Neil/Joni vs. Spotify/Rogan & How the Left Continues to Devour Itself

Note: This started as an informal Facebook post on 1/21/2022 addressing the controversy of Neil Young pulling his music off Spotify in protest of some of Joe Rogan’s recent guests. Watching everyone pile onto the “Cancel Rogan/Spotify” bandwagon was starting to bug me. Not only has his show on Spotify been grossly miscategorized by the mainstream press and it’s dangers highly exaggerated but the movement to shake Spotify’s support of him, I believe, is built on dangerous and false pretenses. I tried to get all my thoughts out and be brief as well. I definitely failed at the latter.  (Some of the grammar has been tightened up since originally posting)



I am 100% with Rogan on this and here’s why… first off don’t respond if you don’t feel like reading the whole thing. Unfriend me or whatever. I have no use for people who form their opinions based on twitter posts and out-of-context media clips. This complex world is too nuanced for that.


I heard what P. McCoullough and R. Malone said on Joe’s show, some of my thoughts were rattled for a bit but in the end it changed nothing for me. Glad I could hear their claims for myself. Glad I could hear that both of them might have drifted a little off course. Glad I know not to listen to much of what they say in the future. There’s simply better data than what they were touting; you might have to dig a little but it’s out there.


I’ve watched a slew of the “discredited” guests he’s hosted and I still safely believe that the vaccinated are 1000x more protected from CV19 than the unvaccinated and that a certain subset of masks (n95’s etc) really do their job well most of the time. This is where the latest data from around the world has been clear.


Where I commend Rogan and his guests is over their concern with the informational inaccuracies, mistakes and in some cases full on misinformation presented by the White House, CDC, NIH & WHO over the last 2 years. I’m not a ‘conspiracy theorist’. But not all that is considered a conspiracy always turns out to be so…


Also throughout the pandemic the lack of messaging for self-treatments like exercise, Vit-D/zinc, healthy eating, losing weight, and sleeping well, has greatly bothered me. Since healthy folks fair MUCH better than their counterparts when infected it seems like not hammering home this message was a hugely wasted opportunity.


To me this is a big failure of the powers that be. And it’s a little crazy that this post is maybe in danger of getting taken down as “disinformation” for even saying something as simple and obvious as that… Because if the CDC hasn’t said it then it’s considered false.


Much of what was once considered conspiracy thinking over the past two years has landed MANY a professional and media personality discredited, defunded and deplatformed. Problem is lots of this “crazy talk” turned out to be true in the end. Pick your example, there’s a ton.


It’s a good time to mention that I am triple boosted and if I had to go back and do it again i would DO THE EXACT SAME THING…


Anyways. This over-arching narrative, that has been our guiding light, has been breaking down through revelations of upper level email leaks and unignoreable facts of of happenstance; everyone is beginning to see the relativity and effect of so many falsehoods. The cognitive dissonance this has all been sowing isn’t helping with the cohesiveness of our already fractured society. Whether this shift is based on “bad intel” or is intentional I find I’m trusting CNN/NPR/MSNBC/etc as much as I trust the entertainment at FoxNews.


I don’t agree with, or take seriously much of what Rogan’s two guests (mentioned above) said. But I DEFINITELY don’t think silencing these voices prone to dissenting from the excepted narrative is the answer. Their concerns, as best I can tell are worthy; they think there’s something they know that we’re not being told or that the Powers At Be are ignoring altogether… You don’t want to live in a society where professionals are afraid for their careers to speak out when they think shit is going sideways. But we are getting closer to that everyday. And in the end, correct of not, the point is that dissent is the engine of self correction.


Far too often over the last 24-months we’ve seen esteemed professionals and scientists being totally blacklisted from the media for things they said that later turned out to be true… And then on the cover of Newsweek “yeah… Evidence kinda’ looks good for the lab-leak theory…Whoops.” Have those blackballed folks been allowed to monetize on youtube yet? Nope. Have they any options for appeal for raising a very valid concern? Also a big fat “nope”.


We need all the conversation we can get, even if it means crackpots like Alex Jones get a spot. (yes, I shudder to even type that) When the conversation ends there’s no other option but violence. These hive-minded shifts to gleefully cancel anything/anyone they don’t like is, to me, the death of all that is holding our democratic society together.


As much as I HATED the living fuck out Donald Trump but I’m still queasy about him getting deplatformed from everything (esp considering North Korea still has a Twitter account… do we want to know who’s in charge of drawing the lines?)


THIS SWORD CUTS BOTH WAYS. Lemme say that again but a little quieter and plainer “Censorship is a sword that cuts through the left, the right and the middle”


That leaves us where we are today. The Democrats have performed horrendously over the last two years and I anticipate an electoral bloodbath in both ’22 and ’24. I hate to say that but I don’t see how middle-lower class & rural America (the largest voting demographic) can possible relate to a bunch of liberal ‘city-folk’ who label everyone with white skin and any success at still staying alive as a ‘racist’.


But far-be-it for the left to notice such a digression. They’re too busy cancelling the fuck out of each other on twitter, the toxic social cesspool that Dave Chappelle correctly pointed out “Isn’t a real place”. Then again that just might be his “white- privilege” speaking. (you can thank NPR for applying that trope to the wildly famous BLACK comedian.)

Are things going off the rails or is it just me?


Oh it gets better. In response to this craziness the conservatives are again going full-blown-moron in response to the ‘call out culture’ of the left… Maus, the amazing graphic novel based on a surveyors account from Nazi Concentration Camps; is being removed from school library’s in some red controlled states because a bunch of whacked-out asshole, Christian alt-Right-wingers feel threatened by it. Whats Next Elie Wiesel’s “Night”? or how about Viktor Frankl’s “Man’s Search for Meaning”?


This is madness. I really can’t imagine a world where everyone doesn’t have access to these great works of human survival and perseverance. And I can’t image a world where huge corporations get to to decide what content you and I have access to and what we don’t.


But if you’re gonna go on blattering about what a dangerous tool Rogan is PLEASE, if nothing else, at least watch his 8min response to this new controversy. Don’t watch what CNN and NPR show you. As expected they cut out and ignore the important pieces.


Full disclosure, I’ve been listening to Joe’s show for years. I don’t know of many other podcast hosts willing to sit back and let the guests do the talking in such an open ended, natural way. It’s my opinion he has a wonderfully creative and curious mind and allowing some insanely great convos to flourish. And though at first sight he comes across as a bro-y meat-head he possess a refreshing amount of humility, constantly joking and playing down his own considerable intellect.


JRE has on an incredibly wide-range of guests, a majority of which I have little to no interest in. I personally dig the brainy ones. I took a chance and watched the recent interview with Jewel and it was one of the most inspiring and amazing interviews I’ve ever seen. Some of his guests, like Matthew Walker, Rhonda Patrick, Jordan Peterson, The Black Keys, David Sinclair, Wim Hof, Jamie Foxx, Peter Attia, James Nestor amongst many others, have truly changed my life and mind for the better.


