I Can See You (song and new video)

I wrote this song at the beach in Port Aransas, TX, and combined it with a video I took one day at the beach in San Diego. It’s about several idyllic scenes with Maile, my love.

Released November 27, 2011 on FOK DUB:

Jason Molin – Guitar and vocals
Gray Parsons – Drums
Timmy Campbell – Percussion
Lindsay Greene – Bass
Chris Vestre – Guitar
Derek Morris – Keys
Thomas van der Brook – Sax
Oliver Steck – Trumpet
Karla Manzur van der Brook – Vocals
Sara Hickman – Vocals
Maile Broccoli-Hickey – Vocals

Produced by Everyday J
Mixed and Master by Dr. Ivan Mordo

Where To Get News

Anchorman promo

1/23/17: If you want to know what’s really going on, beware social media and the 24-hour news cycle. Move away from news bites and start digesting longform sustenance from well-informed reporters.

I have come to believe that it is impossible for anyone who is regularly on social media to have a balanced and accurate understanding of what is happening in the world. To follow a minute-by-minute cycle of news is to be constantly threatened by illusion. So I’m not just staying off Twitter, I’m cutting back on the news sites in my RSS feed, and deleting browser bookmarks to newspapers. Instead, I am turning more of my attention to monthly magazines, quarterly journals, and books. I’m trying to get a somewhat longer view of things — trying to start thinking about issues one when some of the basic facts about them have been sorted out. Taking the short view has burned me far too many times; I’m going to try to prevent that from happening ever again (even if I will sometimes fail). And if once in a while I end up fighting a battle in a war that has already ended … I can live with that. – Alan Jacobs


8/11/16: I frequently get stuck in a rut visiting the same news sources. So I’m trying to create a list of authoritative sites for cycling through and seeing beyond my progressive bias. As one Redditor put it,

There’s no such thing as unbiased news. What you can do is check several different reputable sources regularly and cross-check what they say.

Where do you get your news? Leave a comment below of your favorite sources. Here are a few points of reference I’m gathering as resources for gleaning what’s really going on.

This chart is an interesting indicator of trust by political affiliation. The clear first place winner is the Wall Street Journal, with the BBC and Google News tied for second.

Trusted news sources

July 2016 Singalong at Barton Springs

Barton Springs singalong

With summer upon us, we moved the singalong to Barton Springs to beat the heat Sunday, July 3rd. It was a wonderfully windy and somewhat overcast day beneath the trees, with a good holiday-weekend crowd of bathers on the hillside. I am happy to have finally delivered a new songbook, covered, bound, with the lyrics to fifty songs.

Singalong Songbook cover

The Songs

1. ACROSS THE UNIVERSE by The Beatles
2. ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE by The Beatles
3. HELP! by The Beatles
4. HERE COMES THE SUN by The Beatles
5. LET IT BE by The Beatles
6. MOTHER NATURE’S SON by The Beatles
7. RAIN by The Beatles
8. STRAWBERRY FEILDS FOREVER by The Beatles
9. THE WORD by The Beatles
10. TOMORROW NEVER KNOWS by The Beatles
11. WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIEND by The Beatles
12. YELLOW SUBMARINE by The Beatles
13. HALLELUJAH by Leonard Cohen
14. TAKE ME HOME, COUNTRY ROADS by John Denver
15. THERE IS A MOUNTAIN by Donovan
16. A HARD RAIN’S A-GONNA FALL by Bob Dylan
17. BLOWING IN THE WIND by Bob Dylan
18. FORVER YOUNG by Bob Dylan
19. I SHALL BE RELEASED by Bob Dylan
20. MR. TAMBOURINE MAN by Bob Dylan
21. THIS LAND IS YOUR LAND by Woody Guthrie
22. GIVE ME LOVE (GIVE ME PEACE ON EARTH) by George Harrison
23. CLOSER TO FINE by Indigo Girls
24. DAYS by The Kinks
25. WHAT’S SO FUNNY ‘BOUT PEACE LOVE AND UNDERSTANDING by Nick Lowe
26. IMAGINE by John Lennon
27. GIVE PEACE A CHANCE by John Lennon
28. ONE LOVE by Bob Marley
29. REDEMPTION SONG by Bob Marley
30. THREE LITTLE BIRDS by Bob Marley
31. PEOPLE GET READY by Curtis Mayfeild
32. AMAZING GRACE by John Newton
33. RUNNIN DOWN A DREAM by Tom Petty
34. ONE WORLD NOT THREE by The Police
35. SPIRITS IN THE MATERIAL WORLD by The Police
36. SHOWER THE PEOPLE by James Taylor
37. WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD by George David Weiss and Bob Thiele
38. RAINBOW CONNECTION by by Paul Williams and Kenneth Ascher
39. ALL I REALLY NEED by Raffi
40. IF YOU WANT TO SING OUT, SING OUT by Cat Stevens
41. MOONSHADOW by Cat Stevens
42. MORNING HAS BROKEN by Cat Stevens
43. THE WIND by Cat Stevens
44. I STILL HAVEN’T FOUND WHAT I’M LOOKING FOR by U2
45. LOVE RESCUE ME by U2 (Bono and Bob Dylan)
46. INTO THE MYSTIC by Van Morrison
47. SWING LOW, SWEET CHARIOT by Wallis Willis
48. A PLACE IN THE SUN by Stevie Wonder
49. HEAVEN HELP US ALL by Stevie Wonder
50. LEAN ON ME by Bill Withers

