Seeking Joy


What brings you joy?

Along with visual art, literature, forests, and good homemade food, music elevates my soul. Goal? Spend more time with each of these.

My favorite venue for live music is First Avenue in downtown Minneapolis, where I especially enjoy shows at the Entry, a smaller room featuring up and coming or niche performers. My main source for learning about new music is the Current, 89.3 FM. While their playlist sometimes makes my head hurt, I often discover stuff that I want to hear again. To listen off-radio, I subscribe to Amazon Music and have a bluetooth speaker for at home, and a bluetooth equipped car for on-the-road listening.

Those of us who have been walking the planet for a few decades can get rutted within our music tastes. Yes, I have virtually everything the Beatles ever recorded, along with Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Stevie Rae Vaughn, Elvis Costello, Johnny Rivers, Chuck Berry–you get the drift. But I truly think that exposing oneself to new music, as well as visual arts and literature keeps us creative, open, and fresh.

Nothing against those who are into country, classical, or other genres not represented here. This my playlist du jour presented in no particular order:

Lebanon, J.S. Ondara

He Venido, Los Zafiros

Catfish Kate, Pixies

Heads Gonna Roll, Jenny Lewis

Pumpkin, The Regrettes

Pearl Cadillac, Gary Clark, Jr.

Spanish Stroll, Mink DeVille

Boys in the Better Land, Fontaines D.C.

Chevrolet Van, The Nude Party

Rockaway Beach, The Ramones

Revolution Rock n Roll, Low Cut Connie

This Life, Vampire Weekend

I’ll Be Back Someday, Tegan and Sara

Please Don’t Call Me Crazy, The Cactus Blossoms

Gloria, The Lumineers

Nina Cried Power, Hozier with Mavis Staples

Where We Go, Chris Koza

Shockwave, Liam Gallagher

Leyla, Jah Khalib

Sister Buddha, Belle and Sebastian


What are you listening to these days?



Steve’s Gift


En route to a show at First Avenue in downtown Minneapolis, a friend and I decide to park halfway and then take a bus.

“Easier than parking downtown!” say I.

Then again, maybe not.

Waiting for our bus, we chat with a man named Steve. One leg artificial, the other wrapped in an Ace Bandage, Steve has the appearance of a too-young-for-VietNam vet. Friendly and talkative, he continues to engage with us on the trip downtown.

Getting off the bus on Nicollet and 7th, I manage to trip, ending up sprawled on the sidewalk. My friend helps me up and to a nearby bench, as my left ankle rapidly puffs to double its normal size.

Having gotten off at the same stop, Steve walks over.

“Wow, that looks bad. You need to head to the emergency room,” he says.

We had reached the same conclusion.

As we arrange for a Lyft driver, Steve unwinds the Ace bandage from his leg. Handing it to me he says, “Don’t worry, it’s clean. You need this more than I do.”

Rather than a concert at First Avenue, I spend the evening at the Abbott-Northwestern ER. My ungraceful fall results in ligament tears on both sides of the ankle, as well as in the ligament connecting tibia to fibula in the calf.


Twelve weeks recovery,” says the orthopedic doc.

But the residual glow of Steve’s open-hearted generosity continues to defeat the shadows of temporary discomfort and inconvenience.

May he receive a thousand times over the goodness he shared.