Inquiring Minds

Peter Case Still Practicing "Conscious Continual Compassion"

Thrice Grammy-nominated Peter Case (the Nerves/Plimsouls) is more than a pithy icon of the punk generation who helped foster the first wave of musical insurrection in both San Francisco and Los Angeles in the mid-1970s. He's also a deeply committed writer of songs, memoirs and poems, whose sinewy, spontaneous work draws upon deeply mined worlds ranging from Woody Guthrie and Beat Generation legends to progressive Latin writer Roberto Bolano, bluesman Big Joe Williams and visionary poet William Blake. He is like a sponge, effortlessly soaking up a diverse array of sources.

Road-testing his fresh-faced work for a new album, Hwy 62, Case is scouring the States this fall, stirring up potent bits of his catalog, too, while revealing his newest concerns. In addition, Case has just released Subterranean Hum, a collection of poetry co-written with yours truly. Rocks Off caught up with Case in San Francisco, where he resides near the ocean in a 100-year-old building surrounded by records galore.

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David Ensminger