Alarms, Jet Lag, Lighter Sonics

From the past week

I do this manually each Saturday, usually in the morning over coffee: collating most of the tweets I made the past week at, which I think of as my public notebook. Some tweets pop up sooner in expanded form or otherwise on I’ve found it personally informative to revisit the previous week of thinking out loud. This isn’t a full accounting. Often there are, for example, conversations on Twitter that don’t really make as much sense out of the context of Twitter itself. And sometimes I tweak them a bit, given the additional space. And sometimes I re-order them just a bit.

▰ That’s strange. I experienced the second fire alarm of the trip, this time at 2:45am in Brooklyn. The prior time was just before 6am on Long Island. It’s an understatement to suggest that one’s brain processes a fire alarm differently at 2:45am than come daylight.

▰ The occasional “sorry I haven’t replied to your request for coverage” tweet

▰ Finally home in San Francisco after much much time in New York, and I was happy to see the newly installed fire hydrant on the corner — partially because it is kinda cool looking, but mostly because its existence means I missed out entirely on its noisy installation.

▰ Body in SF, brain still in NY. The next Disquiet Junto project goes out tomorrow, just later in the day than it would have were I not so bushed. :)

▰ Looking good, old timer. I mean, the shadow of that neon is so gorgeous.

▰ A combined play on a Brian Eno phrase and a John Cage visual motif is pretty much foundational Disquiet Junto territory.

▰ Been very much enjoying the series My Name on Netflix. Reminds me of some of my favorite Hong Kong triad/police movies. This moment is from a flashback in which a cigarette lighter, initially deemed too quiet, is pondered for its sonic component.

▰ K-drama fans: any recommendations for someone (i.e., me) who really dug My Name, 마이 네임 (i.e., contemporary, thriller, sensibility of solid Hong Kong triad/police dramas, very limited romance/humor)? Thanks.

▰ One of the best things about the graphic score projects we do on occasion in the #DisquietJunto is the resulting graphics, such as this one, where a participant (Marc Eisenschink) mapped the four circles from the shared score to the four knobs on the Teenage Engineering OP-1.

Before I hit pause on social media for the three-day weekend, one more example of how the graphic score was interpreted — in this specific case, mapped to a piece of software. Details on the project (Condensation Is a Form of Change), along with the original art, at

Musical Fun

With the Gilmore Girls

I’m new to Gilmore Girls. It has serious musical fun. These are a bride’s choices for her wedding. Better yet, it’s being asked of a harpist (on the left: Alex Borstein!). Later, Sally Struthers’ character describes rapturously how “Thelonious” (Monk) puts her in a (seemingly erotic) trance. Doorbells, 9/11, DAWless

From the past week

I do this manually each Saturday, collating most of the tweets I made the past week at, which I think of as my public notebook. Some tweets pop up in expanded form or otherwise on sooner. It’s personally informative to revisit the previous week of thinking out loud.

▰ Music theory keeps you young. In music theory years, I am at best a first grader.

▰ The doorbell died after years of me writing about doorbells. Which I’ll write about more later. Main thing: shoddy temp replacement while I waited for actual replacement. Concern: when the new doorbell arrives, I won’t know. But: UPS just phoned from outside the front door. Whew.

▰ Currently immersed in un-ASMR: working inside a building the outside of which is being prepped for painting thanks to vast amounts of scraping, scratching, and knocking.

▰ I was in Golden Gate Park reading a novel on a park bench, and I thought someone was playing an Eric Dolphy album nearby. Turned out it was one of those tiny motorized toy boats on Spreckels Lake. The thing, less than a foot long, had capsized and its engine was churning away.

▰ The next to last concert I attended pre-pandemic, I mentioned, in passing, the concept of “DAWless” to a musician in their early 60s, and they laughed out loud. I cherish that laugh. Its memory has kept me company.

▰ In the Echo of No Towers: On the 10th anniversary of 9/11, I spoke with Stephen Vitiello about his World Trade Center tapes. It’s informative that the audio’s from Hurricane Floyd, climate issues having received far less investment than the war on terror.

▰ First concert I attended after 9/11 was Alex Chilton, I think the Friday following. This was in New Orleans, where he and I both lived at the time. The concert was sparsely attended. Even a hint of police car lights bleeding in from the street made clear how on edge everyone was.

▰ “You have to see Heat.” Says David Costabile’s louche-bro, Wags. Glad that Billions is back at its game. As with Unforgotten, it’s both distracting and comforting (stars: they’re just like us) to watch so many of scenes set with the actors socially distanced from each other.

Reminiscence: Come for the prestige TV Philip K. Dick / Kim Stanley Robinson mashup; stay for the sound design as a grand piano slowly descends through the ceiling into a massive, fully submerged concert hall.

▰ Found some old, unwatched Elementary episodes on the DVR to fill time during Wednesday night’s region-wide internet outage. Just glad I’d caught the evening’s What If…? episode about the zombie apocalypse before this actual apocalypse arrived.

▰ “I was forest bathing and I mistook you for a creek.” The soft-spoken Carmel (Regina Hall) to Tony (Bobby Cannavale), whom she’s stumbled upon peeing onto a giant tree in the first episode of Nine Perfect Strangers.

▰ I’ve realized the reason playing “All of Me” is like eating potato chips is because it starts on C and ends on a B, which you naturally bring back to a C and then you start over again, and you realize your haven’t even eaten your lunch on your lunch break so you eat potato chips.

In related news, as of today’s lunch break I can play “All of Me” on guitar with my eyes closed, which is me always planning for some potential (distant!) future when, you know, one’s eyes might no longer work.