The reason I say all this is because It has seemed to me, anyways, that the people who consider him alt-right, a misogynist, trans-phobic, racist, anti-gay, whatever… prob have never actually watched his show or have any idea what he is actually like. Seems they most likely read twitter posts and watch out-of-context take-down attempts on the mainstream media outlets a ways to inform their opinions. None of the wild accusations I’ve heard has ever squared with what I’ve personally witnessed in the 100’s of hours I’ve listened.


I love Neil Young and Joni Mitchell, always have, always will. But they are on the wrong side of this in a big way. Censoring voices you don’t agree with isn’t the way forward. Messaging to America that “you’re too stupid to think for yourself so we’ll control the info spigot” is a dead-end that will only strengthen the resolve of the craziness on the far right. Remember when they were the biggest proponents of censorship? Is this the direction we on the left really need to follow? That said, Joni and Neil will quietly put their music back on Spotify once this all dies down. That you can bet on.


So this brings me back to the original point of this whole way-too long thing. Actually LISTEN to what Joe has to say in today’s 8min response. See for yourself and then make up your mind and cancel Spotify or and talk shit or whatever.


In all aspects of life information is getting twisted before it reaches our ears. Always find the source and then only form your opinion. And think hard about what it means to pressure corporations into becoming a blunt tool for censorship. With effective censorship comes the ability to control with ease. You don’t have to take my word for it. Look it up.


Here’s Joe’s Response…

5 Quick Tips for Winter-Storm Driving in Texas

Needed to make a few trips away from home during this ice-storm and was truly inspired by what I witnessed out on the roads here… So here’s 5 quick tips in case you’re not used to driving in the ice and snow. By my estimation, this soft-headed contingent might be as much as EVERY SINGLE VEHICLE currently on the road in Texas.

  1. If you have 2WD, bald/racing tires or a car that’s an inch off the ground: Stay the fuck home. No matter what. Even if it means you will die by not leaving. You’ll just end up killing other people (and yourself) with your ridiculously ill-equipped vehicle. Your lack of common-sense, as you do things like slide back down inclines into all the traffic behind you, will not endear you to anyone on the planet. Stay home.
  2. If you have a 4×4/AWD (with grippy tires) then proceed with caution by AVOIDING ALL OTHER CARS. Even if it means putting a couple wheels up on the sidewalk and blasting through red-lights. Just get the fuck away from the clumpy packs of other drivers. Do not let these harbingers of death surround you. They will creep about and spinout and roll into each other like it was some creepy slo-mo bumper-car ride at some inbred county fair. Remember all car packs consist of at least 72% petrified morons continually shitting themselves out of fear; this causes them to do exactly the wrong thing at all times. The other 27.9999% are too dumb to be scared. The .0001% is me. This statement is probably a fact.
  3. When your car drifts or slides in an undesirable direction LET OFF THE BRAKE AND PUT IT IN NEUTRAL (Even with an Automatic Transmission). Prob solved. Every time. Trust me.
  4. When you need to stop: Begin braking 10x earlier than you are used to doing by VERY LIGHTLY touching the brakes in quick spurts. Also throwing it in neutral (see #3) always helps; this keeps your wheels from spinning and will snap you back into a straight line. Your car has no clue what’s happening. So it does what it’s told by the gas dripping into the engine.
  5. If you decide to venture out (after passing the above qualifications) don’t’ drive 3-fuckin-MPH. Seriously. You’re like a wall standing in the middle roadway that everyone has to try to avoid. You become a huge fucking problem and a legit excuse for roadrage. This is why you have 4WD. You’re in the middle of it now… JUST FUCKING DRIVE. You’ll be okay (see steps 2, 3, & 4)… If your heart can’t take going with the given traffic flow, or faster when required, please refer back to the last sentence of rule #1.
  6. Please forward this to anyone unaware of the stupidly lethal combination of cars and ice and dummies.

365 days / 114 Videos

A year ago today yesterday…
I decided to upload at least two solo music performances a week to YouTube. Not counting the live-streams and band-shows I managed to kick out 114 videos in 365 days. On a few occasions I even snuck in a few extras and never missed the Thursday or Sunday deadline.

***In case you’re already ready for me to get to the point scroll all the way to the end. There you’ll find links to the 114 videos I made over this last dumpster-fire of a year; organized by artists***

Cover Songs on YouTube? I Had My Reasons...

1) It serves as a great memory for songs I’ve learned.
2) I’m self-employed and having some type of weekly “schedule anchor” helps to keep me feeling a little less untethered.
3) Enforced practice time; keeps the wheels greased, so to speak.
4) Each video acts as a potential fishing hook for YouTube search results.
5) This one is contingent on #4… sometimes those caught find their way to my music and sometimes they even like what they find (aka New Fans).
6) Fans = Subscribers (often). With enough of those channel monetization is possible.
7) Enjoyment: I actually love learning and playing my favorite songs.

And I Have My Plan...

Consistency over time is powerful and can foster exponential results that often precede some type of tipping-point. I thought then, and still think now, that this tipping-point is pretty far into the future. It would be great if one of my videos garnered a million views all the sudden but it’s as ludicrous to include that into the plan as it is to put out a record and expect some million dollar signing deal.

Most of my uploads that gained decent traction took years to do so. Not sure what these algorithms are up to but they seem to enjoy taking their time with ROI.

Above and to the right are my two most popular solo acoustic videos.

Views: 22.3k & 15.8k
Date: 6/14 & 5/14

Quality vs. Quantity...

To be sure, quality is arguably the most important factor when trying to induce the mythical exponential growth curve and I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t throw as much emphasis there. And I do suspect it’s time to shift gears in this dept.

The main angle when signing this year-long agreement with myself was mostly about quantity. I whole-hardheadedly tried to make everything I did worth the time of whoever watched it and tried not to upload any dog shit but I guess you’ll have to be the judge of that. Put simply enough, I wanted more fodder to pad my channel. More hooks in the water means more viewers subscribing.

In the meantime I figured I would learn a few new tricks and get more efficient with the hard/software as well as smoother with the overall process of making videos. And I have. Now, I suspect, it’s time to push a little deeper into the skill-sets that may set me apart from the multitudes of others in this crowded boat.

More Ideas Than Time...

With that said this project has been fun but I’m ready to take a step back and consider some other options. There’s actually a ton of video formats and styles I wanna take a crack at such as multi-instrumental videos where I play all of instruments. Would also like to try my hand at animation or some type of creative film-like video to go along with my music. And for awhile now I’ve wanted to do some focused lesson/discussion segments about many different aspects of music.

One idea I’ve wanted to get more serious about for years now is solo-guitar instrumental arrangements. By this I mean simultaneously playing the bass lines, chords and vocal melody on one guitar. To me this is one of the coolest and most difficult things guitar players can do.

Left: Gareth Pearson with a stunning instrumental version of MJ’s Billie Jean.

