Thursday, December 15, 2011

Keyboard Drumset Fucking Werewolf

My Kill Screen review of this cray cray game treats of Ryan Trecartin, the uneven proportions of gaming and cinema, and the burgeoning no-wave folk-game avant-garde. Download the game here, read the review here.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Nintendo 4DS

The video gaming humor column--excuse me, humour column--which I've been writing for the U.K.'s Edge Magazine since last summer has only appeared in the print edition, until now. The first one, on some very curious new hardware from Nintendo, just went up on Edge's website. Read it here, as long as you are a huge nerd.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

West End Poetry Festival

I'm excited to be a part of the West End Poetry Festival at the Carrboro Century Center on Saturday, October 15. I'll be reading at 8:25 p.m., and sharing the day with some good friends like Chris Vitiello, Dianne Timblin, and many others.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Hopscotch Panel documentation

Abby Nardo took some great pictures at the Hopscotch panel I moderated this year, a few of which you can see below. For those of you with interest, fortitude, and free-time, a video of the entire two-hour proceeding can be found here.

Me and Sam Herring from Future Islands


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Jens Lekman & Megafaun

Not together, silly. (Though a guy can dream, right?) They're in the pages of Pitchfork (Jens review) and the Independent Weekly (Megafaun feature).

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Monday, September 12, 2011

Tanya Olson and Ansel Elkins photos

Photos of Tanya Olson and Ansel Elkins reading at the Looking Glass Cafe, in the fourth installment of my Wax Wroth Reading Series. We had a solid, engaged crowd and both readers did wonderful jobs. Hopefully, you'll be seeing more of Wax Wroth at the Looking Glass in the future.

Tanya Olson

Tanya Olson

Ansel Elkins

Ansel Elkins

Friday, September 9, 2011

Monday, September 5, 2011

Hopscotch Panels in the Duke Chronicle

I spoke to a reporter at the Duke Chronicle for her story about panels at the Hopscotch Music Festival because I'm moderating one at the Raleigh City Museum on Saturday, Sept. 10, at 3 pm (info). Strangely, the story is headed by a huge, old photo of my face, even though I'm only quoted at the end. Solid overview though. Read it here.

Friday, August 26, 2011

"The Bubble: The Limits of Pop Music"

Another year, another panel for me to moderate at the Hopscotch Music Festival...look how sick the roster is! (Sick meaning awesome.) UPDATE: note the date change from Thursday to Saturday, reflected below. 

The Bubble: The Limits of Pop Music
Saturday, Sept. 10: 3–5pm
Raleigh City Museum
Wayne Coyne (of The Flaming Lips)
Mark Richardson (Editor in Chief of Pitchfork Media and author of Zaireeka)
Chris Stamey (of the dB’s)
Julianna Barwick
Sam Herring (of Future Islands)
David Tompkins (author of How to Wreck a Nice Beach: The Vocoder from World War
II to Hip-Hop, The Machine Speaks)
Moderated by: Brian Howe
With music by Chris Stamey

Friday, August 19, 2011

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Reading Announcement: Tanya Olson & Ansel Elkins


On Saturday, 27 August 2011, at 8 pm sharp, the Wax Wroth Reading Series returns in a new location, Carrboro’s lovely Looking Glass Café. The featured reader is Durham’s TANYA OLSON, the tireless Third Friday coordinator who recently won a Fellowship from the Lambda Literary Foundation, which celebrates and nurtures LGBT literature. Greensboro’s ANSEL ELKINS,  currently racking up prizes and fellowships of her own, will read first. Admission is free, though you can support the Café by purchasing a wide variety of beverages, from espresso to alcohol, and food. Come and hear two terrific area poets, both winners of Boston Review’s “Discovery” prize, who are both receiving well-deserved attention in the wider literary world.
Quick Facts

What: Poetry reading
When: Saturday – 27 August 2011 – 8 pm
Where: The Looking Glass Café – 601 West Main St., Carrboro, NC
About the Readers

On tumorous claws, rats boarded the ship.
They left their mothers behind. That glossy hawk
kept tethered to deck, he left his mother behind.
Clinging fleas, dirt, and mites showed resilience,
leaving mothers behind. Viruses persevered
in the blood and left their mothers behind.
 --Tanya Olson, from “Zeno’s Boat"

Durham’s TANYA OLSON has published work in Boston Review, Beloit Poetry Review, Cairn, The Fanzine, Bad Subjects, Main Street Rag, Pedestal, Elysian Fields, and Southern Cultures. She won first prize in the 2005 Independent Weekly Poetry Contest and was a runner-up for the 2009 Rita Dove Award. She is the recipient of an Emerging Artist Grant from the Durham Arts Council and was the 2008 Fortner Award winner. In 2010, she won the Boston Review “Discovery” prize for poetry and was named a 2011 Lambda Fellow by the Lambda Literary Foundation. She helps coordinate Durham’s Third Friday, is a member of the Black Socks poetry group, and serves on the board of the Carolina Wren Press.


