#51: up, down, turn around

Making peace with the unlived lives, I guess.

I don’t know why I can’t get the post for episode 49 to show up properly, and I forgot to put up #50 – my bad. But in the last few weeks, we got to something like a year of these shows, so this episode is a bit of a favorites/retrospective for y’all.

Sacred SkinNo Surprise (MVTANT Remix)
Body of LightTime to Kill
Nuovo TestamentoMichelle Michelle
Drab MajestyOut of Sequence
Depeche ModeJohn the Revelator
Melted MirrorOpen Wire
Special InterestStreet Pulse Beat (Boy Harsher Remix)
Light AsylumIPC
Working Men’s ClubTeeth
Crash Course in ScienceJump Over Barrels
ErasureSecrets (Kim Ann Foxman’s Heaven Mix)
The UnitsHigh Pressure Days (Rory Phillips Remix)
LCD Soundsystemtonite
Neon IndianSlumlord
Matthew DearYou Put A Smell On Me
KlackMove Any Mountain
SBTRKTPharaohs (feat. Roses Gabor)
Scissor SistersLet’s Have a Kiki
KontravoidSilent Visions (2020 Version)
Boy HarsherWesterners
The KnifeGirls’ Night Out
New OrderTemptation

#49: into the chasm gaping we


#48: such a story’s so insane

Tears for FearsWatch Me Bleed
The CureDoubt
Sydney ValettePlease
QualAbove Thee Below Thee
KomradsExile (Skold Remix)
Red MeccaAll These Stored Errors
Nuovo TestamentoPrayers
Medio MutanteAnother Land
ACTORSPost Traumatic Love (Sons of Nuns Remix)
The Danse SocietySomewhere
S. ProductSuicide Beat
Principe ValienteStrangers in the Night
Then Comes SilenceStrange Kicks
Nation of LanguageThis Fractured Mind
Melted MirrorFlying Fortress
The Human LeagueLove Action (I Believe In Love)
Ghost Painted Sky (NH)Ordinary Song (Radio Edit)
Junius (Boston)March of the Samsara
PerturbatorLustful Sacraments
Crone Visions (NH)Seven of Swords
L’AvenirThe River
La LuzSan Fernando Shadow Blues
Kitchens of DistinctionIn a Cave
True BodyTelevision
STRFKRZee Majoor
EagullsMy Life in Rewind

#47: see how deep the bullet lies

It’s been a rough coupla, y’know. But it’s raining. And the gardens need it.

Echo & the BunnymenShow of Strength
Modern EnglishTables Turning
Sacred SkinFar Away
Choir BoyComplainer
Minuit MachineLion in a Cage
Night SinsTurn to Gold
EchoberylBroken Pieces
WINGTIPSCrystal Clear
BootblacksTraveling Light
Forest SwordsOnward
Hot ChipDown (Sworn Virgins Remix)
Death in Vegas feat. Iggy PopAisha
SISSY MISFITForce Fedd (Kontravoid Remix)
Light AsylumIPC
House of HarmFeel My Heart Beat
Melted MirrorWandering Star
RikiCome Inside
She Past Away & Dear DeerRuh
Forest SwordsThor’s Stone
Faith & the MuseRunning Up That Hill
TR/STThe Shore
BragolinThe End Dwells in Us All
Sydney ValetteStation Stop
SUPERNOVA 1006Your Mess
Double EchoEscondido
Forever GreyThe Style is Death
Forest SwordsAnneka’s Battle
PortisheadWandering Star

#46: this exists!

Lol, look, I’m not good with numbers. It may be episode 46, it may be episode 47, it may be neither or both! Either way, the lil’ social media graphic I made for both of these weeks is somehow the same, so I won’t post it again here (see #45). Eek.

