I did not know the work of mourning
Is a labor in the dark
We Carry Inside Ourselves

-Edward Hirsh’s "Gabriel"

The New Yorker called Hirsh’s poem “a masterpiece of sorrow.” It truly is a masterpiece. I’ve been reading books about loss and grief for the last 9 months in search of something or someone to articulate what grief feels like. Hirsh was talking about his son. The stanza above describes how I feel about my losing my mother. what these last 9 months have felt like.

In a way, it’s a bit of a silly exercise to search for some perfect prose. But I suppose it reminds me I’m not alone, that I am neither the first nor last person to feel this kind of pain. A friend described the loss of his father as though ‘he broke wide open and the pain of humanity’ flowed through him. Perhaps, then, an exercise that leads in some consolation isn’t silly after all. 



August 15, 2014

Friday night live at Transistor: Cinchel, Volutes. Sound by Jon Monteverde. [view photos]

Read More

Photos and audio from Friday night’s set at Transistor. At 32 minutes is the beginning of a new song called “Entanglement.” Around the 40 minute mark is when Cinchel joined Jon and I for an improvised live rendition of my newest single, “Like Certainty.” I also managed to work in an Edward Said sample. 

You should listen to Cinchel’s set too, especially the second track. Beautiful and at times brutal. Really thrilled he could (and wanted) to join us. 

I’m playing a show with the very talented Cinchel at the very wonderful Transistor. If you’re in Chicago and want to head nod to some ambient-ish electronic jams, you should come. 



The results from Pitchfork People’s List were published today, and 88% of voters were male. (12% were female, there wasn’t an “other” option, fwiw.) Since I Am The Twelve Percent and I spend a lot of my time talking about and thinking about and writing about music, I wanted to ask a couple…

this quote is the best: “ ‘In the end, white dudes are superior at making fun things much less fun,’ then you have my permission.” 

i'm curious. happened upon your page. what interests you interests me and that's intriguing to me. how do you get people to listen beyond 10 seconds? I have had some luck with electronic music. But most of what I do is electromechanical. i just put this one out there, (as I shamelessly self-promote to someone i've never met)..If you find the time. Any feedback is helpful. acidgnome is my band a jazz legend in my own mind hahaha. peace


To be honest, I don’t think many people listen beyond the first minute of most of my music. I base this on the number of skips/partial plays in Bandcamp. I also recognize that what i make is not for everyone, so I focus on creating something I want to hear, something that resonates with me in some way. If i hate it, then what’s the point. 

The best electronic music tends not to be, I think, overt in its reliance on technology. That is to say, it doesn’t obfuscate the musical idea with sounds that scream “this was made using computers.” Sometimes electronic musicians get so obsessed with the technical aspects of what they’re making (e.g., the max 4 live patches they coded, etc), they forget to express a musical idea. I think the idea should always come first, the means follow. Focus on what you want to say, express that musical idea as clearly as possible and trust that someone, somewhere, will be into it.

But if you’re trying to be famous, then scrap all of my advice, up your BPMs and autotune the shit out of everything. 

In his set of lectures entitled The Birth of Biopolitics, Foucault notes that American neoliberalism is not just an economic theory, but a view of what human beings are like: entrepreneurs of themselves, human capital that invests itself to various ends. The decline of the welfare state has contributed to our being such entrepreneurs. After all, if you’re not going to get any support in case you falter in your life, then you had better invest whatever resources you have–money, talent, charm, good looks–in the most efficient way possible. My argument in the book is that close friendship can offer us a different model for being together from the one neoliberalism promotes, which sees our relations to others as investments in future gain. In a close friendship, for instance, people don’t worry so much about who has done what for whom and when. There isn’t a balance sheet being kept between the friends. In fact,if a balance sheet does emerge, that usually means there is a problem in the friendship. In addition to providing an alternative model for human relationships, close friendships can teach some of the skills that solidarity work requires, like trust. This does not mean that everyone in a solidarity movement can become good friends. They can’t. But friendship teaches us ways of relating to one another that the individualizing and isolating influences of neoliberalism diminish or at times even extinguish.

Todd May, The Poststructural Anarchist interview with 3:AM Magazine (via becomingbricolage)

(via feelingpolitical)

In preparation for my 8/15 show at Transistor (with the fantastic Cinchel), I’ve been exploring some alternate edits of the live set. This newer version is longer, incorporates live vocals (my own) and includes two new songs, “Entanglement” and “Like Certainty” (they start around the 45 minute mark). This set was entirely improvised and was recorded on a Zoom H2N, without any additional edits to the recording. You can DL the 60 minute off of soundcloud if you’re so inclined. 

Listen/download: by Volutes

I’ve been quietly working on new music. Here is one of those new tracks, “Like Certainty.” It’s the first release from my future LP, The Quiet Hours. It’s available for download on Bandcamp for free or for a donation (if you’re so inclined).

My first gig as an electronic musician was a success by most accounts. I thoroughly enjoyed the guy sitting in the back of the bar, yelling each time the LA Kings scored a goal. I just pretended he was celebrating my very subtle and artfully managed bass drops. 

In case you ever wondered why I do this rock n roll thing, it’s not just for the fun of performing, or my love for music and singing. It’s for the moments of connection, conversations and solidarity I experience in the women’s restroom after a show. It’s because I am on a mission - fueled by a deep desire to tell women’s stories, to be heard and to allow others to be heard in the collective hearing at a show or in a recording. It’s because I know that quiet desperation, solidarity and struggle all too well, and I am tired of women feeling like they are alone in their experience. #YesAllWomen #shespeaks

Isaidthat (via shespeaksintongues-band)

Nicholas Young invited me on to talk about my Volutes project. This conversation ranges from discussions of grief to Walter Benjamin and Tool songs. 


Today at work I presented an in-progress project to our global research group that focuses on fandoms. I’ve been trying to write something meaningful on fan culture since 2011, when I worked with a large entertainment franchise to define their social fandom. I’ve worked on a number of fan-focused…

My coworker (and friend!) Anni has a big, sharp brain. 

A painful thing about encountering otherness — even in the form of music you don’t get or identify with — is that it makes you aware of your own smallness, your vulnerability and, yes, thus your shame. It undercuts any fantasy that your own lifestyle, traits and priorities might be universal — it tells you that you’re specifically bounded by your own context, while other realms may be indifferent to your existence.

"Why we Fight About Pop Music" Ann Powers + Carl Wilson

I just finished my remix of Brash Flair’s “Ready” from their wonderful album “Two.” They’re playing the Beat Kitchen tomorrow night. And if you’re around in August, I’ll be sharing a bill with them as well.

The remix can streamed and downloaded for free via Soundclound and Bandcamp