Monday, August 24, 2015

This blog is no longer being updated - please head on over to  - I promise that whatever else happens, the good stuff will be posted over there.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

A Few Updates and Previews

Many thanks to Jason Antrosio for featuring this blog in his "Anthropology Blogs 2013" over at Anthropology Report. It's great to be listed amongst so many fine blogs, many of which I read myself.

I thought it might be a good time to give some updates as to why there are not more anthropological writings on here so far. The tl;dr version has mostly to do with how busy I've kept myself, but good things are coming.

For a little background: when I began writing this blog in 2010, I was tracking for my Associate's Degree in Anthropology. That degree was awarded last year, and I am happy to have it. The original plan from there was to pursue a dual-Bachelor's in Astronomy and Anthropology. That may still happen, but life and finances are keeping me busy elsewhere at the moment.

To wit, I'm working full-time from home, organizing my third HONK! festival in a row (four if we count my consulting role last year), playing in a renegade marching band, hosting a radio show, and assessing which of my life goals are most important. There are other issues afoot, but this really means I stay busy and change directions a lot.

Music and Sound, Reading, Writing, Photography, Art, Culture, Space, Exploration, Wonder - these are all interests, and there are many more... it's hard to stay focused sometimes.

That being said, the first step was to split up my CCC into three distinct blogs. Up until last week, I was throwing all of my personal thoughts, writings, photos, playlists, and more in-depth discussions right here. Now, the playlists and my personal writings each have a new home. That frees up this space for its original intent: blog posts about the intersection of cosmos, culture, and consciousness.

At the moment, I'm tweaking my thoughts on the Drake Equation, and how we're doing it wrong. The Equation itself seems pretty sound, but our anthropocentric tendencies and our rather flawed (but understandable) cultural bias mean we're blind to its potential. That's actually going to be several blog posts, because I have a lot to say on it. I also know I'm not the first (see here, here and here for a few), so I'm having to go back and review the thoughts of others. But, I hope to roll out the first part of that soon. Fans of space exploration and human culture will want to check back for that.

Some other blogs coming up:
* Conspiracy Theories
* Generalism / Anti-Specialization
* The Future of Humans in Space
* Generation Ships
* Created Folk Festivals (e.g., HONK! and its kin)

I'll also be sharing some goodies from other folks around the Web in themed posts.

I don't promise to write frequently, but I do intend to make these good reads.

More soon.


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Diversification of my Blogging Portfolio

Well folks, I've decided to branch out my blogs a little bit. I was thinking about my original intent for this blog, and how I named it after that intent: Cosmic Cultural Consciousness.

The idea when I first started this was to discuss, thoughtfully and openly, topics that held my deep interests: the cosmos, astrophysics, culture, anthropology, consciousness, philosophy, etc. Instead, it quickly devolved into apologetic posts, Stargasm! playlists, and the odd creative production thrown in for good measure.

I'm fixing that now.

On this blog, I still intend to write on the topics I find of great interest ~ I even have laid some of the groundwork to do so. Forgive the mess from before; it gets cleaner from here on in.

Stargasm! playlists are hosted over at ~ for convenience, I'm leaving all the old playlists here on CCC where they are.

Creative works (writing and photography, mostly) and posts related to creativity can now be found over at

Now I'm going to go back to working on content. Check back soon!


Friday, January 4, 2013

Stargasm! The Resolutions Edition

Stargasm! The Resolutions Edition

Airing on Hollow Earth Radio 1/4 at 10 p.m. Pacific (midnight Central), 

Rebroadcast on 1/6 at 2 a.m. Pacific (4 a.m. Central) 

New Year's resolutions are one of humankind's most ancient customs, dating back to the Babylonians and carried on by the Romans. In modern context, resolutions continue to gain in popularity, despite some (somewhat contentious) studies that show them to be up to 88% ineffective.

