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June 02nd, 2016 | Comments Off on Doug Stanhope’s Digging Up Mother on Splitsider | Category: About, Announcements
Doug Stanhope’s <em>Digging Up Mother</em> on <em>Splitsider</em>

I have a bit about Doug Stanhope‘s new memoir, Digging Up Mother: A Love Story (Da Capo, 2016) over on Splitsider today.
Here’s an excerpt:

The book, as it states right on the cover, is a love story and a memoir. If you want to know what he’s done since his last DVD or since the last time you saw him live, check Youtube. Most of this book happens before that was even possible. Many a buried back-story is unearthed here: Doug’s earliest days as a road comic, when he actually lived …

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April 26th, 2016 | Comments Off on “Swarm Cities” on How We Get to Next | Category: About, Announcements
“Swarm Cities” on <em>How We Get to Next</em>

Very happy to announce my first piece for Steven Johnson‘s How We Get to Next. Their theme for April is “Metropolis,” so I did a little piece about what I’ve termed “swarm cities.”

Here’s an excerpt:
Our capital-driven, networked societies produce, more than anything else, ephemeral things — that is, things that are built, not to last, but to disappear and be displaced by newer versions of themselves. As David Byrne wrote in his Bicycle Diaries, cities “are physical manifestations of our deepest beliefs and our often unconscious thoughts, not so much as individuals, …

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March 12th, 2016 | Comments Off on HKRB Logo Design | Category: About, Announcements
HKRB Logo Design

My friend Alfie Bown runs the Hong Kong Review of Books. In addition to running some of my illustrations, he recently asked me to come up with a new logo for the site. I woke up a few days later with an idea.

Somehow the shapes in the negative space of the letters just fell into place.

The B was the only part I struggled with since it looked more like an 8 in my original sketches. The other letters seemed obvious. I hinted at more of a B-shape by having the …

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February 21st, 2016 | Comments Off on Illustrations for the Hong Kong Review of Books | Category: About, Announcements
Illustrations for the Hong Kong Review of Books

Thanks to Alfie Bown, I am now doing illustrations, like the one below of Umberto Eco, for the Hong Kong Review of Books.

This sketch was done from his photo on the cover of MIT Press’s reissue of his 1977 book, How to Write a Thesis (MIT Press, 2015). I’ve been experimenting with quick sketches with very little planning, partly to capture that hot space, and partly because I just don’t have time to do the kind of labor-intensive drawing I want to do.
Thanks to Alfie and the HKRB! Umberto Eco, …

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April 07th, 2015 | Comments Off on Dead Precedents on Repeater Books | Category: About, Announcements
<em>Dead Precedents</em> on Repeater Books

I am proud to announce that I have signed a contract with Repeater Books for my book about cyberpunk and hip-hop. Titled Dead Precedents: How Hip-Hop Defines the Future, the book uses the means and methods of cyberculture and hauntology to thoughtfully remap hip-hop’s spread from around the way to around the world. Its central argument is that the cultural practices of hip-hop culture are the blueprint to 21st century culture, and that an understanding of the appropriation of language and technology is an understanding of the now.
Here is an …

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March 20th, 2015 | Comments Off on Bookshelf Beats Interview | Category: About, Announcements
Bookshelf Beats Interview

Bookshelf Beats is an interview site run by Gino Sorcinelli. He interviews different authors and writers about their favorite books. For mine, I chose James Gleick‘s Chaos (Viking, 1987), a book that blew my head wide open during a tumultuous time in my late 20s.

Here are a few excerpts:
My life while reading Chaos went through a total upheaval. The start-up company I was working for was purchased and shut down, I broke up with my girlfriend of six years, and I moved from Seattle to San Francisco to work as …

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January 05th, 2015 | Comments Off on The Routledge Companion to Remix Studies | Category: About, Announcements
<i>The Routledge Companion to Remix Studies</i>

I am proud to announce that I’ve been asked to contribute a chapter to The Routledge Companion to Remix Studies, edited by Eduardo Navas, Owen Gallagher, and xtine burrough. The collection includes essays by Lev Manovich, Mark Amerika, Kembrew McLeod, Aram Sinnreich, as well as the editors — a whopping 41 chapters in all! My essay, which has largely been hashed out via posts on this very website, is titled “The End of an Aura: Nostalgia, Memory, and the Haunting of Hip-Hop.” Using the tropes of hacking and haunting, as well …

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March 02nd, 2014 | Comments Off on The First Time I Heard My Bloody Valentine | Category: About, Announcements
<em>The First Time I Heard My Bloody Valentine</em>

I have an essay in Scott Heim’s new collection The First Time I Heard My Bloody Valentine. I’m super stoked to be sharing pages and experiences with musicians like Bob Mould, Christian Savill of Slowdive, Ian Masters of Pale Saints, Kellii Scott of Failure and Veruca Salt, James Chapman of Maps, Gazz Carr of God is an Astronaut, and my man Alap Momin of dälek, among many others. The book is available for the Kindle, Nook, iBooks, and other e-readers. Below is the cover, designed by Joel Westendorf.

Here’s an excerpt of my piece in the book, in …

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August 28th, 2013 | One Comment | Category: About, Announcements
Herc Your Enthusiasm: Ice-T’s “The Coldest Rap”

As part of HiLoBrow‘s “Herc Your Enthusiasm” series, named in honor of legendary DJ Kool Herc, which consists of 25 posts by 25 critics about old-school Hip-hop tracks, I was asked to contribute one from 1983. That was kind of an in-between year being just after the reign of Kurtis Blow but before Run-DMC became the Kings of Rock. Fortunately, 1983 was the year of Ice-T‘s “The Coldest Rap.”

Here’s an excerpt:
Ice-T’s first single, “The Coldest Rap”/”Cold Wind Madness (a.k.a. The Coldest Rap, Part 2)” (1983) consists of a two-part rhyme-fest of boastful wordplay. The …

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March 01st, 2013 | Comments Off on The Haunting of Mitch Hedberg on Splitsider | Category: About, Announcements
The Haunting of Mitch Hedberg on <em>Splitsider</em>

Eight years after his death, Mitch Hedberg’s unique style of standup continues to haunt open-mic stages and playlists of millions, as well as our daily conversation. I commemorated his humor and haunting over on today, thanks to Samantha Pitchel and Adam Frucci.

Here’s an excerpt:
I was at a bar in Seattle called Lynda’s with [Hedberg’s road manager, Greg] Chaille and several other comedians on the two-year anniversary of Mitch’s passing, and we all went around the table telling our favorite Mitch jokes.
“Last week I helped a friend stay put,” started …