Context is everything. Dress me up and see. I’m a carnival barker, an auctioneer, a downtown performance artist, a speaker in tongues, a senator drunk on filibuster. I’ve got Tourette’s. My mouth won’t quit, though mostly I whisper or subvocalize like I’m reading aloud, my Adam’s apple bobbing, jaw muscle beating like a miniature heart under my cheek, the noise suppressed, the words escaping silently, mere ghosts of themselves, husks empty of breath and tone. (If I were a Dick Tracy villain, I’d have to be Mumbles.) In this diminished form the words rush out of the cornucopia of my brain to course over the surface of the world, tickling reality like fingers on piano keys. Caressing, nudging. They’re an invisible army on a peacekeeping mission, a peaceable horde. They mean no harm. They placate, interpret, massage. Everywhere they’re smoothing down imperfections, putting hairs in place, putting ducks in a row, replacing divots. Counting and polishing the silver. Patting old ladies gently on the behind, eliciting a giggle. Only—here’s the rub—when they find too much perfection, when the surface is already buffed smooth, the ducks already orderly, the old ladies complacent, then my little army rebels, breaks into the stores. Reality needs a prick here and there, the carpet needs a flaw. My words begin plucking at threads nervously, seeking purchase, a weak point, a vulnerable ear. That’s when it comes, the urge to shout in the church, the nursery, the crowded movie house. It’s an itch at first. Inconsequential. But that itch is soon a torrent behind a straining dam. Noah’s flood. That itch is my whole life. Here it comes now. Cover your ears. Build an ark.
"Eat me!" I scream. — The amazing opening chapter to my favorite book, Motherless Brooklyn
Happy birthday Ornette Coleman
One thing I learnt in the early days of punk is “always listen to anything anyone sends you, cause you never know”. — Mike Watt
Ron “Pigpen” McKernan (September 8, 1945 – March 8, 1973)
About 5 or more years ago I was down in Austin, TX for SXSW and about to have dinner with 15 people or so. I knew Austin Kleon from the Internets (but not IRL) because he had a great music blog; I think at the time he worked at an agency or something. I sent him a text message about an hour before the dinner inviting him. He showed up - no way he knew a single person there. I was always super impressed with that spontaneity - we had never even met at that point. Now the dude is keynoting the conference. So good.
SXSW Keynote: Austin Kleon on creativity and sharing influence
This picture pretty much sums it up.
holy shite Fleetwood Mac was such a hot hot band. #vinyl #coverart #understatement #1975
Blucher! Street Art, Oakland, CA (Photo: Bill Domonkos)