It’s a rainbow full of sound. It’s fireworks, calliopes and clowns …

Via JamBase, I stumbled across this audio documentary of the Grateful Dead’s infamous Wall of Sound, which Owsley Stanley cobbled together when he wasn’t busy brewing the best LSD in the world. The episode uses several versions of “China Cat Sunflower” — one from 1968, one from 1972 and the third from the Wall of …

Back in Uvita

(To read El Gringo Feo’s Costa Rica Diary from the beginning, start here.) Sunday, October 14 I’m back in Uvita after several days in the States, and it really felt good to return here. I was dreading Friday, which was an airport gauntlet (Dubuque—>Chicago—>Miami—>San José), but the only real problem I hit was a minor delay …

How to be a monkey

(To read El Gringo Feo’s Costa Rica Diary from the beginning, start here.) Thursday, October 4 I wonder where the howlers go after they’ve spent a few days raising hell outside my window. Their calls grow progressively more distant over subsequent days until they disappear into the jungle. Then the cycle repeats. A new website, How …

Sometimes nature comes to you

(To read El Gringo Feo’s Costa Rica Diary from the beginning, start here.) Sunday, September 30 Sometimes you just need to hunker down, get quiet and let the jungle come to you. I was working in the bar area the other day when I heard the incoming buzz of a cicada. I hardly flinch now when …

Trueno y relámpago

(To read El Gringo Feo’s Costa Rica Diary from the beginning, start here.) Saturday, September 22 Since I injured my ankle, I’ve let my Spanish studies slip. I get the occasional painful nag from Duolingo reminding me my progress is nonexistent. And I haven’t been working through the exercises in my workbook. I am picking up …

Praying to AirPod Jesus for a miracle resurrection

(To read El Gringo Feo’s Costa Rica Diary from the beginning, start here.) Thursday, August 30 I love my AirPods. Apple’s wireless ear buds changed the way I listen to music and podcasts, probably quadrupling my consumption and providing endless diversion, whether I’m plodding along the streets of Athens with my aging great Pyrenees or bouncing …

My favorite books and music from 2016

Some of these works were new last year. Some were just new to me. Considering I spent almost half the year plodding through Gravity’s Rainbow, my reading list wasn’t too bad. Hoping to ramp that up this year. Most of my new music is coming from listening to my favorite radio stations via the Internet: …

Back for seconds at Pho Peace Ranch

We enjoyed last week’s pho and music so much we went back to Fur Peace Ranch  for seconds today. John and Jorma were awesome (nice versions of All Along the Watchtower, I Shall Be Released, Sugaree and other great tunes, but This Land Is Your Land really resonated with me as 2016 lurches to a …