Upstream of Consciousness wants to be a collection of interviews that only contain answers. I will provide 5 phrases, words, quotes, links, pictures, or videos (in italics) and your consciousness will provide the rest. Responses can be short or long, real or fictional, words, links, or anything in between. In return, each of my "subjects" will give me 1 item back which I will then respond to (under the heading Ripple, with a number next to it). Come, swim for a while.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Hayley has provided several links below, but I'd also like to highly recommend her and her sister's awesome radio show, Penguins in the Desert, which airs from 1-4 on Fridays (also embedded in the player on number 2).

1. “I think music in itself is healing. It's an explosive expression of humanity. It's something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we're from, everyone loves music.” – Billy Joel

I don't think it's true that everyone loves music, but I see where Billy Joel is coming from. It can definitely be a connector, though.

It was extraordinarily disappointing to me when I made the realization that not everyone in college radio listens, appreciates or loves music. That there are some people who will DJ a music show on the radio and not give a shit about any type of music what so ever. It was a wake up call to me that my deep, passionate love for my favorite bands and for my favorite music wasn't shared, and that it was perhaps one of the most unique things about me and my radio show. It honestly was a bit shocking to me.

I am a music enthusiast, a music appreciator in the fullest sense of these words. It is part of my being - my identity - and has been for quite some time.



"We live like penguins in the desert, why can't we live like tribes?"

PROMO - Penguins in the Desert [RADIO] - Hayley and Jeri

3. "My mom"

Your mother is a lovely woman.


This was the most amazing night of my life, period. It meant so much more to me than a simple concert. It was everything I needed it to be. I met some amazing people, saw amazing art and heard amazing music. It was a spiritual experience for me.

I've been a fan of Muse since around 2001. Apocalypse Please happens to be one of my favorite songs off of the Absolution CD and as soon as Amanda played the first two chords I KNEW it was this song, though it was completely unexpected (this is the first public performance of this cover). I was glad that the microphone wasn't working, because that meant I was able to record the entire song on the video. It's funny to me because I used to tell people how impressed I was by Muse - how so much sound can come from three people (particularly live while on stage, though now they have a 4th unofficial band member playing loops and such). And when I first really got into the Dresden Dolls I thought the same - how amazing it is that so much sound, so much musical substance can come from only 2 band members.

5. "Poetry is not always words." -Audrey Foris

In 2006 then American Poet Laureate Ted Kooser spoke at my university - he was there to accept the Milton Kessler book award for his book (that actually won the Pulitzer Prize too) called Delights & Shadows. I was in an American Poet Laureate course where I read his book so this was a particularly exciting presentation for me. The President of my university introduced him but in her speech she said something about poetry being soothing and calming. I remember my instructor ranting about how ridiculous her opening was because described poetry in such a closed minded way. Poetry, my instructor said, could be chilling, it could be harsh or unsettling, it could be all-things-not-soothing.

When I went up to the signing table after the reading I told Ted Kooser how much I appreciated his poetry, how I enjoyed his perspective and how he could take observations and descriptions of ordinary things and turn them into poetry. He pays attention and I pay attention and I appreciated that. He responded with a smile and recited a few lines of a poem to me. To this day, I do not remember what those lines were and I tried to google what I remembered of them after I got back to my dorm, but maybe it's for the best that the memory of the moment exists. From my journal, I wrote the gist of the poem he recited to me: "It was basically about the importance of searching for meaning in something (or a poem) that at first glance is easy to ignore." And it really is all about paying attention.

6. “Any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the U.S. media.” – Noam Chomsky

In 2006 Noam Chomsky spoke at my school. It was free and open to the public, the concert hall filled up quickly, even with people standing in the aisles. To accommodate the crowd the organizers opened a second theater and set up a broadcast of his lecture on a project screen but even then I think they had to turn people away. I was fortunate to not only attend, but I was in the theater where the lecture took place and had a pretty decent seat. My only regret is that I wasn't exactly aware of what the lecture was on and I was an undeclared freshman at the time - which means that did not realize I'd spend the next 4 years studying Political Science so I'd probably appreciate it more today after knowing what I now know on the subject. It was fascinating, and intriguing.

As far as the quote, it's amusing but very true. I think the average person would be surprised at how much power and control the media has in America, but what's more surprising is how people blindly follow the media without questioning. They have so much control of American politics and public opinion, it is outstanding.