I hatched the idea for this week's show a little too late: I asked all of my Facebook friends to record their resolutions and send them to me, then spread the word. Because of the short notice (which went out about 48 hours ago), I did not get a lot of responses - but the responses I did get are quite interesting and rather warming.

Around those responses, I sought and found lots of other web sound snippets, including several Soundcloud artists, a few podcast clips, some sounds, and tunes from some of music's greats. I also found a few websites of note, and I'll be sharing those too. All of it makes for one great show. The fun starts at Midnight CST, and I'll be posting a podcast to MixCloud soon.

Here's tonight's playlist:

1. New Year's Blessing 2013 - on a clear day / Stefanie Brendler

2. Show Intro - M*A / Sparklepants

3. Resolution - Cirque Du Soleil

4. Resolution - Marcy L

5. New Year's Resolution - Otis Redding & Carla Thomas

6. New Year's Resolution - Chad Jones

7. Resolutions - Double A

* Station ID *
* Show ID *

8. Failed New Year's Resolution - j-a

9. New Year's Resolutions: Exercise - Mental Health Foundation

11. Resolutions - Sabiya and Fred podcast

12. How to Make Your New Year's Resolutions Stick - NPR (Talk of the Nation)

* Station ID *

13. New Year's Resolutions - BBC Learning English Podcast

14. New Year's Resolution - Jesse Shantor

15. New Year's Prayer - Jeff Buckley

*station ID*

16. A New Year's Resolution - Michael, The Teacher

17. Discussion of resolutins en francais - ft. Jordan Hatchet

18. New Year's Resolutions - Voices of Youth (Saathi Sanga Man Ka Kura)

20. Resolutions Why Bother - Soundcloud user bsnellgrove1

21. New Year's Resolutions [Champagne Year Refix] - Eliah X Mercy X YS

* Station ID *

22. Resolution Revolution - Artesian Rumble Arkestra

23. better.resolutions (in.yo) - Absurd P

24. New Year's Resolutions - I-RyM

25. New Year's Resolutions - Pop Culture Punch

26. Yearly Failed Promises - Dalby FM

27. [Disgusting] New Year's Resolutions - Affirmation Nation podcast

28. New Year's Resolutions - Kla(r) BAUTerMANN

29. New Year's Resolutions - Sam, the Shaolin b-Boy

30. Next Year Baby - Alex Winkler

31. Happy New Year - willum0id

32. Show Outro and Sparklepants' resolution for 2013 - M*A / Sparklepants

33. Resolution Revolution - Artesian Rumble Arkestra

34. New Year's Blessing 2013 - on a clear day / Stefanie Brendler

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Stargasm! The 2012 Recap Edition

Stargasm! The Year-End Recap Edition (2012)

This show is archived and posted for your on-demand listening pleasure at

Aired on Hollow Earth Radio 12/27 at 10 p.m. Pacific (midnight Central), 12/29 at 2 a.m. Pacific (4 a.m. Central) 

Most New Years retrospectives attempt what I believe is by nature impossible: to look back at all of those important moments from the previous solar revolution in an attempt to guide our decisions in the coming year by determining what was important to the median average of the viewer or listener.

Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of brilliant recaps out there. And I recognize, and appreciate (often to the tune of a few tears) how great they are for reminding us all of our shared and collective experiences for the year.

It's just that your experience - your year - is an intensely personal event, and I do not think any one homage can touch on all of those things that made your year special. It's like the quantum paradox of year-end recaps: that which the observer feels is integrated into the recap in a way that shapes its meaning to that observer alone.

For me, 2010 was without question the best year of my life thus far, largely for what it exposed me to. 2011, by contrast, was quite difficult, even though the overall momentum of events and personal connections was quite a bit better than 2010.

2012, as a measure of the average, has had a goodly measure of ups and downs - a tremendous amount, actually. This previous year I've witnessed and experienced love, death, tragedy, loss, friendship, power, struggle, depression and joy. It is with an eye to that concept of a very personalized retrospective that I have gathered together for this Stargasm! a collection of my favorite bits from all of my 2012 shows.

