Things I Got Stoked About This Summer
Taster by Hovvdy -- They call it "pillowcore," and I call it "great tunes for chill times." Check out "Friend."
All Things Must Pass by George Harrison -- When classic tunes burst through my stereo for the first time, sounding fresh!
Want More by JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound -- I danced to this album all through Arkansas in early July.
Highway Bound by Pat Reedy and the Longtime Goners -- Don't let anyone tell you good country music is dead.
Life in the Dark by The Felice Brothers -- So stoked to see one of my favorite live bands play this amazing new album in October.
"A Small Needful Fact" by Ross Gay -- Necessary, expertly crafted, & what we need to remind us what it's like to be a human. You just can't excerpt something this well-crafted and necessarily whole.
"Jet Airliner" by Steve Miller Band -- I totally forgot about this song, but goodness, I'm glad it grooved back into my life.
"Grace of a Woman" by Elephant Revival -- When that sing-a-long comes in, that "whoa-oh-oh," I just about lose it.
"Stewball" by Willie Watson - Lots of good songs, singers, musicians in the world. All of them together here delivered perfectly.
Sleepwalk with Me (book) by Mike Birbiglia - Listened to the stand-up version of this a bunch of times, but the book version truly captures the tension of the hilarious and the heart-breaking simultaneously.
Bucolics by Maurice Manning - Maurice Manning was the first poet I ever saw read, and this book reminds me of the "wow, you can talk like that?!" that burst out of me and continually does.
Wind in a Box by Terrance Hayes - Clinging so hard to Hayes' recent books, I'm flabbergasted by Hayes' continuing genius.
Down Home Ranch - I'm a volunteer here, and by here, I mean this magical community for adults with intellectual disabilities. My favorite place in Texas right now.
Xu Bing's Book of the Sky at the Blanton Museum of Art - Overwhelming, bizarre, and absolutely incredible.
Symposium of the Whole, edited by Jerome Rothenberg and Diane Rothenberg - The Duende! Human Universe! The Meaning of Everyday Objects! Essays I'll probably be engulfed by for the rest of my life.
Simone Biles, Katie Ledecky, and the US Women's Basketball team at the 2016 Olympics - Watching these women dominate so intensely had me rolling in my own tears, so overwhelmed and in awe by how much better than everyone else they are at what they do.
2016 PDGA World Championships - The greatest spectacle for the greatest sport in the world! Wysocki finally got the championship!
Inaugural issue of the Deaf Poets Society - An amazing new journal celebrating the work by artists and writers with disabilities. Here's the great first section of Jen Stein's poem:
What is kept for me alone?
My spine with its tender
earthquakes, the way my sit
bones hold between them
a robin’s nest, engorged with
autumn rain, silt and branches
swelling and pushing upward
on each of my organs?
The knots embedded beneath
the surface of my skin, the
bound nerves, wheat within
sheaths, tighter, then tighter.
Michelle Obama at Democratic National Convention - Please tell me this was her "I'm running for office" announcement speech!
The Poet, The Lion, Talking Pictures, El Farolito, A Wedding in St. Roch, The Big Box Store, The Warp in the Mirror, Spring, Midnights, Fire & All by C.D. Wright - I still can't believe this world has lost C.D. Wright, but this hybrid book of / on / about poetry shines up this messy place just a little bit without her.
San Francisco - My first trip out that way, to Diana's home area, and wow, it was a special place--City Lights Books, a great little Puerto Rican restaurant called Parada 22, a gorgeous ranch wedding out in the hills, and a bunch of thinking and looking time on the BART.
Pacers pick-ups - I'm calling it right now: the Pacers are a top 3 team in the East this year.
Jesse Williams' BET Speech - I just keep thinking of my friend Amanda Johnston saying, "How will you use your power and privilege to break down power and privilege?"
Road Trip - My best bud Michael and I did a nine day loop through my Hoosier Homeland, playing disc golf and visiting loved ones, and it just got reinforced how much I love (and miss) Indiana.
Katie Condon at Public Pool - Katie Condon is one poet you just gotta keep an eye out for--surprising, bold, and real as hell.
"Poem for Vows" by Matthew Zapruder - Sometimes certain poems hit you at certain times in your life and they just vibrate so much harder and for so much longer. This is one of those.
Soul Grudge Showdown 6 - I grew up going to semi-pro wrestling events at fairgrounds and VFW halls, so to see that culture celebrated through theater like this was a real chip added to the mound of love I already have for the Austin theater scene.
Things I Am Looking Forward To In September
Sept. 1st - Hovvdy Tour Kick-Off Show - Let's send this Austin gem off for their big month-long tour in the best way.
Sept. 3rd - Art of the Brew - This is literally my favorite annual event in Austin--art inspired by beer and beer poured for all the lovers.
Sept. 4th - First Shitty Band show - I've made a fool of myself in front of a crowd many a-time, but never in musical form. Let's check that off the list.
Sept. 12th - Mike Adams at his Honest Weight at Cheer Up Charlies - It's a Hoosier invasion! My favorite Indiana musician bringing his dancey rock n' roll to Austin town.
Sept. 16th - Indiana Fever vs. Minnesota Lynx - My Fever play the WNBA's best team on national televsion, thank goodness.
Sept. 22nd / 23rd - Ross Gay at Texas State - Ross Gay is seriously the number one poet on my "living poets I haven't seen read before."
Sept. 29th - Naomi Shihab Nye at Ransom Center - The most kind-hearted writer in the world right here, bringing her gracious words to our fair campus.