Location: The University of Texas at Austin. View at Instagram.
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
We had another great annual installment of my bday singalong – I turned 44 on Monday, a day after the singalong – on Sunday at Barton Springs. My main man Doug showed up with guitar and played along with us. It was a beautiful morning.
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.
- Daily News
- Al Jazeera, US
- All Sides
- BBC News
- Christian Science Monitor
- Democracy Now
- Google News
- Jane’s 360
- Public Integrity
- Talking Points Memo
- The Center for Public Integrity
- The Economist – paywall
- The Guardian
- The Independent, UK
- The New York Times – paywall
- The Real News
- The Wall Street Journal – paywall
- The Washington Post
- Wiki News
- Austin, TX
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.
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.
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.)
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:
- Show up. (My main job.)
- Get into it. (Put my heart into singing.)
- Let it go. (Don’t obsess.)
Here was the view from our hillside spot.
Thanks to Sarah W. for the great shot at top of the whole crew (with our girls running around).
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?
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 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.
I particularly liked the Gerard Fromanger exhibit, his use of monochrome figures and infographics.
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.
Now listen to the slow funky Flamenco sounds of a guitarist echoing in the Subway.
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.
And there are so many more I’d like to include. Here is a slideshow of all my favorites:
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.
Maile, Anais and I spent a lazy Saturday afternoon with Townes having a picnic and wandering around Zilker park.
Anais snapped these shots of us at dinner one night.
Our first week back at work I ran AV for the Black Student-Athlete Summit. Here is a UT-Austin panel of collogues.
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.
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!”
Gray and I jammed at his place. Check out the selections below.
I photographed and video taped the UT MLK Day ceremony and march to the capitol. Jessica edited it together into the video below.
This little guy stole the show!
Maile took me on a great date to see Kool an the Gang at the ACL Live stage.
Doug and I saw Thomas play with Bryce’s band, Brother Superior.
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:
We resumed our Singalong for the New Year in Little Stacy Park. I was thrilled to be playing a new, handmade guitar that I got for Christmas. Check out this beauty and listen to how nice it sounds as we sing, below.
UT sponsored a night at the Austin Trail of Lights again this year and I got to play on the community stage again, this time with coworkers Krysta and Thais backing me up. Had a great time playing the gig and a great time taking Anais around the trail, on the ferris wheel, and to spin under the Christmas tree of lights. View the whole set of photos on Flickr.