Monday, October 21, 2013

Wax Wroth has moved

Wax Wroth has moved from this site to Go there now.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

You're Playing It Wrong online

Illustration by MARSH DAVIES
For more than two years now, I've been writing a parody column on video games, gaming culture and game journalism, called "You're Playing It Wrong," for Edge Magazine. Appearing every month in print, some of the columns are posted online sporadically, where I'm always struck by how different they feel, outside the hermetic context of the magazine.

All my friends who know me as a music and arts guy are kind of baffled by them. The references are very arcane, though the second entry on the list below might actually be suitable for gen-pop! It's probably the most fun thing I get to do.

Here's a selection of newer columns that have gone online, with, as always, pitch-perfect illustrations by the incomparable Marsh Davies.

Trent Trout Rage Quits the Industry

Edge's 20th Anniversary Issue

Meet the Galoresbys

Sony Courts Indie Developers

Going Deep into the "Uncanny Valley"

No, not the heartbreakingly terrible new reunion album from a beloved post-punk band, but the compelling experimental play at UNC starring a real robot. Most impressive was how director Francesca Talenti was able to plumb below what could have been a sheer gimmick to unearth a lingering emotional resonance.  I didn't simply ponder what it meant for a robot to be human. For awhile, I believed.

Read my thoughts on The Uncanny Valley at the INDY's Artery blog.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Laura Ballance feature in the INDY

photo: Jason Arthurs
Many thanks to Laura Ballance of Merge Records and Superchunk for letting me put her in the spotlight she does not savor for this long INDY Week feature, which spans her entry into the North Carolina music scene and her recent retirement from touring after 25 years.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

New Poem in Coconut

The new issue of one of my favorite journals, Coconut, is online now, and I'm honored that it includes my poem "Sauceware," which you can read here. Alongside the likes of Joe Wenderoth and Caroline Knox!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

"Twelve Tones" by Vi Hart

Hilarious head-cracking brilliance. It was somewhere between "a lovely burnt umber Segway" and calling Stravinsky a "horse-faced fascist" that I started to research cyber-stalking penalties:

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Pam Saulsby Profile in INDY Week

cover photo by Jeremy M. Lange
I wrote the cover story for this week's INDY, learning about "the struggle" of local celebrity newscaster Pam Saulsby, whom I grew up watching on WRAL, after she was fired from that job before landing at WNCN one tumultuous year later. Read it here.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

"Ludic" in Drunken Boat

The latest issue of Drunken Boat is online and includes a track from The Lion's Face, my sound collaboration with the poet Tim Van Dyke.

Listen to "Ludic" here.

Friday, June 14, 2013

"That's So Durham!"

Last night I was alone on Parrish Street, waiting. I stood under a streetlight, yo-yo-ing. It was very misty and cool. Out in the country, the storms had felled trees, but the city just looked washed. Eventually a couple walked by on the other side of the street. “A guy with a yo-yo,” the woman cried out, half to the man and half to me. “That’s so Durham!” She seemed really thrilled. I smiled agreeably and made some jokes about a sitcom called “That’s So Durham!” The couple continued to scroll by throughout this exchange, never breaking stride. The yo-yo cascaded down and reeled back up, went out seeking and brought something back. Suddenly it felt like a fishing line in my hand. The street was always between us but Parrish is not wide. We wished each other good night as they flowed out of earshot, although a conclusive roar of “I love Durham!” could be heard down the block. There was a strange vividness to the moment. I had brought my yo-yo with me just to impose some buoyancy on one of those days where a lot of weightless moments had somehow accumulated into an oppressive ton. But it wound up opening this other door too, this other connection, and I was inexplicably glad to play that role for her: the friendly local eccentric (what could be less threatening than a guy with a yo-yo?), the serendipitous vantage. It felt good to momentarily slip out of my perspective and feel myself as a feature in a tableau—some rare local bird, an image with a thought buried somewhere deep inside, a no-doubt dramatic to behold silhouette yo-yo-ing in a circle of light on a dark empty street. I didn’t have the heart to tell her I live in Chapel Hill.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Wax Wroth Reading Series #6: kathryn l. pringle + Tons of Peeps

i’m not saying this to scare you but goodbye.
—from “fault tree” by kathryn l. pringle

