The idea that deaths come in threes gets a boost this week. First Bob Moses, then today I learned that Bill Onasch (longtime labor activist and a Labor Party stalwart from Kansas City) lost his battle with cancer last month and that Richard Trumpka passed away yesterday. That freedom banner got a bit heavier.

Bob Moses, presente! I had the real honor to meet Moses in 1994 at the 30th anniversary of the Mississippi Freedom Summer.

Seems so sadly appropriate that the main way we celebrate this country’s birth is to blow shit up.

“… and I think about living in a place that’s chock full of History and devoid of memory. I think about how it’s impossible for a nation to have a conscience if it doesn’t have a memory.”

— Rayshauna Gray, “Chiasmus: A Narrative of Ascent” in Rust Belt Chicago: An Anthology

Still the greatest zine title ever, that I’m reminded of in just about every good political discussion, was Rob’s: My Views Change Over Time.

There was a time — pre-parenthood, etc — that I loved making relational database systems. I can think of 3-4 really good ones I built with my fairly limited knowledge base.

Watching some Python demos earlier today made me curious if I could learn and apply that to web stuff. We shall see.

Listening to Lucero’s Nobody’s Darlings on the ride into work today and had forgotten how much I enjoy it. I think their latter work has taken some of the sheen off this stretch of theirs.

This is wholly unscientific but it strikes me that this album is part of a small group of stretches of 3-full-length-albums I’d call great or nearly flawless. Many bands have great records, and lots of make two in a row, but a three-peat of great records seems rare. The ones I could think of off the top of my head:

  • Hot Water Music – Fuel for the Hate Game / Forever & Counting / No Division / A Flight and A Crash / Caution
  • Lucero – Tennesse / That Much Further West / Nobody’s Darlings
  • Nirvana – Bleach / Nevermind / In Uetero
  • Songs: Ohia – The Lioness / Mi Sei Apparso Come un Fantasma / Didn’t It Rain

Lots of reasons I can think of for not more 3-album stretches: Great records or a pair are preceded or followed by just really good ones (e.g. Neutral Milk Hotel, Public Enemy); a band breaks up after one or two great ones (e.g. Slang, Bridge and Tunnel); I’m not as familiar with a whole catalog enough to identify a 3-peat but there probably is one (Sonic Youth, Unwound, Fugazi); puts out 3 great albums in 4 record stretch (Dikembe).

After quickly scrolling through my collection some obvious ones I missed (though still not comprehensive:

  • ConstantinesConstatines / Shine a Light / Tournament of Hearts
  • Jawbreaker – Bivouac / 24 Hour Revenge Therapy / Dear You
  • Richard Buckner – Bloomed / Devotion + Doubt / Since

There’s also probably a stretch of Kiss, Phil Ochs, PJ Harvey, R.E.M (though the song “Stand” alone might knock them out) and the aforementioned Fugazi, Sonic Youth and Unwound, but the point still stands.

It’s insane — and in my opinion criminal — that Jack Dorsey (or any other billionaire) making a $15,000,000 donation is roughly equivalent to a college professor making a monthly $250 donation.


I simply cannot stand watching James Harden play basketball. I’m so glad the Celtics didn’t trade for him.

After listening to Tim Barry’s newest studio album the other day I lamented that felt like I no longer had as significant a connection to new, individual albums like I once did. I figured this had something to do with getting older and lamer.

Then while listening to Episode #128 of the Future of What podcast, the host, Portia Sabin, shared a couple of tidbits — which might be apocryphal — that would help to explain my earlier lamentation.

First she recalled a presentation by the head of Tommy Boy Records in which he pointed out that there were more albums released in 2007 than in the previous 20 years combined. One would imagine that this has only gotten “worse”.

Saban then quoted a study/article — too lazy to go back and listen for the citation — that found that most people stop listening to new music after age 28. Thankfully I fell well outside this statistic for 10 years (ages 28-38) but have probably started to slide into it over the last 10 years.