December 02nd, 2017 | Category: Headline, Reviews
Top Records, 2017

This has been another year of change for me. I’m finding more and more difficult to see how others stagnate as they age. Maybe others see me some kind of way, but one place that tendency is evident is in the music we listen to: I am constantly finding new and exciting sounds. Whether it’s seeing Street Sects open for my dudes dälek at Beat Kitchen in Chicago, or EMA, Sleaford Mods, Moor Mother, and Sturgill Simpson making me rethink the very concept of genre, there’s always someone pushing things …

Read on »



October 16th, 2017 | Category: Interviews
Rita Raley: Tactical Humanities

A professor in English with appointments in Film and Media Studies, Comparative Literature, and Global Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, Rita Raley studies all sorts of things that culminate in interesting intersections. She centers her study of tactical media, a designation Geert Lovink called a “deliberately slippery term,” on disturbance. Her book on the subject, Tactical Media (University of Minnesota Press, 2009), illustrates not only the ways in which media participate in events but also her own nuanced thinking about and through that participation. She and her colleagues have also …

Read on »
August 11th, 2017 | Category: Essays
In Praise of Pulling Back

In the creative process, constraints are often seen as burdens. Budgets are too small, locations inaccessible, resources unavailable. Sometimes, though, the opposite is true. Sometimes, a multiplicity of options can be the burden. “In my experience,” writes Brian Eno, “the instruments and tools that endure… have limited options.” Working with less forces us to find better, more creative ways to accomplish our goals. As sprawling and sometimes unwieldy as movies can be, low-budget and purposefully limited projects provide excellent examples of doing more with less.
Like many of us, James Wan …

Read on »
July 26th, 2017 | Category: Interviews
Labtekwon: Margin Walker

Baltimore emcee Labtekwon has been described as “the Thelonius Monk of hip-hop” (Chuck D) and a cross between Jean Michel Basquiat and Nikola Tesla (Afropunk). He’s outspoken like any good rapper could be, skilled like any good emcee would be, and motivated like any good activist should be. He stays consistently ahead of and outside of the time the rest of us dwell in.

Labtekwon is an anthropologist, a professor, a writer, an emcee, and a skateboarder. As he says, “Books and songs are just different rivers and lakes with the same …

Read on »
July 17th, 2017 | Category: Interviews
Mish Barber-Way: Flour Power

An energetic and angsty mix of hard rock and post-punk, Vancouver’s White Lung sounds like a well choreographed fist-fight between, say, Girlschool and Fuzzbox. The tense fusion of Mish Barber-Way‘s vocals and Kenneth William’s guitar-work sounds like no other band you’ve heard, and it makes for downright unforgettable songs. With four records released in six years, White Lung is as prolific as their songs are fast. The latest, Paradise (Domino, 2016), is stunningly seductive.

Even so, White Lung is only one arm of Barber-Way’s full-frontal haranguing of hegemony. As a Senior …

Read on »