The DamnedEloise
The Sisters of MercyLucretia My Reflection (12″ Mix)
Missing PersonsIncense and Peppermints
Depeche ModeGet the Balance Right!
New OrderVanishing Point
Eleven PondBlood Ruins Film
Clan of XymoxStranger
John TalabotEl Oeste
The HorrorsSomething to Remember Me By
The RaptureWhoo! Alright – Yeah… Uh Huh.
Neon IndianAnnie
Bear in HeavenIdle Heart
Games feat. Laurel HaloStrawberry Skies
RökysoppWhat Else Is There? (Thin White Duke Remix)
John TalabotLast Land
Retrofuture/Com Truise/KavinskyAre You Bored Yet
ErasureSecrets (Kim Ann Foxman’s Heaven Remix)
Pet Shop BoysWest End Girls (New Lockdown Mix)
Flight of the ConchordsInner City Pressure
Heaven 17Who’ll Stop the Rain
Gang of FourI Love a Man in a Uniform
The ChurchReptile
Animal CollectiveSummertime Clothes
Cut CopyStanding in the Middle of the Field
John TalabotMissing You
Jane’s AddictionSummertime Rolls

#45: something is demonstrably wrong with the numbering system oops


Skeleton HandsRavage0:00
House of HarmCuts You Inside4:40
Siouxsie & the BansheesParadise Place7:25
Red Lorry Yellow LorryJipp11:49
KorineFeel the Pain14:41
Soviet SovietBlend17:50
Night SinsFantasy 2122:14
Faith & the MuseThe Hand of Man26:58
Batzz in the BelfryLost City31:57
KNOKTVADance of Trees37:28
The KnifeWe Share Our Mother’s Health44:46
Soft Cell & Pet Shop BoysPurple Zone (Hercules & Love Affair Dub)48:50
Cut CopyLet Me Show You Love54:34
The BraveryAn Honest Mistake1:00:29
Comfort CureRain On the Bar1:04:05
The Chemical BrothersGot To Keep On1:07:41
Braxe & Falcon feat. Panda BearStep By Step1:12:57
Cocteau TwinsHeaven or Las Vegas1:16:52
Staring ProblemM1:24:42
RadioheadParanoid Android1:27:26
MuseSpace Dementia1:33:48
Porcupine TreeSlave Called Shiver1:40:01
MenomenaWet & Rusting1:44:44
…And You Will Know Us by the Trail of DeadPennycandle1:48:15
Yeah Yeah Yeahs & Perfume GeniusSpitting Off the Edge of the World1:51:36
VR SEXEnd Vision1:55:49

#44: always a fuss and fight

She lives.

This weird AI art bot called Midjourney made the outback witch house pictured below. Fiddling with it was one of the myriad dumb things I did while losing my mind on the couch this past week. And hey, here’s a pro-tip for you: Don’t get covid! It sucks!!

Anyway: as plugged on my show, I sure would love it if you considered donating to my 2022 Pan-Mass Challenge ride. The PMC is the single biggest charity event in the world and it has raised over $800 MILLION for cancer treatment and research. It’s an event that means a hell of a lot to me. I ride in memory of friends & family lost, and since I rode for the first time in 2018, it has been tremendously beneficial to my own mental health. As of the time I’m writing this, I have raised almost $12,000 over the course of my three rides. Here’s where you can donate. As they used to say at the community theater I frequented as a kid, no amount is too small, and no amount could possibly ever be too large.

Catholic ActionI’m No Artist
Melted MirrorOpen Wire
PromiselandTake Down the House
ErasureFallen Angel (Georgia Remix)
Working Men’s ClubPloys
Nite FieldsVoyeur
Sacred SkinFever
Mind Over MidiEyes Closed
UnderworldJuanita 2022
De LuxWhen Your Life Feels Like A Lie
Vision VideoIn My Side
A Flock of Seagulls(It’s Not Me) Talking
Soft CellSex Dwarf
The Human LeagueThe Black Hit of Space
Nation of LanguageGouge Away
Mind Over MidiCircadian Clock
Oingo BoingoDead Man’s Party
Cold ShowersSliver
Wings of DesireChoose A Life
Hello MeteorThe Lake Green Project
Massive AttackMan Next Door
Clan of XymoxLouise
Joy DivisionA Means to an End
Mind Over MidiDelta Sleep
Depeche ModeRoute 66

#43: forgetting all you couldn’t do today

Yes, it’s a vocalless quarantine show. Songs that sounded right to my covid-addled brain. RIP to Andy Fletcher. I picked two of my favorite DM keyboard tracks in his memory.


