Archive for 2007-07

Almost Barefoot

02007-07-31 @ 16:07

Vibram Five Fingers – perfect for playing guitar in cold TV studios or on hot outdoor stages – the solar festival stage in Taos was a good example… Also, swimming, surfing, walking on rocky beaches, crossing hot parking-lots on the way to the rocky beaches etc…

Here is an interesting fact I did not know. Vibram is an Italian company named after its founder Vitale Bramani.

The World Without Us

02007-07-31 @ 07:07

The World Without Us – Alan Weisman

My favorite:

100 Years: With no ivory trade, half a million remaining elephants increase twenty-fold.

Blank Inside

02007-07-30 @ 14:07
Click on the link. The page is very funny. Thanks Y.

Let me explain it: Buddha taught that there is no self.
Get it?

Happy Birthday Joan Halifax Roshi.

Tour Dates, Cowboys and Indians

02007-07-30 @ 11:07

We added a couple of shows in August:
Aug 10 Paradise CA – Paradise Performing Arts Center
Aug 11 Santa Ana CA – The Galaxy Theater
Aug 12 San Diego CA – Humphrey’s
Aug 25 Harrisburg PA – Sunoco Performance Theater
Aug 26 Westhampton Beach NY – Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center
Aug 27 Annapolis MD – Ram’s Head
Aug 28 Boston MA – Scullers
Aug 29 New York NY – B.B.Kings
Aug 30 New York NY – B.B.Kings
Aug 31 Ridgefield CT – The Ridgefield Playhouse
Sept 01 Alexandria VA – The Birchmere

Page 184 of the September issue of Cowboys & Indians has a full-page interview with me. The title is “Desert Hot Strings”. which is almost as funny as the title of an interview with me in Details magazine years ago that was called “Mother Plucker”.

Big Mind Retreat at Shambhala

02007-07-29 @ 06:07

Big Mind Retreat with Genpo Roshi
Big Mind Retreat with Genpo Roshi. August 15 – 19 at Shambhala in Colorado.

Thursday Morning

02007-07-26 @ 08:07

The two solo performances on Tuesday and last night were a lot of fun. The Center for Integral Living at the Standard Hotel created a lovely space to play guitar in and the audience was very wonderful. The ring-finger of my right hand healed just in time. On Tuesday I felt pain every time I tapped the top of the guitar – which is often – but nothing I could not handle. By last night the pain was pretty much gone. Got to go, Genpo Roshi starts teaching again in 15 minutes…

The Hadzabe tribe of Tanzania

02007-07-22 @ 19:07

Face to face with Stone Age man: The Hadzabe tribe of Tanzania | the Daily Mail
In return for the dubious pleasure of shooting lion, leopard, buffalo and elephant, Crown Prince Hamdan bin Zayed (the UAE’s deputy prime minister) and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed (deputy supreme commander of the air force) want the Hadza evicted from the area to prevent them competing for game.

Outrageous. If true.

A Wider Rotation

02007-07-21 @ 20:07 – blog: A Wider Rotation by Austin R. Pick


ListeningLounge and Music Files

02007-07-21 @ 06:07

Our monsoon continues and we had another fine rain storm this afternoon.

In the morning Jon and I compared AIFF, FLAC and 320kbps mp3 files in my studio, using Stax Earspeakers and a Stax tube amp. The FLAC files had been encoded and decoded using xAct, which is a fine FLAC app for Macintosh. The 320 mp3 was made with Peak Pro, which uses a LAME encoder – the same encoder we use for the ListeningLounge.

The result was what one would expect: AIFF, followed by FLAC and mp3. What we did not expect was how very close the quality between these formats was. Unless you have a great set of headphones or speakers – and the ears and experience to process what comes through them – you will not hear a difference. Another interesting point was that the treble side of the music was indistinguishable, it was the bass where one could detect shades of difference.

