Month of May, 2008

City Pages: This Atlas Rocks

Am putting the final touches on the "Other Notable" essays for the 2008 edition of the book and wanted to share some of my favorite pieces that didn't make it in the book.

First is "This Atlas Rocks."

I'm biased to love great writing/illustration projects because I have a great artist friend with whom I collaborate (, and I was pleased to see the fabulous local scene writer Peter Scholtes tackle the places and stories of Minneapolis rock history with this two page illustrated spread:


DC on NIN: Heroes for Ghosts

Today my LA Weekly article on the new NIN album The Slip is out. Been thinking a lot about that "Welcome to the Machine" reference – neither of them denied the mechanisms of fame, just the indignities that were suffered for it.

Re: the lede. Best when angry. For my book I interviewed one of Reznor's roadie/techs whose job it was to glue the keys back on his keyboards after each performance. Who knew this could be a 20 year career?

Convincing People is not easy

So last week I read Drew Daniel's excellent Throbbing Gristle book 20 Jazz Funk Greats (Continuum), and directly afterward spent 21 hours watching noise live at the Knitting Factory for the No Fun Fest. Yesterday I turned in yet another NIN piece, this time for the LA Weekly, and so all revolves right now around the noise/industrial nexus and my blossoming (re)interest in what it means to listen to and participate in so called transgressive art. I want to share this bit from Drew's book, which is part of the chapter on the song "Convincing People," because it reveals something that bothers me about the contemporary noise scene, which I see as very much the inheritor of the values Genesis et al. founded, however ironically given the context of this extended quote:

Lucky Dragons curate East River Music Project, Obits play East River Music Project 2008!

lola punks it up for ERMP

ERMP don't take no mess!


The most excellent Luke Lucky Dragons agreed to curate the first East River Music Project show of the summer. Mark your calendars! And...the world is ready for Obits, the new project of my dear friend Scott Gursky (of Shortstack and the Ruby Dare fame) and Rick Froberg (Drive Like Jehu/Hot Snakes). Are you? Get with it.


East River Amphitheater (Cherry St. @ FDR Drive, NYC)
June 7, 2008 | 2 PM 

Lucky Dragons

No Fun is over, long live No Fun

Wrote a little Pitchfork news story about the No Fun Fest. Here's some pix that didn't make the cut from everyone's favorite morally repugnant Consumer Electronics, etc.

Hair Police at No Fun 2008

Hair Police at No Fun 2008


As reported by Jason Gross at PopMatters, Blurt Magazine online will take the place of the recently finished Harp Magazine. That certainly good news, and well-reported feature writing online is certainly welcome to the party!

Skope RIP

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Bert Williams - A Silent Theater Speaking

Camille Forbes's new book on early black pop musician/actor/comedian Bert Williams is finally out on the stands, and today MoMA did a showing of Williams films to go with the book (and Feb. MoMA talk). The three films, Fish, A Natural Born Gambler, and fragments of a third romantic narrative were in amazing high quality - so much so that it was eerie to watch them, as Williams appears in blackface in all three (as he always did, even when everyone else in the film is not in blackface) but the resolution was such that the films could have been from some much more recent past.