June 25, 2007 12:21 AM

Just about the coolest sounds can be generated with a 15-watt guitar amp fully on, face up on the ground, with a bass drum upon its speaker, and a volume pedal-controlled contact mic. Lately I've been about improvisation when performing -- last time it was loopy-tape delayed contact mic'ed snare drum and a fire alarm bell. And I've been so lucky that people have been nice enough to let me explore my weird sounds at their parties (thanks, Emily and Linnea!).

I graduated last week Friday (June 15th). My parents came up, and it was all a good time. I'm embarassed for not missing them more. It's been a weird kind of living this week, a mix of tiredness, joy, and surprising awkwardness. I made some weak attempts to find a job, although I'm not worried. I can live for a while without one. But the awkwardness! Where'd it come from? I hadn't had moments like that since freshman year. Perhaps it's deep-sea unease from now being graduated; perhaps something else. It comes in the form of feeling out of the 'know' of the conversation, like I missed out on some shared joke or drug. Anything I say seems to fall flat. And it's not with strangers; it's with friends. I don't understand it, but at least I think I can figure it out. It's probably my doing. I need to be more assertive, be able to resolve myself alone. As much as I think the individual only truly becomes themself in the presence of others, I don't think it's necessarily a good way to live.

I also need to be a better musician. I spent 4 hours figuring out "Lacassine Special" on a chord organ, only to realize it's just playing around three major triads. It's a little pathetic, really. I often think about how music is literally a kind of doing, bolstered by the same political, social, and moral thinking as buying organic, non-GMO food or giving a bum a quarter. The music reflects certain presumptions and tendencies of the music-maker. Then I get really confused about what I do as a musician, and what it means.