Six years ago tomorrow (as a matter of fact) I attempted this feat with that wonderful french horn solo in The Beatles “For No One”.

Completing a quick Instagram of ONLY the solo was as far as I got. This alone took forever to get right.. I gave up on making it through the whole song with vocals and all and the fleeting result you should be able to see to the right on these words.

While we’re at it check out Hey Bulldog (below) another Beatles. Found a bit more success in this attempt. I got down most of the instrumental parts, including the guitar solo, and managed to sing it all the way through while banging on the 12-string. My guess is that I have dozens of hours into that one piece but the response online has been favorable and, to me, worth it. Maybe these are the types of retrospective lessons I need to absorb before moving forward?

Time Consuming & Tediuous

Right now it’s just not feasible or smart to announce that I’ll do some crazy, elaborate videos twice a week; or even once a month. I will be taking the time to experiment with all the a fore mentioned formats over the coming months and will no doubt have a clearer sense how to stay consistent with regular uploads. I am simply providing myself some time to decide what new regiment, if any, to put myself on moving foreword.


No matter what you can rest assured that anytime I’m inspired and genuinely feel like making videos I will. That won’t ever change. It’s why I started this second “free for all/whatever” channel in the first place.

Oh, and I will still be playing and uploading my weekly livestreams on Facebook which you can watch live at 7pm (CST) every Tuesday at my personal profile.

(This Week, Nov 10, is the CD Release Party For Bric-á-Brac!)

The 114: Arranged in Alphabetical order; By Artist

10/23/20 • Ericommended

A messy panoramic of my 11' x 11' workspace. Always evolving on the slick rails of entropy.

I figure

…if I can force myself to the floor first thing in the morning for 50 cross-fit style burpees, run at least 5 miles every other day (or so) AND limit myself to only 2 normal sized cups of coffee a morning, then I shouldn’t have too much trouble kicking out at least ONE god-damned blog post a week. You would think anyways… But this is far from my first attempt. I was on a bit of a roll back in the early CV19 days (sounds quaint right?) and then got caught up with a girl and promptly derailed myself with a 4ish-month jaunt to Maine. Well, tangential love-odyssey aside, I’m now back in Austin and looking to reconnect with the writers mojo spirit that was left somewhere in the dust.

Speaking of Maine; here's a panoramic shot from Higgins Beach which was a short walk from where I lived for a few weeks before having to pull up the stakes.

I really love to write…
…and even more so I love having an excuse to write. Though I may never know why, I do seem to have a lot to say. So it never ceases to disappoint me when another Friday rolls by and I haven’t shared any of the neat bits and discoveries I’ve happened upon during my week.


I subscribe to Tim Ferris’s newsletter and really love it. It’s basically bullet-points of what he’s been up to and in to. Books, quotes, music, podcasts, etc. He’s an interesting, go-getter kinda dude who’s surrounded by some of the most intelligent, creative, successful and driven specimens our species has to offer.

So instead of waiting for some fresh and unique approach to blogging to fall from the heavens I’m going to straight-up copy his template and go from there. These weekly excursions will no doubt take on a shape and life of their own the more I do them. That, I guess, is my faith in the process of keeping nose to the grindstone.

The trick here is not letting the assemblage, post-building process take too much time. Working through WordPress can be slow and clunky and at times I lose my patience but mainly I lose TO my patience and scrap everything… so this will all be a way of becoming more efficient with a tool I desperately need to get better with.

Actually the real trick here is in my waning editing abilities. I can be a bit long-winded, in case you haven’t noticed, and leaving anything of value, perceived or otherwise, on the chopping-room floor isn’t a strong suit of mine.


I’m Old Now: Spose & Cam Groves
I can’t always detect the rhyme or reason behind a song getting stuck in my head. Like a dream trying to tell you something about your waking-life there always seems to be some fundamental connection to reality. I don’t know. Maybe it’s because I had a birthday a few months ago and I need to start thinking more seriously about my own mortality? Anyways this song came on randomly as I was listening to the 1000 song Spotify Playlist I’ve been making for a few years. I probably listened to it a dozen times since my rediscovery.

Spose is a rapper from Maine and one of the most talented lyricists in the rap-game.

BUY at AMAZON: We Smoked It All 3: The Album [Explicit] by Spose & Cam Groves

He just doesn’t waste words; no filler bullshit with him. He’s always connected to the main point of the song, knows how to honer a story arc and is extraordinarily great at avoiding clichés and the same hum-drum rhyme schemes as his far-lesser (more braggy) peers. A whole other aspect of Spose’s song building genius is adherence to great beats overlaid with great music. I could go on and on about this but will digress. Just check out literally anything from his immense catalog of music; all of it is real-deal, top-tier shit.

On We Smoked It All 3 Spose features longtime compatriot Cam Groves who constantly proves himself to be just as potent and relevant a wordsmith. Hate to have to say this but even if you don’t like hip-hop, you’ll probably like this… at the very least it’s gonna make you laugh. |||

Howling Around My Happy Home: Daniel Norgren

This artist came out of nowhere for me and as of this writing I haven’t listened to any of his other songs. I don’t care yet, I just can’t get past the composition of this one. Viewed from a song-crafting and production lens this smooth, hypnotic song bluesily glides along on what is clearly a series of short instrumental loops. What I like best is how it breaks the rules of what a song “should be”; at least in my ‘unwritten but acknowledged’ rule book. It has certainly caused me to consider pushing around the hard parameters outlining my own writing/recording process. I mean it’s just over 10 minutes long and drops in vocals as almost an after thought; haven’t quite deciphered what he’s saying and again… don’t really care. There’s plenty else keeping my attention here. And it really never gets old; I think I listened to it three times in a row while working in the garage yesterday. The drum machine intro, hardly removed from the styling of the late JJ Cale, seems to go on forever. It’s 16 fucking bars of the same thing… What is a brilliant manifestation of tension. I’m pretty sure I didn’t appreciate this on the first spin. I was probably thinking “wtf?? Are you seriously going let this cheesy beat machine keep going??” Had it gone on a for few more bars probably would’ve skipped the track and I doubt I’d be writing this… An arrangement that does this takes some balls to be sure…

This bleak, slow/no-burn intro is saved by great syncopated bass and guitar grooves dropping in to the middle of the mix; the ride has begun. Another bunch of measures later, as the repetitive tension reaches a snapping point again, a couple organ squawks deftly punctuate the burgeoning fabric and set to motion further forward momentum. Lots of separate pieces slowly building into what seems like nothingness and when the suspense starts to lash out here comes this wobbly, duel-noted, ghostly tape-effected mellotron sounding thing as it blares in the far distance. All this adds to the space and mystic of this expertly crafted number.

The staggering amount of patience Norgren employs with his use of tension/release is just awesome. And I can’t quite get my head around it if you haven’t been able to tell… It’s something I feel my own music is lacking in ways that I don’t always know how to remedy. Mostly my obsession with Howling stems from the urgent desire to fully understand, and maybe eventually deconstruct, this song someday. Ironically deconstruction would require reconstructing (via recording) and would probably deliver me to the heart of my confused infatuation with it’s deceptive simplicity.