Continuing its long, slow trek through Triangle cafes, art-spaces and gutted garages, the Wax Wroth Reading Series returns in a new location—The Carrack Modern Art, Durham’s premier zero-commission gallery—to welcome award-winning poet kathryn l. pringle back to Durham.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

4 by Borges at the Atlanta Poets Group Blog

Some metaphysical bedtime stories for you - me reading 4 by Borges with some light musical accompaniment (and a light head cold, unfortunately) at the Atlanta Poets Group's blog. Check out that vintage file photo of me John Lowther pulled from the time when Marcus Slease wrecked my face in Atlanta, and I bled all over John's house.

Three new Pitchfork reviews of really interesting albums, including a well-earned Best New Music for Jon Hopkins' tremendous ambient/dance record Immunity:

Jon Hopkins: Immunity

Eluvium: Nightmare Ending

Cocorosie: Tales of a Grass Widow

Monday, June 3, 2013

Deerhunter Quakes the Carrack Modern Art

by Brian Howe on April 25 2013

If you hadn’t heard that an indie-famous Atlanta rock band was scheduled to play a secret show in Durham by the morning of April 23, you certainly caught wind of it that night if you were anywhere near the Carrack Modern Art. Deerhunter didn’t concede much volume to the small space. Instead, they seemed to greet it with added ferocity, and their clangorous music cascaded through the open windows behind them, down onto a startled Parrish Street.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

“See & Hear”: A New Art and Music Series’ Nightlight Debut

Especially for 6:00 p.m. on a Sunday, it was crowded at Nightlight on April 21. The taco potluck on the Chapel Hill nightclub’s patio probably helped boost attendance, as did the fairly long list of names—each with its own distinct coterie of fans and friends—on the program. But mostly, people seemed excited to check out a brand-new curated event, “See & Hear,” that seeks to put local musicians and visual artists into equal dialogue rather than segregating them in their respective clubs and galleries. An eclectic, atmospheric, and well-paced first event, it left me eagerly anticipating the second installment.

Monday, May 13, 2013

"Twins" Mix for the Atlanta Poets Group Blog

John Lowther and the Atlanta Poets Group are curating a cool and rather self-explanatory series called "reading OTHER poets" at their blog. I made a mix for computer voices and accompaniment of Bob Hicok's awesome poem "Twins," from his book This Clumsy Living

Listen to the mix here. 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Sunday States

Here's ten minutes of new music for moody Sundays:

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Lion's Face at 9th St. Laboratories

Thanks to Jake Berry for posting The Lion's Face, my collaborative electro-poetic album with Tim Van Dyke, at his 9th St. Laboratories blog. The post also includes some new liner notes I wrote for people who might wonder just what in the hell is going on here, which I've reproduced below.

The Lion’s Face notes

March 17, 2013, Chapel Hill

Friday, March 15, 2013

A World-Class Studio in Rural North Carolina

cover photo by D.L. Anderson
Check out my INDY Week cover story on Manifold Recording, a state-of-the-art music and video production facility hidden away in a Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired building in rural Pittsboro.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

John Luther Adams interview

Oh wow. I got to interview John Luther Adams, one of my favorite composers, about his relationship with Glenn Kotche, his new piece Ilimaq, and his uncanny music in general. Read it at The Thread.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

How is a Hand-Lathed Record is Made?

I wanted to know, so I got together with local hand-lather Wesley Wolfe to find out. The result was this feature story for INDY Week, which also has a great Jeremy M. Lange photo spread where I zoom in on the lathing process step-by-step. Highly recommend picking it up in print if you're in the area.