Stargasm! began as a lofty idea in March of 2012, after a three-month stint of frequent guest DJ appearances on Blues & Bluster. But time is a thief, and steals away so many hours - very quickly I whittled the purpose of the show down to this: a sincerely and thoroughly mixed collection of sounds based upon a loosely defined theme.

Those loosely defined themes tended to run the gamut: Television, the Moon, Astrophysics, Colors, Law & Order, HONK!TX, and even one for my birthday. Each of those shows had a character all to its own, and I enjoyed creating every one of them.

Now, I get to share with you the most intimate of those moments. As favorites go, happiness is not always the subject. How fair would a recap be if it simply looked upon all of the happy times? It is the ups and the downs that form our character and make us who we are.

For the coming year, I wish you a great many joys. But more than that, I wish you a bountiful journey of growth. Such a journey will entail laughter and tears, but for the wearer, the soul is burnished brighter. That is the real gift of every fresh year we are given.

The Playlist for Stargasm! The Year-End Recap Edition (2012):

1. Manchuria of Hawk Eagle - Jang Young-Gyu (The Good, The Bad & The Ugly Soundtrack)
One of my absolute favorite songs, and a very triumphant piece with lots of good feeling. 

2. Voice: show intro - M*A / Sparklepants

3. Gasn Nigun (The Street Tune) - Nu Klezmer Army
Meshugana Joe Albanese
Shmootzi the Clod
On May 30, it became quickly and brutally apparent that what initially seemed like a random senseless act of violence was actually the murder of dearly held friends of friends. In hours, the community went from shocked to stricken to mournful, and as musicians descended upon the town for HONK! Fest West, a wake was held in the streets in front of Cafe Racer, where the tragedy had occurred. "Meshugana Joe" Albanese was the bassist for Nu Klezmer Army; his longtime friend Drew "Shmootzi the Clod" Keriakedes and he were also members of God's Favorite Beefcake. Many of their friends and loved ones continue to carry their flame in their hearts.

4. Black Chicken - Titanium Sporkestra
Titanium Sporkestra at HONK!TX 2012

After a 5-year run and hundreds of performances (up to 70 a year!), including dozens of HONK! festival sets, Titanium Sporkestra sent shockwaves through the renegade marching band community by breaking up. Many of the lineup went on to form Chaotic Noise Marching Corps, others are hatching the Circus of Industry; but the legend of the black-and-red brutal beats crew is not soon forgotten. Hopefully, you saved that coozie.

5. HONK!TX interview with Jason Fialkoff over Yamsterdam and Track Suit by Minor Mishap Marching Band - mashup by M*A / Sparklepants
HONK!TX 2012 at ARCH
HONK! is a very important feature in my life. I spent the first half of the year as HONK! Fest West's Volunteer Coordinator and PR / Social Media maven, and the second half as HONK!TX's Band Liaison and Housing Coordinator. This interview with one of HONK!TX's co-founders is from my March 2012 trip from Seattle to Austin for the second-annual HONK!TX, and is paired with two Minor Mishap Marching Band's tunes (one based off of Pluk-a-Dub, the other an original jointly written by most of the band). I was happily reunited with Minor Mishap in August of this year.
HONK!TX 2012 at ARCH

6. Dejan's Cocek - Bucharest Drinking Team
Speaking of HONK! related things, one of the delightful surprises of 2012 was ending up at First Balkan Night Northwest just in time to catch BDT's set. I have a field recording of the same song, but the horns are too soft - I'll leave the mixing to the pros and let you hear a live cut as it should (and does) sound.

7. Inspector Llana - M*A / Sparklepants / Llana Soleil
From the TV Edition of Stargasm!, Llana Soleil learns the Inspector Gadget intro on the fly in this quick field recording.

8. Voice Break - M*A / Sparklepants

9. Sunday Walk - Derren Lee Poole
From the Travel Edition of Stargasm!  This is a binaural field recording from 2003, and I just love how much is conveyed through all of the ambient sounds in this 1m:29s snippet. Derren is a graphic designer and iPhoneographer as well.

