Music Recommendations: 7/8/13

July 8th, 2013 by Darin

I’ve had the opportunity to hear Possessed by Paul James play several times, twice with his stellar touring partner Delaney Davidson, but it’s never occurred to me to encourage others to seek these guys out. They put on another great show this holiday weekend at Dan’s Silverleaf—this time, I remembered to tell you about them.

Kotaku’s “What In The World Do Video Game Writers Do? The Minds Behind Some Of Last Year’s Biggest Games Explain.”

March 7th, 2013 by Darin

Ever wonder what it is I do as the writer at id Software? Kotaku‘s Phil Owen offers a great write-up on the job description.

David J. Schwartz’s Gooseberry Bluff Community College of Magic

February 13th, 2013 by Darin

Damn, $2.99 for the whole serial. Sweet.


February 4, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Announcing Launch of New Kindle Serial

GOOSEBERRY BLUFF COMMUNITY COLLEGE OF MAGIC

Gooseberry Bluff is not a school for the chosen ones. It’s a school for those who have run out of choices. An unlikely place for an international conspiracy. But after suspicious paranormal signatures are reported and a professor of magical history goes missing, the possibility of demon trafficking seems more and more likely.

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Barth Anderson’s Factory Farm Inc.

January 29th, 2013 by Darin

My pal and fellow author Barth Anderson is doing some crowd-sourcing for his next novel, Factory Farm Inc., a “mystery/thriller with a dairy farmer as sleuth, uncovering a flu outbreak and a string of murders in the sordid underbelly of the corporate farming world.” Seeing what he did with The Patron Saint of Plagues and The Magician and the Fool, FFI has got to be punchy, honest, quirky, and dark. You really oughtta get in on this.

Barth’s one of the guys who helped me figure out the publishing industry way back, so you just know his going mustang like this will open all sorts of narrative possibilities that the Old World probably wouldn’t otherwise indulge him. It’s gonna be boss.

[Link]

Mark Teppo’s EARTH THIRST

December 4th, 2012 by Darin

I don’t get excited about new releases very often. My backlog of titles to read is so long and ever-lengthening that I rarely read the latest hot thing right when it comes out. It usually takes me a year or two, at least, to get around to what everyone’s reading right now. However, one book I am going to grab off the press is Mark Teppo’s latest: Earth Thirst:


Fig. 1: Earth Thirst

“The Earth is dying. Humanity—over-breeding, over-consuming—is destroying the very planet they call home. Multinational corporations despoil the environment, market genetically modified crops to control the food supply, and use their wealth and influence and private armies to crush anything, and anyone, that gets in the way of their profits. Nothing human can stop them. But something unhuman might. Once they did not fear the sun. Once they could breathe the air and sleep where they chose. But now they can rest only within the uncontaminated soil of Mother Earth—and the time has come for them to fight back against the ruthless corporations that threaten their immortal existence.

“They are the last guardians of paradise, more than human but less than angels. They call themselves the Arcadians. We know them as vampires. . . .”


That just sounds right proper kickass. Though, of course, I hope he lets the corporate swine destroy the Earth. I love a good Whelp-there-goes-the-Earth book.

Fig. 2: The Teppo

I’m also excited about this book personally because Teppo’s an old friend of mine. He and I spent our pre-published time in the trenches together, huddled alongside a few other desperate souls who’ve all gone on to steady careers in the field. Teppo’s Codex of Souls books were great occult-noir without being cheesy or simplified … which seems so often the trend for today’s vapid reading proficiencies. And then he went on to become the Chief Creative Officer behind The Mongoliad, with guys like Neal Stephenson and Greg Bear. (Yeah, Mark’s cooler than you.)

It makes me feel good about the field that a guy who works hard, dreams crazy, and doesn’t sleep can carve himself a perch. I’ve conspired with Teppo on plenty of secret projects, and I’ve never been able to keep up. (Remember this madness?!) You wanna get in on Teppo before he starts writing books in some algebraic moon-language distributed on 200 burner phones locked in dust bins and drive-thrus in Seattle, Bangladesh, and a grain elevator outside Omaha. Competition for the material will just be too stiff then.

The Night is a Disco

November 21st, 2012 by Darin

A while back, I read from Noise as a part of a mixed media experiment with Shiny Around the Edges. They’ve got a baller new album out: The Night is a Disco. It’s straight hypnogogia—experimental, ambient, and jazzy.

