Observations 2022-02-01

  • A triple-rehearsal day.

Observations 2022-02-02

  • Many women of the block shoveling and snowblowing during the day.
  • The smell of laundry in the frozen night air.
  • A great show at Golden Dagger playing for Andrew Sa and Kelly Hogan, packed despite the snow storm.

Observations 2022-02-03

  • Mixing, gettin’ a little mixing headache.

Observations 2022-02-04

  • Getting a lesson in Son Jarocho music from watching and talking to Jaime and Daniel of Ida y Vuelta.

Observations 2022-02-05

Observations 2022-02-06

  • The archival footage of nuclear explosions in space from tests conducted by the U.S. during the Cold War. The artificial auroras they created.

Observations 2022-02-07

  • Playing at Schubas with my longtime bandmate Tory in his new band, Ripley.

Observations 2022-02-08

  • A packed, fun show at Sleeping Village with Lucky Cloud.

Observations 2022-02-09

  • Elisa Gabbert in The Believer: “There were moments when I missed my mother so intensely I forgot she was still alive.”
  • Arriving at Cactus Club in Milwaukee to a broken drum stick on stage — another bone from a past expedition.
  • The Serbian restaurant with a red neon sign glowing eerily in a misty, quiet Milwaukee neighborhood. With a spotlit Schlitz Beer globe on its roof.

Observations 2022-02-10

  • The tiny cowboy hat that Alcala’s gave me with my purchase.

Observations 2022-02-11

  • Comforting to hear for a multidisciplinarian, from David Heinemeier Hansson: “You don’t just have a fixed pie of productivity to divide amongst your pursuits […] The pie expands and shrinks depending on your motivation and your mood. When one area of your life is contracting, it often shrinks all the other areas along with it. And when one part of your life is expanding, others often follow too.”
    • His phrase “Malthusian specter,” stuck in my head.

Observations 2022-02-12

  • The student with a bedazzled neck brace.

Observations 2022-02-13

  • Visiting a friend’s painting studio, having a nice conversation about art and growing up in the city and making a living.

Observations 2022-02-14

  • Visiting the Museum of the Art Institute with Casey.
  • Eating some delicious arepas at BienMeSabe.
  • Cate Le Bon at Thalia Hall!

Observations 2022-02-15

  • Recording with ████.

Observations 2022-02-16

  • “That’s a WAP WAP WAP WAP” to the tune of “We went Dutch Dutch Dutch Dutch” in Pavement’s “Shady Lane.” Is this something?

Observations 2022-02-17

  • Driving in full-blown blowy snow.

Observations 2022-02-18

  • How I feel about great new music: deiyenu. (That is, even if it hadn’t been made, it would’ve been enough.)

Observations 2022-02-19

  • Practicin’ and recordin’.

Observations 2022-02-20

  • Marveling at St. Mary’s Cathedral in San Francisco. (Although, marveling a little less happily if it’s true, as Wikipedia says, that its exterior is meant to look like a conquistador helmet.)

Observations 2022-02-21

  • Playing The Fillmore for the first time since we played there in 2015!

Observations 2022-02-22

  • The super cool stationery shops, toy stores, and food kiosks in San Francisco’s Japantown. Sammy and I trying to go to the 115-year-old Benkyodo mochi shop only to miss their line cutoff by one person. The imported tools in the hardware store. Ordering some kimchi fried puff ball things and discovering that they had tiny pieces of octopus in them.
  • The Fillmore night 2!

Observations 2022-02-23

  • Houses” by Elyse Weinberg, with Neil Young on lead.

Observations 2022-02-24

  • The Ukrainian woman who told a Russian soldier to put sunflower seeds in his pockets so “at least sunflowers will grow when you all lie down here.”
  • Our first full-band show at Largo in Los Angeles.

Observations 2022-02-25

  • Our second show at Largo!
  • The word “Noachian.”
  • The woman on the plane home wearing a mask with a photo of three children (her grandkids?) printed on it.
  • Listening to, loving, Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in You, on the plane, “sleeping in the future…”

Observations 2022-02-26

  • Liam’s headlining show at Metro! Playing drums. Cadien (Lake James) debuting his great new music, and Wyatt Waddell singing Beatles songs (and a few originals) with thrilling prodigiousness, in sets before Liam’s. The tender moment of Andrew Sa applying Liam’s Lindsay Kemp-ish makeup on stage, while singing “Something Tender.” Casey’s killer DJ set of soul records and other classics next door at Gman Tavern afterward.

Observations 2022-02-27

  • Barton Gellman in The Atlantic, sharing research by Robert A. Pape and team at UChicago: “Only one meaningful correlation emerged. Other things being equal, [January 6] insurgents were much more likely to come from a county where the white share of the population was in decline. For every one-point drop in a county’s percentage of non-Hispanic whites from 2015 to 2019, the likelihood of an insurgent hailing from that county increased by 25 percent.”
    • How important it seems, to me, to speak directly and strongly about racist replacement theory. The census numbers — i.e. that white people will be a minority in the United States in 2045 — are real. What aren’t real are the imagined grievances of white people who look to that year as a doomsday. We need to say openly and unequivocally to white people: it is OK to be a minority in your (our) country. There is no ethically permissible thing you can do to stop that. And even if there were, it would not be worthwhile to stop it, because you will be fine; you will still enjoy centuries of advantage; our civil rights institutions, as long as you don’t gut them now, will protect you; and peaceful, mutually beneficial multicultural and multiethnic existence is possible, with living proof in communities around the country every day.

Observations 2022-02-28