Freeze and Thaw
1. Saint Anthony
2. O City!
3. Waiting for Ruth to Come Home
4. Freeze and Thaw
5. O My God When I Drop Dead (Right Click for FREE Download)
What Is This Wilderness?
6. Devil and the Desert
7. The Limited Voice of
the American Crow
8. Panic of 1837
9. Song of the Jack Pine
10. Love Song for a Prairie Fire
11. Drinking Song of a
The Farmer and the Nomad EP
Click Here for Track Listing
1. Words of Our Waking
2. The News about Michael,
Married in Mexico
4. Eugene, Oregon (Manifest Destiny)
5. Of Indiana (the shallow roots of corn,
the perennial blossoming of peonies)
6. The Farmer and the Nomad (Right Click for FREE Download)
I’m re-reading Walden by Henry David Thoreau, a book that has stuck with me ever since it was handed out down the row in a high school English class. A couple days ago I started in on the section titled, “Sounds,” and was reminded that, “we are in danger of forgetting the language which all things and events speak without metaphor, which is alone copious and standard.”
Unbeknownst to him, Thoreau’s musing coincided with a software update on my mobile phone. After completing the download, I noticed a new feature called, “Voice Memos.” Essentially, it’s an application that turns my phone into a digital recorder. Back in high school, when I was first thumbing through the pages of Thoreau’s pondside notes, I went through a brief period when I carried around a small microcassette recorder for song sketches and ideas. The phase didn’t last long, though, in part because the recorder had a way of turning on in my pocket or backpack, and I often found myself listening to minutes and minutes of sounds from my life, struggling to discern what they actually were. It was strange to hear things I had obviously heard before and not recognize them.
Thoreau implores us to always listen. He writes, “No method nor discipline can supersede the necessity of being forever on the alert.” He used to spend half a day sitting in his doorway, just watching and listening.
One of these days Pete and I will get around to writing another album, and I’m looking forward to that process. When you write a song, or a poem, or take a photograph, or draw a picture you choose to look at the things around you much more intently. In an effort to start seeing–and hearing–in this way, I’ve taken to recording “memos” of the things around me. Here are the sounds of a young guitar student sight-reading the opening notes of “Abide with Me,” and a pair of flip flops walking down an empty hallway:
We haven’t forgotten about the blog. It just seems that we’re both a little wrapped up right now. Zach is busy laying bricks, tending animals, and feeding folks in Indiana, while I’m working on a few freelance graphic design jobs in an attempt to make a little money now that school’s out for summer.
My one bit of excitement is that I’m headed to Holden Village for a few days! My family is traveling across the country and we’re all convening in the mountains of Washington for some hiking, rejuvenation, and hilarity (isn’t that Holden’s thing?). Apparently, they have amazing food as well! I’m so excited. The last time we were there as a family was when I was 5 years old — I loved it then and I plan to love it now.
I’m almost positive Zach has been to Holden as well, much more recently. How about you? What can you tell me about it?
While Zach and I have been known to “bust a move” every once in a while, it’s usually pretty awkward and has something to do with an air guitar (see the unfortunate proof below).
Our friend Eva Mohn, on the other hand, is a brilliant dancer/choreographer and she actually knows what she’s doing. She’s currently in Germany with an internationally-renowned dance troupe and she’s working on a side project that involves a little song by a little band from the Midwest. I think my favorite part is during the lyrics: “And watch the angels flock to save your head.” Check it out:
If you want to see Eva’s work for yourself, she’ll be at the Walker Art Center with another setting of this piece on Nov. 29th, 2009. She’s invited Zach and me to play our music live with the performance — hopefully we can make it work!
If you don’t already know this, I should mention that Eva is also the lead singer of the band Coach Said Not To. They’re great — check them out.
Word has it this is a fairly busy time of year. Pete and I have certainly found this to be true, as we’re both pretty swamped with projects outside of the band. As someone who likes to write, I’ve been known to resist the suggestion that a picture is worth a thousand words. But I will admit that pictures tend to take less time.
Pete is finishing up the quarter in his grad program. This is what he looks like after spending all day editing his DXARTS final.
I am building a brick oven (with lots of help). This is what I look like trying to lay brick.