There’s a lot I could say here…
…because currently I’m way too interested in way too many topics… My “current reading list” is pushing 25 books. In this regard things are a bit out of control and to make matters worse I’ve pushed my podcast listening to the wayside in favor of audio-books. I started an account with Audible specifically to listen to Michael Pollan’s book How to Change Your Mind during the ride from Maine to Texas. Well I burned through that “read” at roughly double speed and was done in no time. It was then that I learned a few things about Audible… It turns out you can’t just up and start any title you want. The plan I chose was good for one credit a month; only with a credit can you listen to any title you like. I had used up my one credit about 5 hours into my 32+ hour drive… Thankfully there are a TON of great titles for free to pick from and I was able to placate myself with some more great books on brain science and other consciousness related topics which has been my jam lately. Out of all the good things distracting me from making music these days this rabbit-hole is probably the deepest.

These first two books initiated my long journey into understanding the mind through mediation, first by stripping away the all the new-age bullshit and religious baggage then building an airtight case for it’s utility using the latest science.

The subtitles are key…

10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works--A True Story
Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion

Down the road I may go into more detail…

…on the following books but for the time being I’ll just put them right here with the highest of my recommendations. I will say the last book, Conscious, is one I haven’t read yet but have heard great things; it has been on my short list.

How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence
The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science
The Craving Mind: From Cigarettes to Smartphones to Love – Why We Get Hooked and How We Can Break Bad Habits
Into the Magic Shop: A Neurosurgeon's Quest to Discover the Mysteries of the Brain and the Secrets of the Heart
Autopilot: The Art and Science of Doing Nothing
Conscious: A Brief Guide to the Fundamental Mystery of the Mind


Above I mentioned that every morning I kick out 50 Burpees a day…

Cross-Fit Burpee:
Stand, squat down, hands on floor then kick out into plank, down into a pushup, back up to plank, swing feet back to hands, jump straight up in the air from this squat, position and repeat.

…I try to get them behind me right out of bed; even before coffee which doesn’t provide half the wake-up power. This seemed like a good idea after restlessly sitting in a car for three days straight and feeling like I was wasting away. Although I am far from a health-freak I’ve finally had to admit that exercise is a key component to my mental health that cannot be bypassed or substituted. I’ve done everything I could over the last 40-odd years to subvert this truth but in the end without physical exertion peppered throughout my week I’m mostly an irritable mess.

I decided to puss out a little
…and started with 50 instead of 100 because I just don’t wanna hurt myself and I was being a puss, basically. But as I began to get used to them I pushed for more reps per set. I began this routine on my first morning back in Texas and started with two sets of 15 and one of 20 done at various points throughout the day, with the first always before coffee.

Naturally the workout became easier…
…and last week I began going for more. Listening to my body and not my mind while grinding through the reps was key to not being miserable while doing them and before long I could get 50 in without stopping. The goal is to do this until November 2nd after that I’m not sure if I’ll go for the 100 per day or what I’ll do but it will definitely involve burpee sets. It’s like packing in a full hours work out in 5 or 6 minutes.

Thanks For Hanging!

Okay that’s all I guess.
This took forever and I’m burnt out. But I’ll be trying to get faster so that hopefully someday I don’t dread the process like i do now. I mean, I like the writing part, but the page-building work is still pretty grueling, slow and frustrating. Practice makes better…at least.

In the Meantime please grab a copy of my new album, Bric-á-Brac if you haven’t already.

Photo Credit: Bethany McCorkle

One more thing... just because.

Part II: Making Art & Music While Lost in the Woods

This morning,

while I was hanging yet another shelf in my tiny but increasingly intricate work-space, I heard the word “bloviate” for the first time. The word was uttered by Sam Harris in his latest podcast with Andrew Yang. According to google search results it means to “talk at length, especially in an inflated or empty way”. Well here I am with an update to my last post sincerely hoping to not bloviate all over you guys in the process.

The last time we spoke I had just finished actualizing the “album” cover for my upcoming music-single Magnetic Fields. Well wouldn’t you know that as soon as the pixels were dry up springs this white-hot idea slap on a “B-Side”. In truth I was feeling a bit high from having completed something that would soon be public. It’s a rare feeling for me to experience considering most of what I’ve worked on over the last five years hasn’t traveled beyond my studio computer.

I am a completionist at heart…

Cover revised to include Lost in the Woods

For instance, when I find an author that I love I have to own and read everything they have ever written. Through 2018-19 I read every Jon Ronson book with the exception of The Elephant in the Room; which i didn’t know existed until right now because I just googled his bibliography to make sure I wasn’t lying to you. Another example of this tendency, that I haven’t acted on, is wanting every size viewing lens for my huge backyard telescope. Even though the moon hardly offers the opportunity for a peak I still want all the sizes so when I do have a window to ogle at the moon I am not distracted by wanting an even closer look. The more pragmatic portion of my mind knows this isn’t even close to a good place to throw the little money I have so it stays buried a few pages deep in the “wish-list”. And anyways the included lenses work great and blow the moon up to truly breathtaking proportions. But even though I know it’s impossible to see the disbanded lunar-rover from Earth I still wanna try.

So it goes with shop-tools and music-gear, all of which I can usually justify as essential and then write-off for taxes. If something allows me to expand my creative options and happens to be part of a “set” promising more of the same then there will hang an lingering incompleteness until I hunt down the missing parts.

What started kicking up dust after I “finalized” everything with the Magnetic Fields art (and then told you all about it) was this same nagging completionist impulse. Magnetic Fields all the sudden needed a second side; some sonic subtly to counterbalance it’s fully-produced weightiness. For some reason the thought never occurred to me to include a B-Side for The General Store, my latest release. It’s not like I didn’t have enough music dying to be born it’s just that the idea never occurred to me as far as I can remember.

In retrospect it all seems obvious…

Rain • The Beatles

Traditionally all singles have a flip side. This started in the 50’s when record labels began to using 45’s as teasers for larger upcoming LP’s. The B-sides were often the best part. The number #1 song Paperback Writer by the Beatles, for example, is a cool song but the lesser know Rain is the shit. (BTW I just posted my own folky version of this to my YouTube [click here]).

Lately though I have been much more inclined to trade perfectionism for accomplishment…

And it’s been a longtime coming. More and more I have been feeling the deep-seated urge to just get stuff done and out there. As I’ve rambled about at length before I am positively pregnant with music trapped in state of hard-drive purgatory and most of it is mostly ready. I sense a great purge in the making…

In the case of padding the Magnetic Fields release I decided to use my song Lost in the Woods which I’ve been playing live over the last few years. I have an almost completed, full-band version of this but it’s one of the many that are stalled a few yards short of the end-zone. I’ve since kicked to the back-burner but I do plan on digging back in and wrestling it into some sort of respectability after my next LP drops. In the meantime I developed an acousticy arrangement to suit my solo performance needs and lightened it up with some finger-picking and a slower tempo. In the end it’s a different song and doesn’t leave me feeling like I’m treading the same ground.