10. Zombie Alert Broadcast - user vip08140495
One of my favorite found sounds - I played this a number of times, including the inaugural Stargasm! broadcast. I think I love it so much because whoever is doing this voiceover has just the right mix of panic and authority in his voice. It's distorted, he's too close to the mic, but he doesn't really give a crap because zombies are eating people. Brilliantly done.

11. Mad World - Gary Jules (Donnie Darko Soundtrack)
It's very possible I played this song more than any other this year. That's because it remains one of the most emotive songs I know, nearly always inspiring some melancholy, nostalgia and a deepened sense of hope. It also happens to be a cut from one of my favorite movies, and - not coincidentally - my favorite soundtracks.

12. Afterword's Interview with David Treuer (author of Rez Life) over Cleft in the Sky by R Carlos Nakai and Basket Dance by the Garcia Brothers - mashup by M*A / Sparklepants
In Slate's Afterword podcast, David talks about his novel and some of the outdated stereotypes about life on Indian reservations people cling to. In the background are two of my favorite songs from Native American artists. Aired for the Native North American edition of Stargasm!

13. Electric Pow Wow Drum - A Tribe Called Red
These three DJs from Ottawa, Canada introduced me to what is, without a doubt, my favorite musical subgenre of the year: PowWow Step - mixing in samples from traditional Native American instrumentation with dubsteps sick drops and thundering pow-wow drumbeats, it's the kind of music that you cannot help moving to. I highly encourage you to learn more. Also aired for the Native North American edition of Stargasm!

14. Voice Break - M*A / Sparklepants

15. Everybody Loves a Loser - Morcheeba
From the Olympic Edition of Stargasm! My homage to all those that did not medal. Also, an unsubtle reminder to the rest of us - sometimes we need a trial of fire. 

16. "Kaku on the Star Guitar" ft. Michio Kaku, Art Bell, Chemical Brothers - mashup by M*A / Sparklepants
Coast to Coast AM's Art Bell interviews theoretical physicist Michio Kaku about the search for extraterrestrial intelligence and just where in civilization typology we are. Chemical Brothers lay down the neutron beats and ultrasonic buzzes of the Star Guitar in the background. Featured for the Astrophysics Edition of Stargasm! and available via MixCloud

17. "Baldwin's Brew" ft. James Baldwin and Miles Davis - mashup by M*A / Sparklepants
James Baldwin, renowned writer, author and speaker, fought oppression and ignorance with wit, courage and humor throughout his career. He is a writer I consider an inspiration. The same could be said for Miles Davis and his legendary Bitches Brew. This pairing is best served warm, and with an open mind and ear. This was the first Stargasm! mashup created, and features an excerpt from James Baldwin's Living and Growing in White Society over Miles Davis' title track.

18. Be Aware ft. Outlaw - SCRiBE the Verbalist
Featured on the Law & Order Edition of Stargasm! I met SCRiBE the Verbalist on the streets of Ballard in late June of 2012, and I bought his custom EP based on a 30 second freestyle. Hip hop is a hard way to make a living, but he's got the passion and the pursuit to pull it off.

19. "Humoresque World Event" - mashup by M*A / Sparklepants
This piece commemorates the September 8, 1974 pardon of Richard Nixon by succeeding president Gerald Ford and the September 8, 1841 birth of Czech composer Antonin Dvorak. Spoken Audio is Ford's pardon, and classical pieces are (1) Humoreseque by Xander Kazantzidis of Melbourne Australia; (2)A Humoresque Dvorak Flutes and Recorders by Suuki Flutes and Recorders / Koos Verbeek of Vleuten, Netherlands; and (3) Dvoranorak (Original Mix) by F. Skale ofBrussels, Belgium. From Cloud Found Sound. Listen for the beat change - it hits at the perfect time.

