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A Relaxing Soundtrack for This Post

Once there was a monk who lived alone in a tiny shack on top of a great mountain. The monk didn’t have much, only a small garden and a few chickens — just enough to survive, pray, and meditate.

One clear blue day while sitting for meditation, the monk saw a farmer many miles away in the distance. The farmer struggled to pull a cart filled heavy with cabbages and potatoes and ducks. The monk watched as the farmer traveled slowly alongside a great rushing river which led to the nearest town.

Suddenly, the…

gillian welch is my favorite voice. i first heard gillian while i was in college at berkeley in the early aughts. something about the ease and clarity of her voice really gets me. i’m not usually attracted to the belters, give it to me straight and plain.

great songwriting too. her’s is a front porch, country style that i can listen to or play in most any mood. i would say it’s also psychedelic for the way it can hypnotize and lull you into another time and place (she frequently plays a killer version of “white rabbit” live). darkness…

i don’t have that much to say about tom. i mean, i do and i don’t.

i remember my mother having only a handful of cd’s in the honda accord. one of those cd’s was the first collective soul album — but another was tom petty & the heartbreakers’ “greatest hits.” i must have heard it hundreds of times. it’s great. if you have no idea what i’m talking about then just go listen to it. these guys perfected a kind of american pop rock sound that’s fun and very dude-esque (just watch the guy talk). tom’s lyrics are…

david c. berman

david berman may be the most empathetic songwriter i know. his best songs are clear-eyed observations of the beauty and comedy held within the suffering of existence. he writes with an ear for the sound and meaning of each word. combined, his bands “silver jews” and “purple mountains” released a handful of albums in the 90’s, the early aughts, and a final album just last year. don’t know him? here’s a playlist i created in the summer of 2019.

the summer of 2019 — before the plague shut humanity down — i went up for a week to a…

Here I am. I’m here. What is this? Not sure. I hope to know one day. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but I’m tired. Life’s tough… I think. Probably, anyway. At some points, not all but who knows? Is this a test? I believe it’s a test. Good to test each other on occasion. Thanks for being here. Certain people I’m not so happy about being here, other people I am happy about. I’m skeptical of power, skeptical of those who don’t seem to care about anyone other than how the world will see them. That doesn’t mean that one…


how’s everybody doing tonight? i’m chris portka. i write, perform, and produce music. i also play live shows on the reg @

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