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.