SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA: *Waves a fin* Hi folks! This is Huge Shark (, also known as Valerie Polichar. In these columns I’ll be sharing a bit of how I make music with collaborators across the world, what’s happening in the indie music scene here and elsewhere, and what’s going on in San Diego.

Besides music, I have a few other hobbies you may hear about from time to time. I write and publish short stories — mostly crime, horror and science fiction. I’m a knitter and a reader. I keep up a brisk snail-mail correspondence of over 150 paper letters a year. Like many San Diegans, I like to be outdoors, whether that’s on a hiking trail, in the ocean, or in my garden. I also love watching the sunset and listening to coyotes howl from my west-facing, canyon-edge backyard.

As I write this, we’re having a Santa Ana in San Diego. That’s a hot, dry wind off the desert made famous by Raymond Chandler (and Bad Religion in “Los Angeles is Burning”). There’s no moisture in the air; skin prickles and itches and burns, your eyes are red. It’s 85°F/30°C in the daytime and about 45°F/9°C at night, which gives a bit of weather whiplash. But the skies are clear and blue, the sun is warm and soft and low in the south, its autumn angle, and it’s awfully hard to complain…

This autumn-to-winter transition is a great time to listen to Spanned Canyons(, a field-recordings-plus-instrumental experimental music duo that Rue Morgue magazine describes as “like a John Carpenter theme heard on the fuzziest band of a shortwave radio.” It’s eerie but beautiful. Try the paired tracks “snowload” and “snowload station” for a taste of this unusual album.

Until next time,

Huge Shark