This is the text of an interview in ArtsHub in July 2007. Continue reading
At music school I was too old to be a young turk, but I used to hang around with them; and we used to say “Resolution is death!” – a reference to the serene uneventfulness of the tonic chord compared to the violent, interesting confusion of the (unresolved) dominant chord, or of simple dissonance itself. Continue reading
Hippies, like other fundamentalists, usually believe the world is about to end, continually revising the date as it fails to occur (currently December 21st, 2012). In this part of the world, that belief is melded with right-wing libertarianism, so that one’s apocalyptic preparations should include a bunker full of guns and tinned beans. Nonetheless they are extremely friendly people, surrounded by giant redwood forests full of elk. Continue reading
Panhandling is a major industry here, but in some cases a pure artform, done for its own sake and not out of need, presumably to the chagrin of those begging by necessity. Continue reading
Galveston, oh Galveston is on an island in the Gulf of Mexico, but is not as romantic as that sounds; it’s flat and surrounded by oil rigs and chemical plants in decline, some of which recently blew up. Continue reading
Monterrey is magical: it’s surrounded by spiky volcanic mountains, with one emblematic ragged crater, “La Silla”, looming close, and colorful favelas (but they’re not called that here) clustered around the foothills. The city is about Sydney-sized, with a beautiful old part (Barrio Antiguo, “old quarter”) in the middle, which looks half-demolished during the day but comes crazy-alive at night. Lots of live music, it’s hot, and everybody and everything is beautiful to look at, to listen to, even to smell. Continue reading
For some reason I’ve always wanted to be able to say “I’m in Pittsburgh on business”. Now that I am, I see a town that looks like they were building another Manhattan, but ran out of money about eighty years ago. Continue reading
If you’ve got a week to kill, N.Y. is the best place to do the crime. So now I’m in Manhattan going “Where is everybody, already?” – after Hong Kong, it feels deserted.
I’m at the Harlem YMCA – tiny room, single bed, bare bulb, bathroom down the hall, no hot water, crack heads, etc.. I’m suing the Village People. Continue reading
Hong Kong is a hundred years of vertical concrete architecture with smoggy tropical armpits. Every building is completely full of people.
The trams are two storeys tall, skinny with wheels very close together; they look as if the only thing stopping them from toppling on the corners is the electric wire at the top. I take a ride from one end of the island to the other. Continue reading