Return the tree, the moon, the naked man
Hanging from the indifferent branch
Return blood to his brain, breath to his heart
Reunite the neck with the bridge of his body
Untie the knot, undo the noose
Return the kicking feet to ground
--Ansel Elkins, from “Reverse: A Lynching”

Greensboro’s ANSEL ELKINS won the Boston Review “Discovery” prize for poetry in 2011, as well as an NC Arts Council Fellowship. Her poetry is featured or forthcoming in The American Scholar, The Believer, Best New Poets 2011, Boston Review, The Daily Beast, Mississippi Review, Ninth Letter, The Southern Review, Third Coast, and elsewhere. She is a recent graduate of the MFA program in creative writing at UNC-G, and was the poetry editor of The Greensboro Review.
About the Looking Glass Cafe

601 West Main St., Carrboro, NC
(919) 967-9398

The Looking Glass is a vibrant, comfortable, and spacious café located in the heart of Carrboro. A dedicated lot and nearby municipal parking offer easy access. Admission is free, and alcohol, coffee, and food will be on sale. We’ll try to begin at 8 pm and wrap up by shortly after 9, leaving plenty of time to enjoy the café and mingle with the readers. 

About the Wax Wroth Reading Series

Wax Wroth is a sporadic poetry reading series organized by Brian Howe whenever he feels like it and has the opportunity to present something really cool. Prior Wax Wroths have been held at the art space at 715 Washington in Durham, and have featured readers such as Tony Tost, Heather Christle, and Chris Tonelli. This reading marks Wax Wroth’s debut in Carrboro.

Series organizer Brian Howe is a Durham-based journalist, critic, poet, and et cetera. Find out more about his work at Questions regarding the Wax Wroth Reading Series may be directed to

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Best opening lines ever?

Brahms dreamt
the complacent
girl’s allergy to calamine
lotion screwed up her cat’s

-from "Brahms Piano Quartet No. 1" by Wayne Koestenbaum

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

20 Years of Ron Liberti

"American Checkbook etc." by Ron Liberti

In the Indy, check out my review of Ron Liberti's poster and print show at the new Ackland Museum Store.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

We aeronauts of the spirit!

All those brave birds which fly out into the distance, into the farthest distance--it is certain! Somewhere or other they will be unable to go on and will perch down on a mast or a bare cliff face, and they will even be thankful for this miserable accommodation! But who could venture to infer from that, that there was not an immense open space before them, that they had flown as far as one could fly! All our great teachers and predecessors have at last come to a stop...; it will be the same with you and me! But what does that matter to you and me! Other birds will fly farther! This insight and faith of ours vies with them in flying up and away; it rises above our heads and above our impotence into the heights, and from there surveys the distance and sees the flocks of birds which, far stronger than we, still strive whither we have striven, and where everything is sea, sea, sea! And whither then would we go? Would we cross the sea? Whither does this mighty longing draw us, this longing that is worth more to us than any pleasure? Why just in this direction, thither where all the suns of humanity have hitherto gone down? Will it perhaps be said of us one day that we too, steering westward, hoped to reach India, but that it was our fate to be wrecked against infinity? Or, my brothers? Or?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Smog Illustration from Sup Magazine

From the vault: Smog interview illustration, Sup Magazine #12, 2003

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Cat and the Coup

Forget, for a moment, about whether or not video games can be art. Can they be documentaries? I took up the question in a Kill Screen review of The Cat and the Coup, which deals with the American and British plot to depose the democratically elected Iranian Prime Minister Dr. Mohammed Mossadegh in 1953. Read it here.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Event at 715 Washington Space in Durham: July 10 at 4 p.m.

Organizer Chris Vitiello says:
Just want to alert and invite you to a TERRIFIC and VARIOUS afternoon of PERFORMANCE in Durham this SUNDAY.
With that many allcaps, you know it will be good. Here's the deets...
WHERE: the SPACE, 715 Washington Street, Durham. Just up from the old ballpark.
WHEN: Sunday, July 10, 4:00pm. 
WHO: Janet Holmes (reading), Adam Good (performance/knowledge remixing), Brian Howe and Ashley Howe (video), and Ken Rumble and Megan Stein (music). More details on alla these folks below.
No cost, but the hat will be passed by performers with puppydog eyes.
Also know that it'll likely be hot in the Space, so bring a water bottle and avoid wool.

JANET HOLMES describes her work so: "I'm interested in what can be done with found language and found text, and also with the flexibility of English. I'm interested in making meaning through parataxis, double vision, and sound. I'm interested in implicitly interactive poetry that seduces the reader into playing a part." She's published five books of poems, most recently The ms of my kin (Shearsman, 2009) and F2F (University of Notre Dame Press). A Duke grad, she teaches poetry writing and form and theory in Boise State University's M.F.A. Program in Creative Writing. She is director and editor of Ahsahta Press, an all-poetry independent press at Boise State, and has taught at the university since 1999.