For a bit of background, here are the criteria I used to choose the songs.

  • Is it about higher love? Usually about charitable love (not romantic/sexual), brotherhood/sisterhood, unity, peace, wonder, mystery, gratitude
  • Is it eccumenical, non-denominational? (No particular faith, all inclusive)
  • Do people know it? (Is/was it popular? Or can they learn it easily?)
  • Can people sing it together? (Is it rhythmically regular and melodically feasible?)
  • Is it appropriate for all ages? (Does it make references that are too adult?)

Sara H. shot this video of us singing Hallelujah, which ended up being kinda funny because I had some extra verses in my version that didn’t make it into the songbook of lyrics. I didn’t even realize that I sang two verses by myself while everyone paused confusedly to figure out what was going on. (I found this video of another singalong of Hallelujah with Rufus Wainwright.)

Screen Shot 2016-07-05 at 9.35.22 AM

We have a family tradition of going to lunch afterward where Maile and I usually review how it went, laughing and cringing and trying to learn how to make these better. Because this one was both such a good one, and fraught with the missteps created by the new songbook (and my slightly different version with chords), there was a lot to go back over. But overall it was a great morning, and in order to not obsess I made these three rules for myself as the essential job I must remember to do:

  1. Show up. (My main job.)
  2. Get into it. (Put my heart into singing.)
  3. Let it go. (Don’t obsess.)

Here was the view from our hillside spot.

Barton Springs

Thanks to Sarah W. for the great shot at top of the whole crew (with our girls running around).

Barton Springs singalong

 

 

 

 

 

Spring Break in Paris With Maile

The music just below is one one of the recordings I made in Paris, this one of an accordion player on a pedestrian bridge. Hit play now so that the sounds of Paris will accompany you. OK. Can you hear the melancholy French jazz?

accordian player on the Ponte Nuef
accordion player on the Ponte Nuef playing a melancholy Autumn Leaves

Maile and I originally planned to travel to Paris together for our 10th wedding anniversary. Two and a half years later we made it, by ourselves, for a full week. We rented a wonderful loft appartment on AirBnb in the Marais, from which we sauntered out an back every day.

I took about 1600 photos with my little Canon G7X and got it down to about 250 favorites shots that I’ve posted as an album on Flickr. See the slideshow at the end of this post. I’ll try to whittle it way down here and tell the story of our trip primarily in pictures and captions.

We arrived on Saturday morning and took the train into the city.
We arrived on Saturday morning and took the train into the city (with Charles Beaver, Anais’s envoy).
Walking from the Metro to find our place we stopped at Le Petite Marcel for lunch.
Walking from the Metro to find our apartment we stopped at Le Petite Marcel for lunch.
The beautiful blue door to the building where we stayed.
the beautiful blue door to the building where we stayed
the reflection of our front building in the shiny black van opposite
the reflection of our front building in the shiny black van opposite
The beautiful classic bicycle that was always locked outside our door
The beautiful classic bicycle that was always locked outside our door

The Pompidou

We stayed two blocks from the Pompidou, passing it every day, eating across from it. Here are a few of the outside and then a few of my favorite works inside.

