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"The adventure itself will create beautiful things..." 


-- Jon Anderson 




"“One of the few things I know about writing is this: spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time. Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book, or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now. The impulse to save something good for a better place later is the signal to spend it now. Something more will arise for later, something better. These things fill from behind, from beneath, like well water. Similarly, the impulse to keep to yourself what you have learned is not only shameful, it is destructive. Anything you do not give freely and abundantly becomes lost to you. You open your safe and find ashes.”


-- Annie Dillard (via The Writers Almanac

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Dear friends, 

I'll be back out on the road for the second half of the Brat Pack America Tour this winter and spring.

If you're nearby, come out and have a Fruit Roll Up with me!




Denver (Thurs., Jan. 19th. 7pm) 

Tattered Cover Bookstore Historic Lodo (1628 16th Street at Wynkoop Downtown)


Miami (Sun., Jan. 22nd, 4 pm) 

Books and Books Coral Gables (265 Aragon Ave,  Coral Gables


New York (Manhattan. Wed., Jan 25th, 7 PM) 

The Strand Bookstore (828 Broadway at 12th

In conversation with Jason Diamond, followed by a screening. 15$ 





Menlo Park, CA (Wed. Feb. 1, 7:30 pm) 

Kepler's Books (1010 El Camino Real


Phoenix, AZ (Thurs. Feb. 2, 7pm) 

Changing Hands Bookstore Downtown (300 W. Camelback Rd at 3rd Ave)  


Albuquerque, NM (Wed., Feb. 8, 4:30, 6:30, 8:30) 

Guild Cinema (3405 Central Ave NE at Tulane Dr.

Three screenings of The Breakfast Club with onstage conversation between. Books for sale


Portland, OR (Sat. Feb 11, 9:30 AM) 

Hotel Benson (309 SW Broadway

Onstage interview with Washington Post book critic Ron Charles


Brooklyn, NY (Tues, Feb 21st, 7 PM) 

WORD Brooklyn (126 Franklin at Milton St. Greenpoint

In conversation with authors Virginia Heffernan and Clive Thompson about technology and nostalgia. 


Corte Madera, CA (Thurs. Feb 23rd, 7 PM) 

Book Passage (51 Tamal Vista, Blvd.





Cincinnati, OH (Tues. March 7th 2pm)

Speaking at University of Cincinnati's Clermont College, Claremont College Art Gallery. 


Northbrook, IL (Thurs. March 9th) 

Northbrook Public Library 


Austin, TX. (Sun. March, 12th) 

SXSW Film Panel (not open to the public) 


Louisville, KY (Thurs., March 16th) 

Carmichael's Bookstore




Livermore, CA  

Livermore Public Library (1188 S. Livermore Ave.)




Walnut Creek, CA

Walnut Creek Public Library (1644 N. Broadway



See you on the highways and byways of Brat Pack America. And keep going where we don't need roads! 




Each year, I make a playlist of 50 songs I heard for the very first time that year (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 editions). They don't have to be new songs, just new to me. Beginning around mid December, I listen over again to every song I discovered that year (usually between 400-500 although in 2016, it was 798) and whittle it down to 50 for your listening pleasure. 

Idea is not to be a compendium of new releases or a greatest hits of my favorites but rather a musical mosaic of that year in music. If I have done my job, I can look at the list and see my year captured in song. If I have done my job, you look at this list and say "Wow! This is all over the place." If you love everything here or even hate most of it, I have had a timid, mediocre year as a student and explorer of music. 

Listening: Start at the beginning. Give a song 20 seconds. If it ain't grabbing you, skip to the next one. You will not hurt my feelings in doing so. If you like where a song is going, keep listening. The goal is never for you to fall in love but to want a second date with new songs and artists. 

Listen in good health, enjoy. And here's to a sonically rich 2017.