20. A Violent Yet Flammable World - Au Revoir Simone
A reminder of the dream state, and another of my favorite tunes. We fold like icicles on paper shelves... the fascinating thing about dreams is how much their simultaneous transience and longevity mirrors the living experience.

21. books_111020 - Ryu
Cloud Found Sound a/k/a Fluffy Air Tune Stream was all too short lived. Alas, there are a limited number of hours I can devote to finding and sharing excellent things with you, fair listener, and I had to shelve the idea too soon. I still scan the cloud for interesting bits on a semi-regular basis. This piece was one from the second edition of Cloud Found Sound

22. Lunar Landing - SilenX
Originally pulled for a Cloud Found Sound, I liked this song so much, I played it for the Lunar Edition of Stargasm! Days later, Neil Armstrong died and I converted the show to the Neil Armstrong commemorative edition.

23. Last Cigarette - Kristin Allen-Zito
I briefly quit smoking from July - September, and thanks to the gift of an album by Tyson Lynn, I couldn't get this song out of my mind. It turned out it wasn't the last cigarette, as I resumed in October. But now I have an e-cig. Perhaps a resolution to use that more is in order? I bet Kristin Allen-Zito could make a pretty song about that too. From the First, Last and Always edition of Stargasm!

24. Fionn Regan - Underwood Typewriter
My homage to the NaNoWriMo edition. In November, between gigs, work, the show and a relationship, I also managed to squeeze in writing a novel. It's not all that cohesive, mind you, and I will likely edit it a few times before it ever sees the light of day. At any rate, a great singer-songwriter singing a nifty tune about a sacred instrument of the craft.

 --- Show outro - M*A / Sparklepants

25. It Was a Very Good Year - William Shatner
A little tongue in cheeck, but also a true sentiment. I sometimes have some difficulty with episodic and procedural memories, but one thing I'm glad for is that it means I usually remember good things more than bad. 2012 had its ups and downs, yes, but looking back at the year in retrospect, I see and feel a lot of the good.

26. Dr Seuss' "Oh The Places You'll Go!" as read / spoken by the People of Burning Man

Every day is a journey, n'est pas? Some of my favorite moments of the year were spent in National Parks, journeying among the different landscapes as Llana and I traveled from Seattle back to Austin. There were many more journeys than just that one, but 9 days and 14 National Parks (and 1 state park that should be a National Park) is pretty epic, I must say. I'm reminded of some of my favorite people reading one of my favorite authors' views on one of my favorite things to do. And I'm reminded that life is THE journey. 

* _ *

My year could never, of course, be encapsulated with a two hour retrospective, but I hope the aural journey suffices to entertain you, the listener.

May your 2013 be filled with growth and wonder!


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Stragasm! The World Edition

Stragasm! The World Edition

Around the world we go: this week's Stargasm! is either world music or features the word world in the title of the song, or both, or neither. --- note this show has already aired. My apologies, this entry is without notes or the ability to listen.  However, once it's on Mixcloud, I'll post the link here.

Airdates (Pacific Time): 12/14 at 10p, 12/16 at 2a, 12/21 at 10p, 12/23 at 2a

1. Aam Bimzah Maak - Najwa Karam

2. Mama - Mory Kante

3. La Gorra - Pacho Quinto

4. Era - Vakoka

5. Cantaloupe Island - Herbie Hancock

6. Arab Dance - Irv Cottler

7. Nayambing Blues (Trem Do Amor) - Sine Calmon

8. Third World Lover - Dynomite D. & Kid Koala

9. Midnight in a Perfect World - DJ Shadow

10. The 3rd World - Immortal Technique

11. People Make The World Go Round - The Stylistics

12. Mano Suave - Yasmin Levy

13. Beat Laments the World - Nujabes

14. A Violent Yet Flammable World - Au Revoir Simone

15. Án Taiséirl (The Resurrection) - Nóirín Ní Riain

16. This World - Zero 7

17. The World's Address - They Might Be Giants

18. the Weight of the World - The Editors

19. Africa - Blick Bassy

20. Tomorrow World - Squarepusher

21. The World is Waiting for Sunrise - Django Reinhardt

22. New World - DeVotchKa

23. Tayere Odessa (Dear Odessa) - Brave Old World

24. At the Edge of the World You Still Float - Telefon Tel Aviv

25. Mad World [Donnie Darko OST] - Gary Jules 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Stargasm! The First, Last, and Always Edition

It's time for another episode of Stargasm! on Hollow Earth Radio.

