Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The MC5, Wax Trax, and me

In the year 1990 a goofy little 18-year-old me went into Wax Trax Records in Denver and purchased a Headcoats LP. The man behind the counter, one Tim "Purple" Hayes, asked if I was into garage rock. He must have seen how confused I was, because he walked over to the racks, picked out the MC5's Kick Out the Jams, and forced me to buy it. It fucking changed my life. Whenever I listen to the MC5, I think of Tim. Thanks, man, wherever you are.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Catching up

Wow, it's been a crazy couple months. In a nutshell:

-I quit my staff job at The Onion, Inc., in order to return to freelance writing. I'm currently contributing to The A.V. Club, Westword (Village Voice Media), Weird Tales, Fantasy Magazine, and whomever else will have me.

-I attended the Odyssey Writing Workshop. It kicked my ass and changed my life. More on that later.

-I went to Readercon, wound up participating in a Sybil's Garage reading (which kicked ass), and sat in on a Fantasy Magazine planning meeting (which also kicked ass). I'm still committed to writing speculative fiction, but I'm also excited to get into the nonfiction side of the genre, too.

-I'll be doing a Sybil's Garage/Brain Harvest literary reading with the awesome Vylar Kaftan at Kilgore Books on 8/15. I'll also be releasing a chapbook that night for my recent Brain Harvest story, "The Occupation of the Architect."

-The novel is going to be undertaken in earnest. Soon. It's all coming together...

-I've started DJing again, and my old '70s/'80s night, Off the Wall, will be resurrected at the Hi-Dive in Denver on Wednesday, 7/29. The basic idea: no mashups, no remixes, no irony -- a mix of '70s and '80s music that, while danceable, is like no mix you've heard before. Flipper into Journey into Eric B. and Rakim? Yeah, I go there. But it's not a joke. I love all this stuff, and I aim to make people dance to things they never knew they could dance to. (That said, I'm more than happy to throw down dancefloor staples like Michael Jackson -- in fact, my 7/29 kickoff party will be a tribute to greatness of the man, with MJ songs being played liberally throughout the night.)

-On 8/1, my old soul party Chit Chat will get a one-night revival -- me and my DJ partner Big Al will rock the back patio of the Meadowlark in Denver with vintage soul 45s under the stars. Can't wait for this.

-My band The Fire Drills is on its way back, but I've also got a new project bubbling away on the back burner. I've started jamming with my old friends Nathan Marcy (of The Risk) and Jason Begin (of Christie Front Drive, and my old bandmate in The Blue Ontario). It's really fun so far -- scrappy, old-school indie rock in the vein of Archers of Loaf and Lync. Can't wait to get this rolling. But mostly I just love making some noise with two of my favorite musicians (and two of my favorite people).

Whew. Yeah. Lots of craziness. More updates coming soon.