Articles in the Interviews Category

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October 16th, 2017 | Comments Off on Rita Raley: Tactical Humanities | 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 …

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July 26th, 2017 | Comments Off on Labtekwon: Margin Walker | 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 …

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July 17th, 2017 | Comments Off on Mish Barber-Way: Flour Power | 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 …

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June 28th, 2017 | Comments Off on Scott Wozniak: Shadowboxing the Apocalypse [Interview by Mike Daily] | Category: Interviews
Scott Wozniak: Shadowboxing the Apocalypse [Interview by Mike Daily]

Two years ago, I moved from the Portland area to Southern Oregon’s Rogue Valley and met Scott Wozniak. Scott’s become a close friend. He writes poetry. He participates in readings and (yes, they still exist) slams. In 2014, during the first six months of his sobriety, Scott won $140 at a slam in Ashland. I told him he reminds me in some ways of Steve Richmond. He laughed. When we met, Scott hadn’t heard of Steve or read his poems. Familiar refrain in American Renegades poetry. Or Outlaw. Modern American …

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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 …