I'm getting ready for another round of shows with Negativland, this time four in Texas:
June 18 at Aurora Picture Show in Houston.
June 19 at Alamo Drafthouse Ritz Theater in Austin
June 20 at Red7 in Austin
June 21 at the Texas Theater in Dallas.
It will be hot and sticky, especially in those flannel plaid shirts we wear. But it will be fun and if you live anywhere near those places, please endeavor to come, and if you know me, please do say hi (preferably after our set when i'm not worrying about something show-related).
I've posted this before but here's a little sampler/trailer of what the shows are like if you haven't seen it already:
I have no explanations for why I've taken so long to blog about this, other than the super boring and tired excuse that I've been super busy, and the slightly more interesting fact that Facebook has thoroughly trained me to not blog much, which is sad.
Anyway, it's been over 6 weeks since this happened, but as February turned to March I was in California to perform with Negativland. We played in Santa Cruz, Los Angeles, and Oakland. It was extremely rewarding, fun, and largely, it seems a success, artistically.
Here is some media about the shows, written/recorded both before and after:
Vice Noisy piece written after the LA show. (this is probably the best one to read)
East Bay Express article about Negativland and the Oakland show.
episode of Jake Fogelnest's podcast in which Peter of Negativland is the guest, the day after the LA show.
episode of Jonathan Ray's podcast, Beating A Pale Horse, in which he interviews me (mostly about other things, but toward the end we talk about Negativland and my involvement).
In short, it was a great time. And we now have 2 other little "mini-tours" booked: June in Texas (Houston, Austin, and Dallas), and end of August in the Northwest (Seattle's Bumbershoot, Portland, and Vancouver, BC)
This guy made an IOS app that keeps you apprised of all (well, really just some) of the horrible shit the U.S. is doing abroad. Pretty great. Brings up some deeper thoughts - what if you really could every moment know everything bad being done to people? Like the enlightened bohdisatvas that can sense people suffering on the other side of the world when a tsunami happens. except you're not enlightened if it's just your phone telling you. you're just overwhelmed. would you just go completely insane? when and how would you start going something to stop some of it? or would you just work on shutting off the stream of data?
In the new year I'm going to finally start blogging about my daughter, who is now 8 months old. I will call her S here when a name is necessary.
Anyway, here's something that is interesting and disturbing (to me, at least): I've spent most of my adult life focused on making things that people use/consume via screens (websites, films, videos), but now I'm trying with all my might to not expose my infant to screens.
Screen time is known to be terrible for young kids and is linked to attention-deficit disorders. Screens of all kinds, be they movie screens, TVs, computers, phones or tablets. It's been found, according to some studies, that even time spent in the same room where someone else is using a screen turned away from the child is harmful.
I suppose this is just one of many things we as adults do that we're not proud of that we suddenly have to either fix or hide from our kids - whether it's "bad words," or perhaps ways that we treat our partners that are less than ideal. We all, or most of us, do "bad" things we don't get around to working on improving, for years, until our hand is forced by having a little, new, perfect being around that we don't want to pass on that stuff to. They're info-sponges, and mirrors, and we don't want to see our shadows soaked up and reflected by them.
Ultimately most things can't be hidden forever. They must either be fixed, removed, or passed on in a more sane, balanced, moderated way. The latter is the eventual strategy with screen-time, because obviously we can't, and don't wish to, keep S from all screens forever, in this modern world of digital tools and toys. But we can try to bequeath to her an ethic of moderation and limits where she can benefit from the positive effects but hopefully avoid the most negative ones. And while most of the web sites I've built in my career will be long gone by the time she is old enough to navigate a web browser, perhaps some day we'll let her see some of my scary documentaries or wacky video art - with some explanations and helpful context, to be sure.
Looks like my blog is broken as far as Goodreads book reviews are concerned. the text of my reviews aren't showing up, as you can see for the last few entries. Probably Goodreads changed something about their RSS feed. I don't really know when I'll have time to fix it. Bleh.
The entropy of the universe extends into the digital world. Things constantly falling apart and needing repair. Sigh.