Find Food

02007-07-20 @ 19:07

Foodio54 – Over a half million restaurants to choose from, but we’ll help find one that’s good for you.
Might be handy for traveling folk.

Blade Runner

02007-07-20 @ 10:07

Open the Future: Blade Runner
Oscar Pistorius is the South African sprinter I mentioned in my piece The Accidental Cyborg – a world-class runner who happens to have artificial lower legs and feet. Because of the shape of the carbon fiber prosthetics, his nickname is now “Blade Runner.”

And / Arts & Weekend / Sport – ‘Blade Runner’ finds controversy at every step
Pistorius argues that bio-mechanical tests prove that the blades provide no more “return” from the track than legs. Accordingly, IAAF officials have given him and themselves a period of grace for reflection, during which time he is being allowed to compete in his first open races outside South Africa.

Should one have two Olympics… a traveling show that opens every four years in a different city where anything goes, from doping to artificial limbs to genetic enhancements to nano tech – the olympics already allow trigger-releases for archery, considered blasphemy by some – and traditional olympic games, held in Greece, where no enhancement of any kind is allowed? No, I am afraid that won’t work. It seems to me that the wrangling over what should and should not be admissible is an important part of how our culture “digests” the possibilities and sets a course.


02007-07-20 @ 10:07

Teva Sandals, Hiking Shoes, Teva Shoes, Teva Sport Sandals, Teva Flip Flops, Outdoor Footwear
The men’s Ryley is part of our new Curbside collection, shoes made from post consumer recycled materials.

Music is auditory cheesecake

02007-07-20 @ 10:07

Sounds of Dissent: The politics of music – NI 359 – KeynoteCross argues that dismissing music as a useless fancy is incredibly ethnocentric. He suggests that Pinker’s confectionary view of music may reflect what music has become over the last hundred years within Western society – where a booming industry for recording and selling sounds has ‘turned music into a commodity to be consumed, dispensable on demand’. He goes on to argue that many people around the world use music for purposes other than entertainment. For example, they may use it for healing, education, cultural and religious ceremonies, communication and activism.

Click on above link to read the whole piece.

Railyard District

02007-07-18 @ 15:07

Had lunch at the Railyard restaurant. My first visit there.
Checked out the new galleries that have been built next door and went to see these photos and the baskets at the TAI Gallery.
Crossed these tracks:
…to take a look at this installation:
…and ended up seeing this face:

Rahim @ GiG

02007-07-17 @ 07:07

GiG Performance Space – 1808 Second Street, Santa Fe – SCHEDULE
Rahim AlHaj
Saturday, August 4th at 8PM
GiG Performance Space, 1808 Second Street, Santa Fe NM

11 years ago – July 17th, 1996

02007-07-17 @ 07:07

I am in Milan after 2days of flights: albuquerque – st.louis – nyc – milan… the TWA flight from kennedy airport in new york 2 milan is delayed by 1 1/2 hours…

the flight manager doesn’t want 2 let me bring my guitar onboard: no space in the overhead bins!! i say, i can put it in a closet, but she replies that that is illegal… i reply, that i do it all the time… she says, it’s always illegal… i say, i CANNOT let her have the guitar… i walk 2 the upper deck… she says she will check on me… ah, but the flight attendent on the upper deck likes flamenco + stores the guitar in the little closet… ‘don’t tell the flight manager’, he says… i won’t, i reply… i sit down + pray that the flight manager will 4get all about me…

