Friday, December 28, 2012

Best Pals, From Now On

This evening, Theo asked Josie a very important question. He stood up, walked around to look her in the eyes, held her face, and asked, "Josie will you keep the Bad Bad Wolf away?" Felt like a pivotal moment in this budding partnership. 

She said yes, she would.  

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Happy Winter

Enjoy every moment you can.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Grief and Anger

Nothing of meaning to say today. But having something funny here is inappropriate. And this is what I'm listening to as I work today, or try to work or think today, and it feels like a good thing to be listening to, so I thought I'd share it, in case anyone stopped by.

I am sick about what happened in Connecticut this morning. Full of anger and dangerous feelings and just disappointed once again by humans. I feel punched in the gut and I have nothing intelligent to say today. I'll leave that to Mr. Basinski.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

If you've ever seen Cat Power live, especially back in the late-90s, you will know why this is so incredibly funny. Hats off to Chan for this one.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Sea of Rock

SEA OF ROCK from infinite trails on Vimeo.

I think we need to change the name of our "Hard Guy" trail...

Monday, December 03, 2012

PFork's Year In Photos

The year-end collection of photography over at Pitchfork is worth a perusal. Above, my favorite, one Ms. Annie Clark of St. Vincent.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Disintegration Loops

This is all I want for Christmas.

Temporary Residence has reissued William Basinski's otherworldly masterpiece The Disintegration Loops across 9 heavy slabs of virgin vinyl, 5 CDs, 1 DVD, and a 144-page book.

The mind boggles.

This is a haunting piece of work that gets under your skin and into your brain and does not leave you alone. The story behind the music is fascinating and compels you to listen on its own, but the background doesn't explain the almost overwhelming pull these sounds have once they get into you.

I recommend this music to anyone and everyone. I believe there is something to be found in it by any human who listens, if you open up to the experience and don't get caught up waiting for a beat or hook. This goes beyond ambient or minimalism or even high-concept composition to something more visceral and fundamental than that. It's the sound of decay, of death, extended in tone and preserved for reimagining. It's really something.


This is just such a fantastic photo. These two, as Secretary of State and President, in Burma meeting not only with the government but openly with opposition leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, is something I never thought I'd see. Full article here

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Monday, November 12, 2012

The Weekend

Me and Theo did a lot of hanging out this weekend. Even though he started it a bit under the weather, and I caught his cold on Sunday morning, we still had a blast. Lego cities, blanket forts, leaf piles, dog park, and endless hot wheels. 

Tuesday, November 06, 2012


We took Theo to the polls this morning. It felt right, seems important to introduce him to the processes behind Democracy at an early age.

He was good and patient, but we can't help but think he was also a bit disappointed. There was a line, and it took a little while to get in, which was fine. "Lotta people in line for the boat!" he said, excitedly.

"No, Vote. With a V."

Blank stare.

"Gonna get on a boat!"

Yeah, he was disappointed. 

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Thursday, November 01, 2012


“If you are bored and disgusted by politics and don't bother to vote, you are in effect voting for the entrenched Establishments of the two major parties, who please rest assured are not dumb, and who are keenly aware that it is in their interests to keep you disgusted and bored and cynical and to give you every possible reason to stay at home doing one-hitters and watching MTV on primary day. By all means stay home if you want, but don't bullshit yourself that you're not voting. In reality, there is no such thing as not voting: you either vote by voting, or you vote by staying home and tacitly doubling the value of some Diehard's vote.”

― David Foster Wallace, Up, Simbal!: 7 Days on the Trail of an Anticandidate

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Hey y'all, it's that time again.

RadioBoise takes to the airwaves for 8 days of support-seeking, self-promoting, absolutely necessary begging so that we can keep bringing you the community-programmed music and issues that you deserve.

I'm on Tuesday 8-11pm. Call and say hi. And pledge a few bucks. We need it.

You can go here, too:

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Route

Sure, a bit of the gleam is off. But it's going to be an amazing race next year.