Depeche ModeNever Let Me Down Again
New OrderEverything’s Gone Green
Xeno & OaklanderA World Without Sun
Drab MajestyKissing the Ground
Nine Inch NailsWhere Is Everybody?
Maya Jane ColesEasier to Hide
YottoMoving On
Craven FaultsDoubler Stones
Boards of Canada1969
Sacred SkinFever
MVTANTJust One Touch (Kontravoid Remix)
Depeche ModeBlack Celebration
The CureA Forest
MJ GuiderSimulus
Black MarblePretender
The English BeatTwist & Crawl
Men At WorkI Can See It In Your Eyes
UltravoxThe Thin Wall
Heaven 17Let Me Go
M83Midnight City
UnderworldBeautiful Burnout
Clams CasinoDrowning
Panda BearLast Night at the Jetty
Black Moth Super RainbowMr. No One
BroadcastTears in the Typing Pool

where in the world is OWH?

the show is on a momentary hiatus while I recover from covid

wednesday, may 25’s show was episode 30

this coming wednesday will also be a repeat, not sure which one yet

sorry for the disruption in your regularly scheduled OWH service.


#42: still making mistakes that you thought you had learned from

This is my annual playlist for the year’s graduating class, meaning this is the class of 2022 edition. Below the audio file and playlist, I posted something I first wrote for the class of 2020 and then reworked recently for the school paper. Congratulations to all grads everywhere, but especially the amazing ones I got to teach. <3


The UnitsHigh Pressure Days (Rory Phillips Remix)
Simian Mobile DiscoHustler
Hot ChipHungry Child
MadonnaInto the Groove
Bruno Mars24K Magic
La RouxBulletproof
ShannonLet the Music Play
Working Men’s ClubTeeth
Sacred SkinCircles
LCD Soundsystemtonite
Lily AllenThe Fear
Com TruiseAir Cal (Excerpt)
VR SEXLive in a Dream
The Cooper Temple ClauseFilm Maker
UnderworldPush Upstairs
Neon IndianSlumlord
Eleven PondBlood Ruins Film
The Human LeagueBeing Boiled
Body of LightDangerous
Com TruiseBrokendate (Excerpt)
Escape With RomeoHere Comes the Night
Cut CopySo Haunted
InterpolSlow Hands
Tears for FearsHead Over Heels
Cold Showers feat. Lil BHow Do You Know This Love
Matthew DearSlowdance
The Chemical BrothersGot to Keep On

Shit is rough, but you are wonderful. And the wonderfulness of you will endure, in the exact way that the rain pouring in my backyard right now will not. Uncertainty defines everything these days, yes, but I believe in your enduring wonder because I’ve seen who you are and what you can do.

I remember I had a conversation with some of you in March 2020 about how you come to trust people and the expectations you have for the relationships you’ve got and the ones you’ll build, and the courage that taught you how to understand and embrace criticism, and to speak truth to power. Since then, I’ve heard many of you express your concerns about holding onto the selves you’ve built here after you leave this place. Though it may not happen immediately, you will one day find places – jobs, community groups, bands, theater troupes, whatever – that do not see your brave curiosity as a liability, but rather as a beautiful, beneficial thing. Whether your work fulfills you or you yearn for something more, you can become – perhaps you already are – an activist. You can engage with your future communities in so many ways that are sorely needed. You can volunteer, teach, discuss, mentor, build. The skills you have brought with you to your learning and then honed throughout your education will keep you going in this work.

If you struggle to find your feet beneath you as you move on to this next stage, fear not; this is the natural course of things. Maybe the most important things geriatric millennials like me can bestow upon Gen Z are these four points: 1) the “insert college degree, expect economic prosperity” model has proven to be a myth for some time now, 2) your life is going to feel like a series of fits and starts, forever delayed, 3) it’s really alright if you don’t go straight from point A to points B and C, etc., and 4) all of this, friends, is not a personal indictment of you.

Let me tell you a story. I finished my undergraduate program in 2009. Shit was rough then, too, but there at least was no global pandemic to contend with. I moved just outside Boston a few weeks after I received my degree on a frigid day in upstate New York. I tagged along to Massachusetts with a group of people I hardly knew because I had no other plans lined up. That was a cruel summer; it rained a record-setting 27 of 30 days in June. I had nothing much to do, though, no job and no prospects, so I walked the flat streets of Waltham until I knew them like the hilly, curving roads of my hometown.

