Articles in the Interviews Category

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June 01st, 2017 | Comments Off on Chris Kraus: Wildly Contradictory | Category: Interviews
Chris Kraus: Wildly Contradictory

We have a tendency to want to keep the objects of our admiration in their boxes, like collectors. When one refuses to fit or stay there, we struggle with how to perceive them. It’s rare and getting moreso, but Chris Kraus is one of those un-box-able entities. Mixing theory, fiction, and biography, her writing confounds as it captivates. She’s mostly known for her art writing, but she’s also done performance art, film, and teaches at the European Graduate School.

Through their work with the imprint Semiotext(e), Kraus and her partners, Sylvère …

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May 17th, 2017 | Comments Off on M. Sayyid: The Other Side | Category: Interviews
M. Sayyid: The Other Side

Around the bend of the millennium, New York hip-hop collective Antipop Consortium emerged as a voice of possible futures. The spaced-out mix and match of M. Sayyid, Beans, High Priest, and Earl Blaize was a welcome beacon to the hip-hop of the new century. Emcee M. Sayyid’s flow is “forward-leaning” and abstract, but also as contagious as the flu. He’s also the storyteller of the crew, with an unmistakable Slick-Rick-from-the-Dark-Side vibe. Just listen to “9.99” from Tragic Epilogue (75 Ark, 2000) or “Z St.” from Arrhythmia (Warp, 2002).

As with any …

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March 13th, 2017 | Comments Off on Alexis Desolneux: Heresy for Hire | Category: Interviews
Alexis Desolneux: Heresy for Hire

Once upon a buzz in the conquest of cool, there was a thing called brand hijacking. This was the phenomenon, sometimes frowned upon, of a brand being supposedly inadvertently associated with a certain subculture or movement. Think Pabst Blue Ribbon, Tommy Hilfiger, or Converse Chuck Taylors. It turns on the idea that the image of a brand belongs to the market, not to the company that cultivates that image.
The only antidote is an image so strong that there’s no other way to take it. Over the past several years, Alexis Desolneux and his …

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January 26th, 2017 | Comments Off on Shabazz Palaces: A New Refutation | Category: Interviews
Shabazz Palaces: A New Refutation

The history of hip-hop so far can be seen as split down the middle by the deaths of Biggie Smalls and Tupac Shakur. In the most oversimplified of terms, there was a reset when street sounds gave way to club bangers. Wu-Tang and Nas stepped aside for Missy and Puffy. Few survived.
Ishmael Butler has been on both sides of that divide. His old New York crew, Digable Planets, was all over the place in the early 1990s, and his new Seattle outfit, Shabazz Palaces, is firmly a part of the …

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November 07th, 2014 | Comments Off on Clay Tarver: Gone Glimmering | Category: Interviews, Videos
Clay Tarver: Gone Glimmering

I first came across Clay Tarver in the very early 1990s. His guitar playing drove two of my favorite bands back then: Bullet LaVolta and Chavez. The former was, like a lot of the bands of the time, a hybrid of punk, metal, and some third strain of rock that was brewing but had yet to boil. I noticed producer Dave Jerden’s name on the back of several CD jackets in and near my player: Mother’s Milk, Nothing’s Shocking, Facelift, Symbol of Salvation, and Swandive. Swandive (RCA), Bullet LaVolta’s last …

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November 05th, 2014 | Comments Off on Gareth Branwyn: Borg Like Me | Category: Interviews
Gareth Branwyn: Borg Like Me

Over the past 30-odd years, writer Gareth Branwyn has been amassing an impressive body of work on the fringes of cyberculture. He wrote for bOING bOING when it was still a print zine, did his own zine called Going Gaga before that, was an editor at Mondo 2000, WIRED, MAKE, does book reviews for WINK, has edited over a dozen books, and is a regular contributor to my own Summer Reading Lists. He’s stayed as jacked-in to our current technoculture as one can be, for as long as there’s been …

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November 14th, 2013 | No Comment | Category: Interviews, Videos
Johnny Ciggs: Gritty City Cesspool [by Mike Daily]

“Music is pretty much the only thing that has ever mattered in my life,” says Johnny Ciggs, a major member of the Gritty City Family. I was introduced to this creative crew of rappers and producers by my man Tim Baker over at SYFFAL. He sent me the clip for “Hunnid Dolla Bills” by Fan Ran, Skweeky Watahfawls, and the dude Johnny Ciggs [embedded below]. I’ve been following the fam ever since. Johnny’s “Write Like the First Day” (featuring Fan Ran) off of his 21 Tracks About Malt Liquor, Fat …

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April 25th, 2013 | 2 Comments | Category: Interviews
Mouth of the Architect: New Day Rising

When it comes to my musical interests, I find myself very prone to phases. Someone will ask me what’s good, and I’ll always have to qualify that I’m in the middle of some phase or another. I can spend months listening to nothing but prog rock (e.g., Yes, Rush, The Mars Volta, etc.), weeks researching post-punk (e.g., Joy Division, Talking Heads, etc.), post-rock (e.g., Mogwai, Jesu, God is an Astronaut, etc.), or a year digging the depths of black metal (e.g., Wolves in the Throne Room, Fall of Efrafa, etc.). …

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March 12th, 2013 | 5 Comments | Category: Interviews, Videos
Mike Daily: Writing is the Solvent

I remember the first Aggro Rag I ever got. It was the thickest zine I’d ever seen. Its sixty pages weren’t folded as much as they were just curved in the middle, struggling against their own bulk. The product of one Mike Daily, Aggro Rag was the premier BMX zine. Heavy on the goings-on of The Plywood Hoods out of York, Pennsylvania, their tricks and travels, and the national BMX scene of the time, Daily’s rag rivaled the national glossies for writing and relevance.
Daily came to visit me a couple …

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October 15th, 2012 | 6 Comments | Category: Interviews, Videos
Aesop Rock: Perpendicular to Everything

Anyone who questions the lyrical skills of Aesop Rock isn’t listening carefully enough. Or at all. His records reward the repeated listen, the close reading, the attentive ear. His beat-building abilities are on par with his bars making him the complete Hip-hop package. Put that together with his visual art background and his knack for surrounding himself with creative friends of all stripes, and you’ve got one of the most interesting artists of the twenty-first century.

I met Aes in 2005 while backstage at the Showbox in Seattle, and though I …