Sunday, June 24, 2012

Music of Summer

   Summer is a time for sprinklers in front yards. Dog walks in the late evening as the sun is setting. Children running to and fro. Bonfires that reach up to the night's sky. Green trees and gardens. Endless bike rides winding throughout the city. Summer is for sitting out on the rocks and listening to waves lap the shore as the stars wink in the sky. Shorts and t-shirts, water gun fights. A thousand books to read about adventures and romance and everything in between. Night kite flying, which I fully intend to do. Dancing in the street to the music in our heads and the bands playing at the street corner bars. Its a time for block parties and volley ball. Temperatures so hot the whole world feels like a sauna. Friends, long talks about nothing in particular. Road trips to the end of the world. Swimming 'til your lungs give out just to see how far you can go. Thunder storms that shake the sky as well as the foundations of building. Bubbles blown into gusts of wind. Rolled eyes at silly puns and climbing trees.

Summer is about all of these things and more, and so the music of summer should invoke these things as well. That I believe for sure. Here are some songs to get your summer started right. We'll start out with the effervescent shine put out by Kishi Bashi with his song Bright Whites. Its a song that might be about a breakup, but that doesn't stop it from making you want to get up and dance. Then we have Givers playing a wonderful zydeco cover of Paul Simon's That Was Your Mother off his Graceland album. From there we have Surfer Blood with a surf, rock, noise infused song to get to through to the other side. Finally there's The Lumineers with Ho Hey, a bit of folk rock full of stomps and claps. You might recognize the last one from the new Bing commercial.

Kishi Bashi
Bright Whites

That Was Your Mother (Paul Simon Cover)

Surfer Blood

The Lumineers
Ho Hey

Thursday, June 21, 2012


   From the beginning 'til the end you hung outside my window. I knew exactly what you were. You never frightened me, though I did not know if that was your intent. During violent storms and stressful times I was wholly reassured just knowing you were there. I couldn't always see you, but I felt you calmly waiting. You were the sibling I never had.

  I did not ever invite you in, that would have ruined our unspoken agreement. One night the moon was shining at the perfect angle and I could swear you were almost smiling in the pale glow. Floating, floating, ever floating in the air. I traveled far and wide, seeing every sight to be seen. Still you waited, ever vigilant, so patient and calm. When at last I had seen everything that there was to see in the world I returned home again. I packed a small bag, stepped out into the night air through my window and took your hand. Away we went.

My Robot Friend

The video is really quite creative and touching, I hope you enjoy.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Waiting for the Reaper Man

  "Hey, what are you lot doing down there?", the man with the shaggy black hair asked.

           "Shhh! We're dead, mate!"

      "Oh, you're all dead are you? I was under the impression the dead stop speaking upon their deaths", a twinkle of mischief in his voice.

  "Nah, we're dead, ya heard wrong. Now budge off, or we won't have a ride when the Reaper man comes our way." said the boy who seemed to be in charge replied

  The man turned to leave, shaking his head. He made it only a few steps before stopping in place and turning back. "Hey, listen let's say you lot really are dead, do you all have coins for yer fares?"

 "Coins mate? You havin' us on?"

      "Ha-ha" The shaggy haired man laughed heartily, "I would never! I thought it was common knowledge that the Reaper man takes a toll from the passengers he takes. If they don't have the fare, he can't give 'em a lift." He dug in his pockets and flipped two coins to each boy. "Put 'em on yer eyes, he'll take you when he comes your way."

   The boys laying in the dusty ditch caught the coins and obediently put the coins over their closed eyes, but lifted them to watch the mysterious figure walk away and disappear into the rising humidity of the afternoon.

Nada Surf

Monday, June 11, 2012

Did You Feel That?

Did you feel that?
that devastating drop in pressure
from summer heat
to a spring storm.
Like the water released
from a bathtub drain
down it all came,
buckets, balloons and sprays
of intense ferocity.
the sky, barking and roaring,
it pawed the ground
restlessly searching
and still it continued
with hammer clangs
flashes of anger
and everlasting waves of water
.... did you feel that?

Friday, June 8, 2012

Legend of the Lakes Pt 2

For Part One see here

 The trees in this forest are huge. Its like they were given a challenge to block out the sun and when they did that they just kept going. I've just been walking and walking, it seems like its been days, but really its probably been just a few hours. Back at the pavilion I had stood there admiring my new attire wondering what to do next when the voice intoned, "You would do well to go West. There you will find the first of the tools and weapons you will need on your quest. You will find strength you didn't realize you possessed. Start in the heart of the forest, but this is only the beginning. You would do well to go West."

     "Anything else I should know?", I asked, but the voice had gone silent. I started to walk towards the tree that lined the horizon.

   And now it seems as if I've always been trekking through this forest. I tried to check my watch a while back only to remember that I threw it away on the beach after I washed ashore. It had not been as water-proof as advertised. As I mentioned earlier, the tree canopy blocks out most of the sunlight. Now you might be wondering, "Don't the plants which make up the underbrush need sunlight too?" Well, you would think, but they seem to be doing just fine in its absence. What I was more concerned with was, if there's not sunlight, how does everything seem to have a shadow? To create a shadow, the principle component is light! That source of light usually shines in a particular direction leaving a demarcated area of shade at an angle equivalent to the light. So then usually if all the shadows in an area are trailing to the West, then it would be logical to guess the sun is in the East.

