Archive for March 2012
Thanks to our busy time at SXSW, we were a bit slow on posting our mixtape this month. So, instead of the usual two-installment approach, today we deliver the whole thing. This should be more than enough music to distract you from your actual work on this Friday afternoon.
18. Lushlife feat. Styles P – “Still I Hear The Word Progress”
19. Lower Dens – “Propagation”
20. Killer Mike feat. Scar – “Untitled”
This year, Frontier Psychiatrist has expanded both its staff and its coverage considerably (as evidenced by our recent SXSW overload), allowing us to bring you more thoughts on our favorite records, concerts, books and films than ever before. Nonetheless, it seems as if every week a new album is released that mesmerizes us but that we fail to share with you. We’ve addressed this problem to some degree through the use of our Tumblr, but we still fall just a bit short. And so, as we did last year, we will be bringing you periodic round-ups of the best Albums We Missed throughout 2012. This installment is heavy on the folk with a bit of punk and 80s pop mixed in. We hope you find something you’ll enjoy. Read the rest of this entry »
Justin Sirois is the author of three books, Secondary Sound (2008), MLKNG SCKLS (2009), and most recently Falcons on the Floor, which launches tonight (March 27) with a reading at Metro Gallery in Baltimore. Falcons on the Floor tells the story of two young men fleeing their homes during the US siege of Fallujah in 2004. The book is the result of research and a collaboration with Haneen Alshujairy, an Iraqi refugee. After completing two literary projects together, Justin and Haneen have gone on to launch The Understanding Campaign, which “promotes empathy and understanding over conflict.”
In addition to writing, Sirois is an editor and designer for Narrow House, a publishing group “creating interdisciplinary language-based craziness,” and he is an active member of the vibrant Baltimore arts community. Interviewer Gina Myers first met him in 2005 through the literary scene, and in 2007 they co-hosted a Lame & Narrow House event at the Carriage House in Baltimore. They recently spoke over email about his new novel and current projects.
When did you first start working on Falcons on the Floor?
It would have been late 2007 when I first started drafting the novel. I remember having the rough outline — two young men from Fallujah travel up the Euphrates River to Ramadi to escape the siege. So that part was fairly simple. Research took up just as much time as writing during the first 2 years. I had to surround myself with material: photographs, documentaries, autobiographies, really anything I could get my hands on. Interviewing Iraqis also helped to dig out details that I would have otherwise missed. That’s how I met Haneen Alshujairy. She helped out a great deal.
It’s a good time to be a geek. I’m not sure how it happened. In high school, I had to constantly check myself lest at the merest mention of the X-Men I found myself giving an impromptu lecture on the ins and outs of the Summers family tree (which includes clones, time-travel, space pirates and an evil Victorian bio-geneticist, but I digress). These days, I can show pretty girls my Batman/Superman tattoos and they seem impressed. The San Diego Comic-Con is a major cultural event. Frat Boys play Sci-Fi video games and Sorority Girls wear “I Love Geeks” t-shirts (though you’ll forgive me if I doubt their sincerity).
Oh. And the Movies. JESUS CHRIST, THE MOVIES! If you would have told me when I was 15, skipping school and reading the latest issue of Iron Man in the back of Downtown Comics (which was oddly not located downtown) that Robert Downey Jr. would a) not be on drugs and b) star in a 200 million dollar Iron Man summer blockbuster, I would have told you to a) stop doing drugs and b) leave me alone, I’m reading. Like I said, I don’t know how it happened. But, Praise the Lord, our time has come. Looking back, we may view 2012 as the apogee of the Total Geek Domination of Hollywood (though it might also be the Mayan Apocalypse…I wonder if the two are connected…?).
Thus, I give you the Top 10 Films Geeks Can Look Forward to in 2012. In the great Geek tradition, I will endeavor to make harsh and sweeping judgments about things on which I have very little information. Enjoy.
There’s been a lot of talk lately about jazz being dead. This isn’t the first, or even third time in my relatively short life that I’ve heard this declaration, but in this ultra-connected Internet age, the death tolls seem to be coming from more directions than usual. I apparently missed the memo. So did a few thousand other New Yorkers over the course of two weeks in February and March. In that time, the city hosted Robert Glasper‘s two-night stand at the Highline Ballroom celebrating his fantastic new album Black Radio, as well as Soulive‘s third annual 10-night residency at Brooklyn Bowl, aptly titled Bowlive. I was fortunate to catch the first of Glasper’s shows as well as three nights of Bowlive and the music was excellent across the board. Glasper and his Experiment demonstrated rare talent and understanding of groove, but Soulive certainly held up their end, with the added benefit of such guests as John Scofield and Billy Martin. Notably, both shows –at two of the city’s larger clubs–were packed.