Always on my mind

Sometimes there are songs that spark something sweet in you for a few days, weeks, months and then are gone in the blink of an eye. You’ll find them again going through an old iTunes folder, or clicking through posts friends made on your Facebook wall years ago. Gleaming gems, a past obsession, a slice of you you’d long forgotten. I hope I find these sparklers again in a few years, and think about the weeks when the weather slipped from summer into fall and I was biking down bumpy cobblestone streets, scraping my knees, staying out late, and thinking I was pretty lucky.



Oxymorrons // Fantastic Negrito

I was in the bookstore today and it seemed each author on my list defined classification. Would Sebastian Junger (nods to D-man) be shelved in Philosophy or Journalism? Are the stories of Norman Maclean considered Autobiographical or that smoky Non-fictional style that turns my pages?

My grandfather was frustrated by the ambiguity, I was charmed.

Good music can sometimes share the same categorical equivocation and increasingly I value artists that headbang and headbutt cataloguing. Here, I think, are two:

Oxymorrons are genre-bending brothers from Brooklyn, whose most popular song, Hello Me, plays like a reincarnation of DeVotchKa and Kid Cudi.

Fantastic Negrito (makes for an an interesting, if not self-aggrandizing, read) “is black roots music for everyone, Blues with a punk attitude from Oakland.” His sound in soulful and spiced with heavy doses of rasp and rad.

I found some Junger in Northeast Maritime. Who knew?



Aso – Sun Child

Beer in hand I sat watching as three kids set up a large speaker in the corner of a neighboring yard. A hot day in Venice was coming to a close – an ocean breeze ruffling the palm trees stuck on the block like street signs.

The music started and my girlfriend’s parents creased their newspapers, peering over to glare at the kids in basketball tanks and bucket hats.

Someone nudged the volume up a bit.

What the hell is this.

It was electronic – for anyone over the age of 30 – earth-shatteringly so – liquid synth and mathematical bass keeping time.

I tried to hide my delight as the beat dropped, but my foot gave me away, tapping on the stone tiles.

Look at these guys!

I lamented that the party stretched beyond the range of Shazam, but the moment was cemented – a beautiful, comical, energetic experience in Venice.



Nanä -Polo & Pan

Summer in San Francisco is a lonely affair. It’s cloudy. It’s windy. Fog reigns. Even the Sunset district, curled up next to Ocean Beach, gets dismal and settles into gloomy hibernation, suddenly self conscious of its cracked sidewalks and sagging roofs.

Francois and my brother visit, both from warmer climates. We drink too much for old times sake but get lost in the dizzying effects of the booze, waking from restless sleep with dry throats, suddenly aware that it’s almost time to go back to our separate realities. Pull the chair closer to the desk. Start anew.

But for now we hike above the clouds and the sunlight makes the dry grass gold – warm -we’re suddenly aware of how big it all is. The vast space spans further than we can see.

We cross the Golden Gate, orange and strong, and I start to feel summer is ending, fall beginning. Frankie puts on a song, Nana, and we bounce into the city. From East to West, Nana delivers a bit of familiar energy – weird and lovable – melancholic but comforting.