▰ What could be more ambient than muting the word ambient for a few days

▰ And on that note, have a great weekend. I have a heap of work to complete before day’s end, and zero plans this weekend, the best sort of plan some weekends.

  • Listen to TV captions.

  • Cook by ear.

  • Use noise cancellation as the mobile sensory deprivation tank that it is. Mailman, Ida, Phaedra

From the past week

I do this manually each Saturday, collating recent tweets I made at, which I think of as my public notebook. Some tweets pop up in expanded form or otherwise on sooner. It’s personally informative to revisit the previous week of thinking out loud.

▰ “If you’d prefer to wait in silence, press 4.”

▰ Waiting for the What If…? episode in which the Watcher recalls that he once, long ago, played Jean-Michel Basquiat, and that Basquiat had once, long ago, drawn superheroes.

▰ The first day of every month is when I’m reminded of how many Mailman-powered email lists I’m subscribed to.

▰ Ida WFH. Rob Walker recorded the sound of the hurricane from his New Orleans home office on August 29th:

Highlights from latest This Week in Sound issue: smart speaker surveillance, listening to gravitational waves, the $12,262 megaphone, AI crime-fighting failure, newfangled hold music, Val Kilmer’s new voice, and more.

▰ Set my Zoom background to a production still from Devs. Right now I’ll take a machine-learned dystopia over reality.

▰ Current status

(Fact check: I’m not actually watching Billions at this moment. Just mental/emotional status.)

▰ I recently bought a second 25″ screen. All I keep on it is a pair of browser windows, each a spreadsheet. It’s the best whiteboard for such things because when I want to I just turn it off (or pull up footage of someone wandering Tokyo), and I don’t have to look at the lists.

▰ Just gonna have “Phaedra” off the upcoming Amon Tobin album, How Do You Live, on repeat until the good news outdoes the bad news. So, for a while.

Technically I’m listening to Amon Tobin’s “Phaedra (People Scraping the Outside of the Building Prior to Painting Because I Need to Recharge My Noise Cancelling Headphones’ Battery Remix),” but I’m pretty sure the original is awesome, too.

▰ I can no longer hear the work being done on the building so maybe they’re taking a break but more likely I have simply, fully, willingly succumbed to this song.

▰ Perhaps you’d be astonished by how many press releases and announcements go out for singles and albums saying nothing about the music. Here’s the cover, here’s some merch (need another branded tote?), here’s a moody artist photo. Thanks for the inbox clutter. Unsubscribe. Delete.

▰ It’s a Bandcamp Friday, but rather than list a few records I recommend, or other people’s lists of recommended records, maybe I’ll recommend other people’s lists of other people’s lists of recommended records. Or, you know, suggest people read some reviews and buy some records. Cables, Triads, Surrealism

From the past week

I do this manually each Saturday, collating recent tweets I made at, which I think of as my public notebook. Some tweets pop up (in expanded form or otherwise) on sooner. It’s personally informative to revisit the previous week of thinking out loud.

▰ Been re-watching Downton Abbey and thinking about the way it maps the adoption of technology as time passes (electric lights, cars, a blender, a radio), and was about to tweet a quote (“Mrs. Patmore is not what you’d call a futurist”), only to find when I searched Google that I had done so when it first aired. Later: “Why is it called a wireless when there are so many wires?” This is something said by Daisy when a radio is brought into the house for the first time, thanks to the king being due to make a broadcast announcement.

▰ Guitar class update: I haven’t been this into triads since I was addicted to Hong Kong crime movies.

▰ “Your gift is quite destructive but look at the music you can make.” (Been re-watching Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)

▰ I think there is an insect crawling slowly across my phone’s upturned face. It is the reflection a bird hovering outside the window.

▰ The term “Surrealism Tycoon” is certainly my kinda headline clickbait. And this is totally the raw material for a sequel to China Miéville’s The Last Days of New Paris: “Arturo Schwarz, Refugee Who Became a Surrealism Tycoon, Dies at 97,” via

▰ Guessing this bypassed “United States Sells Unique Wu-Tang Clan Album Forfeited by Convicted Hedge Fund Manager Martin Shkreli”

▰ My favorite pithy summary of the Disquiet Junto music community is Ethan Hein’s. He said in effect that I write record reviews of music that doesn’t exist yet and then internet strangers make it real. I’m not sure I could improve on that. The 500th weekly project begins July 29.

▰ “I blink with fatigue, and my eyelashes make an infinitesimal, inaudible sound against the felt whiteness of the pillows slope.” Been thinking about @espejoacustico‘s suggestion we finally get around to a proper Pessoa-themed Junto project. It is the Disquiet Junto, after all.

▰ I highly recommend the Take5 email from the Japan Times ( a free (English) daily newsletter of five top stories, a glimpse into what’s happening. I wish more newspapers from countries where I don’t read the language did it. Maybe they do. Any recommendations?

▰ There are days when using the browser interface for the New York Times crossword is like pushing back on a ouija board against a particularly strident spirit.

▰ Cool. There’s a new entry, all about the Disquiet Junto, on the ever-growing Music Games Wiki:

▰ Yes, but when do we get the 5-CD expanded box set of George Harrison’s Electric Sound album?

▰ Tinyletter has become a drag, which is part of why I haven’t published a This Week in Sound email in quite a while. I’m looking to switch to Buttondown or an alternative. Trying out some options. So far, Buttondown seems pretty cool.

▰ It was a week:

🗹 buncha work
🗹 longform writing
🗹 cheating on longform writing
🗹 Disquiet daily
🗹 Junto 500
🗹 guitar study
🗹 exercise
🗹 gallery review filed
☐ email catch-up
🗹 home office remedies (standing)
🗹 digital tool revisions (newsletter)
🗹 sign off til Monday