Flux Factory: Make a Record, Break a Record

I’ve been meaning to write about Flux Factory’s Going Places, Doing Stuff tour (theme: Quest For Immortality), led by artists Jason Eppink and Matt Green.

For now, watch us set the world record for “most people drinking out of a pineapple at one time.” According to Jason, Good Morning America will be airing our record tomorrow and attempting to break it. Let the games resume.

Jihad, Defined

AslanCasual readers may view “How to Win a Cosmic War” (Random House, 2009, $26), the second book by acclaimed religious scholar Reza Aslan, as a defense of Islam. In part, this is an accurate assessment.

As an American Muslim, surely Aslan is concerned about our country’s perception of Islam, which was guided—particularly in the Bible Belt—by our former president’s oft-referenced and vaguely justified War on Terror. In his quest to convince readers that not all Islam is Jihadism, Aslan is both blatant and humorous. His glossary definition of the media-circulated term “Islamofascism,” simply states: “This word has no meaning.”

Keep reading at the Jackson Free Press

Japanther & Friends at Lit Fuse


We came because of Japanther, even though my friend Nick, visiting from South Carolina, had never heard of them and I barely knew their music. But they’ve made appearances on the mixed CD’s friends send my way, and they went to Pratt like most people doing amazing things in New York these days, and apparently they sometimes share their concert stage with puppets, dance troupes, film montages and swimming pools. Besides all that, it was a good cause, punk rock style. A few months ago Texas-based DJ Ephew got his leg ripped off by a truck (he was biking or motorbiking, one of the two), and like many of us that haunt creative pursuits, he has no insurance and now, no leg. And a prosthetic costs $3000. But local promoter Nick Chatfield-Taylor was on it.
Continue reading

Starring Coraline as Itself

It’s not Wicked–which was my last musical theater experience in New York–the comfortably canonized show my mom and aunt were bubbling to catch when they came in May. It’s not Wicked, with its catchy tunes and overtly accessible characters that warrant hopeless and immediate emotional investment.

Since I did precariously little reading on Coraline the musical (and have basically no concept of the novel or movie), I think I expected something in the Wicked department—at the very least, I wanted a spunky, defiantly adorable hell-raiser of a (somewhat convincing) tween star that would reactivate my childhood cool-girl crush mentality for an hour or so and a deliciously sinister fantasy-land to “disappear here” into. What I got was 50-something Jayne Houdyshell in knickers and a tacky vest. It didn’t take me long to realize that Coraline is not Wicked, nor did it intend to be.

Keeping reading at The South Wing

Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough

As soon as I stumble from the C station at 125th and St. Nick, a man shoves a crumpled tee somewhere in the vicinity of my stomach. “Ten dollars,” he barks. I duck my head, still squinting at sudden daylight. The earnest grin of “Beat It” era Michael floats towards me, almost dreamily, from a sea of upturned collar and curly hair.
Keep reading at The South Wing