ADAM GOOD is the real one, not the fake one that's been posing as Adam Good. Technician and catalyst by turns, he has also curated photography shows and, I believe, performed in a swimming pool. Recently relocated from D.C. to Pittsboro, he is able to physically manipulate abstractions before your very eyes/gazes. Sample his work at

BRIAN HOWE and ASHLEY HOWE are part of the collective at the Space. "Multimedia artist" could apply to them; "omnimedia artist" might be more accurate. They'll show three short video works: "Hunger in a Land of Plenty," "Sometimes You Meet Yourself Striding Through the Ritual," and "D/0".

KEN RUMBLE and MEGAN STEIN are also part of the Space collective, and also work in lotsa media (Megan's in-progress transformation of a piano will likely be visible to snoopers). Freshly back from Paris, they'll offer a musical improvisation with "guitar and/or bass and/or other." Their music will enter our ear canals that we might hear of it.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Video Game Journalism Extravaganza

I've dabbled in video game writing for years, printing quite a few reviews, humor pieces, and a few features in Paste Magazine. It's something that I've been getting more and more interested in recently. So I'm extra-super-excited to simultaneously break into two incredible gaming publications, one a venerable mainstream institution and the other a new grassroots upstart.

EDGE is a huge British gaming mag that has been in print for like 17 years, and provides more in-depth reporting on all aspects of the industry than any of the American print mags do. The April issue with the Max Payne cover, on American stands now (at least in North Carolina), includes my first article for the magazine, a "Time Extend" feature on Final Fantasy VIII. It was really fun to write, and getting to spell things all British was the icing on the cake. I'll definitely be writing more for EDGE in months to come.

The upstart Kill Screen, on the other hand, represents the sharpest effort so far to provide intellectual, cutting-edge video game journalism to an American audience that craves it, but too often has to rely on consumer-reports reviews and baldly promotional previews. If you believe that gaming is mature enough for a serious and skeptical press, you're probably already a subscriber to the print edition. I'm not saying my first review for Kill Screen rises to this lofty intellectual standard: it's about Bulletstorm, a profoundly silly but way-fun shooter, and I didn't want to gild the lily. But maybe it will get you clicking around to see what all Kill Screen has to offer online. Read it here

Monday, May 23, 2011

"Extra Means" in Cassette Journal

My track "Extra Means" is up at Cassette Journal, a new blog of sound art curated by Andy June. "Extra Means" is for stolen strings, lost voices, guitar and wooden flute, traffic and wind. The child's voice you'll hear is, indeed, baby Brian. Andy has some cool stuff up already and is looking to expand, so you if you make any sound art, you should send him something. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Wise Man's Fear

Out now is issue #5 of Bull Spec, the Triangle's own magazine of speculative fiction. It features my review of Patrick Rothfuss' mostly excellent fantasy novel The Wise Man's Fear, the second in a popular trilogy that began with The Name of the Wind. You can order the issue online here, or pick it up on local newsstands. (For the record, I wrote this article about the magazine well before anyone ever considered that I might contribute to it.)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Mount Moriah Interview in the Indy

Not only is Mount Moriah is one of the most exciting up-and-coming bands in the Triangle, but as many locals know, Heather McEntire and Jenks Miller are just great people. I've admired their various projects for years, so it was a real pleasure to get the scoop on their long-awaited debut record for the Indy. They give a great and very honest interview. Check it out.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Certain Circuits at the Eris Temple Artspace

Live in Philly? Ashley and I will have some work in this group show at the Eris Temple Artspace, curated by Bonnie MacAllister. You can see our video "Sudden Spider" (feat. Rod Smith) at the Certain Circuits website.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Broken Out of the Box

In which Paste lets me write what is essentially an extended in-joke for fans of the videogame Fallout: New Vegas. Nerdgasm!

Monday, March 7, 2011

"Sudden Spider" in Certain Circuits

Me and Ashley's video "Sudden Spider," which features the voice and words of Rod Smith, appears in the debut issue of Certain Circuits, a snazzy new multimedia journal.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Julianna Barwick article in the The Fanzine

I interviewed Julianna Barwick twice without managing to capture it on tape either time--well okay, I did the second time, but lost it when my recorder malfunctioned--which seems appropriate for a subject whose music is so vanishing and elusive. Still, I think I managed to turn out a solidly informative article for The Fanzine. Why not check it out?

Friday, January 7, 2011

Speculative Fiction

By almost subliminal degrees, I seem to have become the Indy's de facto "geek culture" guy. Over the past six months, I've been deployed to report on a science-fiction convention and an orchestral performance of the music from Star Wars. I've reviewed a new novel by William Gibson. And I've just finished a feature on Bull Spec, an ambitious new spec-fic magazine from right here in Durham. It was a fun one; check it out.