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Decomposition: A Music Manifesto turned out to be the one about the myth of musical authorship and the solitary genius composer, the problems with “authenticity” in music (without even touching on a whole lot of gatekeeping issues in various musical genres), the not-as-clear-as-one-might-think line between live and recorded music, sampling and “piracy” vs. unacknowledged appropriation that makes a genre or a culture what it is…

It’s pretty good. Not really inspiring to me as a musician in particular, but something to think about from time to time nonetheless.

Now I’ve started reading The Quantum Thief, and let me tell you, this is not a book for people who want to know what’s going on in the story they’re reading. It’s the far future and all kinds of bizarre things are possible, so of course there’s all this weird technical and cultural stuff that is simply not explained at all. There are some big, creative ideas but just a little more hand-holding for us 21st century primitives who don’t have computronium in their blood would be appreciated.

Stranger Things season 4 has been an intense ride. I hesitate to call it the best seasons since it’s a little uneven, but it has definitely had some of the best scenes so far. Really looking forward to the second part of it.

Moon Knight has been… okay. When you’ve spent a part of your life studying Egyptology and worshipping Egyptian deities in earnest, the way media approaches the mythology always, always comes off as cringey and dully stereotypical. Sometimes the amount of stuff they get right is pleasantly surprising but it doesn’t really serve as as a counterweight. Like inevitably, Egyptian gods in genre fiction have “tombs” rather than shrines or temples — even though only one of them is dead and buried (and there’s no actual reference I know of to a “tomb” of Wesir). Marvel’s Khonshu is maybe kind of an interesting grey area character, but the original Khonsu (no second H!) isn’t some kind of buff bird skeleton. Honestly though, if I could ignore all of that, Moon Knight is still just Marvel’s answer to Batman, and this is the weakest of the Disney+ MCU shows so far.

Ms. Marvel is better, but also not perfect. Another change to her origin story, which I’m not sure about yet, and also I feel like there might have been an episode that got cut from the original plan or something because certain plot points felt like they happened way too quickly. It’s solidly entertaining though; the slice-of-life part of it combined with the way we see into the protagonists’ heads through animation are pretty great. From what I have read online, the depiction of Pakistani Muslim culture in America is spot on, which sometimes confuses other Muslims because they have their own thing going on.

I recorded a song yesterday morning, then realized to my surprise (again) that I had an hour of music ready to go for the next album. One day I’m feeling like it’s going slowly and awkwardly, with a couple of failed experiments that I could just not make work; the next I’m done. I’ve got the last edits in, tweaked the track order and prepared my cover art — so today I begin mastering. Once it’s ready I’ll just go ahead and release, since the next Bandcamp Friday isn’t until September.

We just had our 18th anniversary a couple of days ago. We didn’t really go anywhere to celebrate, but I do have some days off before and after the July 4 weekend. We’ll probably go to the St. Louis Aquarium. I have a new button-down shirt with 80s-bright fluorescent jellyfish on it, so that’ll be the perfect occasion to wear it. 🙂

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