Sounds of 2016

Wasn’t sure I was going to do this, for 2016, but ended up compiling this list for a friend earlier this month. Below are links to some of the things I’ve been listening to in last 6-12 months. Some of this has been posted previously here, by me. Not a ton of “new” hiphop but some…

Of particular note Busta Rhymes and Q-Tip in The Abstract and The Dragon and The Return of The Abstract and the Dragon

Konnichiwa the hottest grime album of last 12 months, via Skepta

Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals, giving a great NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

The chopped and screwed remix of Solange by DJ Auditory

Acapella Gucci Mane also with a NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

Oddisse

These Dominican rappers Whitest Taino Alive

A rinseFM tribute show to Prince

Gilberto Gil – MTV Unplugged 1994. Loved so much I bought on CD (for
like 1$) via Discogs

Some sick contemporary LA jazz (has done some work with Kendrick
Lamar). I have this on vinyl.

Finally, also been listening to some comedy at work occasionally.

Norm McDonald has a podcast/show and You Made it Weird. Including a great one with Gary Shandling, RIP.

Recent readings; as of 10/29/2016

It feels like it had been a long while (more than a year) since I had really read my way through some books. Partly, a result of among other things; a move across country, a new job, a new home. Also, much of my “reading time” is lately, generally spent trying to get through my backlog of Sunday NYTs.

That being said, following the first home purchase, we had boxes of unpacked books lying around and in process of unpacking, I made my way through a few. Was a nice change of pace and really enjoyed all three.

Unusually for me (at least in historical terms) I read most of these books in bed. Only ever works for me, when I have 3 or more pillows to prop myself up. Which is mostly C’s territory.

  • ‘Winter in the Blood’ by James Welch

Had Amazoned this a few years ago. Though it had just been moved around since. Sometimes the timing just needs to be right. Also, I think I was able to commit to reading it, because it could be a novella. It is barely 138 pages.

Feels very grounded in place. Indigenous but not “Indian”. Or rather not primitive or tribal. A sort of prarie-land magical realism. Was interested to learn that it had been made into a film released in 2013. Based on the trailer seems promising.

  • ‘The Man Who Lost His Shadow’ by Fathy Ghanem

The first work of Egyptian fiction, I have read (as far as I can recall). Of the three the longest book, though not more than double the number of pages, perhaps.

Three almost auto-biographical stories, presented in toto. Of two women and their relation, a man. Modern, simple and noteworthy.

  • ‘The Big Sleep’ by Raymond Chandler

Always been a fan of noir. Was good to finally read one of the originals. Picked up used at a vintage store. One thing that I learned and was surprised by; the word “gat” is used more than once to refer to a handgun. For some reason I thought this had a more recent vintage.

re: L.A. as the “capital of science fiction.”

Also – “Some of the early LGBT leaders were also active in early sci-fi reading circles, and they used the genre to explore possible futures where they would find acceptance for their sexuality… I’m always interested in how science fiction or speculative fictions refers back to the moment in which it’s created. We tend to think of it as pie-in-the-sky fantasy, but there’s a strong strain of social commentary. A lot of dystopian or apocalyptic writing about Southern California – much of which blurs the line between pop culture and literary culture – seems to grow out of science fictional tropes.

thom_bonaventure

L.A.’s Bonaventure Hotel, photographed by Wayne Thom in 1978. Courtesy of the USC Libraries – Wayne Thom Photography Collection.

Via kcet.org, featuring thoughts from Christopher Hawthorne, William Deverell and David Ulin instigated/edited by Nathan Masters.

not a #Denvernative

So last night, learned that chimeneya/fire-pits are not allowed in Denver city/county. Not a seasonal thing, been getting fair amount of precipitation, just a thing. The three nice gents from Denver Fire Department watched me put out my fire and wished me a good night. I apologized for the poor use of their time.

not a #Denvernative

my own Dear Abra

Dear Nam,

time travel is an acquired skill but youthfulness is a gift. You can feel young and old depending on circumstances and both of them are necessary states of what we call our life on earth. Biological age is relevant to wrinkles on your skin but your joy of life is relevant to your state of mind.

Rumi said this, “what you seek is seeking you” perhaps meaning, maybe your youth is also looking for you.

All the best,

abra.

via Archinect