Articles in the Interviews Category

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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 …

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July 13th, 2012 | One Comment | Category: Interviews, Videos
Erik Blood: Aural Sex

Confession: My all-time favorite band is Oingo Boingo. It’s been that way since Keith Vandeberg introduced me to them in the sixth grade. Oingo Boingo showed me that music could be about something, that it could evoke meaning as well as feeling, that it could tell stories as well as be rebellious. I found out much later that mastermind Danny Elfman also scored films. This made sense to me, given what his band had taught me about the power of music.

Erik Blood will soon release one of the best records I’ve …

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July 03rd, 2012 | 2 Comments | Category: Interviews
Ian Bogost: Worthwhile Dilemmas

Partially fueled by Jane McGonigal’s bestselling Reality is Broken (Penguin, 2011), “gamification”—that is turning mostly menial tasks into games through a system of points and rewards—became the buzzword of 2011 and diluted and/or stigmatized videogame studies on many fronts. Gaming ungamed situations is not all bad though. Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt’s Oblique Strategies (1975) were tactics for gaming a stalled creative process. In an interview with Steven Johnson, Brian Eno explained, “The trick for me isn’t about showing people how to be creative as though they’ve never been like that before, but …

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June 26th, 2012 | One Comment | Category: Interviews, Videos
Nick Harkaway: A Dynastic Succession of Trouble

I’ve been away, immersed in Nick Harkaway’s intricately constructed yet sprawlingly seductive second novel, Angelmaker (Knopf, 2012; His first is The Gone-Away World; Knopf, 2008). To wrap a genre around this book is to force it into a jacket that doesn’t fit. It’s noir, it’s science fiction, it’s steampunk, it’s a lot of things — informed by a lot of other things (William Gibson calls it, “The very best sort of odd.”). “We live in a muddled-together age where the past continues to play out in the present,” Harkaway wrote on his site, …

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March 29th, 2012 | 3 Comments | Category: Interviews
Mark Dery: Nothing’s Shocking

I read a review of a Weird Al Yankovich record several years ago (i.e., eons past Al’s 1980s prime) that pointed out that his schtick had become commonplace. When irony and parody become the norm, the edges move toward the middle. When culture jamming becomes culture, there’s nothing left to jam. When the news is just another reality show… After many binges on the fringes, learning the edge, culture jamming, and cyberpunking during the 1990s, chronicled in his books Culture Jamming (Open Media, 1993), Flame Wars (Duke University Press, 1994), Escape Velocity (Grove Press, 1996), and The Pyrotechnic …

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January 29th, 2012 | 3 Comments | Category: Interviews
David Preston: Hacking High School

After a decade of teaching at the university level, David Preston decided to stop ignoring the ills we all know haunt those halls and dropped back to high school. He’s now trying to reform a place that desperately needs it. I got the chance to participate in a discussion with his literature and composition classes, thanks to David, Ted Newcomb, and Howard Rheingold, all of whom are hacking education in various ways. I can tell you with no reservations that David is making the difference. I want to keep this …

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December 05th, 2011 | No Comment | Category: Interviews, Videos
Sam Seidel: You Must Learn

Sam Seidel is a progressive pedagogue. He chronicles his forays into education reform on The Husslington Post. In his new book, Hip-Hop Genius: Remixing High School Education (Rowman and Littlefield, 2011), he drops science on the High School of Recording Arts, where he’s implemented many aspects of the four elements in the classroom. In what follows, we discuss the book, the classroom, and how Hip-hop can help education come correct in the twenty first.

Roy Christopher: Most would agree that modern education needs an upgrade. How can Hip-hop help in this …