This is America(n Propaganda?)

A friend of mine has been championing the idea that there’s a difference between Art and Propaganda. We have differed over where to draw the line between the two, but I have been considering the idea of the distinction. The difference between Art and Propaganda is a subset, or a consequence, of the difference between…

Artistry and Social Construction

Reading an article in The Atlantic just now I am struck by an idea of two different sorts of obstruction that it’s easy to confuse for one another. I’m going to call them: What Other People Think Aesthetic Quality They are not one and the same, but it’s hard to tell the difference. It can…

Doctor My Eyes

Spiritual beings are friends of last resort. By ‘last resort’ I mean the situation Jackson Browne described in these lines: Look around for the friends that I used to turn to to pull me through Looking into their eyes I see them running too While we’re on the subject, the “Doctor” in DOCTOR MY EYES…

The Essence of the Counting Crows

So, here’s the essence of the Counting Crows – which only matters because the Counting Crows exemplified the essence of an historical moment. More, even, than an historical moment, the essence of the Counting Crows exists as a sort of standing wave. It is a hypostasis of the human psyche. 🙂 By that, I just…

What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?

Lots of people blame the Russians, misogyny, James Comey, Bernie Sanders, and Jill Stein. Apparently, this is all God’s fault. There’s one particularly interesting part in this generally horrifying video. One part that’s interesting in an unusual way. Most of it’s interesting in a “holy fuck but American evangelicals are crazy” way. At one point,…

Make Music, Not War

Had a great time playing outside 16 Tons last night with Zac. It is such a pleasure to play with a soloist, especially an exceptionally skilled and musical one, because it allows me to switch between leading and supporting, and in so doing to enter more fully into the experience of the music and the…

The Meaning of Money

Our world is such that the meaning of money is extremely hard to pin down. Perhaps it is elusive in the best of times, but at present it’s bewildering to the heart and mind, and stomach. In particular, I’m thinking about kickstarter and patreon, drawn to the contemplation by my struggles as an artist. I’ve…

Another Brick in the Wall

I am driven to wonder how much of this whole issue of The Wall is even real. As far as Trump is concerned, it was just a rhetorical device, red meat for the crowds… and Mexico is gonna pay for it! It was, in short, a con job from the start – only a fraction…

The Revolt Against Beauty

I’ve saved lots of images I’ll never look at again, but there’s one I didn’t save that I wish I had. This image was a photograph of graffiti spray-painted onto the wall of some crumbling and dilapidated building. The reason I wish I’d saved it is so I could recall the exact wording, which not…

I Think Bob Dylan Was With Hydra

To my mind, this is a perfect love song. Couldn’t find Dylan’s original, so Jeff Buckley will have to suffice. There are a million covers, but I believe Buckley knew the heart of it. This is the sort of love song that’s quite seemly in a young man, though it ages strangely, as perhaps we…

Restless Venus: Lyrics and Notes

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/292619138″ params=”color=ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /] Here are the lyrics, with a few annotations (signified by ^, ^^ and ^^^) to dress them up a bit: [chorus] Restless Venus won’t you please settle down and just try staying with me in this town It’s hard to love you when you’re wandering around O, my…

Music and Magic

To tell the truth, I am working on a political post, but posting a favorite song may yet head me off at the pass. So here it is: a song that features a lot of chorus/tremolo synced with the beat. This may seem a superficial detail, but I think it’s part of the magic of the…