Mental health rap.


I laid down my first rap the other night. Since Kevin and I started dating six months ago, I’ve been inspired to write and perform a rap song. Kevin and his friends (Jesse and Matt, to name a couple) have been rapping for years. Listening to their stuff made me realize that the way I’ve been writing my poetry, its cadence and flow, suits hip hop well.

Regardless of my profession, it’s important to me to continue to raise awareness about mental health, to dismantle the relentless stigma around it. This is my first mental health rap, yo.


Compost you and me.

It’s been decided.
I’m un-invited to the possibility.
You won’t give chase to the chance that
this could be something worth talking about.
Worth fighting about.
Because it has to be perfect, and smooth, and expected.
That’s where the opportunity over-ripens
and is smooshed beyond usability.
Compost is the option.
Compost you and me.

Written Monday, November 5th, 2012 @ Flowers.


Performed, recorded, and mixed by Odawni AJ Palmer.
Original song by Emily and The Woods.

Photograph taken by Odawni AJ Palmer.
Copyright 2011.

I don’t feel it anymore.

I have been itching to do some recording. And here something finally is. For the past few weeks I’ve been thickening my fingertip calluses while working on covers of songs by everyone from MJ, to The Cutting Crew, to Porthishead, to Blonde Redhead. I’ve also been trying to get something original out. Like trying to squeeze the last bit of minty freshness out of a toothpaste tube.

All those many hours. And yet. I feel my musical self has been sub-subpar. I’m not entirely pleased with the end-product of this one but being OK with creative endeavors that are, mmm. OK. Is, well.  Just fine. It’s all part of the process – indeed.

Must. Keep. Practicing.

This is a cover of a song by William Fitzsimmons, “I Don’t Feel It Anymore”. With Priscilla Ahn. I stumbled upon a remixed version of it on my M83 station on Pandora while studying today. Please excuse the crunchy bass end on this tune. It was wanting to be the life of the party this evening.

If you want me.

A cover.  From the movie, “Once”.

3 tracks.  No filters.


Given that I’ve been on somewhat of a ‘covers’ streak, I’ve been toying with the idea of covering a song from each of my top 10 island discs.  One of those is Massive Attack’s Bluelines record.  I hadn’t listened to that album in a while so browsed the tracks the other night.  Any of the tunes on there would be tough for me to cover.  I’m slowly making my way toward taking on more intimidating and creatively demanding pieces.  In the meantime, I’ll play with covering ‘easier’ songs and focus on playing more with using different effects and creative techniques.  This is a tune from a more recent Massive Attack album, Mezzanine.


After searching through guitar chords of songs by The Cure, it became apparent to me that attempting to cover most of their songs with but an acoustic guitar is not an easy task.

On earth.

The Sundays are by far one of my most favorite bands.  The first cassette tape I bought was the soundtrack to Stand By Me.  I got it at a dark and musty shop in DIT1 (or DIT2?) in Dakha, Bangladesh.  The first cassette tape I bought in the US was The Sundays’ album Reading, Writing, and Arithmetic.  I bought it at Quimper Sound in Port Townsend, when the store use to be on the main street.  I remember it vividly.  Oh how many times I have listened to that tape.

I have been wanting to cover a song of theirs for a while.  I confess, a road block has been my concern that I cannot do Harriet Wheeler’s voice justice.  I cannot.  I decided that since I am singing in an American accent, our voices are not comparable.  Which brings me to another point.  Is it possible to sing along with their records and *not* sing in a British accent?

Please, please, please.


This is my cover of a song by The Smith’s.  And it’s about time.

Tending to the tweaks.

Tending to the tweaks.
Sound engineer during the YPPAH set @ The Showbox.
(Full set: Surrealized, Anomie Belle, YPPAH & Bonobo.)
Seattle, WA

In what little light you have to see:
the nobs and dials,
buttons, blinky
lights, and things –

Keep the movement moving.
Keep the flowing flow
with subtle moves.

The obvious extrinsic,
the outlines,
ingredients and recipes,
the scripts and survey boxes,
cruise ship package deals,
crimescene chalk,
and poker chips…

are subterfuge,
red herrings;
are sparkly, glittery, shiny things –

are distractions from subtle truths
that can only be detected,
met and modified
when you’re tending to the tweaks.