And check out my podcast—a collection of inspiring, thought-provoking conversations on the role of music in healthy lives and communities. Unless noted, all were recorded in person on my 2019 Rehumanize Music Tour. CLICK ON THE TITLES TO LISTEN!
One of the most accomplished instigators of DIY culture I know is Urbana, Illinois' grassroots activist and community builder Elizabeth Simpson. In this conversation, she shares much wisdom about how any of us can create (and sustain) empowering cultural happenings in our own homes and communities. We focus especially on the weekly in-home dance parties she founded in 2018. Let’s reclaim music and dancing from corporate venues and media conglomerates!
A conversation with Rob Hopkins, founder of the global Transition Towns movement, which seeks to rally entire towns and neighborhoods around becoming environmentally, socially, and economically resilient. In 2012, I did a musical tour of Transition Towns, and in 2016, gave a concert at Rob's home in Totnes, England. Here we explore the relationship between music and activism, and how rehumanizing music can help rehumanize our world.
In the small village of Bermatingen, Germany, I talked with Immanuel Kögler, a young man who'd attended my house concert at Matthieu and Isabel’s the previous night. In our far reaching conversation, I learned something about Immanuel’s childhood that surely contributed to the beautiful quality of wonder and openness he radiates. (The rumbling breeze on the microphone soon gives way to birdsong. If you need a break, there’s a natural point for that at 36:00. But don't miss the end!)
A great conversation with seven Oxford University students, their professor Bob Coecke, and his wife Selma Dundar. I call Bob The Punk Professor because in addition to being highly respected in his fields of theoretical physics, quantum mechanics, and computer science, he’s also a musician with a deep commitment to the values and aesthetics of Punk Rock.
The tiny jam-space behind his home, with black walls, stenciled skulls, and hard liquor on tap, has come to be known as “Bob’s Black Pub.” Inside, we talked about background versus immersive music, communal versus solitary listening, and recordings versus live shows. You’ll know Bob by his insistent voice and thick Dutch accent. I love how his students tease him with great affection, and how, after I make an early technical adjustment, he tries to undo it for almost the entire conversation.
At an open stage, anyone can bring a song, comedy routine, political rant, story, dance, or other self-expression. Oxford, England's weekly Catweazle Club takes it to a whole new level. The most exciting public performance environment I've ever experienced, it's a true cultural love-fest. Key ingredients are a space small enough to gather all participants closely around those sharing, an ethos of total engagement and support, and the absence of microphones. Here I talk with Catweazle's founder Matt Sage about how the club serves as a community temple for Oxford’s vibrant counterculture.
At home in Truro, Cape Cod, I filmed myself reading from my forthcoming book, Eating Music: Ten Ways to Reverse the Commodification of Music and Restore its Sacred Place in Our Lives. The chapter's called "Respect," and is about ways we can have a more respectful relationship with music.