Back!! / by Cyrus

Whoa. I didn't post for all of 2013, partly because I was living a debauched and mildly soul-deadening existence in New York. But no more office job. Back on the road and pursuing Raw Music full time. This edition: Iraqi Kurdistan, where an oil boom and semi-autonomy have turned an impoverished and devastated corner of the country into the newest player on the petrol market. And with money comes music...

I'm on my way there. Along the way I've connected with old friends through Europe and have now arrived in Istanbul, where I'm living off kabobs, walking these impossible hills, and preparing for Kurdistan. Tomorrow I hit Diyarbakir, the center of Kurdish life in Turkey, and home to an ancient form of sung oral history.

More in the coming days. For now, here are some photos from the journey so far:

Christmas Day, Paris

Sunstorms, New Year's Eve, Paris

Paris, every single god damn day

Bad Decisions, Monaco

In Barcelona, even the foosball players wear FC Barcelona colors.

Moonrise, Barcelona. This man caught zero fish and seemed OK with it.

I went to the Pyrenees with some of my journalism idols. I don't know how it happened. We had a pool and mountains.

I got lost walking around in the Catalan mountains.

I met an amazing human being, also in the Catalan mountains.

Our street in Barcelona, filled with the elderly, their weird dogs, and Catalan separatist flags.

Made it from Barcelona to Turkey and couldn't sleep. So I walked around and got chased by street kids and watched the sun rise on the Bosphorous

Tarlabasi, an Istanbul slum in the heart of town, set to be demolished in a massive (and controversial) urban renewal scheme.

Onward to Diyarbakir!