*DISCLAIMER: This site has nothing to do with apes or tacos, except in the broad sense that I am a human that eats tacos, and as a human, I am an ape.

Letter to Younger Erisa, August 15th, 2006

It’s been a while! I’ve been busy with life things (South Side Weekly Radio and other life commitments), which I guess is good. But recently I’ve been wishing I wrote more and shared what I wrote more. And read more and shared what I read more. And shared the interesting music and podcasts I’ve been listening to. And concerts. And… And…

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Listen, Watch, Read: May 7th, 2017


I’m an audio drama addict, so I’m surprised it took me so long to learn about Bronzeville, a fictional podcast set in post-WWII Chicago’s black metropolis neighborhood of Bronzeville. It’s great for a number of reasons. The script is well-written and wonderfully acted, and the sound design places us in the 1940s. The plot revolves a young, smart black man named Jimmy Tillman working his way up through a less-than-legal organization run by the Copeland family. The Copeland brothers are all involved with illegal activity, but their sister Lisa is straight-edge. She’s incredibly smart, conventionally and on the street, and ridiculously brave. The series follows the cast of characters as they try to adjust to a rival boss from St. Louis popping up in town and white authorities trying to stifle the growth of the neighborhood.

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Listen, Watch, Read: April 30th, 2017


I got sick recently and during a 24-hour lay in bed sleep/wake cycle I binge-listened to my new favorite podcast: Wolf 359. I quickly fell in love with this podcast after hearing about it through another of my faves, Ars Parodoxica. Wolf 359 is about a crew on a small space station orbiting a red-dwarf star 7+ light years from Earth. Weird things begin happening. It’s part Odd Couple, part Solaris. The show features an extremely small cast, unlike Ars Parodoxica, but still manages to do interesting things narratively, running the gamut from comedy to heart-wrenching drama. 10/10 would highly recommend to my audiofiction and my sci-fi friends.

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Listen, Watch, Read: April 23rd, 2017


Deerhunter is a band I first heard of in college from Star Slinger remix of their hit “Helicopter.” I digged the song back then, but didn’t really listen to much more than that. The track “Never Stops” came on my Spotify Daily Mix and reminded me of Deerhunter. I spent a whole day bingeing their discography and it’s great stuff. They’re accurately described as psychedelic garage indie, which is an amazing genre. Add in the fact that Bradford Cox, frontman and main songwriter, seems like an awesome weirdo (who was in Dallas Buyers Club!).

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Listen, Watch, Read: April 16th, 2017


I watched Under The Skin (Glazer, 2013), the film about a mysterious woman kidnapping men in Scotland. The film was interesting and a bit too slow and cerebral for me, but the reason I continued watching the film was entirely because of the score, which is the most inventive score I’ve heard in years, from Mica Levi.

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Listen, Watch, Read: April 9th, 2017


I know I usually always mention all- or majority-female bands, because those are pretty much the only bands I listen to, but this week I started listening to Meatbodies after they popped up on my Spotify Daily Mix. It’s pretty rad stuff. Reminds me of Wolfmother among other things. Just real solid guitar rock. Check out their most recent appearance on KEXP.

(I’m also really digging Angel Olsen’s cover of The Motels “Total Control” on KEXP. Hope she plays it at Pitchfork 2017.)


I started re-watching episodes of Portlandia on Netflix to help me go to sleep and it’s reminded me how hilarious that show is. Not all the acts land, but overall it’s stood up really well. They’ve started writing season 8, but I’ve yet to see all of season 7 (no IFC subscription) and thus will have to wait for a release on Netflix. I’m trying to pick my favorite season, and I’m not sure I can.


I went to an illustrators show at the Emporium in Chicago Tuesday night and picked up a lot of cool prints and two comics from Andrea Bell, an illustrator and comic artist, Fair Voyage and Rose From The Dead. She described the former as an adventure with two female protagonists and the latter as a girl saves boy story, so obviously I was sold! I read Rose From The Dead this week and it was a cute little inventive story with gorgeous artwork. Going to read Fair Voyage next!

Listen, Watch, Read: April 2nd, 2017


The Bright Sessions. I think I mentioned ars Paradoxica in an earlier blog post. Well I actually started listening to The Bright Sessions before ars Paradoxica. The two podcasts are produced by the same group of artists and there was a brief cross-over episode of ars Paradoxica that involved a Bright Sessions character. Anyway, the Bright Sessions is just as good as ars Paradoxica, albeit slightly different. In ars Paradoxica, settings change and there’s a large cast of characters from the get go. The Bright Sessions started off rather small feeling but has since grown. It’s about a psychologist who provides therapy for the “strange and unusual,” a euphemism for people who have powers, like time-travel and mind-reading. The writing and acting on the show are very well done. Very quickly, I became attached to these characters, even the less righteous ones. I would highly recommend to any audio fiction lovers out there.

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Listen, Watch, Read: March 26th, 2017


I don’t even want to acknowledge the existence of this podcast, but here goes: Rabbits. It’s by the people who made podcasts for Pacific Northwest Stories, but this new iteration is called Public Radio Alliance for some reason. I honestly have no idea. The Black Tapes, Tanis, and now Rabbits all fall under the list of audio fiction I hate-listen to. You know the expression hate-watch, which is used to describe a show you watch just so you can shit on it. This is how I feel about these podcasts. I know that sounds mean, and I’ll explain why. They’re so gimmicky. Like, there are aspects to the writing and production that are. The style of the show is like investigative podcasting a la serial and they pretend that it’s all real (which is what a lot of audio fiction podcasts do) but there’s something about the way it’s written (perhaps all the rhetorical questions that have answers but the hosts aren’t willing to actually try and produce an answer because that would mean losing some mystery to the show). IDK. All I know it I’m an audio fiction addict and so I will continue to listen when the well of other audio fiction runs dry.

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Listen, Watch, Read: March 19th, 2017


Oldy but a goody, I re-listened to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs Fever to Tell while driving through rural Illinois. The NYT BEST ALBUM OF THE YEAR 2003, how can you not love this album? I had a radio show in college and definitely tried to play at least one Yeah Yeah Yeahs track every week, preferably something off of Fever To Tell or their other earlier releases (like the Machine or Yeah Yeah Yeahs EPs). Some tracks (“Tick”, “Man”) are so rock and so punk I can’t sit still listening to them. “Maps” is a modern classic and also has a beautiful music video. I really don’t know what else to say about this album, other than it’s amazing. Fave track is definitely “Y Control.”

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