January 2016

Here is the story of my  January, in pictures, songs and videos.  We started the new year by hosting a New Year’s Eve dinner.

Gray, playing guitar for us after dinner, by the fire
Gray, playing guitar for us after dinner, by the fire

Maile, Anais and I spent a lazy Saturday afternoon with Townes having a picnic and wandering around Zilker park.

Anais and Maile, running w Townes at Zilker park
Anais and Maile, running w Townes at Zilker park
Anais and Townes, kissed by the sun
Anais and Townes, kissed by the sun
Anais, making a heart with her arms
Anais, making a heart with her arms
My tall shadow, waving atop the big rock in Zilker park
My tall shadow, waving atop the big rock in Zilker park

Anais snapped these shots of us at dinner one night.

Dad eating dinner, by Anais
Dad eating dinner, by Anais
Anais selfie with adoring dad
Anais selfie with adoring dad

Our first week back at work I ran AV for the Black Student-Athlete Summit. Here is a UT-Austin panel of collogues.

Leonard Moore moderates a panel with Thais, Darren, Louis, Devin, and MJ
Leonard Moore moderates a panel with Thais, Darren, Louis, Devin, and MJ

While I was helping run the BSA conference, my brother Pete was in town to attend the MLA conference and present with a panel of War Lit writers. It also happened to be free-week at many clubs downtown, so we  walked 6th St. and stopped in a few clubs on Red River.

First we hit the Mohawk and caught a band, then singer-songwriter Ben Ballinger.

Ben Ballinger at the Mohawk
Ben Ballinger blowing the harmonica at the Mohawk

Then we hit Cheer Up Charlie’s to meet up with Pete’s fellow panelists, Patrick and AB. We arrived to Girls In The Nose , a band of older women. They were great. A friend informed me that they are a lesbian band that’s been going for decades. And what a refreshing contrast to the cool, unintelligible band that was playing for hipsters next door.

I was smiling before I could see them because as we walked in they were singing about the “pedagogy of the pussy.” Then there was “More Madonna, less Jesus!” My favorite, that was in my head for days, went, “We juxtapose the pantyhose with FREE-DOM, FREE-DOM!”

Girls In The Nose at Cheer Up Charlie's
Girls In The Nose at Cheer Up Charlie’s
Peter, Lauren, AB, and Patrick at Cheer Up Charlie's
Peter, Lauren, AB, and Patrick at Cheer Up Charlie’s
War Lit Panel at the MLA Conference: AB, Patrick, Stacey, Peter, and Roy
War Lit Panel at the MLA Conference: AB, Patrick, Stacey, Peter, and Roy
Anais with a pretzel monocle
Anais with a pretzel monocle (downtown waiting for Peter’s panel)
Sunday Singalong at Stacy Park
We had a beautiful Sunday Singalong sitting in the sun at Stacy Park
Anais got a bunch of awards!
Anais got a bunch of awards!
We biked the boardwalk and had a picnic with all the lovies.
We biked the boardwalk and had a picnic with all the lovies.
All the lovies at the picnic
All the lovies at the picnic
OPNTHDOr (some old artwork of Anais's I found going through a box of her art)
OPNTHDOr (some artwork of Anais’s I found going through a box of her art)
A glimpse into Anais's tiny world
A glimpse into Anais’s tiny world
Anais's room, after she spent a long time cleaning and organizing
Anais’s room, after she spent a long time cleaning and organizing

Gray and I jammed at his place. Check out the selections below.

Gray's Delay Delay, which can be heard in our jams below
Gray’s Delay Delay, which can be heard in our jams below

I photographed and video taped the UT MLK Day ceremony and march to the capitol. Jessica edited it together into the video below.

Girls scouts at the MLK statue on MLK Day
Girls scouts at the MLK statue on MLK Day

This little guy stole the show!

Marching to the capitol, we ran into Casey and Natalie, Georgia and Adele (lower right w Anais)
Marching to the capitol, we ran into Casey and Natalie, Georgia and Adele (lower right w Anais)
A misty morning shot of the river on my morning commute along the boardwalk
A misty shot of the river on my morning commute along the boardwalk
A full-moon shot of the sunset from the boardwalk on my commute home
A full-moon over the sunset from the boardwalk on my commute home
A day at the Menil with Maile's folks, Joe and Ellyn
A day at the Menil with Maile’s folks, Joe and Ellyn
Maile and Ellyn, lounging on the grass above my approaching shadow
Maile and Ellyn, lounging on the grass outside the Menil, with my approaching shadow
A curl of steam on my tea makes an
A curl of steam on my tea makes an “e”
Looking up at the cedars in the front yard at Tomball
Looking up at the cedars in the front yard at Tomball

Maile took me on a great date to see Kool an the Gang at the ACL Live stage.

