Also, I would by that children’s book about the leaf.
This photo is from the pirate store at 826 Valencia St. in San Francisco. They have drawers full of swarthy things, a small theater that faces an aquarium, and a trap door that I can reveal no more about. They sell practical seafaring goods like sypglasses, powder horns, mermaid bait, etc., in order to fund the after-school writing program that meets there daily. The pirate store and writing center was designed by the same folks who make McSweeney’s, which is to poetry what Apple is computers, so you know it’s done with style. This enormously successful non-profit founded by Dave Eggars has gone on to birth other 826 after-school programs around the country. But each has their own focus: New York has a shop for superheros, the Seattle shop is for space travellers, Chicago’s “Boring Store” is secretly an undercover secret agent supply store. But all of them are secretly a front for a space for professional writers working one on one with local kids.
Now that you know how marvelous 826 Valencia is, you can bet that when they put out a benefit album, it’s going to feature a bunch of music that you’ll want to get your hands on.
The album is called You Be My Heart and it features The Cloud Room, Melissa Nadler, Bowerbirds, Maps & Atlases and more. Here’s a taste, the track Mrs. Marquis de Sade from The Cloud Room has an early-nineties jangly vibe.
The Bowerbirds track begins “I’ve seen seven wonders but two were your eyes” and has a lovely keyboard melody.
I love the latest article in The Awl, “I Am An Object Of Internet Ridicule, Ask Me Anything“. It’s about a typewriter busker who ended up getting labeled as a hipster in an Internet meme. For one thing, I dig typewriter buskers.
It’s this weird quirk of mine that I’m opposed to threats of violence against strangers, simply because of their fashion, beer and bicycle choices, no matter how strange those choices may be. The post in The Awl chronicles what it’s like to be on the receiving end of such threats, and reminds us that people doing weird things (like God-effing-forbid, taking a typewriter out in public) often do them for perfectly understandable reasons. Personally, I take an even more radical position that I don’t think people should be bullied for weirdness, even if there’s absolutely no rationale for their fashion crimes. If only the people posting their hatred of hipsters could devote that passion to fighting climate change or fixing the economy. But no, those are not issues they feel affect them personally, not in the way a guy with clunky glasses, shorts, and a typewriter does. I mean, WHO GAVE THAT GUY THE RIGHT TO SIT IN A PARK WITH A TYPEWRITER?
Before you call the lynch mob though, I ask that you please read the articles I’ve posted on this. Maybe some reason can be talked into you hipster haters before your pitchfork and torches army burns down the whole village.
Just wanted to share this photo of the parents from Freaks and Geeks. This was a screencap that I grabbed that just happened to be where the show was paused. I thought it was a great shot, each of the parents looking uniquely funny. Supporting cast never get enough love, you know?
This is from Episode 15, “Moshing and Noshing”.
Oh, I know, ya’ll are so spoiled you expect a music track on a silly little post like this. OK, fine, but only because Childish Gambino happens to have titled a song as a tribute to the show. Here’s a remix from Star Slinger, who is one of the hottest electro DJs to come on the scene in the past few years. There’s a free download too.
You know how when you learn a new word, suddenly you start hearing it everywhere? Well my new word is “Alan Watts.” Someone on Reddit mentioned this fellow, so all week I’ve been listening to his lectures on YouTube. New Age stuff isn’t generally my thing, but someone on Reddit linked to a video which had the line “What was it like to wake up after having never gone to sleep? That was when you were born.”
Having had my Sudden Clarity Clarence moment delivered to me (my actual thought was, “Like, whoa.”) I figured I’d give this guy a listen, even if he does advocate sitting really still and thinking about nothing.
A fun way to get the flavor of Alan Watts is with this Alan Watts animation from the makers of South Park.
…good stuff, though in fairness I don’t think these videos capture Watts’s sense of humor.
Anyhow, my intent isn’t so much to focus on Alan Watts as that feeling that “I bet now that I know who this guy is I’m going to see his name everywhere.” Kind of like how before I knew who Joseph Campbell was, he was never mentioned, and then suddenly I heard about him on a weekly or monthly basis.
So today I was listening through the most popular new releases in the blogosphere, and this chilled out little electro tune buzzed in my ears by Natural Animal. I didn’t pay it much attention, until Alan Watts started talking over it. I had a YouTube tab open and paused on one of his lectures so I figured it had kicked in it’s autostart. But it turned out to be embedded in the song. Which was pretty neat, because I got to feel in-the-know. And now that I’m feeling all in-the-know, I must praise Natural Animal for being in-the-know as well.
And here I just wanted to share that little moment of serendipity with ya’ll. So you can be in-the-know, because nothing screams “hip” like a Buddhist lecturer who died twenty years ago.So you can raise your eyebrows knowingly when they start selling Alan Watts t-shirts at Urban Outfitters.
Is there a name like that, or a word or a place, that once you learned about it you started hearing about it everywhere?
Here’s that song by Natural Animal, “Who You Are.” Also check out “Dance Alone,” just as dreamy but a bit more uptempo. If you dig “Who You Are,” you can download it for free.