The 808 Heard Round the World
Roland’s mighty TR-808, 35 years after it helped send hip-hop into orbit. Less audio product than force of nature, its bass-rolling subsonic boom is what people mean when they say “an 808.” Similar to the oceanic crescendo that runs through Wagner’s Vorspiel to “Das Rheingold,” the sound is felt before it’s heard, its downbeat swooning to fill a space, tuned to its own harmonic center. The New Yorker‘s Culture Desk. August 13, 2015.
The Butterfly Effects: Amid Butterflies, a Bit of a Lingua Franca
Language and Lepidoptera: found science at the American Museum of Natural History, New York Times. May, 2015.
Enter the Chambers: Making Once Upon A Time In Shaolin
You are looking at a Wu Tang Clan album—unique by even Wu Tang standards. There’s one copy. This is it. (photos: Ilja Meefout)
The 8-years-in-the-making Once Upon a Time in Shaolin is not priced for Walmart. It went up for auction at paddle8.com (click photos for more), and is the bravest, illest, most genuinely provocative work of conceptual music I’ve had the pleasure of helping along. March, 2015.
Dying In Public
A media capital’s reaction to one of its neighbors, celebrities, and casualties as his story unfolds in real time. 2008.
Real Death Metal
The story of the first rock star shot to death onstage, Pantera guitarist “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott,” and the man who killed him in an Ohio nightclub, ex-Marine Nathan Gale. In case it isn’t obvious, this one’s a tad dark. Blender, 2006.
Bounce With Me
Critical beat-downs, and insane posses. Enjoying Detroit nightlife with the bouncers of St. Andrew’s Hall. 2002.
On the reality show as 21st-century travel guide. 2012.
Allergic To New York City
Non-metaphorically sick in the city, an illness memoir. 1999.
Lolita and The Damage Done
Regarding the nymphet on the 50th anniversary of Nabokov’s masterpiece.
Among the Gastronauts
Raw, uncooked, and under-washed: dietary extremists at century’s end. 1999.
“I’m a raw-foodist myself,” she said. “Dr. Pierce is our leader. “You must have seen his ads—‘Know-All Pierce-All.’”
“Oh, yes,” Tod said. “You’re vegetarians.”
She laughed at his ignorance.
– The Day of the Locust, Nathanael West
The Medicated Me
The author had tried Zoloft, Paxil, Effexor, Lamictal, Geodon, and many more during a decade of positivewell-being—then stopped.To find out what happens when people stop taking medication and start getting real…read only as directed. 2011.
Sober Is the New Black
Have ex-junkies, -cokeheads, and -drunks quietly taken over the world?
On a soul-killing depilatory trend. 2007.
On the healing wisdom of Born this Way-era Lady Gaga. Vulture. 2011.