Writings

Published articles, essays, stories and poetry.

 
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"No Dollars in Duende": On Making Uncompromising, Spirited Music

popmatters - september 2017

"From the start of my music project, Lady Lazarus, I had trouble with what to call the kind of music I was making. Minimalist? Dream pop? Alternative folk? At one point a real jerk of a guy called it, 'unhinged'. Ha, sure, I’ll take that one on the chin. 'Spirited' was the word that came to me that really seemed to fit. You kind of know what duende means without having to put your finger on it, because you can’t. Duende -- the spirited -- is the ineffable, the intangible. The mystery behind the thing."


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WEEK IN POP - For the first time in my life, I don’t know where to go: Part 2

impose magazine - JUNE 2017

"Looking back, I’m not sure how I got this mysterious idea exactly, but I decided to quit my job and bought a 30-day Amtrak pass and left on a train trip across the country that took me from the East Bay to Winnemucca, Nevada to Salt Lake City to Omaha, Chicago, and DC, then down to Greenville, South Carolina and finally to my last stop, New Orleans. It was the most freeing thing I’d ever done in my life, and it changed the way I would continue to live it."


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Girl Before a mirror

skirt magazine - june 2014

“When I met Deborah it was sort of like meeting a mirror of myself, though perhaps something more like the famous Picasso painting, Girl Before a Mirror. Breasts and limbs popped out in delineation, then were muted in the reflection. I squinted at a purple shadow occluding the face, while shades of red and orange illumined the forehead and cheek. Eyes stared back at me, familiar but inscrutable as olives. As I observed and tried to discern these distorted and magnified characteristics, I could see myself better in her and yet saw some of what I’m missing.”


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Blue Eyes/Brown Eyes: Jane Elliott’s controversial classroom experiment on racism, 1968

Dangerous Minds - July 2013

"The class of third graders are told that blue-eyed people are smarter and better than brown-eyed people. Blue-eyed people get an extra five minutes of recess, and the two groups aren’t allowed to play with one another on the playground. The brown-eyed children wear fabric collars so they can be identified from a distance."


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Face the changes

impose magazine - november 2012

"I found my way back to Heritage Square, a small, tree-lined walking district of historical homes and a museum where some of the old houses have been turned into restaurants and shops, all welcomingly out of place in the middle of downtown Phoenix. It was New Year’s Eve Day in 2009, and I was re-visiting the city on my way through on a kind of vacation-slash-mini-tour. I had been here three years ago when I was going to college in Los Angeles and decided to drive out and explore somewhere new; I wasn’t a musician then, so traveling meant that you could really take your time in a place and get to know it."


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KALI BAHLU – LONELY TEARDROPS – Lady Lazarus on the Obscure Psych-Folk Tune

the end of being - november 2010

"Much like Jonathan Halper, the obscure psychedelic-folk artist whose songs 'Leaving My Old Life Behind' and 'I’m a Hermit' provide the soundtrack to Kenneth Anger’s famous short Puce Moment, the work of 60s recording artist Kali Bahlu remains largely a mystery.

I discovered Bahlu today while listening to WUSC radio out of the University of South Carolina, Columbia; the song the DJ played was Bahlu’s 'Lonely Teardrops,' a sparse, echoey and enchanting piece played on what sounds like a broken, un-tuned acoustic guitar, with interesting and varied sprays of tambourine, and Bahlu’s winding siren call soaring in and out."


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Poems

the noe valley voice - march 2009

"Women in season"

Walking down the street in San Francisco, Spring had arrived on a Saturday afternoon

And I heard a man say to his male friend: I love this weather. All the women are out!

Women, who had hunkered down in late Summer, were now
Popping up pregnant like mushrooms.

And all the young ladies were wearing sun dresses
Pretending, of course, like it is
no event to wear a dress in Spring...

To be a girl in a season once.