MUSIC: Anything that turns my flesh to spirit. Anything that makes
my feet no longer clay! You can read a person sometimes by the
music they listen to. I'm into substantive meaningful acoustic
stuffs like Ani Difranco, Counting Crows, Bob Dylan, Bob Marley,
Paul Simon, Tori Amos, Cat Stevens, Mumford and Sons, Ryan Adams,
Andrew Bird. Anything with soul and passion and truth, a
full-mouthed scream from the back of the throat like of a
dead-march of a gnat amid the trumpeting of elephants and the
roaring of lions, insatiable with microscopic desire!
Fun and dance stuffs are also irresistible, like Del Shannon,
Arcade Fire, Bell and Sebastian, Magnetic Fields, Coldplay,
Radiohead, iron and wine, postal service, yeah yeah yeahs, the
mountain goats, band of horses, the clash, jeff lewis, tears for
fears, the spinto band, neutral milk hotel, matt and kim, death
cab, phoenix, okkervil river, the shins, regina speckor, joy
division, clap your hands say yeah, talking heads, frightened
rabbit, the temper trap, pulp, the comeback of st. thomas, jens
And of course my roots in metal and punk, like overcast, dissolve,
crass, nofx, rage..and classical music like Chopin, Beethoven,
Mozart, Bach, Satie, Liszt...
AUTHORS: I choose my roll models ala carte, meaning I try to take
the most admirable qualities from a range of great thinkers. The
list is long but includes names like Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn,
Isaac Newton, Rene Descartes, Bell Hooks, Langston Hughes, Michael
Albert, Bertrand Russell, Neil Degrasse Tyson, Picasso.
What are "admirable qualities" in my opinion? Here's an example of
someone who gets it.
November 5, 2006
Dear Xavier High School, and Ms. Lockwood, and Messrs Perin,
McFeely, Batten, Maurer and Congiusta:
I thank you for your friendly letters. You sure know how to cheer
up a really old geezer (84) in his sunset years. I don't make
public appearances any more because I now resemble nothing so much
as an iguana.
What I had to say to you, moreover, would not take long, to wit:
Practice any art, music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing,
painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage, no matter
how well or badly, not to get money and fame, but to experience
becoming, to find out what's inside you, to make your soul
Seriously! I mean starting right now, do art and do it for the rest
of your lives. Draw a funny or nice picture of Ms. Lockwood, and
give it to her. Dance home after school, and sing in the shower and
on and on. Make a face in your mashed potatoes. Pretend you're
Here's an assignment for tonight, and I hope Ms. Lockwood will
flunk you if you don't do it: Write a six line poem, about
anything, but rhymed. No fair tennis without a net. Make it as good
as you possibly can. But don't tell anybody what you're doing.
Don't show it or recite it to anybody, not even your girlfriend or
parents or whatever, or Ms. Lockwood. OK?
Tear it up into teeny-weeny pieces, and discard them into widely
separated trash recepticals. You will find that you have already
been gloriously rewarded for your poem. You have experienced
becoming, learned a lot more about what's inside you, and you have
made your soul grow.
God bless you all!
MOVIES: I think Bill Murphy and Philip Seymour Hoffman are comedic
geniuses. Vince Vaughn in the movie Made was hilarious. I like
Woody Allen films too because they are character driven focused on
real, meaningful human interactions. Good escapism, good
documentaries, whatever the genre, I just prefer that it's of a
FOOD: I'm pretty frugal in consuming things in general, but when it
comes to food I ball out of control. I cook a lot, and strive for
the freshest, healthiest foods.