A stage Case Oats shared in October, at Golden Dagger in Chicago.

Hellur Observers,

I’m Spencer, this is the Observations newsletter, and here are my picks from the blog from October.

By the way, tickets for my dad’s solo + band shows in December and January are on sale. And so is my book about musicians with home/backyard/DIY studios, Mirror Sound, which I believe makes a good gift for loved ones who are into music, recording, or creative spaces. I feel out of character peddling the book that much, but after hearing about the empowering/liberating effect it’s had for some people, I feel more confident letting you know that it could be a helpful thing for someone in your life! Bookshop.org is a great place to buy it.

Thanks for being here. I hope the seasonal change is giving you feeling-fuel, not making you miserable. Please be safe and well!



  • Buying tamales from Claudio, the legendary Chicago music venue traveling tamale man, in person again. 10-13
  • The swollen dog-disease vaccination site on Basil’s leg making him look like a Canadian Mountie. 10-16
  • Mom, seeing the Beyerdynamic M160s above my drums: “Ew, those mics look like wieners.” 10-20

New Orleans, Louisiana

on tour with Ohmme and Deeper

  • The lizards all over the streets. Jumping from the ground onto trash cans. Observing us from perches on fences. 10-4
  • The bucket drummers in rhythmic harmony with the trumpet player on the opposite end of Jackson Park. 10-4
  • The power lines along the interstate reaching out seemingly endlessly into the ocean. 10-4
  • The small house boats in the bayou beneath the highway. 10-5

Jackson, Mississippi

  • The sound tech with a gun in his pants, pounding beers all night and swearing profusely at the mildest inconveniences. 10-5
  • A delicious breakfast (and impromptu parade) made by Sunflower Oven. 10-6

  • Playing drums for the Cosmic Country Showcase headlined by Patrick Haggerty, AKA Lavender Country, creator of the first explicitly gay country album ever (in 1973). Patrick’s amazing stories about training and working in Cuba, getting kicked out of the Peace Corps, learning from his young trans and gay fans, raising children, everything. 10-29
  • Walking with Mom and the rest of Team Susan Miller Tweedy at the annual Light the Night Walk for leukemia and lymphoma research. 10-30
  • Casey’s real flight suit, for her “pilot who saw a UFO” costume. 10-23
  • Pancakes with Halloween candy in them, cooked by Casey. 10-31

The beautiful, grotto-esque patio at Hal and Mal‘s in Jackson, Mississippi. The beautiful, grotto-esque patio at Hal and Mal’s in Jackson, Mississippi.

Thanks again ☺︎