“Just continue in your calm, ordinary practice and your character will be built up. If your mind is always busy, there will be no time to build, and you will not be successful, particularly if you work too hard. Building character is like making bread — you have to mix it little by little, step by step, and moderate temperature is needed. You know yourself quite well, and you know how much temperature you need. You know exactly what you need. But if you get too excited, you will forget how much temperature is good for you and you will lose your own way. This is very dangerous.” — Shunryu Suzuki Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind

photo courtesy of floetic_justice

photo courtesy of floetic_justice @

Man – the King of Pop is dead. I did not think I would be writing that any time soon.

Like most people of my generation, Michael Jackson played a very big role in my pre- and early teens. We all loved his music, his mad dance moves and his larger than life presence.

But I’m pretty sure I took it to another level when it comes to fanaticism. I adored him as a kid. I still do. I had all the paraphernalia – a sequined glove (made by my mom), the thriller jacket, the beat it jacket, pins, posters, pictures and all of his records. I listened to Thriller everyday and cried when he caught fire during that commercial filming. I attended the Jackson 5 Reunion Victory Tour at RFK stadium with my mom when I was 11. As a “DJ”, I judge a song’s value by whether or not I can mix it with Billie Jean.

Despite all the things that have transpired since the height of his popularity, all the things that he has been accused of (the worst of which I don’t believe he is guilty of), and all the odd things he’s done or said to have done, he will remain in my mind that brilliant, massively talented and plainly bad ass performer of the 70’s and 80’s.

I’m personally saddened by his death. At least I know I’m in good company.

This past weekend was a fine celebration of San Francisco. What follows is a quick run through of the highlights. But first, a song to play while you read this. The Submarines have nothing to do with any of the above, but this song just keeps playing on my iTunes mix and I thought I would share it with my loyal and adorable readership. This is off their new album – Honeysuckle Weeks. Note: if the song doesn’t play, visit this link to hear it.

On Friday, Kelly and I went to see Kid Beyond and the Honeycuts at the Independent. Neither band is exactly my cup of tea, but Kid Beyond’s beatboxing is something to behold. He multitracks his own beatboxing to create nuanced rhythms and melodies, then sings over them. He’s pretty entertaining.

During the day Saturday, I rented a Zipcar to run some errands. Said errands took me through many of the city’s neighborhoods on a gorgeous, sunny, cool day. I hit up the Presidio, Fort Mason, Upper Haight, the Sunset and touched my hands in the Pacific at Ocean Beach.

Saturday evening, after a quick stop at Olive, we visited the new Owl Tree and then went to more tiki bars than entirely necessary (although it wound up being a very fun night). I have another post planned about the new Owl Tree, but my main observation is that I was so happy to see the new owners honor the former owner Bobby and his desire to keep the name the same and the owl theme alive. They did right by him. They did a great job with updating the owl theme.

The New Owl Tree


Inside the Owl Tree

Last night was the coup de grace – a dinner of mexican food at Puerto Allegre with some out of town friends, then Erykah Badu and the Roots at the Paramount in Oakland.

I’ve never been to the Paramount, and I missed Erykah Badu the last time she was there. I’ve always wanted to go to the Paramount, and I can’t think of a better line up to see there. It was a great show, although the acoustics could have been better.

Erykah Badu is a true performer. I love her.


Badu w/ The Roots @ Paramount!

The Paramount in Oakland

Happy Monday Kids!

SF – Image Courtesy of


My Living Room

Well, Philly anyway; then onwards to New York in the Fall.

This morning I gave notice to my building manager that I’ll be moving out of my wonderful apartment of 6 1/2 years on July 5th. The countdown is on! I’m moving back east to return to school (once again), this time to continue my research into the rapidly evolving intersection of music and technology. The next 4 years will be filled with many challenges, hard work, and surely rich rewards.

I’m very excited about the program and being closer to my family; but I’m also very sad to leave this wonderful city, my dear friends here, and a life that couldn’t have been more fulfilling in nearly every way.

More to come on exactly what I’ll be researching and learning in future posts. In the mean time, for those who are curious, check out the PhD program overview

And if you’re so inclined, clock the flickr set if you want to check out my lovely apartment. It’ll be refinished and available for rent (probably) in August. Also, some of this furniture is for sale. Contact me if you’re interested!