Dig it.

The Book of Apex, Vol 3

June 11th, 2012 by Darin

The Book of Apex: Volume 3 debuts next week. My short story “The Dust and the Red,” which appeared in issue 22, appears therein.

If you use checkout code BOA3BRADLEY, Apex will give you a 10% discount.

James Boice’s “Pregnant Girl Smoking” e-book Launch

May 24th, 2012 by Darin

Fellow writer James Boice, author of (most recently) The Good and the Ghastly, has released his second independent e-book. This time, it’s “Pregnant Girl Smoking,” which originally appeared in McSweeney’s but has since gone out of print. Head on over and treat yourself to some fine reading.

Of all the e-books I could be plugging, why would I choose Boice’s? I’m just particularly fond of his voice—I blurbed The Good and the Ghastly as follows:

“The Good and the Ghastly is the hallucinogenic fever dream of contemporary satire. Alternately brutal and lyrical, it field-dresses everyday being with poetic violence. A decidedly necessary addition to post-millennial literature.”

Review: Glendronach, 12-year

March 30th, 2012 by Darin

Fig. 1: The Glendronach 12-year

The first single-malt I ever tried was the Glendronach 15-year. On my 21st birthday, a good friend offered to take me to the liquor store to select a bottle, and I didn’t know the first thing about good whisky. So I grabbed the Glendronach based on aesthetics alone, and I’ve never been sorry. These days, it’s very difficult to find the 15-year anymore (which saddens me, as it is my most beloved malt)—indeed, I haven’t seen it in years. Just so, the 12-year is great in its own right.

The bottle, as you can see, comes smartly dressed in swathes of crimson, gold, and wheat—the lifted capital signature makes quite a label. The whisky itself, behind a Speyside malt’s traditionally clear glass, is russet bronze, highlighted, in places, by quick orange. It wears, in my opinion, the most quintessential of the Speyside rouges.

The Glendronach 12′s nose is smooth and only mildly phenolic. Sweet and dark, it smells predominantly of old, dry paper. Its secondary attributes suggest cinnamon and hints of dill.

Fig. 2: The Glendronach Distillery. Photo © Anne Burgess

The palate is robust: coffee, maple, roasted almonds. These make for quite the alchemical dance, yielding, ultimately, a tonic of aged heather and wet loam.

The finish is very bright and gone in a heated flash—spiced, effervescent, and suddenly cool.

The 12′s aftertaste, while being dark and toffeed, is surprisingly gentle. It offers a lingering, barley punch and the slightly medicinal, malted tang characteristic of most sweet whiskies. In the end, the Glendronach 12 contents itself with soft caramel in a modest denouement. The aftertaste is long but not steep.

On a scale of 1-5, I rate the Glendronach 12-year a 4. It’s no 15, after all.

From the packaging tin:

“We know Allardice was on to a good thing. And so did he! Indeed he called his malt (in his Aberdeenshire brogue) ‘The Guid Glendronach’ and the first people he convinced of this were the ladies of the night who haunted Edinburgh’s Canongate. Breaking into the market was proving difficult for Glendronach in 1826, so Allardice took matters into his own hands, shipped a barrel to Edinburgh and went out himself to canvass every outlet in the city he could find. But everyone was stocked up. The fate dealt a hand and Allardice was canny enough to play it for all its worth. Returning downhearted to his hotel he was accosted by two young women who asked him to buy them a dram. “Buy ye a dram?” he exclaimed, “I’ll gie ye a dram.” And so he did. And they liked it. And told their friends how ‘guid’ the Glendronach was. Soon everyone was demanding ‘The Guid Glendronach’. And we’ve never looked back since.”

35 Denton, 2012

March 12th, 2012 by Darin

I (barely) survived another year at 35 Denton. Highlights included The Raincoats, Grandlake (Jason Lytle from Granddaddy merged with Midlake), Atlas Sound, Words and Music, lunch trucks, and the back porch at Dan’s Silverleaf.

Here’re some pictures.

Fig. 2: Big, blurry video screen thing. It is its own 18-wheeler trailer. Neat. It's got Mountain Goats on it in this pic.

Fig. 3: Crowd shot.

Fig. 4: Another crowd shot.

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