The Modern Prometheus

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus turned 200 last year. There’s probably literally no way to overstate its importance and relevance in both shaping science fiction and horror genres, women in literature, the novel, countless adaptations, and faithful spinoffs, and so on. In fact, Brian Aldiss claimed it’s even the first “true” science fiction […]

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Me, I Disconnect From You

As a certain green-blooded alien once said: “if there are self-made purgatories, then we all have to live in them. Mine can be no worse than someone else’s.” This summer I completed my second album, Reprise. It was wonderful and cathartic, and I’m proud of what we made. (You can find it on Spotify, YouTube, and […]

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Did you know you know more about music than you know you know?

That title is a bit of a tongue twister, so let’s condense it down to an easy to remember anagram: “DYKYKMAMTYKYK?” There! That just rolls off the tongue, right? Word play aside, this is a somewhat serious post. If you’re reading this, you’re someone that knows a good bit about music. Even if you can’t […]

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How to science: Is my Release Radar playlist full of remixes?

  Several weeks ago, I started using IFTTT to make an archive of my Release Radar playlists on Spotify because I wanted to build a dataset to see if what I thought I was observing was actually happening. I felt like I was getting a deluge of what I’ve come to call “Exploitation Remixes.” These are […]

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Today’s Lesson: “What do the words of your songs mean to *you*?”

I always come back to this bizarre self interview David Byrne did to promote the movie/documentary Stop Making Sense by the late, great Johnathan Demme. Broadly speaking, the video is skewering interviewers, musicians, and Byrne himself. It’s quite a wild ride. (I really wish he hadn’t decided to dress as a black interviewer at one point. I […]

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Heaps of Sheeps: stress, sleeplessness, and readability scores

A few weeks ago, I successfully defended my comprehensive exams for my PhD. That means no more classes, and all that stands between me and that sweet, sweet degree is my dissertation. It was a stressful, hyper-focused, and often sleepless several months. But, about a week before I was slated to do my exams, I […]

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Today’s Lesson: that brief time that songs were composed to be ideal ringtones

Here’s a weird one for you: for a brief time (~2004 to ~2009), pop songs, and in particular party rap songs, were being designed to be hot ringtones. This was so pervasive that sometimes the term “Ringtone Rap” was used to describe the phenomenon. It may be hard to remember, but there was a time […]

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Audience vs Drummer’s Perspective

Unless you totally geek out about music production, you have probably never heard of the long-standing and often heated debate regarding how a drum kit should be represented in a recording. It probably even seems trivial, but this is something audio (particularly mixing) engineers have strong opinions about – myself included. It’s also a very […]

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Let’s Dance: Music as Embodied Cognition

Here’s a paper I wrote for a philosophy course, in which I attempt to define music in such a way this is as inclusive as it is useful. “Put on your red shoes and dance the blues.” – David Bowie “Music is auditory cheesecake.” – Steven Pinker   The history of studying music is sordid and […]

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Thru’ These Architects Eyes: a Dungeon Master’s (Auto)Ethnography of a Dungeons & Dragons Group

This post is adapted from a paper I wrote for a Fan Studies class. I’m not typically a humanities scholar, so this paper was a stretch for me, but I think it’s interesting, nonetheless. You can’t really buy a copy of Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) like you can buy a copy of Risk or Dominion. […]

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