September 23rd, 2016 | Category: Essays
My Two Days in Television

Two clichés describe the experience of making television shows fairly accurately: It’s always “hurry up and wait” for people on both sides of the camera, and the production side is always “herding cats.” Hundreds of people of different backgrounds and skill-sets have to coordinate their efforts and come together in precisely the same moment — over and over again. There are so many junctures at which mistakes and frustration could take over, so many opportunities for things to go completely wrong.

Based on the original 1971 novel by William Peter Blatty …

Read on »
August 01st, 2016 | Category: Reviews
Genre Trouble: Post-Rock and Other Lost Sounds

Even with a space seemingly cut out for them by a family of description-defying groups, ready-made genres, and audiences lying in wait, some sounds still just seem to don’t fit anywhere. As I wrote previously about another post-something band, when genre-specific adjectives fail, we grasp at significant exemplars from the past to describe new sounds. Following Straw (1991), Josh Gunn (1999) calls this “canonization” (p. 42): The synecdochical use of a band’s name for a genre is analogous to our using metaphors, similes, and other figurative language when literal terms fall …

Read on »
June 21st, 2016 | Category: Reading Lists
Summer Reading List, 2016

If you’re like me, you haven’t even read all of last year’s recommendations, but here’s another great pile of pages to read! This year’s list boasts contributions from newcomers Rita Raley, Gerfried Ambrosch, Pat Cadigan, Emily Empel, Alexander Weheliye, André Carrington, Douglas Lain, Christina Henry, Alfie Bown, Charles Mudede, and Joseph Nechvatal, as well as veteran listers Janet Murray, Lance Strate, Peter Lunenfeld, Ashley Crawford, Lily Brewer, Dave Allen, Rick Moody, Alex Burns, Patrick Barber, Michael Schandorf, and myself.
As always unless otherwise noted, titles and covers link to the book at …

Read on »
May 29th, 2016 | Category: Uncategorized
I-10 Soundtrack

I-10 is a long-ass road. I drove a good chunk of it on Wednesday and then again last night. Here’s what I listened to on the way:

FROM ALABAMA TO AUSTIN AND BACK: AN I-10 SOUNDTRACK
Go West Side [May 25, 2016]:
– Ozzy Osbourne Bark at the Moon
– Sex Pistols Never Mind the Bullocks…
– Public Image Ltd Album
– Prince 1999
– Hail Mary Mallon Bestiary
– Nothing Tired of Tomorrow
– Aesop Rock The Impossible Kid
– Radiohead OK Computer
– Radiohead A Moon Shaped Pool
– The Jesus and Mary Chain Psychocandy
– The Jesus and Mary Chain …

Read on »