Phoenix. Sunset: 5:48pm. A high of 83 degrees with sunny skies, and the moon is nearly full. This morning C. and I drove through Sedona, drawn by the cadence of its name but repelled by the clutter of hucksters and faith dealers: establishments with names like Gratitude Latitude, New Energy Café, and Sacred Elements Energy Balancing Center. We did not stop. Instead we visited the Chapel of the Holy Cross, a modernist Catholic chapel inspired by the geometry of the Empire State Building that juts out of a butte.

But I’m writing this while chomping nicotine gum with caffeine nerves, so maybe my energy could use some realignment.

Phoenix is impossible, but the cacti are Platonic. After looping through its grids for a solid two hours without feeling like the scenery had changed, we checked into a Ballardian hotel along the interstate. The bathroom mirror is BlueTooth-enabled for reasons I cannot comprehend.

Dirty Beaches – Golden Desert Sun

From Golden Desert Sun/Night Drive | Italian Beach Babes, 2010 | Bandcamp

A highlight from Alex Zhang Hungtai’s Dirty Beaches project that rewires jittery Americana into something haunted.

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