Kool and the Gang

Kool and the Gang

Kool and the Gang
Kool and the Gang

Doug and I saw Thomas play with Bryce’s band, Brother Superior.

Brother Superior at Blackheart
Brother Superior at The Blackheart

Brother Superior

We FINALLY took Anais out on our kayak and it was a magical morning on GORGEOUS day
We FINALLY took Anais out on our kayak and it was a magical morning on GORGEOUS day
Epic bday jam at Gray's
Epic bday jam at Gray’s
Gray and his blue Telecaster on a sea of color
Gray and his blue Telecaster on a sea of color

And I’ll end with a song that I improvised one night in the studio. Channeling Mark’s frustrations with DC, I looped some vocal lines and spit this out:

Photos from California, Spring 2015

Out of consideration for their kiddo Casey’s Spring Break, Kat & Cam and Kev & Steph had their weddings within a week of each other. What a beautiful family.

We drove from San Diego to Calaveras County stopping at San Simeon and Lotusland. What a joy to take these five year old cousins on the adventure! I snapped a ton of pictures. Here are a few of my favorites from the set.

Next Sundaysong Singalong: March 1, Little Stacy Park

We’ll be back at Little Stacy Park, Austin, TX, on March 1, 11am-12pm. Come sing with us!

You can RSVP and follow any updates at the Facebook event. Here’s a little medley :

We’ll be adding a few new tunes to the songbook, like these two:

lyrics from Outside by Jason Molin

Next Singalong: Sunday March 1, 2015

NEW SONG + VIDEO: Outside

I’m thrilled to present not just a new song but a video to go with it (a new goal of mine for new songs). The song is Outside, which started one day as I sat out in front of my house as a quick shower fell around me.

I started singing: “If I’m not sitting outside then I’m not noticing how the rain is falling on the street…” After a month or two of building and reworking it, here it is.

For the video I found some old public domain footage to go along with my own video of reflections waving in the water. Hopefully it helps to put you in the meditative state that sitting outside, staring at the trees, sky, water can do.

My DC friends will recognize the Cherry Blossoms blooming from what looks like the 70s.

OUTSIDE

If I’m not getting outside then the sun can’t lay its light
like a hand upon my head and bake my spirit bright.
If I’m not getting outside then I can’t open my eyes
past the walls around my mind, and stretch them out upon the sky.
Feel the breeze go still a while, then the rattle of the leaves,
song upon song from the trees, looping layered choruses.

I need the sun upon my face.
I feed my feet upon the ground.
Get me high on air and space.
Surround me with the open sound.

‘Cause if I’m not getting outside then the birds cannot remind me
that the dawn is filled with song and the wildlife goes on.
If I’m not getting outside then the flowers can’t confide
their sensual serenity, the sense of possibility.
Lay upon the lawn with me. Stare up at the sky and see:
There is no philosophy like the branches of a tree.

Mamacita, let’s go talk along the lake,
like we did so long ago, there’s still so much I want to know.
Hija linda, let’s pretend that we just met
for the 1st time in a long time and we fall in love again.

I need the sun upon my face.
I feed my feet upon the ground.
Get me high on air and space.
Surround me with the open sound.

If I’m not getting outside I need to slip out on the sly
sip a cup and simmer down, circulate around the grounds.
If I’m not getting outside then I’m not really alive.
I’m a part of everything, I feel it in my wiring.
Suddenly it starts to rain, hushing me with everything,
quieting my busy brain, I’m nothing but a weathervane.

I need the sun upon my face.
I feed my feet upon the ground.
Get me high on air and space.
Surround me with the open sound.

UT Night At The Trail Of Lights

Our division helped put on UT’s first year as a participant in Zilker’s Trail of Lights and our work-band, Mixed Bag got a spot on the community stage. It was a fun privilege for Ralph and I to play the event for the first time that we’d even made it to the Trail.

Maile, Anais and I walked the trail afterwards, spinning under the Christmas tree and riding the ferris wheel at the end. Perfect weather, wonderful experience, magic night. Here are two of the songs from our set on the community stage.

UntitledUntitledUntitledJ and Rafa playing the Trail of LightsUntitledUntitledUntitled UntitledUntitled Untitled