This past May was difficult. My father, who had been dealing with cancer for the past couple years, died. It was lucky that I had already planned a trip back home. I extended the trip and was able to be there when he passed. I am grateful for that time, and grateful too that he remained completely cogent until the end. I have no living parents or grandparents now, and that is a very strange feeling.

What is coming in June

  • June 19-22, at the SARC at Queen’s University, Belfast, NI, I’ll be participating in a workshop for the Magnetic Resonator Piano with Dr Xenia Pestova Bennett. Looking forward to learning more about this instrument and having the chance to play it and write for it!
  • I’ll be playing several shows with my band Whozyerman?. Dates and ticket info below.

Whozyerman? June dates:

  • June 15, 8pm, at Plugd records in Cork, IE.
  • June 14, 8pm, at Subterranean Sounds in Waterford, IE.
  • June 13, 9pm, at The Record Room in Limerick, IE.
  • June 7, 8pm, at Whelan’s Upstairs in Dublin, IE.

What I listened to

It was hard to listen to music this past month. While I have a large queue of new releases that I want to listen to, I didn’t have much of a chance between all the travelling and my extended stay in Maine. So I’ll be sorting through May’s new music along with June’s next month with one exception noted below.

  • I heard for the first time VISITOR [2022], by Cyrus Pireh. Cyrus Pireh has been developing his own wildly inventive and technically proficient approach to the electric guitar, and hearing his stuff has been revelatory for me and reminds me of just how deeply I love the electric guitar. Cyrus’s youtube channel is a trove, including a daily practice vlog which is something to behold.
  • I did listen to a lot of Long Fin Killie, especially Houdini [1995]. A very special rock album.
  • Still one of my favourites of the past couple years, City Lights [2022] by a0n0 continues to excite me with the way it can be so fuzzy and loud and distorted and sweet and beautiful all at the same time.
  • Vee Vee [1995] by Archers of Loaf. Favourite album from a favourite band.
  • After this episode of the Life of the Record podcast with Richard and Linda Thompson I spent some time with some of my favourite records from them. Of course I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight [1974] is particularly special to me. The Calvary Cross remains one of my favourite pieces, largely down to Richard Thompson’s extraordinary introduction on the guitar.

New release this past month

  • The new collection from Gastr del Sol, We Have Dozens of Titles, is good. It feels pretty surreal to be listening to a new (technically, these are archival releases) Gastr record in 2024. It is not hyperbolic for me to say that this collaboration between David Grubbs and Jim O’Rourke has been a major influence on me and largely shaped who I am as a musician. A big part of it all is how broadly gifted and interested these two musicians are. Tape music, minimalism, fingerstyle guitar music, drones, computer music, rock, acoustic, electric, acousmatic, and so on and so on etc. They showed me one way to love everything. I can’t believe how moving this live rendition of “The Seasons Reverse” is. “The Bells of St. Mary’s” is beautiful. The whole thing is incredible. We are so lucky.

What I did

  • I spent lots of time with my father.
  • I played a show in Portland, ME, USA as part of Perfect Hair opening for Codeine. It was a terrific night.
  • I saw a former professor and colleague of mine, Jonathan Cohen, read a paper here in Dublin at a conference on the subject of “Nietzsche and Wagner” (one of Jonathan’s specialties). It was a pleasure to reconnect and spend some time together in Dublin, despite our respective jet lags.

What I made

  • I finished revising all materials for my PhD application. Now only to send it off and hope for the best.
  • I managed to make some recordings in the first part of the month, and will be posting them here in the future.