: High on the Hog Blog
Purveyor of Idle Observation

Please note: I'm no longer updating this particular blog, but keep it around for archival purposes. Visit me at the current blog at

Why can’t I qwit you?


Noise to Signal: Why can’t I qwit you?

Read the rest of this entry »

Before the Goldrush, Covers Project to Benefit Teach for America


Before the Goldrush, Covers Project to Benefit Teach for America

A virtual open call was made to singer-songwriters around the world to be part of this project. Some are the children of teachers, some teachers themselves, but all believers in the prospects that great teachers can cultivate.

Many of the people in their audiences are recent college graduates who have made a two-year commitment to Teach For America. A commitment to work in schools in urban and rural communities with a focus on creating possibilities for students who might not otherwise have a chance. I’ve seen the love and energy their corps puts into their commitment, firsthand, and it creates a resonance that should be a benchmark for all educators.

The melding of an artist’s soul and a teacher’s heart is a natural. My hopes are that you’ll carry the message of Teach For America and the passion of the musicians involved to your audiences. Tell the story, play the songs, spread the word.

“Before the Goldrush” is a digital-only release and sold as a single unit (containing all tracks). It is available through iTunes,, Napster, eMusic, and other digital download etailers. All profits go to Teach For America and your purchase is tax-deductible.

Emily Wells, Fiddle + Loop Machine = Awesome

As I’ve demonstrated before, I’m a sucker for a girl with a loop machine… Here’s another one. At least this time I know I’m not the only one mesmerized by Emily Wells’ live performance in a Utah radio station.

Metropolis Houston: Beautiful Panorama of Downtown H-Town

Telwink: Metropolis Houston

I tend to think the HDR schtick tends to be a little overplayed, but this shot was just about perfect. I love this guy’s stuff.

I don’t understand comics…

But I’m starting to see what I’m missing.

TED Talks: Scott McCloud, Understanding Comics

In this unmissable look at the magic of comics, Scott McCloud bends the presentation format into a cartoon-like experience, where colorful diversions whiz through childhood fascinations and imagined futures that our eyes can hear and touch.

Those Darlins

One of my favorite new bands in recent memory.

Those Darlins “Wild One” from Tugboat Productions on Vimeo.

Those Darlins “Whole Damn Thing” from Tugboat Productions on Vimeo.

“I keep playing this video of “Wild One,” by Those Darlins, a band from Murfreesboro, Tennessee. The core of this song—independence and sweetness with strings attached, rendered in three-part harmony—sounds like a script for any successful Labor Day weekend. If your next three days can’t mimic this song, keep the tune in your head anyway. It will come in handy soon.” -Sasha Frere-Jones (The New Yorker)

CommonCraft: Saving Money for the Future

Common Craft: Saving Money in Plain English

I mentioned CommonCraft in a previous post, noting that they had shifted from promotional videos to educational content. I really like the direction this is taking and wonder how long it will take for teachers to catch on to the power of distributed instructional media in the classroom.

Peter Case, Just Hanging On

A great find from KUT’s fantastic podcast, Texas Music Matters, a Peter Case track, Just Hanging On:

Peter Case first made a name for himself in the early 80’s as the frontman of The Plimsouls, an L.A.-based pop rock band. And in the mid-eighties, Case recorded under his own name, enlisting the help of such notables as T-Bone Burnett, John Hiatt, and Roger McGuinn.

Case’s memoir, As Far As You Can Get Without a Passport, was published in 2006, and just last year, Case’s album Let Us Now Praise Sleepy John was nominated for a Grammy award.

John Case dropped by KUT last month. Of the tunes he performed, this one, ‘Just Hanging On,’ is perhaps the best example of Case’s wonderfully insightful storytelling style.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

University of Houston-Victoria an Unlikely Hot Spot for Experimental Fiction and the Humanities

From Inside Higher Education, Unlikely Haven for Humanities Publishing, the University of Houston-Victoria and Jeffrey R. Di Leo, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences are profiled for an outsize presence in the literary world.

The University of Houston-Victoria is an unlikely hot spot for experimental fiction and the humanities. But this 3,200-student institution has, in just a few years, become host to a constellation of small but prestigious scholarly endeavors that needed new homes – including an independent press for “artistically adventurous, non-traditional fiction,” and the 8,000-circulation American Book Review.

Houston’s literary reputation is an unfortunate secret outside of certain circles and has been fueled by an unusual confluence of academic support at public universities and real literary exploration, from Donald Barthelme‘s days at the University of Houston Creative Writing program (ranked #2 nationally, to the extent that says anything at all) and now Di Leo’s work at UHV.

The Front Fell Off

Video: The Front Fell Off

From Australian satirists Clarke and Dawe

Read the rest of this entry »