Observations 2022-09-13

  • The twinkling of the sailboat bells in the downtown marina at night.

Observations 2022-09-12

  • V.V. Lightbody at the Hideout.
  • Getting my updated covid booster shot.

Observations 2022-09-11

  • Nat Hentoff’s 1964 New Yorker profile of Bob Dylan [via Austin Kleon].
    • “Sometimes I can make myself feel better with music, but other times it’s still hard to go to sleep at night.”
    • Every hilarious, badass anecdote involving Tom Wilson. (‘“Man, dim the lights,” [Dylan’s] bearded friend counselled Wilson. “He’ll get more relaxed.” “Atmosphere is not what we need,” Wilson answered, without turning around. “Legibility is what we need.”’)
  • Katie Crutchfield on the Listening podcast talking about eliminating the things in her life that didn’t serve songwriting.
  • Jon Langford and Sally Timms at Judson & Moore.

Observations 2022-09-10

  • The man wearing a denim thobe (full-length robe) in the grocery store.

Observations 2022-09-09

  • Randy the Raccoon’s Cosmic Country Karaoke at the newly opened Color Club.

Observations 2022-09-08

  • Playing with Ripley at the Hideout.

Observations 2022-09-07

  • Moods are real. Admitting that to myself more easily lately.
  • Cutting steel bolts to custom lengths and cleaning them up on the belt sander.

Observations 2022-09-06

  • Unearthing my rain-soaked festival production notes.

Observations 2022-09-05

  • The difference between deferring to others out of respect versus offloading responsibility onto them out of laziness or fear.
  • The five-foot-tall duckie illuminated sign left in the alley behind the sign shop.
  • Basil posing with the collection of ceramic Star Wars album cats at the Loft.
  • The bunched up, dried up spray foam coiled inside a broken glass block like a snake carcass.

Observations 2022-09-05

  • The difference between deferring to others out of respect versus offloading responsibility onto them out of laziness or fear.

Observations 2022-09-04

  • The chords formed by bugs and frogs vocalizing away in the night, helping to alleviate post-show tinnitus.
  • The bassist who restores Saab cars speaking passionately, sweetly about the global Saab maintenance “family.”

Observations 2022-09-03

  • Casey DJing at the Golden Dagger.

Observations 2022-09-02

  • Attending my first-ever White Sox game, with my uncle Paul.
    • The beer vendor who used the condensation from a can to wet his hands and then, with his hands, his hair.
    • The verdict of the “are hot dogs sandwiches?” debate, settled by an old-school White Sox concessions employee speaking to my uncle: “Sorry, honey, no hot dog sandwiches here.”

Observations 2022-09-01

  • The glowing fiber-optic rose that an Elvis personator gave to Casey.

Observations 2022-08-31

  • The reel-to-reel machine used for (and visible on the cover of) The Basement Tapes, stored in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s vault.

Observations 2022-08-30

Observations 2022-08-29

  • The two-inch hole in a vacant mall building’s cinderblock wall, revealing the worksite within.

Observations 2022-08-28

Observations 2022-08-27

  • “To substitute for what he described as ‘two or three hundred pounds of noisy radio equipment’, [Bernard Moitessier] had a slingshot for launching film canisters containing his messages onto the deck of passing ships.” Stewart Brand’s “The Maintenance Race.”
    • Wanting to emulate Moitessier’s style of planning and maintenance in my own life and projects.
  • Richard Wolff explaining interest rate hikes in terms I’ve never heard before.

Observations 2022-08-26

  • The umbrella holder a mail carrier devised for his cart.
  • Dad and Nels performing with Phil Lesh and Friends at Sacred Rose Festival as PHILCO.
  • Mom wearing our friend Gus’s comically large, bootleg Balenciaga sneakers.

Observations 2022-08-25

  • The auto mechanic who undercharged me and wouldn’t correct it out of a sense of honor.
  • Dad’s birthday!
  • The Tweedy Show shirt my friend found in a Chicago thrift store.

Observations 2022-08-24

  • Cutting some aluminum for more custom studio parts.

Observations 2022-08-23

  • Removing the humongous “weeds” that sprung up in our studio sidewalk grass in just a few weeks of super-humid summer weather.

Observations 2022-08-22

  • The assortment of pill bottles in my neighbor’s sidewalk-facing window.

Observations 2022-08-21

  • The apartment “managed by Johny Stoic.”

Observations 2022-08-20

Observations 2022-08-19

  • The fancy broccolini and felafel dish rearranged to look like a wiener and balls.

Observations 2022-08-18

  • The construction workers eating a taco lunch together, sitting in a circle of upturned buckets.
  • The footage of Larry Jon Wilson in the studio from Heartworn Highways.

Observations 2022-08-17

  • How, after spending a week eating carefully grown heirloom vegetable varieties at Avrom Farm, most restaurant food in the city tastes bland!

Observations 2022-08-16

  • The sensation of scooping pounds of ash out of a commercial-sized grill.
  • Standing on the side of the highway for hours while two jolly, helpful emergency truck repair technicians replaced four tires on Hayden’s box truck.

View older posts in the archive