Improvisation and Collaboration: Ralph Heidel on Making “Moments of Resonance”

Moments of Resonance, the debut album from Munich-based saxophonist and composer Ralph Heidel and his band Homo Ludens, is the sort of work that eludes easy categorization. At times, Heidel’s work finds a fine middle ground between minimalist composition and post-rock; at others, there’s a more lush and sweeping element to the music. I talked with Heidel about the album’s genesis, the role of improvisation in his music, and more.

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Youth in Revolt and Desolation: A Review of Blake Middleton’s “College Novel”

“Just as Frankenstein’s creature turned against its creator,” writes Jon Savage in Teenage: The Invention of Youth Culture, “so could the young of the West turn against their parents and institutions.” To give a tiny bit of context, Savage was writing about the children of the Industrial Revolution, people who lived over 200 or more years ago, and the realization by thinkers like Jean-Jacques Rousseau and writers from Goethe to Dickens that young people were just that: young people.

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“There’s So Much We All Carry”: An Interview With Richard Chiem

Six years ago, I checked out You Private Person by Richard Chiem from Mellow Pages Library. I went to Mellow Pages often, as it was on the other side of the block from where I then lived, a party house in Bushwick with four other roommates. Reading You Private Person felt similar to the excitement of discovering a new band in high school, where the preciseness of certain lines perfectly reflected my own emotions or environment at the time.

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Vol.1 Brooklyn’s April 2019 Book Preview

Rumor has it that it’s now springtime. And while we’re tempted to volley forth a “spring cleaning? more like spring reading, am I right?”-level salvo, it may be the wiser course of action to simply make with the book recommendations. And thus, here were go, with April’s notable titles encompassing everything from fictional trips into the uncanny to nonfiction that may bring clarity to a frustrating world. Here are some of the books that have caught our eye this month. 

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“Like a Horizontally Splayed Flying Squirrel in Zero Gravity”: An Interview With Benjamin DeVos

I bought Benjamin DeVos’s Lord of the Game a few months ago for a couple reasons. I mean, it’s got a sick title. It’s got a Sam Pink painting on the cover. And my wife was gonna go into labor at any time, and so I needed a fresh smallie to take with me to the hospital. I never did get a chance to open it up in the hospital (a birth is a very exciting time, you might be surprised to find out), so instead I opted to read it out loud to this new infant daughter of mine during our formative midnight hangout sessions. We both loved it. Well, I loved it. She mostly slept through it. And the same thing with DeVos’s more comedic The Bar is Low and his strange, nihilist, subversive, satirical collection Madness Has a Moment and Then Vanishing Before Returning Again. We had a blast, in our own ways.

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Six Ridiculous Questions: Michael J. Seidlinger

The guiding principle of Six Ridiculous Questions is that life is filled with ridiculousness. And questions. That only by giving in to these truths may we hope to slip the surly bonds of reality and attain the higher consciousness we all crave. (Eh, not really, but it sounded good there for a minute.) It’s just. Who knows? The ridiculousness and question bits, I guess. Why six? Assonance, baby, assonance.

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An Excerpt From Robert Cabot’s “Time’s Up: A Memoir of the American Century”

We’re pleased to present an excerpt from Robert Cabot‘s memoir Time’s Up: A Memoir of the American Century. Cabot is the author of several books, including The Joshua Tree, which Kirkus called “a visionary book celebrating mythic conceptions.” Time’s Up explores the United States in the Twentieth Century, juxtaposing a nation’s history with scenes Cabot’s own life.

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A Surreal Voyage Into Verse History: A Review of Marc Zegans’s “La Commedia Sotterranea della Macchina da Scrivere”

Like an archeologist unearthing the Dead Sea Scrolls, you must dive into poet and spoken word artist Marc Zegans’s latest volume with a combination of excitement, curiosity and WTF-ness (because surely he can’t be serious and indeed he is not). Unlike some of Zegans’ earlier work—the magical love poems of The Book of Clouds, the gritty coming-of-age memories of Boys in the Woods and the often playful but sometimes brutal realities of romance in The Underwater TypewriterLa Commedia Sotterranea della Macchina da Scrivere (or, the Typewriter Underground, for those of us who don’t read Italian) is quite the hodgepodge of inventive genealogy, nonsense assembled in seriously well-executed poetic forms, literary in-jokes, and hilarious characters—the members of the Salon du Claques—with monikers like Prolixity Ferris and Glatt Ratner, worthy of a Restoration drama. “If you are confused, we are delighted, and vice versa,” says the brief volume’s participant, editor and trashcan-filching archivist, one Swizzle Felt, in the “Table of Fragments.” Prepare to be both.

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