I realize that you haven’t heard this full-band version I speak of but it’s “heavy” in much the same way Magnetic Fields is “heavy”. [which you can hear if you read the last post]. I became so invested in my full-band recording that I pushed away the desire to record the solo version as well. Putting in this effort felt a lot like buying those expensive lenses for a telescope I never use.

But a few days ago, with excuses in hand, I was determined to start the song from scratch and be DONE with it in a few days time. This is something I’ve never attempted on any serious level. Somehow I’ve convinced myself that recording and mixing has to be akin to torture and take forever. Enough of that.

Start to finish it ran about four days of work at maybe 3-5hrs per day…

Mike Meadows, tracking Lost in the Woods

I can only work on this stuff for so long before I get ear fatigue and everything begins sounding blurry. Mike Meadows, one of my favorite drummers in Austin, has a baller studio setup and recording chops like the pros. He cut me a great deal and after supplying him with the basic bones he worked his magic. A few days later I was seamlessly able to fly his tracks into my flies and continued working. Recording technology is really quite slick these days.

So to summarize: fast-tracking was the name of my game here. I’m already way too excited to share Magnetic Fields with the world and a little irritated it’s not out yet. But I think taking the time to finish Lost in the Woods was the right move. Or anyways at least my inner completionist isn’t barking at me. My inner perfectionist, however, is grumbling but I ain’t got the time to listen to that.

So in a rare moment of artistic vulnerability...

…(helped in part by not having a huge readership) I’m deciding to share what I have so far…  This version was spit out last night and after listening this morning I don’t hate it. That’s an unbelievably good sign in my world. Chances are that I rounded an elusive but important corner in the finalization process and I’m 95% sure that what is eventually saddled to the underside of Magnetic Fields will look and sound very much like what is posted below.

Lost in the Woods (Unfinished Version/Unmastered)

Making Art & Music Under the Magnetic Fields

Creating anything I care about is typically a grueling process.

It begins with great enthusiasm and some shiny vision lodged deep in my minds eye. Hypnotized by the ‘beauty and importance’ and driven by excitement I always underestimate the amount of actual work it will take to bring it to completion. In truth, I’m usually quick to dispense with long-term details and dive right in. And no matter how often I go through this cycle I never seems to anticipate just how hard bringing an idea to life always tends to be.

A few days ago I set about designing a cover for Magnetic Fields, a new single that should be dropping in a matter of weeks. The cover itself will have fairly limited purpose as a thumbnail for streaming sites like Apple Music and Spotify so the pressure isn’t so great.

Taking the first steps in designing it required weeks worth of kicking this line-item from one “to-do” list to the next. Not sure why but this avoidance phase seems to be part of my operation. At the very least it’s something I have learned not to resist too much when possible; forcing artsy things will tends to make the final product suck. Procrastinating can get me firing on all cylinders, especially when something was suppose to be out the door yesterday but “creating from emergency” isn’t a method to employ too often if you plan on experiencing some level of old age.

I think my ‘process’ is dogged not so much by “having too many irons in the fire” but of “having too many irons and only room enough for one at a time in the fire. And they get changed out quickly” It really doesn’t matter how pressing or important something is to finish, if that something is something I don’t wanna do on a visceral level then it becomes boarder-line impossible to even start working on it. (see: Unemployable)

These past few weeks my muse has been very busy…

…and I’m very grateful for this. She has been keeping me back-lit by an intense musical glow. I’m always thankful when my oscillating interest-pallet pivots back to what I know best; music. As many of my close confidants know my infatuation with music has been steadily waning causing my enthusiasm to be increasingly  spotty these last few years. Turning what you love into a full-time job can become back-breaking and soul-crushing at times. Who knew?

So as music, my first love, began gaining weight I naturally started looking elsewhere for some levity and fun. This has lead me into all kinds of interesting wormholes; most having nothing to do with music. (And huge props to the internet! You can learn about literally ANYTHING at ANYTIME! That fact will never cease to amaze.)

Anyways, I have mostly lived the bachelors-life over the last decade with, for the most part, the freedom to do whatever I want when I want almost everyday. A situation like this allows for a truly inordinate allotment of time to pursue any and all whims. For long swaths of time my curiosity has lingered and latched onto topics from the universe and space to trying to understand what makes brilliant stand-up comedians and athletes tick. The list of what has captured my attention over the years is pretty extensive and varied. Unfortunately all this random knowledge hunting doesn’t seem to pay the bills. Or at least I haven’t figured out how to make money by reading every Carl Sagan book and scouring the web for all the Christopher Hitchens lectures that exist.

Speaking of money and tangents…

If I would have (could have, more like it) put all this time and energy into playing music, and music only, I’d probably be as good as I thought I was as a delusional teenager learning my first chords. I was definitely slow on the uptake when it came to understanding the importance of self-criticism. I write a little more on this here: The Sad Plight of the Young Artist.

A few of the better examples at my Instagram account.

Back to it. One such blip of interest that hung on my radar long enough to blur the screen was watercolor painting. It’s an art form I’ve always had a certain fascination with with. Watercolor can blend realism and dream-states into a single image in a way that nothing else can. While looking for the next fix I took to fussing with the tools of the trade and began splashing up paper just to see what happens. One technique I loved to experiment with is letting the tone-filled water run rills down a tipped-up page. Turns out gravity and nature can paint cooler things than I’ll ever hope to. Click the image for a some of the examples that resulted from this process.

Figuring what to do for a cover for Magnetic Fields has been a looming chore since deciding I would release ahead of the album. The main hangup is that any desire to make art has been MIA since early last summer. Not sure why; just the way it is. So in the spirit of least resistance I shuffled through those old, drippy paintings and a few resonated loudly enough for some vague concepts to percolate.

My biggest problem with chucking a project past the finish-line…

…is detaching “what I’ve made” from “what I wanted to make”. I’m hardly ever able to make what’s in my mind come out just the way I see it. Sometimes what I make turns out better and cooler than I imagined… But mostly this isn’t an outcome that can be counted on; usually I’m somewhat disappointed with the final product. The trick is either accepting it for what it is and jumping back into the endless revisions near the drawing-board with the piles of torn-out hair under it. Often though nothing I try helps and eventually I reach for the “Omg-Fuck-It” sign; leaving the troublesome new prototype on the factory floor to collect dust and rot.

I suppose on some thin level that making art is a lot like having a kid, which I don’t have any of. You can have a baby and hope to mold it into your own image with your value-sets and outlooks but in the end she/he/it/they/whatever is going to be unique unto themselves. As a parent I imagine one of the biggest jobs is eventually accepting this and seeing your child not as an extension of yourself but as an entirely independent being with it’s own whacked-out personality and mixed-up thoughts.

