Sunday, April 27, 2008


if lissenup seemed appropriate for sunday mornings, i'd invite folks over for cereal, and to listen to the kids upstairs galloping from one end of the hallway to the other. but it would have to be early to catch them at full tilt - between 7 and 8 am. so we're probably better off gathering on early sunday evenings, with a few of you bringing the audio treats each time. how about next sunday?

lissenup 9
sunday, may 4
6 - 9ish pm
listening starts 7:30ish.
email me for directions.

i'm dispensing with the 'limiting it to 25' awkwardness. just come if you want to, we'll find the room. as far as the potlucking (no meat, please) - let's go with my highly scientific, carefully developed, deeply mysterious formula, which worked serviceably well last time:

if your first name starts with a - e : bring a side dish / appetizer
if your first name starts with f - j : bring a dessert
if your first name starts with k - o : bring a salad
if your first name stars with p - z :bring some drinks

ok, it's not so mysterious.

[what's with the latch, you ask? found it on a fridge stocked with fresh eggs on a farm in north carolina. struck me then as beautiful, and every time i see the picture, i imagine the sound it makes when it closes. a two-part affair, securing closure as the right metal bits fall into place, one then the other, airtight connection sealed and crisp air contained inside, eggs quiet and happy.]

Monday, April 14, 2008


back from two days in new orleans - two dense, great, huge days in new orleans. somehow there was time to visit with friends, take a few long walks around the french quarter during the midnight hour, take pictures of plastic ponies galloping into the sky, ponder the fresh blood stains on the corner of the block where i was staying, ponder the city post-storm, meet the nicest electronics store man on the planet, enjoy my very first almond croissant, AND present radio stories to attentive ears at a cool old jazz club. (attracted our first mylar and boa-clothed listening room audience members, i do believe.)

i also encountered an impromptu etiquette lesson, very much sound-related. on the way back from that tasty croissant, katie and i wandered by one of countless junque shops in the french quarter. drawn in by the small, elaborately framed oil paintings of small barnyard animals in the window we entered the store to continue browsing. "those were painted by russian art students," i was told by an old-ish woman behind the counter. "they start at $55." too much for my budget, but i moved further into the crowded, dusty store and nearly unconsciously began quietly whistling a tune that had been stuck in my head all morning (by the bowerbirds, if you must know). almost immediately an even older woman sitting further back in the store in an ancient armchair, and wearing an enormous purple muumuu-type swath of fabric, launched into a tirade, "don't you be whistling in my house. there's a dog back here and you'll call him up to the front. and besides it's RUDE to whistle in someone's house." (huh? thought we were in a junque shop.)

the etiquette lesson didn't stop here. i kind of thought she was kidding at orleans is so filled with strange human behavior i couldn't imagine that someone who had obviously lived for decades in the thick of the french quarter was deeply offended by very quiet WHISTLING (what about the frat boys right outside her shop, er house, lugging around a case of miller light and shrieking about who knows what?) ...but she most certainly was, and continued to berate me as we exited the store/house, puzzled, slightly amused, a little bit indignant.

i've recovered enough to do some "research" and curiouly enough, found a few factoids
online which may explain where this grumpy old woman was coming from. could be i was standing there with my hands in my pocket, too. for shame! and let that be a lesson to anyone heading over to russia anytime soon, or anywhere else where such extreme behavior may get you into trouble. keep your whistles to yourself.

Monday, April 07, 2008

so much to do

it's a busy week for the third coast festival, with two listening rooms upcoming, and lots of radio to share with many ears at once.

the first - wait for the beep - is wednesday the 9th, in chicago at the steppenwolf garage. we'll play / you'll hear stories inspired by telephone culture ...which, for better or worse, is maddeningly inescapable - a notion we're exacerbating by presenting this very program. sorry?

the second - there isn't really a title - is friday the 11th, in new orleans at donna's bar and grill, which must be the first listening room location serving cornish hen stuffed with cornbread stuffing. there's live music afterward (a marsalis brother no less), it's all free...and conversely there'll be nary a tale concerning cell phones or voice mail...instead you'll hear about jazz (duh), ghosts, mousetrap sadists...and so much more. spread the word! tell your friends! c'mon down to the french quarter! (how often do i have the chance to entreat you thusly?)

thanks to nick for the flyer above / such heart