Interview with Sheri at KPISS FM

I walked miles through the snow today to be interviewed by the very real and very gracious Sheri Barclay. “The things I’ll do for self-promotion!” We also premiere one of my yet unheard, unreleased tracks, called “Do You Wanna Go?” Listen here:

BHM: Eddie Hazel

Back in summer 2004, I was in an office working for the City of New York, and I remember sitting on my chair at my desk, under a blanket trying to insulate from the extreme air conditioning in the building, and this tune came on in my headphones and it was the first time I’d really listened closely to the singing towards the end of the tune, and I just started crying uncontrollably, right there in front of everyone. I still get choked up listening to Eddie’s beautiful voice.

BHM: Son House

Son House is a country blues player whose slide playing style I have ripped off plenty, but so did Robert Johnson and just about everyone else since who plays slide guitar.

BHM: Sly Stone

The musical mind of Sly Stone demonstrates a beautiful balance. His monstrous band serves music that is harmonically rich and supremely funky at the same time. The diversity of his material and his band are hugely inspirational — someday when I have a family band, my kids and I will be singing “Thank You” in harmony. Sly was marginalized after succumbing to addiction, but he has recovered somewhat, and is still alive and has wisdom to offer — check out his more recent interviews on YouTube. Thank YOU Sly Stone!

This post is part of a series where I pay tribute to the numerous Black American artists that have inspired and influenced me over the years.

BHM: Boyd Rivers

Boyd Rivers sang and played with the spirit and fire of a man doing his best to save us from certain damnation — he’s the baddest preacher I have ever come across. Discovering this video blew my mind that this man was virtually unknown outside the communities of dedicated blues listeners. Watching it taught me about singing from a deep place in my body, and to do it with style and joy. There are a few rare recordings of his out there — all worth checking out.

This post is part of a series where I pay tribute to the numerous Black American artists that have inspired and influenced me over the years.

Dissolve Patriarchy

A few weeks ago I posted a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #dissolvepatriarchy, and when I searched for that hashtag I found that I was the inventor of it. No one else has used that hashtag on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

A search turns up the only use of #dissolvepatriarchy on Instagram

This is a little disappointing to me, especially considering how popular the hashtag #smashpatriarchy is on those social media networks (almost 6,000 posts on Instagram). My main reason is that the act of smashing something is a relatively patriarchal gesture — it’s a masculine way of trying to deal with a problem, especially in contrast with the act of dissolving the obstacle in your way. If we are trying to get rid of the patriarchs who rule currently, we should consider an approach that is feminine in its methodology, which implies a gentle, non-violent action, and one that integrates (as dissolving does) instead of creating further separation (as does smashing).

If we want to get rid of our currently masculine-dominated hierarchical systems, we have to first start thinking about how our actions are affected by the current zeitgeist, and evaluate whether we are perpetuating the established systems unknowingly.

Alcohol and Me

I decided on New Year’s Day this year that I would drink for up to five celebrations this year, but that I would only decide to drink in a celebratory manner from now on.

The perfunctory drinking of the past is unsustainable for me. If I continued doing it, it would destroy my health quickly. I realized that I would rather limit drinking to special festivities, and even so doing so in moderation. I have drank enough in my life that I have enough good associations with drinking to want to continue to do it, especially under stressful circumstances. This year I am putting into practice an attempt to create a lifestyle for myself that is sustainable, and offers for me controlled growth. I find that alcohol’s side effects are numerous and affect many parts of my life negatively. For example, I eat more impulsively after drinking, and drinking’s effect on my blood sugar makes me want to eat more. Now that I drink a lot less, I also eat a lot less. I also sleep less, and get better quality sleep, so I can do more in a day.

I used to love going to bars because it meant I might get lucky and strike up a spontaneous connection with someone, maybe getting me laid. Now I realize that a relationship that starts under those circumstances may have fundamental problems. The need to drink to feel uninhibited or intimate is something I am working towards changing. As an artist, it is up to me to open my heart and mind up perpetually, and to rely on substances to do so compromises the quality and integrity of my output. I would have a hard time sustainably relying on substances to allow me to create good work.


The party’s over. Seeing the way our world’s leadership is failing at actually leading humanity towards a more certain progress, I feel strange dulling myself almost nightly with alcohol when there is so much work to be done. It is still important to remember to celebrate life and parties are healthy social expressions that need to happen under even the most repressive of circumstances.