So comparing a living-child to a 6″x6″ image that was mostly assembled using Photoshop trickery seems a bit lofty. But I think the analogy here works. Whether I throw on the horse-blinders and blitz something out the door or try to control every aspect of the operation, in the end, acceptance is the only way to finality. And acceptance is the hardest part for someone with perfectionist tendencies and it’s why I’m stuck with a considerable amount of songs. Sometimes you just gotta throw up that sign and let the kids go on and be their fucked-up little selves. So in a sense I am trying to be better as a parent and simultaneously have many more kids. It’s a tough balance when your goal is to shove them out the door as quickly as possible. They deserve to be the feral little monsters they were born to be.

Art for me is way faster and easier to make than music.

I’m not going for the extreme adherence to my vision with art because mostly I can’t. I just don’t have the same level of skill and control as I do with music; I have way less excuses not to nail when making songs. Designing this single-cover was like a scaled-down version of what I want my song writing/recording process to be. Fast, easy and over. After scanning the paintings to the computer I started playing around with fonts and layouts. Once I found some balance and cohesion I then drew the font by hand (it looks more hand-made this way; obviously…) then imported everything back into PS where I tweaked about for a few more hours while listening my friends doing live-stream shows. (See some working versions here) Once I had had enough I slept on it. In the morning, after some deliberation over styles with a friend, I whipped together a final version. That was it. I’m hoping that this condensed, walled-in approach will bring wider-perspective to my way-too-lengthy music making process.  Maybe it can bring some brevity to my way too lengthy writing process as well…

Here’s some of the many versions I passed through to find the final cover-art.

Regardless of whether it’s art or music…

…there’s one final stretch of road that has to be traversed. The space on this continuum is positively littered with stalled-out song heaps now trapped forever in the twilight of birth. Although this doomed wreckage may find itself being visited by the scavenging songwriter from time to time; for the most part this place is a monolithic graveyard of failure’s best attempts. It’s hard not to look around and notice all the wasted effort it took get these malformed songs to their final, unintended resting places. And walking away empty-handed smarts like hell on it’s but what may be worse is the way the sentiment hangs on; chipping away bits of resolve with each slow step toward starting anew. Moving on after a failure, for an artist of any sort, requires a hefty amount of functional delusion I guess.

Well the good news is that just venting some of this psychobabble can really mash the reset button down. Clearing the cluttered slate of these languishing reminders fills me with some sparkly forward-momentum and the urge to once again pile the slate high and start on something new.

In the meantime I’m releasing the new single, Magnetic Fields, right here for the first time. This is all the fan fare it will receive for a few weeks at least. It’s my way of thanking you readers who actually slogged it through all 1710 words of this.

Thank you for listening and please, have a listen.

Intuition & The Sad Plight of the Young Artist

Halfway through the morning coffee crazy things often happen. For instance the other day I caught myself standing in the middle of my room and staring at a globe (of the Earth) which sits a-top a college-fridge. I could sense some sort of a calculation going on behind my eyes but my conscious-self wasn’t privy to the details so I waited. A few moments later an inaccessible part of my mind spit a calculation out onto the floor of a more accessible part; low-and-behold- I had a idea.

In my world flat, blank surfaces, ripe for putting stuff on are quickly swallowed up by said stuff. This is a constant dilemma for people like me who aren’t always great at putting shit back where it goes when done using it. Globes are kind of nice to have around but more often than not this one is just in my way. This and a telescope are the only things I own that are of no use to either my music or art endeavors. I’ve had to work pretty hard to make my 11’x11′ ”work-space” work. I have a ridiculous amount of hobbies and as much “stuff” as I do keep I’m definitely not a pack-rat. When I know something has no further practical use I see it as dead-weight and am quick to donate or sell.

So within a matter of seconds of my morning epiphany I’m reefing on this thing and trying to get it apart; which, by the way, is the best way to figure out how anything works. Directions are over-rated and anyways I only paid $2 for it at a yard sale. It didn’t come with paperwork.

The mount dismantled, parts in hand I hit the garage where I keep all sorts of tools and storage cases full of random screws and bits. In one of the bins is a molly-screw with identical threading; I had everything I needed to hang this thing upside down; suspended in my ‘space’.

Flash to smash this whole ordeal was probably only 15 minutes. Trading this sliver of time for a square foot of prime real-estate still seems like a pretty good trade. Now I have another convenient spot that’s perfect for quickly unloading my hands of small things that belong elsewhere.

See the hanging basket next to it? That is my recycling bin and it was thunk up with the same type of caffeine-addled sagacity. Also I no longer accidentally kick recyclables all over my room and it’s fun to throw things at it.

How I’m going to tie all this in with the rest of today’s post? I have no idea but my faith in the way caffeine randomly connects unrelated portions of my brain to yield unusual concoctions is unwavering.

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04/27/20 ||| The Glorious Tumble Continues…

••• Let’s Talk Confirmation Bias and Critical Thinking•••

Confirmation Bias: the tendency to interpret new evidence as confirmation of one’s existing beliefs or theories.
Critical Thinking: the objective analysis and evaluation of an issue in order to form a judgment.

Reading about the downturn in the Trump presidency has been one of the most satisfying activities I’ve been absorbed in over these last few whacky days. Since going wildly off-script and riffing about possibly using chemical-disinfectants and UV to save us all from CV19 the headlines have been like glacial-water dowsing the reality-tracker that is my overheated frontal lobe. Unbelief has been a constant daily-rider and some time apart would be nice. Honestly I forgot what normal feels like. My last taste was just over three years ago. And considering the possibility of returning to normalcy yields some strong, positive emotions for me. To think that maybe within the year we can have back a way of life that though it might have seemed a bit bleak while living through it, sure didn’t appear to be as utterly hopeless as things feel now.

I know Trump is a mush-minded-psycho and why everyone doesn’t know that too has been a mystery for sure. But for a few minutes each day I have reveled in the syrupy satisfaction of confirmation bias. I joy in reading writings that I swear I’d would have created if I worked at the Atlantic or NYTimes and happened to be a way better writer with more follow-through. Some of the articles I encounter everyday articulate my feelings better than I have been able to do for myself; to me that’s a sign of great writing. I mean, maybe it’s all a short-coming but I do consider myself a slow thinker. Most of my good ideas often take a lot of time to percolate and usually pop unexpectedly out of nowhere.

With the presses burping out a trillion words a day processing an even atomized fraction of it, with any degree of completeness, is not always in the cards. Either way it does feel great to read a lot of what’s hitting the floors lately. Sometimes it’s like reading a much more concise, less-confused version of my very own thoughts. Often after finishing a deep reaching piece there’s a glimmer of the sense of accomplishment; as if I had actually done something to deserve this glow of satisfaction.

It’s a strange sensation to rub up against… and yes, I know I’m engaging in something dangerous. But how is this any different than all the folks mainlining The-Fox-Propaganda-Network directly into that small spot behind their eyes?