there are only 2 other people on the upper deck, an american couple flying 2 a wedding in italy… an announcement: we won’t have a lot of cabin space 4 luggage, since TWA purchased this aircraft used from Air France + it hasn’t been changed 2 the specifications of TWA yet… more delay… maybe the pilots cannot read the french manuals 4 the 747 we joke… well, this plane doesn’t even have video, we are told… i point out the overhead video projector… oh, but that never worked… hm, aha, but the engines are supposed 2 work? more delay… a stewardess says, that we will leave soon… i ask, how she knows this + she answers, that the pilots are now pushing a lot of buttons… the steward shows us the safety instructions, but warns us that he hasn’t actually gone through them in a long time, ’cause all other planes show safety instruction videos… now i’m 29,000 feet above the ground in this old 747, formerly owned by Air France + i’m helping the stewardess translate the temperature readings of the stove, which are in centigrade… the next morning i arrive @ the hotel in milan, turn on CNN + find out that flight #800, which couldn’t have left JFK airport more than 5 or 10 minutes b4 or after our flight, had exploded in midair… what a feeling… i saw some of those people waiting in the terminal!!!

I call my friends in the USA. Some of them only knew that I was flying to Italy, and worried that I might have been on Flight 800…

Fastest private internet connection

02007-07-16 @ 10:07

75-year-old has world’s fastest private internet connection –
Ma Löthberg’s house was converted into a broadband dog-and-pony act in an effort to promote high-speed fibre connections as a commercially viable platform. With such a connection she can download a DVD in 0.14 seconds and a HD-DVD in 3 seconds.

Sunday Evening

02007-07-15 @ 20:07

Love that Nokia N95! Check out the color and resolution. After dinner at Bumble Bee’s I took a walk down Staab, then Griffin and McKenzie back to Bumble Bee’s.

Saturday, July 14th

02007-07-14 @ 22:07

Went to Barrett Martin’s to jam on some new musical ideas. Of course we also talked about the state of music and found that we both agree on the future of record labels. The majors will become Media Management Companies and the indies will become Music Curators… New major label contracts all state that the label gets a percentage from all income, meaning CDs and downloads of course, but also merchandise, live concerts and endorsements, commercials etc… so basically an artist pays about 20% of his gross to a manager and another 20% or whatever to the label – well, pretty soon the label and the manager will become one and the same…

Indies on the other hand will flourish if they can establish themselves as great curators (the word is latin and means guardian or overseer) and people keep returning to them for the artists they select and present. Sure you can buy any and all albums on iTunes, but shopping on iTunes is not dissimilar from shopping in a mega-CD store or Walmart. Customers might find that they like the smaller selection a little boutique label makes for them. Take Ubiquity Records for example… well, of course we hope to do the same with SSRI and Fast Horse and the Santa Fe Desert sound… We want to create one web destination for our music and are discussing adding a second tier to the ListeningLounge, the music from Fast Horse Recordings. More about some changes to the LL in a separate post.

In the afternoon I was in my studio, recording guitar for one of the new songs. We performed it live in June (during the second half of the concert) and it ended with a beautiful Stevo solo on electric guitar. The song is an interesting challenge because first it alternates between Tangos and Rumba rhythms and in the second half it alternates between 4/4 and 6/8. There are altogether three different tempi and the challenge is to make the flow organic and not artificial sounding. It has to feel right. Anyway, I was very pleased with my progress, but tore myself away to see a documentary about a music festival in Fez, Morocco at the Cinema Cafe. When I arrived at the theater I somehow managed to slam my right ring-finger in the door of my car. Ouch. I raced home and put peroxide ice on the finger, because the skin had split, followed by an hour in ice. The nail has a small dark spot, but the finger didn’t swell up too much. I don’t think I will lose the nail, but the studio will have to wait a while. Damn, that song was turning out so nicely.

Travertine Spa

02007-07-14 @ 13:07

I gave Davo Travertine Spa‘s Shea Butter for his hands, which can get pretty beat up from hitting the drums. He says this is the best stuff he has tried, because it is rich, but not greasy. Exactly how I feel about it. It ain’t cheap, but if you are hard on your hands or just need them to be in great shape, you should buy some. One container can last you months. And partly because I have been nagging him about it, Terry Carter removed all paraben from his list of ingredients. Excellent!

I previously mentioned Travertine Spa’s Shea Butter here and here.


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