A New Documentary Explores the Lasting Appeal of the LP: Inside “Vinyl Nation”

"Vinyl Nation" art

Few musical formats have had the comeback narrative that vinyl has in the last decade or so. A new documentary film, Vinyl Nation, explores the enduring appeal of LPs and the subculture that’s grown around them recently — including the rise of Record Store Day. I talked with directors Kevin Smokler and Christopher Boone to learn more about the film’s origins and how the project came to fruition.

Continue Reading

“This History Has Not Had its Reckoning Yet”: An Interview With Maaza Mengiste

Maaza Mengiste

Since mid-2019, it’s been a busy literary time for Maaza Mengiste. Her novel The Shadow King, recently released in paperback, is set in Ethiopia in 1935, when Italy invaded. Blending a bold historical scope with questions of identity and gender, the result is a thrilling read — and one which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. This year also saw the release of the new anthology Addis Ababa Noir, which Mengiste edited; it’s a taut collection of thrilling stories that encompasses modes from the realistic to the uncanny. I spoke with Mengiste about her recent work, translation, and what’s next for her.

Continue Reading

“That Time When We Were Indifferent”: A Conversation with Shalom Auslander

Shalom Auslander

As a yeshiva boy, Shalom Auslander showed such promise that his rabbis believed he would grow into a leader of the Jewish people. They proved poor talent scouts. Auslander left the Orthodox community—a protracted affair he discusses in his unruly, hilarious memoir, Foreskin’s Lament —and has since written four deliriously unholy books which explore the limitations imposed by religious orthodoxy and other inherited, obligatory identities. “I have very little connection to Judaism or Jewish people,” says the former apt pupil. “Though one thing I do admire is that historically we’ve been a pain in the ass. We ask hard questions. The Spanish should have kicked us out.”

Continue Reading

Six Ridiculous Questions: Lee Matthew Goldberg

Lee Matthew Goldberg

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.

Continue Reading

Michael Zapruder Debuts His New Single “New Quarantine”

Michael Zapruder

We’re pleased to be debuting new music from Michael Zapruder. “New Quarantine” is the new single from Zapruder’s new album Latecomers. You may also know him via his earlier project Pink Thunder, which found him adapting 20 poems by a host of writers into critically acclaimed songs. I spoke with Zapruder about the song’s origins, its unexpected resonance in 2020, and the long process of making Latecomers.

Continue Reading

Six Ridiculous Questions: Aatif Rashid

Aatif Rashid

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.

Continue Reading

Six Ridiculous Questions: Kurt Baumeister

Kurt Baumeister

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. (And in a very special edition of Six Ridiculous Questions, this time around it’s 6RQ creator Kurt Baumeister’s turn to get a host of bizarre questions. One might even call this turn of events “ridiculous.” -ed.)

Continue Reading

“I Wanted to Encompass Many Forms of Storytelling”: An Interview with Christopher Linforth

Christopher Linforth

Christopher Linforth’s Directory is a short, powerful collection of flash fiction. The forty stories, which make up the book, run together to form a strange, fragmented narrative. The book falls squarely into experimental fiction, a nebulous if useful category. Directory explores the dichotomies and idiosyncrasies of the genre through the story of a pluralized narrator, part I and part we.

Continue Reading