November 18, 2012

lost in china


I’ve just landed in San Francisco after nine days in China: Beijing, Hangzhou, and Shanghai. My brain is buzzing with the welcome vertigo of being completely foreign, a pinball pinging through a world that you neither understand or can communicate with. And yet, I could observe all day long, trying to sift out meaning where words didn’t work. It was a pretty rad and much-needed solo adventure. I saw some live music two nights in Shanghai, both shows put together by – I loved seeing what kind of music young Chinese kids are making. Because of course I saw it through my own cultural filters, I heard threads of The Strokes, Explosions In The Sky, and even a male-female duo that totally resonated of the White Stripes, if the White Stripes were singing in Mandarin. It was a familiar sentiment, this urgency in music, even five thousand miles away.

I’m recharged, and disoriented. I’ll be back with more this week, including a new chapel session or two. Happy thanksgiving week (I think, right? — what day is it? I landed before I took off.)

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July 25, 2012

out-of-office auto responder

I’m off exploring highways, byways, and other goodness in the Pacific Northwest and California. BRB when I have my fill of being blissfully detached.

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November 3, 2011

catch a boat to england baby, maybe to spain

My iPod is fully loaded with new mixes, my (single! carry-on!) bag is packed, and I am headed to London, Barcelona, and around Italy for the next eleven days.

If you’re in London this Saturday, Barcelona all next week, or Milano next Sunday night, I would love to hear from you. Andiamo!

Always Spring – I’m From Barcelona

N.B. I’m not going by boat. It’s just the song.

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July 27, 2009

I am all at sea


My day job involves advising college students about opportunities to study in rad places, and all this week I get to give one of our programs a test run by sailing on a 134-foot ship and, literally, learning the ropes.

I’ll be sailing out in two hours, under the Golden Gate Bridge, and spending a few days on the Pacific as an active member of a working crew, seeing what students experience on their semesters on board. We dock in Monterey at the end of it all. In addition to being a classroom and lab (I keep thinking of Voyage of the Mimi), it’s also a working ship, so there will be 24-hour watch rotations. Maybe I can get the middle-of-the-night one. I could use some 2am silence on a glassy sea.

Of course, I made a mix and have been listening to it all week in preparation. It’s eerie how fitting each song is becoming for me this week, and how each one is a perfect soundtrack to my unique life right now. Enjoy in my absence…

I’m all at sea
where no one can bother me
…Just me and my thoughts
sitting far away

I sleep by myself
I drink on my own
I don’t speak to nobody
I gave away my phone

Like a warm drink it seeps into my soul
please just leave me right here on my own
later on you could spend some time with me
if you want to, all at sea

Now I need you more than ever
Do I need you more than ever now?
So come and spend some time with me
and we will spend it all at sea

All At Sea (Live at KFOG radio, SF) – Jamie Cullum
Stuck On A Boat – Port O’Brien
Girl Sailor – The Shins
The Ocean Lifts Her Dress – The Swimmers
Eager to Sail – Wine and Revolution
Lost Coastlines – Okkervil River
Sea Lion Woman – Feist
The Ragged Sea – Alexi Murdoch
The Ocean In Between – Matthew Sweet
Drowning Men (acoustic version) – Fanfarlo
Driftwood – Mark McAdam
Salt And The Sea – Gregory Alan Isakov
Momentary Drowning – Young Coyotes
Deep Blue Sea – Grizzly Bear
Swim Until You Can’t See Land (live) – Frightened Rabbit
The Sea & The Rhythm – Iron & Wine
Deckchairs and Cigarettes – The Thrills
The Waves – Princeton
Creeping Coastline of Lights – Mark Lanegan
The Ship Song (at Glastonbury) – Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds
Sail on Sailor – The Beach Boys
Winter Waves – Chris Isaak


I took this picture a few hours ago when I walked down to the dock to find the boat.


I hope I get to say things like “hoist the mainstay.”

UPDATE: I totally did.

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Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

Mp3s are for sampling purposes, kinda like when they give you the cheese cube at Costco, knowing that you'll often go home with having bought the whole 7 lb. spiced Brie log. They are left up for a limited time. If you LIKE the music, go and support these artists, buy their schwag, go to their concerts, purchase their CDs/records and tell all your friends. Rock on.

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