7. law

8. “Isn’t it ironic… don’t you think?” – Alanis Morissette

I love Alanis Morissette, she is a musician that I respect so much. She was my first concert, my first CD, my first favorite musician, my first role model. I've been a loyal fan for years. When I saw Alanis live in 2002 this song wasn't on her set and I was disappointed about that. I didn't realize until fairly recently why it wasn't played on that tour - because it was one of the songs blacklisted by ClearChannel radio after September 11, 2001 (since the lyrics mention a plane crash). While I was in 8th grade my English teacher quoted this song in her lesson on irony on the chalk board. I raised my hand and pointed out to her that she spelled "Morissette" incorrectly. In 9th grade my English teacher also used this song for her lesson on irony. That time I raised my hand and pointed out how the examples in the lyrics that my teacher used weren't actually ironic, but just bad luck. I wasn't trying to insult the lyrics or even the teacher, but sometimes it's stupid to make a song a cliche, and to do so incorrectly. I love the fact that this song IS ironic in the sense that it's named "Ironic" and has no examples of irony - that's the irony. It was intended to be ironic and isn't. I love that. I've noticed lately that irony keeps popping up in my life (or maybe I am just more aware these days to notice it), and I am entertained by it. I'm embracing the humor of it. Irony usually happens in a sad or frustrating way, and although the ironic things that happen to me and others are not necessarily funny, the mere notice that the irony is present is enough to make me smile.


I am unfazed by any and all twin stereotypes. I've heard them all, I've been asked the same questions over and over again. Sometimes I try to have fun with it. For instance, if you tell me, "I've always wanted a twin!" I will reply, "Here, take mine!"

I'll beat you to the punch - no, we have never switched places. We've only done one "twin thing" in our life and well, it just so happens to have almost 1.5 million views on youtube, was featured on the front pages of and and oh yeah, was showed on Good Morning America and made Diane Sawyer laugh...

10. fallen souls

This is the first track off of Distorted Lullabies, Ours' debut CD released in 2001 and this video was shot not too long after the album's release. The band's line up has changed considerably since then, but I thought it was important to find a live video where the instrumentation represents the album version the best.

Pay attention at 3 minutes in to the video. At 3:15 you will hear it.
Every time this part comes on I close my eyes, I get chills and I feel a rush of emotion. For those 30 seconds I always stop what I am doing and listen. ALWAYS. Recently I was in the middle of a conversation with someone in the studio during my radio show while I was playing this song and I had to pause and say, "hold on a second - just listen." I cranked up the studio monitors and closed my eyes. I hear more in that vocal melody than I've ever heard spoken, this part of this song speaks to me and I always listen. Those notes mean more to me - the emotion in Jimmy Gnecco's voice are more relatable to me than any lyrics I've ever read/heard.

As a bonus, and I do highly recommend you listen, here's Jimmy playing it again in 2006 at an acoustic performance, his voice is incredible:

1 comment:

  1. 5. poetry is not always words - audrey foris

    she's right. poetry Becomes words, melodies, movements taken to heighten a transformative experience (the poetry). the genius of ted's work is that he reveals, seemingly effortlessly, the poetry of the "ordinary."

    in "writing brave and free" ted, and co-writer steve cox, talk about developing observational skills and the appeal of sensory detail to the reader. here's a poem of ted's from his "valentines" collection:

    pocket poem

    if this comes creased and creased again and soiled
    as if i'd opened it a thousand times
    to see if what i'd written here was right,
    it's all because i looked too long for you
    to put it in your pocket. midnight says
    the little gifts of loneliness come wrapped
    by nervous fingers. what i wanted this
    to say was that i want to be so close
    that when you find it, it is warm from me.

    and another:

    a map of the world

    one of the ancient maps of the world
    is heart-shaped, carefully drawn
    and once washed with bright colors,
    though the colors have faded
    as you might expect feelings to fade
    from a fragile old heart, the brown map
    of a life. but feeling is indelible,
    and longing infinite, a starburst compass
    pointing in all the directions
    two lovers might go, a fresh breeze
    swelling their sails, the future uncharted,
    still far from the edge
    where the sea pours into the stars.



About Me

I am interested in the human condition.