  That rousing description of the theory of how a shadow should function didn't fit with what I was currently observing: I stood in a small clearing and all the shadows were drawn towards the center of the clearing. The canopy above was completely covered. In retrospect I really should have gotten my butt out of the clearing. I should have just kept walking and ignored this strange oddity. You see, at that moment the shadows began to move, they began to spin in fact. They went around the tree like little cyclones. Each shadow spun faster and faster, form blurring until each shadow began to rise up off the ground and spin in the air. While this was happening, a few feet in front of each tree a glowing lantern materialized. With a "pop" each shadow took form and grasped their corresponding lantern. They now looked like floating ghouls, hanging just above the ground, they wore tattered capes and shawls, the hoods drawn over there heads letting only their gleaming eyes shining.

   "Voice?", I whispered, trying my best not to draw their attention, "I could use a little help, if you have any to give!" Before I heard a reply the first ghoul darted swiftly toards me. I took a few small steps backward then did a backwards somer-sault to evade the encroaching ghoul. For half a second I was impressed with my new gymnastic skills, but it was short lived as I then collided head first into a tree with a loud "CRACK". Luckily the "CRACK" was not my skull breaking, but rather a large portion of the bark being split straight off the tree. There was a knog in the back perfect for a handhold, I grasped the bark and held it aloft.

   "Good, you found yourself a tool. You may use the magically imbued bark as a shield to defend yourself. They are the Po, forgotten spirits that lie waiting restlessly for waylorn travelers. Be careful, they can suck the spirits of the living. Beware of their lanterns, they will use them to confuse and misdirect you. Either exit the clearing as quickly as possible or defeat all of the Po."

   The voice finished advising me and the last vestiges of light vanished from the clearing. The only glow in the darkness came from the Po's lanterns. I closed my eyes to adjust to the darkness. Just a shield to defeat all of them? I began to hyperventilate but stopped myself, if my mysterious guide believed I could do this with just a magic shield, then I would believe in myself as well. I opened my eyes, they were beginning to circle me like a spectral pack of wolves.

   Two of the Po dart at me while cackling, I lunge to the right, bring the shield up to my left. One of the two sinks its shadow clowas into the bark-shield. It shrieks as it realizes it is stuck in the bark. I take a hard step backward, and spin. The Po is sent flying into one of the surrounding trees, there is another "pop"and he stays in place, now nothing more than a shadow. Sweet! One down, this might not be so bad. The Po look a little wary now that they realize that I'm not just some way-lorn traveler. Three more shadowy ghouls dart towards me with fantastic speed. I execute a spinning shield defense without thinking, crying out "KIYYAAAH!" in the process. All three lamps are extinguished and the ghouls themselves are flung into trees. "Pop", "Pop", "Pop" they go, each reverting to shadows.

  Only a few more left. I decide to take the offensive by dashing forward and leaping shield out onto the next unsuspecting Po. He or It thrashes wildly, raking claws extended at my shield, he is caught just like the first one. But my guard is down fighting the Po in front of me, leaving another to strike from behind, slashing down my back. I cry out in pain into the night of the forest. Then I whip the caught Po into the one behind me and run them both into a large tree. Again two audible "Pop"s as they disintegrate into dark shadows. I look around panting, they are gone. Are they? Can they be? They are! I made it! Looking around the clearing one last time I see one of the Po's lantern's didn't extinguish itself. I walk over and pick it up, another tool to aid me on the way. I continue on.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Halfway Through

you been running
so damn long,
I'm not sure
if you can recall
what it feels like
just to walk

Halfway through that race
you just kinda stopped
your body
slowed and slowed
With desperation
you gazed up
to the clouds above

a tear rolled
down your cheek
after all this time
you were
ready to give up
to give in

But I shouted,
"No, don't give in
don't let go yet!"
Despair surrounded you
a dark cloak hung from your shoulders

But I know
you're strong
so so strong
So please don't despair
You've almost made it
to the end
rise from the dust,
rise from the ashes
and continue on

Bill Callahan
Riding for the Feeling

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Beard Worry

   "I think my beard's worried about something.."

"Um, what? That sentence was in no way sensical."

   "My beard, I think its apprehensive or worried. It keeps shaking uncontrollably, the same way frightened animals do."

Rory raised an eye-brow, "Are you sure your face muscles aren't just having spasms?"

   "No, see that's the odd part: its moving completely independently of my cheeks and chin. I really don't know what's wrong."

Rory gave him a look, "Okay, under the assumption that your beard is like a frightened animal, I have an idea. You're gonna have to trust me on this one" She then stroked his beard, finding that it was indeed quaking, "Shhh, it will be okay, shhhh"

        Slowly the beard stopped its shakes and for lack of a better phrase, calmed down.

"Thank you, that's a bit better", He said

          "You're welcome, but that was weird, let's not go telling anyone that actually happened."

Yours Forever