Did You Hear? Why iii Love the Moon

There are few things better than watching talented people make great music.

In this session, Phony PpL worked with Just Blaze (Kendrick Lamar, Jay-Z), and just ripped the top off of this song.

(We posted another track from these guys back in 2015.)

Brook Reeder

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Non-Fiction by Non-Men: MariNaomi

Photo Credit: Jolene Siana

MariNaomi is the author and illustrator of Kiss & Tell: A Romantic Resume, Ages 0 to 22 (Harper Perennial, 2011), Dragon’s Breath and Other True Stories (2dcloud/Uncivilized Books, 2014), Turning Japanese (2dcloud, 2016), and I Thought YOU Hated ME (Retrofit Comics, 2016). Her work has appeared in over sixty print publications and has been featured on numerous websites, such as LA Review of Books, Midnight Breakfast, and BuzzFeed. From 2011-2013 her comics appeared as the column Smoke In Your Eyes on The Rumpus.

MariNaomi’s comics and paintings have been featured by such institutions as the Smithsonian, the De Young Museum, the Cartoon Art Museum, the Asian Art Museum, and the Japanese American Museum. In 2011, Mari toured with the literary roadshow Sister Spit. She is the creator and curator of the Cartoonists of Color Database and the Queer Cartoonists Database. She has taught classes for the California College of the Arts Comics MFA program, and is currently a guest editor at PEN America.

E.B. Bartels: How did you begin writing and drawing nonfiction? What attracted you to the genre?

MariNaomi: As a girl (as early as age five) I thought I’d grow up to be a novelist, and by age 21 I’d written two novels. I was determined to be a best-selling prodigy. Well, that’s not how things turned out, and I quickly learned that trying to get published is a different game than making up stories, and that I don’t deal well with rejection. After a particularly cruel comment from a publisher (“Who would ever want to read a book like this? It’s too depressing.”) I was shamed into novelistic silence, and I put away my typewriter (yes, both novels were written on typewriters!). Continue reading

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Once a Taxi Driver

Nina got directions and headed out near the border of the prov­ince, to a village covered with undulating waves of snow, about a hun­dred kilometers from Rogozhin. Ksenia refused to go—her eyes ached from the glittering snow and the blinding sun—and Nina rode with a driver by the name of Vitya in a Barguzin-model van that was white and smooth, like sweet ice cream. Kirill had hired this Vitya especially for Ksenia’s side trips and allocated funds for it, but Ksenia tended to drive herself and keep the money. At that point Nina hadn’t realized that Vitya was destined to become the ambassador for all adoption in Rogozhin. The effect he had on the Spanish couples eclipsed quiet interpreter Nina and efficient Ksenia, whom the clients rarely saw and mistakenly called “the lawyer,” an error she never corrected or laughed about. Vitya was so strong and handsome that when they saw him for the first time, even the most nervous were instantly calmed. He was like a liberating warrior on a military poster. Some of those moments made Nina slightly embarrassed.

“That Vitya is so handsome,” Ksenia said that evening. “I used to think about it, like, what if I got together with him?”

“Did he hint at it?” Continue reading

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Sorry to Disrupt the Peace by Patti Yumi Cottrell

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The plot of Sorry to Disrupt the Peace by Patty Yumi Cottrell is easy to summarize. A woman learns that her only brother has committed suicide, so she returns home to figure out, detective-like, why he did it.

But that summary doesn’t even begin to encapsulate the trippy, engrossing sensation of reading this book. Cottrell’s narrator, Helen Moran, is one of the most paradoxical and unforgettable creations in recent literature—a clever observer of people who mangles every social interaction, a rigid follower of rules who casually gives drugs to children, an exuberantly verbal thinker who rarely speaks. Her uniquely warped point of view is the second mystery that this hilarious and devastating novel invites readers to unravel. Continue reading

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HITTING SHELVES #41: Spaceman of Bohemia by Jaroslav Kalfař

Spaceman of Bohemia by Jaroslav Kalfař comes out today! We asked the author to share his thoughts on publication day.

I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was a child, and maintained this desire despite life doing its best to knock it out of me. Books have always been the most important part of my experience, filled my gaps in the knowledge of the world, inspired me, favorite characters carried me through hard times like friends reaching across the boundaries of time and space. Now I sit at my desk next to boxes of books that carry my name. Their book siblings will be making their way into the world on Tuesday, ending up on nightstands, inside messenger bags and purses, atop park benches, the cover dyed a faint green by the fresh spring grass stems (this is wishful thinking, as New York is stunningly cold and hostile as I write). Continue reading

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Did You Hear? Dean Town

This is the kind of music that makes your face do that funk frown–you know, when the groove is so filthy and tight, you just shake your head and frown through it. Check out “Wait for the Moment” (or really any of their other tracks) for another example of how seriously these guys take a good groove.

Brook Reeder

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