Friday, October 19, 2012


Great day for an afternoon ride.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Anniversary Ride

Cathy's gift to me on our 11th wedding anniversary was that I could go on a mountain bike ride, for as long as I wanted to, guilt-free.

She knows me so well.

So I headed for the Ridge Road for the first time this year, taking a circuitous route up the Aldape Pass side, and am I glad I did. I took routes I don't usually, saw some new things and felt really good. Started in the Reserve, up the road/trail by the gun club, past the dumpy shack, over Shane's, out to Rocky Canyon Road, up to the Ridge, up up up up and over to where 5 Mile Gulch hits the Ridge, and down down down.

I'd forgotten what a beautiful grind that ride up and over the summit on the Ridge Road was. I went a bit beyond my turnoff just to ride up there some more before coming back and turning downward.

I'd also forgotten how fun the descent of the top of the 5-Mile trail is. When I hit the intersection, I felt ambitious, so I turned and went back up at the Watchman Trail, which hurt a bit but was fantastic. Then I bombed it, half exhausted, all the way to town on singletrack via 3 Bears and the Reserve.

It's been a while since I've been out on the mountain bike for that long. A bit under 4 hours with stops and photos. The perfect fall ride. Thanks honey!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Big Fall

Sheezus. Is it just me, or is there more amazing new music dropping all around us over these past few weeks than we should have a right to expect?

Grizzly Bear, Flying Lotus, Sera Cahoone, The xx, Balmorhea, Matthew Dear, Tame Impala, Ty Segall, The Sea and Cake... Just take a look at that rapidly expanding Heavy Rotation list here. It's tough to keep up, but it's very exciting. And it's just the shove I need to start paying attention again.

Anything I'm missing?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The New Machine

It's like I've been reborn.

Took my MacBook into Mac Life for some long overdue upgrading. Tripled my hard drive, doubled my RAM, brought my OS closer to current, and put the old hard drive into a case so it's now a backup. And they cleaned the sh*t out of this thing. It looks like new. Even the stickers are cleaner.

It's a little weird how excited I am about this.

I've finally caught up on loading new music to this thing, so I feel like I'm not 6 months behind anymore. I can put pictures on it. Maybe even watch a video.

And it is SO. FAST.

I forgot how fun a new machine can be. This reminds me.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Middle Fork of the Salmon River

Back from an amazing trip. 8 days of high adventure on the Middle Fork.

James dropped a great quote by the campfire: "No man can cross the same river twice, because neither the man nor the river are the same."  (Heraclitus)

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Tim Whitecotten

My friend Tim Whitecotten died last night. He was a great human being, a great friend, a force for good in a world that needs more like him.

Few were better to share a pint and an animated conversation with than Tim. He was inspiring in his curiosity and in his conduct, in his intellect and his enthusiasm. Even though he moved to Portland some years ago, and I only got to see him every year or so, I'll miss him very much.

This is a very sad day. Rest in peace, Tim.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

School, Anyone?

First, Codeyear. Now, I've gone and signed up for this. I hope to be thinking like a machine by year's end. Anyone care to join me?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Exergy Tour

That's Evelyn Stevens on the top of the podium at the end of the Exergy Tour.

Amber Neben talks about her experience in the race in this very nice interview with VeloNews.

We had a blast watching and volunteering this year. From the awesome and horrible prologue where the whole race changed in an instant, to the cold downpour of the Kuna ITT, to Sunday's queen stage up the Banks-Lowman Road and down Hwy 21, right to the sprint finish in Hyde Park, the entire thing was as tight and pro as you could hope for.

The Specialized-Lululemon team dominated in Armstrong's absence, but there were plenty of other great performances, including the final stage being taken in a sprint by Claudia Haussler (who rolled a water bottle to Theo as we cheered from the side of Pierce Park Rd.!). It was a tough break for Neben to lose the overall lead on the last day to Evelyn Stevens, but great to see such a performance on the last day.

Let's hope the universally positive reviews of the Tour help turn the event into a Boise Memorial Day tradition for years and years to come.