Stargasm! airs Fridays at 10pm Pacific / Midnight Central and again Sunday early morning at 2am Pacific / 4 am Central

This week's theme (for want of anything else) is First, Last and Always, and once again, you shan't hear my voice.

Here's the playlist:

1. First, Last and Always (I Love You) - Benny Davis
From a wax cylinder recording circa 1916, Garber-Davis orchestra under direction of Jan Garber.

2. The Last Rose of Summer - Adelina Patti
From a wax cylinder recording circa 1905 - this was one of the world's great sopranos, her voice is still haunting, more than 150 years after singing for presidents.

3. Hilarious Show ID
In a robotic English woman's voice

4. Last Laugh - Pre Atomic Rituals

5. Last Broken Heart - Joey Love and the Blues Xpress

6. Last Thoughts on Woody Guthrie - Bob Dylan

7. At Last - The Dø
On a sweet compilation from Six Degrees Records

8. I Always See the Sun Rise - Little Name

9. Lizard Man Station ID

10. First Day of Rain - Datri Bean
Pianist for Tapestry and Megan and Mullaly, Conductor of Minor Mishap Marching Band, and yes, she's got a solo career too. From Ruby, a treasure of an album.

11. Home as a Romanticized Concept Where Everyone Always Loves You - Woodpigeon
I saw these guys at a free afterparty at SXSW 2007, and I'm glad I did

12. The First Taste - Fiona Apple
This is one of the songs that made me fall madly in love with Fiona (for two or three months)

13. Last Cigarette - Kristin Allen-Zito
She sounds melancholy...but wait!

14. First to Last - Radar
This one's playful - lots of fun

15. Retaliate First - Absent Kid
Still waiting for these rockers to go mega. 

16. Alien Explaining Hollow Earth Station ID

17. First Snow - Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Holiday time with one of my favorite holiday bands.

18. First Noel - Trans Siberian Orchestra
Double or nothing.

19. The First Song - Band of Horses
Paradoxically, not the first song.

20. First Thing - Oh No
Beats is legit

21. Last Long - Soil & Pimp Sessions
I <3 these guys. Maybe they'll HONK!?

22.  Funeral Station ID

23. The Last Outpost - THAT Damned Band 
Get your mutant goblincore pirate werewolf punk folk fix right here

24. The Last Word - Post Stardom Depression
Gin cocktail? You don't say

25. The Last Time - Wynton Marsalis & Eric Clapton
When these two get together...

26. Hilarious Station ID

27. Last Rites - Graeme Revell (Crow Sdtrk)
Once upon a time, I loved this movie

28. Vicodin Dream / Joseph's Last Stand - Colophon
This week's must-listen piece. I want moar

28. Always - Phobos

29. Viking Probe First Views of Mars - NASA JPL [YouTube rip]

30. BleeK's Alt Vault Show Promo

31. Always For You - The Album Leaf
It's true, I love this band, and play them often. This is an everyday love song with layered meanings. Everyday because it sounds as though you yourself could be singing it.

32. Almost Always is Nearly Enough - Tortoise
Post-rock defies categorization

33. UFO Station ID

34. There's Always Someone Tougher and Meaner - Austin Lucas
More folk punk!

35. Thou Shalt Always Kill - Dans le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip 
Second must-listen piece

36. Epic Last Song - Does It Offend You Yeah?
Apropos, no?

As always, thanks for listening!