Saturday, December 8, 2012

My 2012 Music Writings

There are several reasons why 2012 was a big year for me, not least of which are 1) I moved out of my parents' house -- those are my records all crated up on the living room floor the night before my departure -- and 2) at the urging of my friends Chris, Cliff and a few others, I started writing about music for a few websites, namely the t.r.o.y. blog and Tiny Mix Tapes (so far for their Delorean Blog mostly). It's been much more fun than I'd expected, definitely improved my critical listening skills, and for better or worse, made me feel less guilty about slacking off when it comes to my other writing habits.

In case you haven't been following my work and would like to, here's a list of some music posts I did this year, from a little video biography piece that got me going back in April to a 3,000-word year-in-summary article that went up a week ago. The pieces I enjoyed writing (and reading) most are emboldened, so if you only want to check out a few, I suggest reading those (unless of course you're not really into hip-hop, in which case check out the Blue Oyster Cult, Bonniwell Music Machine and/or Lee 'Scratch' Perry posts).

Bobby Digital in Video for the t.r.o.y. blog
The Digital Revolution: A Critical Analysis of RZA as Bobby Digital In Stereo for the t.r.o.y. blog
on Blue Oyster Cult's Secret Treaties for DELOREAN
on Scaramanga's Seven Eyes Seven Horns for DELOREAN
on Lee 'Scratch' Perry's The Return of Pipecock Jackxon for DELOREAN
Schoolly D Instrumentals 101 for the t.r.o.y. blog
on Schoolly D's Welcome To America for DELOREAN
on The Bonniwell Music Macine for DELOREAN
on LoDeck and Omega One's Postcards From The Third Rock for DELOREAN
Synthesis, Synchronicity and Singularity: How Three of Hip-Hop's Most Ingenious Independents Helped Make 2012 a Year to Remember, a feature for Tiny Mix Tapes

Now then, if you're feeling my aspiring contributions to the canon of 2012 music writing, I'd sincerely appreciate you heading over to the Best Music Writing Ballot and including some of my work among your nominations. It looks like you can vote for up to 15 pieces. Short of doing all that -- actually, I'm not even sure if that whole contest is still up and running; it looks like it might be defunct, but voting anyway can't hurt -- I also wouldn't mind if you were to pass these joints on to your friends, bandmates, lovers, colleagues, or whomever you think might dig 'em. In fact, I hear that this is how writers lacking agents and publishing houses get their work out there.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Cambridge Nights Season 2

I'm very happy to learn that the Cambridge Nights web series has returned for a second season. In fact, I just found out tonight and this is the first new installment I'm watching (for obvious reasons). I'm not sure how I feel about the interviews getting divided into smaller segments in which the questions are framed for the viewer via on-screen text rather than shown organically as asked by the host/interviewer, but I guess it makes the series a bit more accessible.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Ripped Genes Promo

Pet-store patron purchases unborn human fetus from avian shopkeep.
Swimming instrumentalists mix horns, strings and hormones.
Draughtsman seeks amphibious splice for erotic tryst.
Editor’s namesake awakens to smells of blood, rot, more blood.
Wolfboy’s hired hand lights path, but does he know the way?
Labor pains with explosive implications.
Half-terraformed planet’s native inhabitants cross the border.
Insurgents spring ally from DNA-hacking overlords.
Copycat comes to terms with surroundings and selves.
Spaghetti-slurping journalist learns true meaning of pharmacovigilance.
Guerilla clinic guinea pig invests big in immunity.
Anthropomorphism: a matter of profit vs. principle.
Enamored animal activist meets familiar face.

Previews of Ripped Genes stories, for the Morpheus Tales #18 online supplement.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Coming Soon from Morpheus Tales

Ripped Genes, the Biopunk Special I edited for Morpheus Tales should be out sometime in September. It will be available in e-book and print-on-demand formats. To preview the issue, visit or check it out below:

Friday, August 17, 2012

I Heard It On Shark Week

Correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't there a time when Shark Week was both entertaining and educational? These days, it seems like it's all about high definition closeup shots and slow motion videos of Great White feeding frenzies. As a matter of fact, you could probably count the number of non-Great White sharks they showed the whole week on one hand. I guess it's in keeping with the whole "History Made Every Day" scheme, wherein thought-provoking and informative programming is phased out in favor of ancient alien conspiracies and fat people selling shit.

Having said that, I cannot deny the fact that Shark Week offers some of the most entertaining TV of the year. Of course, the visuals are the main attraction, but this year I found myself chuckling at several of the interviews and voice-overs, so much so in fact that I was prompted to pull out my notebook (remember those?) and record a few of my favorite quotes:

"Colossus came in once, looked at RoboSeal and instantly took a liking to it -- took it out, chewed it to pieces, and unfortunately, that was the end of RoboSeal and our experiment."