Doc Watson, Earl Scruggs, John Hardy

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Hats Off to Hesjedal

The Canadian pulled it off to become the first ever from his nation to stand on a podium (let alone on the top step) at the end of a grand tour.

 Ryder rode a beautiful race and gained the respect of the peloton. He made it fun to watch, and he brought his Garmin team into the ranks of the top international teams, capable of more than just winning the team classification. And the fact that he so often had help in Vande Velde or Stetina high in the mountains is almost as important.

With Vande Velde riding into great form throughout this race, July in France is looking very interesting. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Code Year

I signed up for this today. JavaScript, HTML, CSS, all in a year. Just the basics, one lesson a week, but at least I'll be able to speak the language.

It's free. Anyone want to join me?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Tuesday, May 08, 2012


Here's something new that I love: CFCF's brand new album, the Exercises EP. Quiet, gorgeous, minimal.

Another thing I love: coming across an artist I've not heard before and then finding out there are a whole mess of other albums I still get to hear for the first time. This is very exciting.

Friday, May 04, 2012

A Very Sad Friday: RIP MCA

MCA, the scratchy-voiced third (and my favorite) of the Beastie Boys, died this morning of cancer of the salivary gland.

He was diagnosed in 09, and it appears the last two weeks saw a fast decline.

This is a huge loss. The Beasties mean a lot to a lot of people, myself included. So many memorite wrapped up in their music, from License to Ill all the way through Hot Sauce Committee II. A rap or hip hop group that stays this good, this vital, for this long, is definitely something special.

MCA will most definitely be missed.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Year Without a Pulitzer

Ann Patchett has a great and insightful op-ed piece in the NY Times today.

This year, the Pulitzer Prize Board decided not to bestow an award for literature. While it's far from the first time this has happened, Patchett lays out a compelling case for why this is a bad decision.

She wraps up as follows:

Let me underscore the obvious here: Reading fiction is important. It is a vital means of imagining a life other than our own, which in turn makes us more empathetic beings. Following complex story lines stretches our brains beyond the 140 characters of sound-bite thinking, and staying within the world of a novel gives us the ability to be quiet and alone, two skills that are disappearing faster than the polar icecaps.

Unfortunately, the world of literature lacks the scandal, hype and pretty dresses that draw people to the Academy Awards, which, by the way, is not an institution devoted to choosing the best movie every year as much as it is an institution designed to get people excited about going to the movies. The Pulitzer Prize is our best chance as writers and readers and booksellers to celebrate fiction. This was the year we all lost.
She's right. And this in addition to the fact that there were highly qualified entries being considered. Literature (not to mention struggling book stores) need the excitement this award creates, and this year, we just don't get it. It's a shame.

Monday, April 09, 2012


This is kind of awesome. Sufjan Stevens, Bryce Dessner, and Nico Muhly collaborate on solar-system-inspired compositions and perform them in Amsterdam. via @pitchfork

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Treefort Wrap-up

Wow. Welcome, Boise, to the post-music-fest-hangover-and-letdown.

It's that feeling you get when something you've waited so long for, and worked so hard at, and played so hard in, comes to a close. So, it's just back to normal life now?

The first-ever Treefor Music Festival couldn't have come off better. 4 days of music and food and drink and post=hibernation limb-stretching and privates-scratching for this entire big little city. Shockingly, there just weren't any major problems. And all the little ones were things that either can be easily tweaked next year or always happen anyway. So, chapeau to the organizers. Y'all nailed that shit.

Thursday was maybe my biggest day. I drank the most beer, I saw consistently awesome shows, and everywhere I went, everyone I talked to, shared this feeling of barely-bridled excitement. Electricity. It was pretty awesome.

We--me, Cathy, and Theo--started out at the Record Exchange for the Ascetic Junkies' in-store. Theo thought it mostly "Loud!" but they had their moments of bliss through acoustic instruments and nice vocal harmonies. Then over to the KRBX studio to interview Head for the Hills on the air. I just missed Woodsman at the Lux, but caught Janka Nabaya, which was fun as well as a good signal that this would not be an ordinary weekend in Boise.