Pompidou plaza
Pompidou plaza
seven people sitting in front of the Pompidou
seven people sitting in front of the Pompidou
We stayed a few blocks from the Pompidou, a wonderful modern art gallery
my reflection in the window of the line and houses opposite
Man Ray's room of art and beautiful objects
Man Ray’s room of art and beautiful objects
shiny spinning metal shape with divets in a black and white lined box
shiny spinning metal shape with divets in a black and white lined box
Giacometti people
Giacometti people

I particularly liked the Gerard Fromanger exhibit, his use of monochrome figures and infographics.

painting by Gérard Fromanger
painting by Gérard Fromanger
painting by Gérard Fromanger
painting by Gérard Fromanger
Paris skyline
view from the top of the Pompidou; see the Eifell Tower shining it’s spotlight in the distance
we caught these break dancers entertaining the crowd in front of Hôtel de Ville
break dancers entertaining a crowd in front of Hôtel de Ville
break dancer balancing on one hand
break dancer balancing on one hand
Reflection on the front of a bus
reflection on the front of a bus
woman in red hat waiting, man in black coat turning away
waiting for the light to change on a bridge over the Seine
the view through the menu
the view through the menu
Paris swing band on the bridge over the Seine
Paris swing on a bridge over the Seine
colorful juice window
colorful juice window
reflection in car top
reflection in car top
reflection in bus window w driver
reflection in bus window w driver smoking
Maile on the Ponte Nuef overlooking the Siene
Maile on the Ponte Nuef overlooking the Siene
ladies at a cafe
ladies at a cafe
people sitting on the steps leading down to the Seine
people sitting on the steps leading down to the Seine
man running with child
man running with child. one of my favorite moments to capturing, participating in that pure joy.
men in front of a flower shop
men in front of a flower shop
pedicabbies looking left as the man in black walks right
pedicabbies looking left as the man in black walks right
mannequin with reflection of tower and tree
mannequin with reflection of tower and tree
I lived off these lovely fresh baguette sandwiches
I loved lunching on these fresh baguette sandwiches
a perfectly pruned park
a perfectly pruned park
the Mona Lisa hype machine
the Mona Lisa hype machine (I found it hard to appreciate the Louvre)

Street Art

There was so much great street art everywhere, from centuries old sculpture to  to stickers, art sellers and graffiti, chalk artists and street musicians. Hardly a block went by that I didn’t notice a gorgeous door. I was always stopping to snap something and then running to catch up with Maile.

statues throughout the city had been secretly blindfolded in scarlet
statues throughout the city had been secretly blindfolded in scarlet (an art stunt meant to draw attention to the ubiquitous – and easily overlooked – statuary)
chalk drawing on wall
i love this chalk drawing, a face made out of squares, making eyes out of cracks in the wall
vandals with a nice sense of color
wonderful street art everywhere. vandals with a nice sense of color
HUMANITY shakes hands with POWER
HUMANITY shakes hands with POWER
poster of baseball cap
Trust The Classics
turquoise pattern with clothing cutouts
turquoise pattern with clothing cutouts
a cup of shit (by Space Invader, I think)
a cup of shit (by Space Invader, I think

Now listen to the slow funky Flamenco sounds of a guitarist echoing in the Subway.

guitarist in the subway
guitarist in the subway

Musée d’Orsay

Musée d’Orsay was a pure delight and inspiration. So many beautiful works of art that I’d never seen, and in a beautifully converted old converted train station.

painting from the Orsay, Paris

painting in the Orsay

painting at Musee D'Orsay

sculpture at the Orsay

reflections at the Orsay
reflections at the Orsay

Picasso Museum

a window upon rooftops
a window upon rooftops, the distortions of the hand-blown glass making a painting

stone sculpture head

viewer of a Picasso painting

black paintings w names/numbers

Picasso sculpture

Picasso drawing

Picasso painting

And there are so many more I’d like to include. Here is a slideshow of all my favorites:

January 2016

Brother Superior

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: