In about thirty minutes, I’m heading back out on mini-tour with OHMME in Indianapolis, IN and Grand Rapids, MI. But before I do, I wanted to send out the Observations roundup just in time for the end of the month.
It’s been a far busier, funner summer than I expected it to be. And while I’m trying to hang on to some of our en-lockdown morsels of wisdom about excessive busyness, and prioritizing the things that really matter, I’m grateful for all these shows. (These, I think, are some of the things that matter.)
And lastly, in case ya haven’t seen it, Nathan Salsburg released his album Psalms, which I was lucky to play drums on alongside bassist Nick Macri and some other lovely musicians. The album is Nathan’s contemporary take on a selection of Hebrew psalms and it’s enjoyable, in my opinion, by anybody, regardless of their psalmic interest level.
OK — literally going to get in my car and drive to Indianapolis now. Thank you for reading, and please be safe!
- Walking to the stage in Rockford, Illinois while a fireworks display detonated mere yards away from us.
- The massive grasshopper landing on my drum, later followed by tiny bugs, who bounced like popcorn each time I (unavoidably) hit the drumhead.
- The Jackson Pollock-esque ranch dressing spill on a hotel rug.
- Always cleaning up the water droplets that fly from the sink onto the toilet seat, lest anyone think I left pee there.
- Cleaning vintage poop particles out of a 1965 pink toilet.
- Basil chasing a big blue heron out of a pond.
- The amateur-launched fireworks misfiring, heading toward a herd of parents and small children, who scrambled, running, when a chunk of fiery material flew at them. (All were OK!)
- The teenager holding a Roman candle but looking away, not enjoying the fruits of his risk-taking, only the thrill of taking the risk.
- The massive calzone with what can only be described as veggie water inside.
- The little spider webs holding rain, spun across the tops of short hedges.
- The LED stage lights illuminating the nighttime Wisconsin mist.
- The feeling of relief after exiting a swelteringly hot porta-potty.
- The bright purple flesh of marinated eggplant strips looking like fish fillets.
- Cutting my hand on a Goya bean can.
- Advice from folks who’ve died or almost died that I contemplate all the time:
- “I open bad wine.”
- “Eat the Danish.”
- Thinking of the lifting of mask mandates the way I think about the fake end of Chicago winter: it seems like the snowfall is over in March, but there’s actually much cold to come, so I don’t unbrace myself until spring has fully arrived.
- That the beach moves to the parking lot one shoefull at a time.
- Peering down at the bottom of a clear Lake Michigan.
- Paddling up to a buoy to discover it was actually a red balloon, partially deflated, sitting on the lake surface.
- The families wading in the murky creek water.
- John McPhee’s Oranges.
- Xiaowei Wang’s Blockchain Chicken Farm.
- Episode 200 (!!!) of the Tweedy Show.
And some music
- “Give Me Your Love” by Girl Ray.
- “DIVER” by Lala Lala.
- Compare and Despair by youbet.
- Ben Cruz of Moontype’s inventive, fluid, beautiful guitarplaying. (And Margaret’s great songwriting.)
- Summer of Soul 😭 Mahalia Jackson, Stevie, Mavis… people.
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(I was naughty and didn’t put the date codes in this edition. You can find all the July posts here if you like!)