Random Musings

Miles Davis, music, and toll of institutional racism

Miles Davis has been one of my favorite artists for close to 25 years. If I started going on about how his work has touched me, the scope of his influence, and the importance of his creative legacy, I’d be here all night. The act of expression through creation is sacred to me, and few exemplify this more powerfully than Miles Davis. Yet Youtuber Adam Neely makes an excellent point in the video below: A now infamous police brutality incident in 1959, just after the release of Davis’ masterful Kind of Blue album, almost robbed the world of 30 more years of groundbreaking music. It’s an unfortunate story all on its own, but it’s just one thread in a much larger tapestry. Miles was just…
Read more

Planting Onions for the End Times (and other veggies you can store)

When the nearby strip malls and shopping plazas are in flames, rioters tearing one another’s hair out and stomping one another to death in the blood-and-covid19-soaked parking lot, my onions will be just about ready to harvest. Onions are easy to plant and grow, and depending on your growing zone, now is the time to plant. You want to aim for early spring, when the soil is no longer frozen and can be easily worked. We’re talking a solid six weeks or so before you’re plant your tomatoes and peppers, give or take. Onions require a pretty long growing season, though one nice thing is that you can harvest them pretty much any time you want, either for green onions and/or as scallions, as smaller…
Read more

Gardening at the End of the World

Since fully immersing myself into the gardening hobby — some would say obsession — my primary focus has always been on growing food. Growing lots of stuff to eat. Producing. Not from any kind of necessity, but because good production is a nice, tangible result of your efforts. All that food, those jars of pickles, those hot sauces you share, the jars of salsa that are 17x better than store bought, all of that stuff is something you can see and touch and enjoy. To me, it’s not much different than recording music at home or writing or painting. When you’re done, there is something to show for your efforts. As the world is lit on fire, this is the first time it actually feels…
Read more

LISTEN TO THIS: Buffalo Tom, “Let Me Come Over” (1992)

A series in which I recommend music that might have flown under your radar. Buffalo Tom – Let Me Come Over Listen if you like:┬áThe Gaslight Anthem, The Lemonheads, The Hold Steady, Afghan Whigs Some songs take a while to percolate. They need to simmer in you for a while before they really get into your bones. “Taillights Fade” by Buffalo Tom is not one of those songs. The first time I heard it, it crawled under my skin and wormed its way into my head. It was one of those songs that even after hearing it only once, it would bounce around my skull forever – and not because it’s catchy or poppy, but because it was a perfect slice of chainsmoking whiskeydrinking fuckitall…
Read more

That time I wasted my life editing together a ‘new’ J.R.R. Tolkien book, then lost it

The recent announcement of a ‘new’ book by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fall of Gondolin, which will compile previously published material about one of the great tragic epics of Middle Earth’s early days, brought to mind a few weeks of wasted life circa 2002 or so. It’s a waste that still frustrates me to this day. Years ago, I got this idiotic idea in my head to edit together a load of Tolkien stuff into a standalone book. There was a wealth of material about a character called Turin, a cursed man who goes through some truly awful stuff, up to and including accidental incest and the death of just about everyone and everything he comes in contact with. Yes, it’s a real joy! Turin’s story…
Read more