Category: TheMexicanTaxi

postcard sorceress: 7-year reflection

My mother is Venezuelan. I spent a fair amount of time in Caracas as a kid, and then other parts of Latin America at various points of my life. When you put a fair amount of distance between yourself and your home, you learn that there are courageous and discarded lives anywhere you go, across diverse economic and political strata.

One thing I’ve come to admire in Latin American people is their unwavering capacity to hope. In even the most challenging grinding circumstances, I’ve seen Latin Americans demonstrate hope in the face of the blackest darkness, in a way that seems particular to the culture. I once asked a friend in Mexico about this and he said this arises from the semantics of Spanish, where to be “hopeless is to be dead.” There’s little language in Latin culture for the gray area in between hopelessness and not-living. “No one here,” he told me, “has a lifeless smile.” That is to say despair is big south of our border, but not hopelessness. We could learn a lot from that.

I penned “Postcard Sorceress,” the only Spanish song I’ve written and recorded, seven years ago today in 2009. My 2010 record Hola Sayulita contained both the English and the Spanish versions. What would happen, I asked myself, if hopelessness gripped someone in a place where there’s no language for hopelessness?

In the track, the protagonist Nina is a poor jewelry maker for tourists in the surfing town of Punta Mita, on the Pacific coast of Mexico. A few years prior, she was violated by a gang called The Scorpions, bore a daughter as result and took a train as far west as she could go to find a better life. While working out of the Cafe Revolution, she sees every day a jungle Bruja’s weathered advertisement on a wall behind a postcard rack.…


[vid] today i am not turning on the radio

Today I Am Not Turning On The Radio from Westy Reflector

with the kentile sign coming down, figured i’d revisit this lo-fi vid from 2011. shot w/ a nikon d90 during that year’s reconstruction of the smith/9th subway station from a manhattan-bound f-train. the video runs in reverse. coney-island bound is the other side of the tracks. everything about this track is inside out, tho, so it fit.



Late one late December day in the late ’00s, on a new-mooned new-years evenight in the Mexican-not-Mayan Riviera, a small vacation coven gathered under soft starlight, poolside on a bluff overlooking an inking Pacific Ocean. As the group’s just-like-grandma’s cake started to kick in, Orion turned away from Earth for a few moments and a twinge of lawlessness neuroscaped through them one by one, in a cascade.


i shot @averagecabbage shot me

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Upon landing in sayulita, mx’s international surfport for new years 08/09 and clearing a sleeping customs canine, @AverageCabbage and I had twin parallel urges to explore the airfield until the other 1/2 of our galactic retinue arrived on a later flight. So we devised a plan to avoid security (i.e., gave our assigned driver a nudie) and slipped off behind the terminal.

We first came to an annex building, a 15×15 foot shed with a single window and a screen door. Notebooks climbed to the ceiling, the air was dark and the light dank. Flight logs and maintenance records were strewn everywhere and covered in old-vine cobwebs. A dust, colored like Mrs. Dash, aerosoled in the vacuum release of our opening the door.

We found nothing seductive, so we continued on and absconded behind the shed through some brush that required the use of Adam’s machete. We came to a clearing. On the far end were two wrecked planes. The near one was in better shape, at least for touching (you know, no snakes). I snapped this shot of him on the wing of the plane using his iPhoney 1.0 for his lake-roohm blogge:

His lake roohm one day will be part of the MOMA’s permanent collection and will also be on an iPad next to Archie Bunker’s chair in the Smithsonian. I did a fake lake roohm response to his Lake Roohm, too, for some megameta-dissonance. And thus we live.

#TheMexicanTaxi: Behind The Mexican Doctor


– 4:52 am, 29 December 2008

– 00:10.00 – i filled-in as director of fliptography for the pivotal shot of the doctor’s entrance

– director david tuohy planted his elbow in a bowl of oranges to make an articulating tri-pod for his fliphand. genius!

– adam made everyone call him Jesus (using spanish pronunciation: “hey-‘seuss”) and he called me “spaceman” so he wouldn’t break character.

Adam Had This Idea

Adam had this idea after we bought
our guitars on the beach
to do a record called
Music From Dave’s Couch.
We would release it only on vinyl.
Maybe only press 14 copies.
Now, Adam had never seen my couch
when he suggested all this.
He just knew we could make
a perfect cult record
from a couch.

The line between cult
and not cult
(to me)
is always blurry.
People need a life system.
They want to feel plugged in but look tuned out.
“Music From Dave’s Couch” would play into that.
Your own private show.
With Adam and Dave.
From a couch.

An interaction between 2 artists.
Unfiltered. Unobstructed. Recorded.
I might – might – even use my real name,
b/c sometimes it’s about yourself,
not your selves.
Sometimes you need to cut your selfloose,
cut all the baggage,
and just record a record.
With a friend.
From a couch.

[I will jump a train anytime I can
Maybe one will take me home]

Infinite Destination

Please, don’t end world.

Desert sunrise six twenty one
Rising just like fate
Baby you know this is never the end
If you trust the world

All I can do is smile
As you soften your eyes
And draw curves with your questions
‘Til there’s nothing left to say but someday

Infinite destination
You’re every dream I ever had
We’re just pilgrims dancing unstuck in time
Infinite destination
Any life you can have
Dancing forever free from time

The future has its enemies, too
They don’t like people like me; they don’t like people like you
In other words, you got a beautiful attitude

I never take it for granted
How your eyes reverse time
Soft as day breaks and fades the night away

Infinite destination
You’re every dream I ever had
We’re just pilgrims dancing unstuck in time
Infinite destination
Every life you ever had
Dancing forever free from time

Infinite destination
(You’re) every dream I ever have
Just a pilgrim dancing unstuck in time

09.24.2008 9:40a; 02.24.2009 8:00p


everything that’s true is you.

