argument about music’s liberating, life-affirming power.
Multi-disciplinary artist David Byrne is a huge hero of mine – my fave work is his 1985 film True Stories which is a central inspiration in many of my projects. I recently read his excellent collection of essays about exploring urban environments from the seat of a bicycle “Bicycle Diaries” with discourse of architecture, planning, inter-personal relations, diplomacy, remixed history and art plus practical tips for cycling and locking up your ride. His manner is diligent, self-assured and constantly curious.
The description from TED says: As his career grew, David Byrne went from playing CBGB to Carnegie Hall. He asks: Does the venue make the music? From outdoor drumming to Wagnerian operas to arena rock, he explores how context has pushed musical innovation.
Shortly after New Year’s Day, Uncle Weed recounts highlights from the passing year including a surprising visit with bong-toting ice fishermen on a frozen neighborhood lake, plus recaps on concerts, spreading messages to media and youth, voting often, speaking out, supporting soldiers and peaceniks, resisting cynicism, researching the painter Varley, publishing literature, sparking coverage of Olympics, making a board game, gallery visits, riding the new SeaBus, remembering ole dead gramps, drinking stout and earl grey tea, and the joys of treading on thin ice.
I’m on a one week tour — a series of events focusing on bikes and cities timed to coincide with the release of my Bicycle Diaries book. I told the publisher I didn’t think I’d be very good as a reader — which is the usual way authors are trotted out to promote their books — so I suggested instead we do a series of forums focusing on our cities and how bikes have become a symptom of a new interest in urban living in North America. (This has a little bit of the added effect of hinting that the book is not just about riding a bike.) The publicity department of Viking, the publisher, generously helped put these events together. Sometimes they are held in bookstores, as those are the venues the publisher knows; and sometimes, like last night in Austin, in small theaters.
At each event there will be a representative of the local city government; an advocate; a theorist/designer/planner or historian; …and me. We each do short (10-15 min.) presentations about our area of expertise and then there is some Q&A and then we’re done. So far, I’ve been to NYC and Austin and Seattle and it’s working pretty well. By bringing these elements and people together the events serve as a catalyst, a reminder and a symbol that perception and policies are changing — about bikes as a way of getting around and about how our lives in cities can be. The interest and turnout might be as much for the content as what’s on stage.
The morning after I arrived here I rode around Austin and discovered that a surprising amount of the downtown area has been given over to parking.
There are parking lots everywhere and, maybe because of the oppressive heat in the Texas summers, lots of indoor parking structures as well. Some of these take up a whole block and some only take up the ground floor of a downtown building. Either way, they kill any potential for life, business, interchange and encounters on those blocks. It seems that not only did the city accommodate cars with some massive freeways that are often jammed up, but they have given some of their best downtown real estate simply to house automobiles. I was reminded that the vibrant “people” streets (South Congress and 6th St.), no matter if you love or hate those scenes, would never exist if there were massive parking structures on every block there. The vacant lots on S. Congress are now filled with tent kiosks and tiny Airstreams and other trailers that serve as specialized food carts (like the ones in Portland). I got a mushroom tamale and berry smoothie at one, and they were great.