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 …

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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 …

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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:

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 …

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December 20th, 2015 | Category: Essays
Cultural Scripts: Now or Narrow

A couple of years ago I wrote a piece about the death of the mainstream in which I quote my friend Mark Wieman describing the long tail as longer and fatter than ever. In that same piece I state, “…what happens when we don’t share any of it anymore? Narrowcasting and narrowcatching, as each of us burrows further down into our own interests, we have less of them in common as a whole. The mainstream has become less of a stream and more of a mist.” As this creeping fragmentation continues, …

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