Back in Brooklyn under sleeping trees
And all these thoughts of Mexico
All my dreams they have more meaning here
Cause I’m all alone
With my sleeping trees

We flew into the stars
In you I found faith to let go
And in some other time and space
We’re never apart
We wake up stars

I was thinking about how we say good bye
Too few words to cover the truth
You know I will always get lost in your eyes
I want you to know
That I miss you
I want you to know

I know one day you’ll hear this song
Drawing lines that feel the same
We’ll still be riding an endless wave
To a little surfing town, my Sayulita

I was thinking about how we say good bye
Too few words to cover the truth
You know I will always get lost in your eyes
I want you to know
That I’ll always love you
I want you to know
Everything that’s true

everything that’s true is you
everything that’s true is inside you

01.05.2009 10:32am


Every once in a while, I write a dance(able) track.
Enjoy this layer cake.

You never know just how long you have
Before you go

So take back life; hide it from view
It will only be us and
the wind

Times are down but we’re ok
Lines are down but we’re ok
We’re ok.

You never know just how many times
You get to say

Come out with me take the f-train
Into the night
We’ll disappear

Times are down but we’re ok
Lines are down but we’re ok
We’re ok.

When you send light into the world
It scatters and reflects
But it never dies

Only Falling Rain

maybe lead guitar maybe not. we got a big sound from
just the drum, bass and rhy gtr and i like the open spaces.

I will leave it to you to guess what I am thinking
I’ve got a secret and you know I never spill
Maybe I’m a spy. Maybe I’m undercover
Keeping enemies of freedom on their guard

Justice and fairness are not the same
Crashing cars and crashing waves
Don’t you know that only falling rain makes us all the same?

Rules always fail to erase what can’t be burned
Only practical wisdom rebuilds the world
In times of desperation everyone rides an underground
Beautiful people start to disappear
All around

Justice and fairness are not the same
Crashing cars and crashing waves
Don’t you know that only falling rain makes us all the same?

Tomorrow I’ll protect a movement
Tomorrow I die for a friend

Justice and fairness are not the same
Crashing cars and crashing waves
Don’t you know that only falling rain makes us all

Crashing cars and crashing waves
Justice and fairness are not the same
Don’t you know that only falling rain makes us all the same?

02.19.2009 1:43am

Tarjeta Postal Bruja

Postcard Sorceress in Spanish. My mother, Caracas-raised, helped me translate. The Spanish version is more hopeful because in Spanish to be hopeless is to be dead. There’s little language for the gray area. Despair is big in Latin America, but not hopelessness.

Vittorio, on a 2004 car ride from Mexico City to San Miguel de Allende (where we would take a dawn balloon ride), taught me of the bruja en las colinas de la selva y el chupacabra.

Nina tuvo un sueño cuando era joven
Escorpiones llegaron a jugar
Ella se despertó descubriendo tener una hija
Y 2 tickets para el tren de Punta Mita

Ella se pasa la vida haciendo joyas para turistas
Trabajando en el Café Revolución
Ella sabe que ya no se puede huir
No se pierde nada cuando no hay nada que ganar

Cada día Nina se detuvo a leer un anuncio
Detrás del estante de tarjetas postales en el café
Decía “Puedo exorcizar cualquier demonio!”
Mostrando el camino a una cueva a través de la selva

Un par de años más tarde, Nina dio su hija a un vecino
Dijo que volverá en un par de días
“Voy a dar un paseo por la colinas de la selva
Para que mi bebé nuca sepa de mi dolor.”

Empacó una bolsa con dinero y cigarrillos
Y el cuchillo de su abuela, por si acaso
Ella desapareció en el dosel de la selva
Dejando el pueblo polvoriento en su estela.

La bruja utiliza el cuchillo para mezclar un elixir
Dijo que ya había visto este dolor
Ella dijo: “Nina, la verdad flota en el tiempo.
Beba, y ya no soñaras más.”

Nina pasó su vida haciendo joyas para turistas
Trabajando donde todos los demás se escapan
Ella sabe que ya no tiene que huir
No tiene nada que perder cuando elige otro tren


el toromexico city highway bridge

Postcard Sorceress

i always wanted to write a song about a bruja. this one’s a nod to Manu Chao and Carlos Santana via fastball.

Nina had a dream when she was younger
Scorpions came over to play
She awoke to find herself with a daughter
And 2 tickets on the Punta Mita train

She’s got a life
Making jewelry for tourists
Working out of the Revolution Café
She knows there’s no where left to run away
There’s nothing to lose where there’s nothing to gain

Every day Nina stopped to read a notice
Behind a rack of postcards at the café
It said “I will exorcise any demon!”
It showed a path through the jungle to a cave

A couple years later Nina gave her
Daughter to a neighbor
Said she’d be back in a couple of days
“I’m taking a walk into the jungle hills
So my baby never knows of my pain.”

She packed a bag with money and cigarettes
And her grandmother’s knife just in case
She disappeared into the canopy
Leaving the dusty outskirts of town in her wake

The sorceress used the knife to mix an elixir
Said she’d seen this pain before
She said “Nina, the truth floats over time.
Drink down, and you’ll dream no more.”

Nina spent her life
Making jewelry for tourists
Working where everyone else escapes
She knew there was no where left to run away
She had nothing to lose when she jumped this train