….It isn’t different.
But also it kind of is, especially in one slight but important way: I’m trying to stay fully aware of what kind of box I’m sitting in. But before all that…

Let me try to narrow down the crux of a larger problem as I see it… On far-right conservative radio/cable shows the audiences deepest feelings and intuitions get summed up for them with maddening effectiveness. The folks in charge know how find and manipulate the pliable mind. For one thing the language is delivered at a level far below that of even the worst college students and then is reinforced day after day with blunt, usually divisive and simplistic phrases, repeated with almost comical emotional overreactions. Again, I’m simplifying here but eventually this process can’t help but to galvanize the loyal listener to a common narrative that will soon to be mistaken as independent thoughts that they must’a thunk up themselves. Of course they’ll need to defend these hard-adsorbed ideologies to the death whether they are technically right or wrong. Disentangling the ideas from the self eventually becomes impossible as the beliefs become the person. Lopping off a huge part of yourself fucking hurts; it’s certainly grounds for resistance especially in those not super accustomed to changing things up. It’s another manifestation of the Come and Take it theme…. dig? We live in a fly-trap jungle and roughly 40-55% of Americans are hopelessly but happily stuck within.

Most of the time I try to stay fully on-guard against these alluring tricks by using an invaluable tool called Critical Thinking. That’s the main difference here overall, as I have seen it play out in both the news and my own life, anyways.

Scrutinizing the daily information stream can, and should, be exhausting. Literately anyone, anywhere can say anything they want and can often do so in front of a huge impressible audience. Thinking hard, as a skill, couldn’t be more necessary or undervalued right now. Put your ear to the chatter; it’s pure chaos.

Opening the flood gates to too much bad info can rot your soul but the flip-side is how GREAT it feels to hear stuff you already believe come true? Especially when it’s at odds with the consensus. Therein lies the temptation of course. A rhythmic ping of victory to your deepest and most insecure intuitions can cause a resounding *BING* “YOU WIN! AND ARE ABSOLVED OF EVERYTHING FOR THE TIME BEING! CONGRATULATIONS. YOU SEXY WINNER YOU!”. This is nothing short of a serotonin drip, thumb-punch-controller firmly in your grasp with no oversight.

We live in a strange time where logic and reason and even our sense of time; has been wrung-out and pulped into puddles of jelly. And it feels nothing short of miraculous that current events seem to finally be be grinding the right set of gears again. Tooth by rusty tooth we’re slowly snapping back into the worn-out track; the ride doggedly racking us all back into alignment with the natural laws of the known universe. Is that the dark cloud of cognitive dissonance finally catching some wind to somewhere else?

To double back for a minute here… The ability, or will-power rather, to employ Critical Thinking to all cognitive-processing is hard (I would argue it’s a skill that needs to be first learned and then practiced) and this doesn’t happen to be one of the many things that the right-side of the political isle is historically well-known for. Introspection and self-criticism exists within a degree within the progressive* camp and probably to a fault. This is the party of self-cannibalization after all.
*Not to be confused with the Regressive Left

The fact is it’s always been the left where real civic change is often welcomed and fought for instead of resisted. (e.g.-  Civil Rights, Woman’s Suffrage, Gay Rights, etc…). But before you chalk this mornings ramblings up to my own snowflakery and political bias, which, yes, there definitely is some of the later at least; please know that I think the leader of the left are a dilapidated, misdirected and spineless bunch. They have more soul-searching and map-reading to do than they may be equipped to handle. A tear-down and rebuild should be the only game they’re playing but I’m afraid that approach won’t bode well with keeping the coasting and lifeless lifers employed. So instead they prop up a vanilla flavored mumbler next to Trump that no one at all is excited about. Why do this? Because instead of finding someone to work for We The People they decided, again, to find someone who won’t upset the game-board. More on that later I suppose.

The only thing I see in the Democrats favor, beside Trump finally becoming so un-ignorably atrocious that even hard-core righty’s want him gone, is having more humility when it comes to asking for help and deferring to experts. Though their record over the last few years ain’t so hot the left has always had a healthier penchant for admitting fault than their stogy counterparts. It’s all a symptom of the mindset no doubt which it’s also argued is a symptom of genetics. Either way, if a quick lobotomy could provide our leadership with even a dash of these simple virtues I’d be the first to run on Washington with shish-kabob skewers, charging straight for the bulls-eye.

But still, here we are. And instead of backing up and letting the experts rightfully run the show the grand-‘wizard’ himself keeps strapping us into the Clock-Work Orange chair and ticker-taping our eyes open so we don’t miss a moment of his terrifying but somehow humorous clown-show every damn evening. All the while tomorrow’s uncertainty about anything is the only wall we have to lean on.
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4/25/20 ||| Uneze is born + other soothing oddities

•••I spent pretty much all of today fiddling with this blog•••

Originally I started a post about the process of writing and it’s overall arc in my life. It was just supposed to be a few key thoughts and then a few included links wit some of quipping but the damn thing kept sprawling on and on and now it’s some kind of monster that may never make it out of “draft” status. So as of yet I have nothing to show for these missing hours beyond this blog having a whole new domain name than I had yesterday. is a URL I’ve had on lock for a couple years; I’ve been floundering on just what to use it for and it hit me today this was the prefect title for this blog. I could have saved myself a couple bags of hours and a 12 dollar-bill had dawned on me before blitzing my way forward with But that’s just the way spigot spews sometimes. So in brief…

•••Something Hopeful, maybe•••

In the forefront of my mind is a couple recent articles that were in the NYtimes. Both reads trigger my most hopeful intuitions that Trump and his odd momentum HAS TO implode at some point. In what universe can this impossible and senseless drama play out day by day without consequence?


•••Yoga Ruins Your Life•••

I’ve been hooked on hot-yoga for two years come July. I’m not a fanatic and not all that interested in the crazy, fancy stuff but there’s an amazingly refreshing and reinvigorating feeling after a hot session of power stretching. Yoga benefits the mind as much as the body. A friend of mine, a yoga teacher and true fanatic sent me this quick little video. The Richard Freeman monologue that floats above all the pained looking participants is really what gets me. The rest just looks like it hurts though I assure you that although I can’t execute a fraction of what these yogi’s are doing, it’s anything but painful.

04/24/20 ||| Everyday Chances, Trump vs. Lysol vs. CV19, No Overlap, New Sam Harris

••• A Noonish Good Morning •••

So it’s just after noon here on Friday morning and I’m feeling rather dumb. For one thing I spent almost five hours face-timing last night with a wonderful girl who lives about 2000 miles away. She might as well live next door; it’s not like we could see each other anyways. I’m thinking I’d throw an unhealthy amount of caution to the wind for this sweetheart if she was really that close. Welcoming these unexpected sparks into my life and actively panning for more isn’t why I’m feeling dumb though. Not in the least. Though at a glance the long game here looks bleak but I just don’t believe in dropping something that feels this good out of some pragmatic or existential reasoning. People who play too safe and live by some chanceless, idealistic bent tend to cut themselves down before the finish line. They may be happy to trudge home with the “participant” ribbon but you know the whole while they’re wondering what it feels like to hold the gold.