"What happened to that - what happened to that whale?"
"It's like a crime scene. You have to solve it."

 "If we had that movie Jaws filmed from our boat, it would've been a 10-minute movie... It would've been dead really quick."

 "Angry over his loss, Al sets off to kill every shark he sees."

 "Her tremendous girth was obvious, but was she pregnant or had she just gorged on a whale?"

Monday, June 25, 2012

Binary Simon my first (and so far only) attempt at creating something for the comic book medium. I put it together for a desktop publishing class in 2007 using stock images, Quark and Photoshop. I've been holding this back since then because it comes off as so ridiculously pretentious -- God makes a cameo and assumes control of the narrative for a few pages -- that it was hard for me to read after I graduated from college and got my mind right. That being said, I feel that by now I've matured to the point where I can laugh at all this and take some measure of pride in a few panels. One last note: I've since forgotten how to use Quark and Photoshop entirely and all that remains of this is the final .pdf that was taken to the printer. For one reason or another, the cover is the last page.

Monday, April 16, 2012

My Review of That New HBO Show

As lifted from my facebook page:

Contrary to her own ridiculously self-righteous opinion of herself, Lena Dunham is not the voice of our generation. She is a spoiled art world brat who became famous by portraying a spoiled art world brat on film. This has nothing to do with what is going on in the country or the world right now, and the idea that we as a generation will be remembered for aspiring to this sort of character type is absolute poppycock. In conclusion, Girls is going to be a huge show and I hate you all for watching it.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Marketing Campaign of My Dreams

Ads by Jonathan Dean via Clifford Morrissey, one of my co-workers who co-publishes a print magazine (yes, print only, imaginge that!) called Linda (I'm all up in it).

Sunday, March 11, 2012

R.I.P. Jean Giraud

Yesterday, the world lost one of its greatest artists, Jean Giraud aka Moebius, a 73-year-old Frenchman who'd been destroying shit since the late '50s/early '60s. To put it simply, Moebius was and always will be a bad motherfucker. If you're unfamiliar with his work, please take some time to appreciate the man's creative genius, a source of inspiration for countless filmmakers, graffiti artists, authors and fellow comic book illustrators the world over.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Original Biopunk Stories Wanted

I will be editing a special biopunk-themed issue for UK-based horror/scifi/fantasy magazine Morpheus Tales. We are looking for cover art and story submissions. If you're interested in contributing please read on. If you're not, but you know somebody else who might be, please spread the word.

From William Gibson’s groundbreaking Sprawl trilogy to the Wachowski brothers’ highly entertaining, if also highly derivative, Matrix trilogy, the literary subgenre known as cyberpunk has seen crossover success in just about every entertainment medium. Ditto for steampunk, which has even made its way into everyday forums such as home d├ęcor and fashion. Biopunk, on the other hand, has not yet seen nearly the amount of exposure as its literary kinfolk. One of the main reasons for this is undoubtedly the limited amount of work that this subgenre has produced thus far.

For those who don’t know, biopunk fiction, in short, looks toward a future (or at an alternate present) in which the biotechnology revolution affects everyday life. Look at it like this if it helps: cybernetics and cyberspace are to cyberpunk as biology and biotechnology are to biopunk. The “punk” comes from the subgenre’s frequent use of dystopian settings and the political (or perhaps more accurately, apolitical) implications of the open-source philosophy to which many real-life biopunks (aka biohackers) subscribe. Some seminal works of biopunk fiction are the films Gattaca and Splice; the comic book serial Fluorescent Black by writer MF Wilson and artist Nathan Fox; and perhaps most importantly, the book Ribofunk by Paul Di Filippo, who has actually cited H.G. Wells’ The Island of Doctor Moreau as a precursor to the subgenre.

Morpheus Tales is looking for short works of biopunk fiction for an upcoming special. As always, try to think outside of the box. You don’t have to steer entirely clear of the genre’s main tropes (after all, not too many have been established), but we’re not going to publish a handful of stories about clone armies alongside another handful about Dr. Mephesto’s four-assed turtle and other such genetic oddities. Also, biopunk stories have for the most part taken on a dystopian tone so far, but there’s nothing saying that this has to be the case. Try utopian, try ecotopian, try whatever you like so long as it’s original and readable.

Deadline for submissions will be July 31, 2012.

Please put "Biopunk Special Issue Submission" in the subject of your email and send to:

Other than that, all regular Morpheus Tales submission guidelines apply: no simultaneous submissions, standard manuscript format, only high quality character- or plot-driven stories of no more than 3,000 words.

The Biopunk Special Issue will be available as an ebook and via print-on-demand services. Contributor copies will be in ebook format.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Looking Ahead

"Inside the Earth, there is a very high civilzation existing, particularly the head of the librarians inside of the earth."

At first I didn't believe her, but then when I noticed the mystical smoke rising from her body I was totally sold.