Observations 2023-02-04

  • The bizarre hollow glass model of a human head that Mom bought at a thrift store.

Observations 2023-02-03

Observations 2023-02-02

  • Shelling and eating pistachios is a great alternative to phone scrolling.

Observations 2023-02-01

  • Bartees Strange: “Honesty is a crooked bone. It is something that you can write without, but you’re not writing unless you are using it. You can do a lot without being honest, but at a certain point, you have to be honest. Especially when you think about singing a song every night for years. You’re going to want to mean it. I know how to write music, I can write without being honest and it’s so easy to lean on that and just make a record that way. So, I think it’s an easy habit. It’s like not wanting to have a therapist. It’s easy to not want to have a therapist or to not want to improve. It’s easy to just live life and make excuses for how things are. You know, not everybody’s making changes, so why should you? There’s enough evidence to support that. But deep down, we all know we want to be better, and that’s the honesty I’m talking about with music. I write music to inspire people and to make people feel like they belong, and you can’t do that if you’re not being honest in the writing.”

Observations 2023-01-31

Observations 2023-01-30

  • Rehearsing with the Tweedy band for Cayamo cruise.
  • This video about the electric fish barrier in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, which helps prevent invasive carp from reaching the Great Lakes.
  • Having trouble sleeping, having watched too many bewildering videos of the new-prog band Polyphia.

Observations 2023-01-29

  • The sidewalk glistening with snow crystals.
  • A Tweedy Show episode!

Observations 2023-01-28

  • Fascinating footage of Phil Collins (and drummer Chester Thompson) from 1990.

Observations 2023-01-27

  • George Saunders: “I think I’m a bit like a pitcher with a limited repertoire of pitches – just a fastball, a curve, and change-up, let’s say. So I have to keep using these pitches, trying to make them better within their own limitations … Somehow, I feel this as a sign of maturity: the acceptance of one’s limitations and a resolve to work energetically and quirkily, and in a slightly ornery spirit, within them.”

Observations 2023-01-26

  • The first edition of Casey and our friend Kerry’s Star Power karaoke show, at which comedian Jerwin Gabriel Santiago performed as the Green M&M… with boobs.

Observations 2023-01-25

Observations 2023-01-24

Observations 2023-01-23

  • Casey and me babysitting our friends Devin and Brendan’s baby.
  • An array of heat-shrink tubing activating and undulating like a coral creature.

Observations 2023-01-22

  • A visit to the Illinois Holocaust Museum.

Observations 2023-01-21

Observations 2023-01-20

Observations 2023-01-19

  • More audio cable crimping and pinning work.

Observations 2023-01-18

  • Craig Mod in his TOKIO TŌKYŌ TOKYO pop-up newsletter: “I am always astonished by kindness and never astonished by cruelty, and in this way my mind feels broken.” I’m astonished by both.
  • Artist (and my acquaintance) Noah Gunther’s portfolio site.

Observations 2023-01-17

  • The launch of the new installment of Wilcoworld Radio. (Have I ever mentioned that I love Wilco’s longstanding domain name, and that it’s a .net? Wait long enough and just about any trend will come around.)

Observations 2023-01-16

  • The array of small, red heat shrink tubing shrinking under a heat gun’s stream, undulating like a coral reef.

Observations 2023-01-15

  • News of Yukihiro Takahashi’s death. His song “Flashback” is one of my favorites of all time.

Observations 2023-01-14

Observations 2023-01-13

  • Dry Cleaning at Thalia Hall 🤩

Observations 2023-01-12

  • I feel skeptical of the “everything is a story” / “all artists are storytellers, regardless of medium” way of thinking. Aren’t some works just a little burst of sensory information? Is everything really two-dimensional in time?

Observations 2023-01-11

  • Casey’s twenty-eighth birthday!
  • The Gulf War vet at the karaoke bar, buying everyone drinks, toasting to his dad’s birthday.

Observations 2023-01-10

  • Abraham Joshua Heschel: “The task of religion is to be a challenge to the stabilization of values.”
  • The train rider in Champion-brand graphic sweatpants rocking out to Bob Seger’s “Night Moves” in headphones on repeat, playing air guitar inches from Dad’s face for the entirety of the train ride, lifting our spirits.
  • Landwerk No. 3 by Nathan Salsburg.

Observations 2023-01-09

  • The gutter of La Cienega Boulevard in LA, rushing with rainwater like a small river.
  • The impossibly adorable website for Whirly Birdie, a font.

Observations 2023-01-08

  • The banjo on stage, untouched, teasing, during Dad’s fourth night at Largo.

Observations 2023-01-07

  • The construction worker installing a round, recessed ceiling light which dangled in front of his head, appearing as if it were his head.

Observations 2023-01-06

  • Skywoman’s systems for sharing ag-business knowledge and lifting others up. Inspiring, I think, to people in other industries who have a desire to open doors but have so far only done so informally.
  • The story of Papa Roach’s “Last Resort” [see 2023-01-03].
  • The truth about bears’ fecal plugs.
  • Louise Glück, via Austin Kleon: “To get born, your body makes a pact with death, / and from that moment, all it tries to do is cheat.”

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