Eventually my money ran out and I took a job at a CVS in Wellesley, the small one on 135. I was the photo lab manager, but because I wasn’t working in a “professional” job utilizing my degree, I felt a shame that I carried around like an unshakeable aura. I felt like I’d failed so many people: myself, my parents, my brother who was currently working on a PhD in computer science, my partner at the time, a chemistry major who had snagged a job downtown. At CVS, we didn’t have a proper darkroom at the store so I used to have to go down to the basement with the lights all turned off, stumbling over the off-season merchandise, to change the photo printer paper cartridges. The baffling precariousness of that situation is a fitting metaphor for this whole period of my life.

I quit a couple weeks into the new year, 2010. At this point, I had decided to go back to school to get my Masters in Library and Information Science, in part because I grew tired of men throwing newspapers at me when I asked them to walk five feet over to an open checkout station (silly me, I should have anticipated grumpy dudes throwing stuff at people would also be a problem in public libraries). I obviously still needed money, so I took a job north of Boston at a hair salon software company and built websites for stylists and spas in New England for a few months, and yes, it was exactly as ridiculous as it sounds, and then I started my MLIS almost exactly a year to the day after I arrived in Massachusetts. I lived in a different apartment with different people by then. I’d lost some old friends and made some new ones. I got my cats, who you’ve probably seen on Discord or Instagram.

So, happily ever after, right? Lol, no. It took me years – ones that contained a cross-country move, a stint in a very modestly successful electronic rock band, a failed marriage, and several family tragedies – before I felt “on track.” I went from point A to point Q to some point not even identifiable in this alphabetic system before I got to point B. These are the fits and starts I mentioned. Things got especially confusing from 2016-2018, when I took on a very stressful job and had a big falling out with my main friend group. I spent much of that time being a jerk, taking unnecessary risks, and making mistakes that I thought I had learned from – and mind you, this was the very end of my 20s, over seven years after I’d entered “the real world.” The day some sense got knocked into me wasn’t even when I woke up in the hospital after a driver hit and left me while I was biking in Brighton, but probably the night three months after that when a set of stairs collapsed under me in Allston as I was carrying my bike out of the house of a person who didn’t deserve one more second of my time. (Yes, this must be a scene in one or more redemptive indie romcoms with a strong female lead and a lot of ukulele strumming.) And even after that, I have continued to mess up. I have messed up prodigiously in these 13 years since I got my bachelor’s degree, and I know I’ll mess up routinely forever, but you know what? That’s the deal. We’re all on board for this. There’s nothing you can do to stop many of your own screwups until you’ve been on earth long enough to practice avoiding them, but you can do one thing to help you through it. You can remember point 4 from the above. Point 4: “All of this, friends, is not a personal indictment of you.”

I have gotten to know some of you better than others, but you are all impressive to me. The things I’ve seen you build, the teams I’ve seen you working with, the art I’ve seen you make – it’s been a joy. I’m a little weepy as I sit here and imagine not seeing you on campus anymore; your shoes are unfillable by anyone but you. But that’s part of the deal, too – you must go on, and you must mess up outside the bounds of our campus, and you must be the change you want to see in the world, the big one out there beyond our wee bubble.

I’ve been sitting here staring out at the rainy dark for a while without many ideas for a good closing paragraph, so I’ll leave you with someone else’s words. They are a more eloquent way of stating the first sentence of this letter: “Shit is rough, but you are wonderful.” You were, after all, challenged to “do something” when you came to us, and I share this in the spirit of challenging you to keep at it after you go, even if you’re feeling like a mess because you’re stuck in the dark at the CVS stockroom of life, trying not to trip over last year’s Halloween decorations.

“Nature teaches persistence and perseverance, because in the end nothing stops nature. If a rose can grow out of the concrete, so can we.”

– Micah Hobbes Frazier, racial justice activist, kind of quoting rapper Tupac Shakur, quoted in adrienne maree brown’s Emergent Strategy

So go forth and grow, you wonderful little roses, you.