I stayed at the Lux for Delicate Steve, which I was really looking forward to and really enjoyed for about the first two songs. Then I didn't want to watch anymore. The strangely sincere retro-MTV wankings were just a little too Satriani for my liking. Great energy, though, onstage and in the room. So I headed over to the Linen Building for Pickwick, stopped to talk to a dozen or so fellow festivalgoers, and made it in time for almost a full song. From all reports, they were great.

Friday I went out on a limb. Sometimes it paid off, sometimes not so much.

First, during the afternoon I interviewed Brooklyn rapper K. Flay, which was awesome. Smart and upbeat and funny, she gave a good interview and we played a few songs. Good radio fun.

Music started at the Main Stage with Talkdemonic, from Portland, who were fantastic. Viola and keyboards + drums = epic and bruising chamber rock, plenty burly for the ginormous space of the Main Stage Compound. And then, out of nowhere, K. Flay. One of the best sets I saw during the festival, likely because it so exceeded any expectations I had. Her energy, her timing, her delivery, and her songs were all solid and then some.

Then a little of Desert Noises, a bunch of Sister Crayon--who were as awesomely swirly and weirdo as they seemed in the KRBX studio earlier--and a short bit of Monster Rally & RUMTUM, dual guitars and electronics with kickass ski and surf movies projected ovr them.

Why? at the Main Stage was the main event, and they turned in a good set, piecing together solid renditions of songs for the last 3 albums with a stripped-down arrangement characteristic of leader Yoni Wolf's live shows.

Back at the Linen Building, Matthewdavid was choppy beats and aggressive synth sounds, artistry bordering on assault, fascinating if a bit repelling. Sun Araw was spacey and slinky and more grabbily engaging than Matthewdavid, and nothing at all like The Soft White Sixties, who closed the Red Room. All bar band fist pumping boom swagger rock music, they played the crowd like a gold-top Les Paul, and we loved it.

I skipped the DJs and headed home, tired buzzed and happy to be wandering around Boise seeing bands all night. Amazing.

Saturday started a little late, with a cocktail at the Modern Hotel after friend Pat's birthday party. I had the Layover, which was amazing. I advise having one.

Then it was on to the Main Stage for Typhoon, a Portland indie orchestra somewhere between Rusted Root (not my comparison--but apt) and Los Campesinos! Missed Le Fleur at the Lux, but there was lots of catching up to be done with all our post-hibernation pals. And besides, Built to Spill was next.

And they were great. The intricacy of their guitar work, the swirling layers that propel every song and give them a sound all their own, make for great big-stage listening, and the Main Stage at Treefort--helmed by one John Betts--did them justice.

Then we scurried over to the Lux to catch EMA, who was fantastic and outsized and sounded as piercing and powerful as on record. The crowd tried hard to drown her out, but they failed, thank goodness. Then, I think, it was And And And before Teens pretty much tore down the Red Room to close the night out. They called everyone up on stage to party, and many took them up on it, going apeshit and having an effing ball. Good times.

Here's DJ Psycache having a ball in the dome outside the Linen Building:

Sunday, well, I'd had enough. I hung out with Theo and Cathy, did some stuff around the house, took a nap, went for a bike ride. It was nice even then, though, knowing there was another whole day of shows going on.

Next year.

Sausage and Ditka

How have I missed this? Check it, Chicago peeps.

Monday, March 26, 2012


Holy moly. What a weekend.

Full report coming, but I have to say, to write this I need to look at the schedule to remember all the flippin bands I saw, and the fact that I can't get to a schedule online or on my phone, and I can't find my Trail Guide or paper schedule, is all magnifying this strange feeling I have that the whole thing was a dream...

Friday, March 16, 2012

On Chugging the SXSW Haterade

Pardon the diatribe, but better here than in comments to the kajillion Facebutt postings I've been seeing. Because this is where I talk.

I don't understand all the grousing about SXSW and selling out and how great it used to be and all that crapola.

First of all, everything used to be better than it is now. And if you fall prey to this sort of speculation I think it says more about you than it does about the subject of your bitter nostalgia.

