Elsewhere | A Lotta Moxie

Running Moxipop as an EiC has been a useful experience. Mostly it trains your idea muscles; finding something to post every day isn't that hard, but finding something worthwhile to say about it is. I'm sure I've had days more productive than others, but I'm always proud of my work when I feel like I'm doing more than throwing up an embed and a press release.

I really stewed over this Carrie & Lowell review although once things are published I fear looking at it again (editing, as we all know, is a harrowing rabbit hole.) I was happy to exorcise all of my music streaming program thoughts just a month or so before Tidal botched everything, so that was timely. Thinking aloud about the lovely Father John Misty album was a pleasure as well. I got to see Alvvays in concert and slam the concept of the Grammys in our modern music world. And books! I got to write about two great novels, and that's definitely something I've always wanted to do on a professional level.

I wouldn't say things are good, but I would say that things are gratifying. In some way that's just as valuable. It is hard to imagine a time when I would just swallow these ideas or, worse yet, never even realize they were there.

Elsewhere | Panama Interview & Reviewing All Sorts

The most significant thing I've written in recent history is this Panama interview/live report. Above is a GIF that Google+ made without my asking. They do that a lot. I also took a lot of pictures and forgot to send all of them to BuzzChips. C'est La Vie.

It was kind of a rough interview. I rushed to Hollywood after work, parking was hell, and I only had enough change for a few minutes. I walked a few blocks to an ATM and then a Starbucks to recuperate/game plan for how I was going to get this interview through. Eventually the artist called me back and we did the brief chat over the phone -- which is fine, but I could've spared myself a lot of stress. Super gracious and easy to talk to dude though.

Over at Moxipop I've been glad to write about comics a bit just because it's tangentially related to music. I'm going to do that again for John Darnielle's novel. Both Bonnaroo and FYF got written up because that's how I roll. I decided to review some albums because no one else was.

I have to get back on the hunt for new outlets, though. New genres, different challenges. I don't like the still water.

Elsewhere | Interviews with Electric Mantis, No

The cool thing about interviews is you basically get to let loose with your rapport skills. It's like hitting the heavy bag. You've learned a lot about banter, you've practised polite conversation, and now you're read to deploy it. If you're good you'll punch through that polite layer and have a real conversation. That's the fun of it.

The uncool thing about interviews is having to listen to your own voice in the recording while you transcribe. I'm a pretty quick transcriber -- something that I was really proud of when I was a magazine intern -- but boy do I want to not listen to myself outside of my own head.

I did a couple of cool interviews this past week with some exciting, rising artists. First was Electric Mantis for Moxipop. It was a good, casual and candid conversation in which I did not feel any intense shame. Hope that dude makes it. Second was NO for Buzzchips, which was a little more difficult due to it being during the opening act. I also suffered from hindsight syndrome; I came up with a lot of specific questions and ideas after the fact. Still, they're a great band with a strong album and I can't wait to see what happens.

P.S. I started typing this at a coffee shop where I swear to god adrian brody was enjoying a vegetable sandwich or something across the room

Elsewhere | Futurebirds, Sun Kil Moon, Moses Sumney, A Marsh.

I have written a lot of things recently that I feel reasonably good about. I would like to use the opportunity, afforded by having my own blog where I make the damn decisions, to collect them all into one place.

I'm contributing now to Buzzchips, a very pretty local/independent music blog. As a first pitch, I decided to challenge myself and write about a Futurebirds show, a cool band that I know on a very casual level. It was a lot of fun to watch and write about. My second move was to review the new Sun Kil Moon album, Benji, because that dude is a stone cold boss. I'm almost sure I used the landscape/self-portrait metaphor in the ending somewhere else but for the life of me I can't figure out where. Still, it was the most appropriate image I could conjure.

At good old See South Bay, I had the difficult and self-imposed task of describing why a dry marsh in Torrance is worth your time. I had to meditate on it a little bit but I think I figured it out in a sincere way, why such a space is valuable in the 310 sprawl. Dare I say, I am fond of the marsh now. Also: Beer.

Then we go back to Moxipop where I do my best to give Transgender Dysphoria Blues justice and write a brief live report on a dude named Moses Sumney. I saw him completely on accident at a great weekly LA concert showcase purely to spend time with a girl, and I'm glad I did. He's got a sharp talent that can go in a lot of different directions and I'm excited to see what all his momentum will turn into.

Looking at this post, it's clear that writing about having written is silly. But I'm writing a lot, for other places, and that means I'm not writing here. So it's necessary to keep this place vaguely current.

I'm writing a lot. I'm going to write more. Everywhere.

Elsewhere | The Only Lesson of the Conor Oberst Scandal


I spent about a day trying to figure out how I feel and what was fair and what was correct before I finally settled on it not mattering. Not the incident or the reaction, just how I personally come down on this does not matter. The only ideal I could see is that we learn how to avoid automatic write-offs and snarky skepticism in reports of sexual assault. I think seeing that was the worst part of this news cycle.

Also knowing that any lesson will be washed away by Coachella lineup news.

Elsewhere | Second Hand Adventure at Memory Lanes Antiques Mall

After a brief hiatus due to holidays and technical problems, I have a piece up at See South Bay wherein which someone allows me to go to a gigantic antiques mall and enter the stream of consciousness. We'll see if that was wise.

These are the things I enjoy doing. No game plan other than to explore until I feel something and then overanalyze that feeling. It's probably not journalism, and not always even great press -- but it ought to be okay to read if you're fascinated by old kitsch like I am.

Whatever. Write for yourself first, right?

Elsewhere | The Politics of Conor Oberst

I am pretty sure that I could write about 2000 - 2005 era Saddle Creek forever. It wouldn't necessarily be thoughtful, or good, or substantial, but I could keep going without end. THat's all I'm saying.

Fortunately, this concert piece I did for Moxipop, is a little more substantial than that. I could never deny that Desaparecidos had a weird, somewhat underdeveloped political edge, but it kinda crystallized when I saw them live. Still, it was a great time, I just understand this great time differently.


Elsewhere | Committing Kitty Crimes

I think I might be happy with the way this (very) longform piece for Moxipop turned out. Profiles are often the most fun thing to write, especially if the subject gives you something meaty like artistic identity to latch onto. But, then again, I did just finish it so I am not qualified to judge its quality yet. I'm sure I'll come back to it in 2 days and be horrified by some typos or judgments or sentences, as I always am. Nothing is good for longer than 10 minutes.

Elsewhere | Chvrches - The Bones Of What You Believe

Moxipop is going to be the home for most of my music writings right now, and following up my inaugural Okkervil River review is a few paragraphs about of my most anticipated albums of the year. It's good. It's great. It's not Album of the Year (The National is still holding on) but dang, you guys, this is going to be a beloved debut. This is either the making of a new indie institution or the inevitable stellar debut to unfortunate slump (hey mgmt.)

Elsewhere | 3 Frozen Yogurt Experiments In The South Bay

Yesterday on SeeSouthBay, I create monsters and eat them.

This ridiculous piece came together mostly because I wanted to write something vaguely more creative but still promotional. I understand and am happy with my promotional role on See South Bay, but I was curious to see how far I could go off-brand. It felt good. I'm not glad I ate these things, but I'm glad I got to write about them and just be an absurdist fake journalist for an afternoon. Hopefully I'll get to be a little looser on things like this.