I’ve learned that if you want something then you have to stay the course and deal with the obstacles as they present themselves. Not give up before there’s any resistance. In my experience this is the only way the impossible can become possible. Right now I don’t care that her and I doesn’t make sense on paper and that we are separated by three solid days worth of driving and that both of us are heavily embedded in our own locales. I can’t think about that now. If this is meant to work out then it will find a way. I mean, saying that is sort of a non-sequitur because we can never actually know what would have happened that time when we zigged instead of zagged. What’s that quote? and who’s it by? “You lose every chance you don’t take?”

I’m not so stupid to believe in something as empty and vacuous as “The Secret” or that simply praying to the universe will bring what you want. If that shit worked EVERY TIME then I’d be a believer.  The fact is things sometimes work out and sometimes they fall apart; it’s always been that way.

Over the ages the charlatans have figured out that it’s easy to manipulate our feeble intuitions into believing there’s something behind random chance. People can’t help but to find patterns in the static, significance in the insignificant, spooks in the shadows. A face on the moon. We’re built for making sense out of this mystery we’ve been thrust into. Us human would never had made it this far without these great powers of deduction. But this machinery is still running on overdrive in a modern world that’s best understood through math and science. Those simplistic sentiments are as ridiculous as they are popular. I mean there’s very smart people who believe in numerology after all. I’m still waiting for them all to win the lottery. But winning the lotto is also chance.

My point? Look. Like each of you there’s tons of instances where I wanted something so badly and was even convinced my chances of living a good life depended on getting it…  and in the end things still didn’t pan out and I didn’t die. All the praying, all the good thoughts to the universe, all the miles walking on the righteous path and most importantly, all the grit and grinding and still no reward… How do you square these moments with the results after telling yourself to just wish harder? For me the best way is to notice your surroundings and the very spot where you are sitting. All these dashed hopes and near misses contributed as much to where you are as all the success’s and wins did. As long as something feels good then I think you need to go for it.  It doesn’t mean you’ll always get what you want but it might be that you get what you need. I have to give credit to the Stones for that tidbit of philosophy; I think they were dead on. Dawes, speaking of bands and songs, deftly grazed this fundamental truth of life as well. Dig the these lines from When My Time Comes.

“So I took what I wanted
And put it out of my reach.
I wanted to pay for my successes
With all my defeats.
And if Heaven was all
That was promised to me
Why don’t I pray for death?”

Right?!?! …and then there’s this line I rather like a lot…

“You can judge the whole world on the sparkle that you think it lacks.
Yes, you can stare into the abyss, but it’s starin’ right back.”

Check out this Dawes song and their accompanying video here below. It’s stellar.

So I’m gonna keep leaning into what feels right because I don’t know how to do it any other way. The odds probably favor frustration and heartache if strong feelings develop but in the end (to use another well-worn cliche) you can’t win of you don’t play.
Okay, things just got pretty unspooled there; its been a long while since I’ve had a woman on the brain to such a degree and I’m no longer used to it… ah well. Moving on and I’m now realizing I still haven’t told you why I’m feeling so dumb today… It’s because throughout the duration or our five-hour chat I was sipping straight Tito’s vodka. This on the surface sounds nut, I know, but hear me out. This manner of imbibing has been a successful ‘life hack’ of mine I put into practice starting late last fall. I really like Tito’s vodka but not enough to gulp it straight. No way. The stanky burn of 80 proof spirits has a built in self-correction mechanism that works remarkably well for me. Part of my problem with alcohol has always been that I simply drink it too fast (i do the same thing with coffee and seltzer water). After a few drinks my governors often fall off and I lose the instinct to keep track; it’s just what happens when you’re having fun. By drinking it ‘on the rocks’ a single scotch glass worth tends to last me way longer than say a beer or a mixed drink would. Way longer. For instance, while playing in Key West with Ben Balmer in January one drink usually survived the full duration of our 4 hours sets. It has really worked for me but can’t I remember the last time that I drank for 5 fucking hours. So there-in lies my mistake. Live and learn right?



••• Trump in the time of COVID •••

Though the mental fog has dampened my day some there is still plenty of room for love, light and laughter. I mean the headlines this morning were just fucking priceless. Trump seems to think you can inject people with disinfectant to stop COVID… I wish the word “retard” was still permissible to use because it would have fit perfect here….

Oh and here’s a crazy yet related thought: Is it any wonder why the most ill-educated people in this country think Trump is the Second Coming of the Messiah?

Everyday I can’t believe things could get crazier but the alternative facts just keep flowing from the disgraced oval office.

In closing… maybe the president will save us all some pain and take his own advice:

••• “To my friends and relatives that still believe in Trump” ||| The DailyKos •••

A distant relative who I recently connected with sent me an article today. He said it made him think of me. Our values and sensibilities when it comes to scouring the planet for good information seem to be very much aligned. Not gonna get into the how’s or why’s but take my word on it. Had I found this bit of writing first I believe I would have sent it his way.

The opening venn-diagram really caught my eye. “Thoughtful People that read and think critically” in one circle and “Trump Supporters” in the other with VERY little overlap. Though this might seem like a easy jab it’s really not; it’s a clear fact for anyone willing to look with open eyes. For me this has been, and is, a constant and uncomfortable observation being that I’m related to a inordinate amount of Trumpers. Can’t say I have a single non-related “friend” who supports him though. I don’t really bother with anything less than great company and being able to think clearly is a prerequisite; every one of my close acquaintances are whip-smart.

Anyways it’s as impossible to not notice the lack of thoughtfulness in that tribe as it is to find pro-Trump arguments that are halfway coherent and don’t quickly devolve into something about Obama using those deflective “yeah-but-what-about” fallacies. The sad truth is that his supporters, for the most part, could give a fuck about a solid argument or they wouldn’t be supporting that one-dimensional sociopath in the first place. Seems they could give fuck about thinking all half the time. Instead they’d rather let the twisted fear mongering right-wing propaganda channels think their thought’s for them.

Let me share my youngest brothers opinion on tagged article; he’s always great for a smart take on something. Our sensibilities are also almost always in alignment. I count myself very lucky that I can send a good write-up like this to both of my brothers and it won’t be construed as an insult. But unfortunately I have my doubts that it will track much outside of the larger of the two circles.

“This article was great. It’s nice to read fact based things like this that try not to be partisan and still show how unqualified he is for the job. I know Trump supporters would still call it liberal propaganda but that’s the world we live in.”

Indeed brother….
Click the brilliant venn-diagram for the article.

••• Making Sense w/ Sam Harris: A Conversation w/ Caitlin Flanagan •••

Sam Harris is my jam. This dropped yesterday and I haven’t started it yet. But I will asap.
Hit his website at and subscribe to his podcast
Also check out his awesome meditation app: Waking Up