Here's a fact: SXSW has never been a nonprofit altruistic public service. It's a moneymaker for the Chronicle, the city of Austin, and many businesses therein (who often pay most of their year's bills with money made during this week), and it's a chance for lots of pasty hipster people to eat tacos and barbecue and drink tons of beer and see craploads of great bands.

And re: Springsteen and all the bitching about him taking up the spotlight? Cripes. Get the eff over it. I got to see Tom Waits there back when I was a resident and Chronicle writer, and I don't remember people bitching about him taking attention away from the starving artists. It was just a chance for a small number of incredibly lucky bastards to see him in a gorgeous theater late at night. Same thing with the Boss. Saying he's manufactured or a tool of the man is just plain stupid and uninformed. Mindless haterism at its mindlessest.

Now, this is not to say that it's not fun or good sport to slam SXSW. To a certain extent it keeps them honest. But there's a difference between poking fun while photo-oping the corporate takeover and thinking you've got SXSW and Austin's number--that number being the 666 to musical and artistic integrity and purity. That's just silliness.

Like life, like everything, SXSW is what you make of it, for bands, attendees, corpopig sponsors, day party hosts, homeless dudes making a killing, food trucks, everyone. It stopped being a place to get discovered nearly 2 decades ago. That's what the interwebs are for. That's what touring is for. SXSW is a big fat awesome party. And it's fun if you let it be. So get over the righteousness and enjoy it, or stay away and let the people who want to have fun have fun. Odds are you're just blocking their view.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Best Animated Short Film

Bringing a film like this to a larger audience makes all the Oscar crapola worthwhile. This is amazing.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Goodreads might be better than Library Thing. Once you start rating books and browsing the stacks it's hard to stop.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Great trip. Nice to be back. Finally feels like winter.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Mount Moriah

Sometimes you hear a song and you can't get it out of your head. So you listen to it over and over. And it just gets better. Usually, it's the simple songs that do it. A great if familiar melody, an interesting twist on a sound or phrase, something that appeals to the history of sounds in your brain but also offers something new.

This song, Lament, from Mount Moriah, is that song right now, from their fantastic debut album. They opened for Ume and Cursive at the Lux earlier this week, and I missed them. Didn't know anything about them. And to say the least, I'm sorry I missed this show.

(Thanks to Heather, though, for being nice enough to record a promo for KRBX and to give us the new record for our library.)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Nels and His Gear

This is totally geekalicious and worth every minute.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Shark, Jumped?

Might have been the Superbowl Finger Incident. More than likely it happened long before that. But it seems that MIA has finally become a caricature of herself.

I suppose I should listen to Bad Girls before I judge. But after Maya, and after everything since, I just don't wanna.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Yo La Tengo: Music for Films

I like to think I keep up with music.

That's a ridiculous statement and an impossible, foolhardy goal today. But still, from my pinhole view into the music's larger world, I feel like I tread water, at least. Especially with the bands within that tiny cross-section that I really care about.

So how does this happen? How does Yo La Tengo, one of my favoritest bands in the world, put two collections of amazingly gorgeous instrumental film soundtrack music out in the previous decade without my owning them or even knowing they exist?

The Sounds of the Sounds of Science came out in 2002, written to be played along with an installation of 8 short underwater ocean-going films by French filmmaker Jean Painleve. I don't even need to say anything more there, right? Yo La Tengo, instrumental music for underwater films? Their moody drony long-form wanderings have usually been my favorite parts of their albums.

Then there's They Shoot, We Score, a collection of music composed for 4 assorted short films and released in 2008. It's less of a piece than Sounds of Science, but that would be expected. But it's still gorgeous, moody, flowing YLT at their most comfy sounding. Definitely one for the stacks.

My point: When you think you know something, when you think you're current and have a grip and are really paying attention, you could very well be missing the best stuff for your focus on the big stuff.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Library Thing

Anyone use this? Seems interesting. Book lists, reviews, discussion, ties to local events... My reading list is evolving, and this might be a good direction. Anything better out there?