I can’t remember just how I stumbled across Dale Cooper, but I doubt it was while googling a French verb or cheap flights. But beyond the naked pictures, an interesting character began to reveal itself. Here was a Tumblr photo of Cooper and his friend and fellow performer Colby Keller, wearing nerdy glasses, checkered aprons and carrying a tray of cupcakes. There a porn-site profile, professing he likes the Times crossword and crackers. On the Huffington Post, he wrote a series of columns dealing with subjects ranging from gay suicide to the sociological implications of digital closeness on Grindr. On finding his blog, I finally had to abandon [...]
Tomorrow Matador Records is reissuing Come's "11:11." If you don't remember the 90s, and really why would you, it's one of the great rock records of… all time? Yup, absolutely. Come toured with Pavement and Nirvana, considered their major label options, and put out three more albums in the 90s, even as half the lineup left. And then… everyone sort of drifted away. Now the original four-some is on tour in Europe; they'll wend their way to America in mid-June. Over the weekend, we Skyped with Come's Thalia Zedek about getting the band back together. She was in Berlin, getting lost; she also has a new album [...]
Last weekend Mark Kamins died of a heart attack at age 57. The legendary DJ and producer—who worked with David Byrne, the Beastie Boys and Sinéad O'Connor—was best known for producing Madonna's first single, 1982's "Everybody," and helping sign her to Seymour Stein's Sire Records. Around that same time, Kamins produced another popular single, the dance-rap track "Jam Hot" by Johnny Dynell. (The song was featured in the iconic 1983 graffiti documentary Style Wars, and its lyrics—"Tank Fly Boss Walk Jam Nitty Gritty/You're listening to the boy from the big bad city"—were sampled in the #1 U.K. single "Dub Be Good To Me" by Beats International, the 1990s [...]
Of all it has embraced, the booming artisanal movement has so far passed over one largely extinct 19th-century practice: opium smoking in the old manner.
But in a book out last year, one collector of antique opium-smoking paraphernalia documents how his fascination with a lost era's artifacts led to an attempt to recreate and live in a lost era of chandu, resulting in an opium addiction of "the traditional manner" that reached a peak of thirty pipes a day. I spoke with author Steven Martin about his book, Opium Fiend: A 21st Century Slave to a 19th Century Addiction, his Opium Museum project, and the cultural legacy of [...]
Christeene is an Austin-based singer and performer. There is an impulse to say that she is a drag character, but Paul Soileau, the actual Social Security number-having man "behind" Christeene doesn't really like the word 'drag' that much in this case, and neither do I, except as a way of understanding on a basic level that yes, this is a man dressed up as a person in high heels and makeup with a woman's name. Anyway. Christeene is the best. She and her backup dancers T-Gravel and C-Baby perform tonight at Glasslands in Williamsburg. Below is an email chat with Christeene.
I saw you play at [...]
This week, Merge releases Mark Eitzel's haunted and haunting Don't Be A Stranger, his first solo album since 2009's Klamath (Decor Records). Producer Sheldon Gomberg assembled a collection of crack studio players, including a full string section and Attractions drummer Pete Thomas, to record the album, whose more straightforward songs sprang from Eitzel's recent experience co-writing a musical, 2010's Marine Parade, with friend Simon Stephens. Longtime fans of the former lead singer of American Music Club, who cherish the grim, soaring beauty of his lyrics, where people are lonely, bad liquor is a refuge, "Lazarus wasn't grateful for his second wind," and "the applause grows louder the lower [...]
In 2009, D.T. Max published a long piece about David Foster Wallace, and his suicide, in The New Yorker. The project grew into the biography Every Love Story is a Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace. In the final months of the book's completion, through a stroke of incredible luck, I had the opportunity to help Max as a research assistant. Biography, it turns out, is complicated, wrenching work, particularly when your subject inspires the kind of devotion Wallace can, and where the end of a life comes in the form his did. With the book's release today, I wanted to talk to Max about the process [...]