the web: now in real life

The Rumpus and htmlgiant party last week was a rocking good time. Thanks to everyone who came out (and it was a packed house). I had fun DJing and listening to the rad musicians and readers, especially Deb Olin Unferth and her forthcoming Noon story and Jeffrey Lewis and his Mosquito Murderer rap. There is a write-up with some short interviews and pictures at Scallywag and Vagabond.


In other web slash non-web news, Gigantic magazine just put some new content online including a rad story by Saša Stanišić and some Little Big Planet levels inspired by Matthew Barney's Cremaster films. We also are having a call for submissions for 300 biographies of famous Americans in anticipation of Gigantic #2, which will be available in physical bookstores near you in a few short weeks.


In just web news, a short article of mine at The Faster Times (Is David Foster Wallace So 1990s?) got linked at The New Yorker blog and other places, which is pretty neat.


scratch master

This Thursday I will be DJing The Rumpus One Year Anniversary Party (co-sponsored by htmlgiant). The Rumpus is a great website that I've written for a few times. The party features lots of great readers and musicians (Deb Olin Unferth, Tao Lin, Justin Taylor, Jeffrey Lewis, etc.) and is hosted by my good friend and Gigantic co-editor Rozalia Jovanovic.

Check out this nifty animated invite:

Come on out, you know you want to.


A week and a half ago I wrote a long (and mostly negative) review of James Cameron's Avatar for The Millions. Yesterday Avatar won a Golden Globe for best picture, but we live in a world where Juno of all awfully-written films won a script Oscar and Crash was named best picture...so what can you do?


The second (and super-awesome) issue of Gigantic should come out in the next few weeks. I know we've been saying that for a while, but this time we are super-serious.


tune in

I made a guest appearance on WNYC's Soundcheck yesterday to talk about my essay in the current Oxford American Southern Music Issue and southern music in general. I didn't talk for too long (the editor of Oxford American, Marc Smirnoff, was the main guest) but it was a lot of fun and interesting to see the inside of radio. Anyway, you can listen to the episode online or download it if you'd like.

And if you haven't checked out the OA's music issue, you should get on it. It is really great this year. I've been rocking the CDs constantly for the past few weeks.


Boring personal readings habits 2k9 summary edition

Continuing my annual tradition that is of no interest to anyone but myself, here is the chronological list of every book I finished in 2009. Finished means I finished reading the entire thing front to back, but not necessarily that I started reading it in 2009 (likewise books I started this year yet didn't finish are absent).

My goal was at least 50 books. I completed the 50th late in the afternoon on December 31st.

1. The Tormented Mirror – Russell Edson
2. The True History of the Kelly Gang – Peter Carey
3. The Men Who Stare at Goats – Jon Ronson
4. Flying to America – Donald Barthelme
5. How to Sell – Clancy Martin
6. Retreat Retreat Chapbook – Wells Tower
7. The Ring of Brightest Angels Around Heaven – Rick Moody
8. Dreams of a Robot Dancing Bee – James Tate
9. Farewell Navigator – Leni Zumas
10. Like You’d Understand Anyway – Jim Shepard
11. Funny Misshapen Body – Jeffery Brown
12. NOON 2009
13. Days Between Stations – Steve Erickson
14. Autobiography of Red – Anne Carson
15. Hey Jack! – Barry Hannah
16. Personal Days – Ed Park
17. Elect Mr. Robinson for a Better World – Donald Antrim
18. Varieties of Disturbance – Lydia Davis
19. Trout Fishing in America – Richard Brautigan
20. Last Days – Brian Evenson
21. The Pill Versus the Springhill... – Richard Brautigan
22. Roads – Larry McMurtry
23. The King – Donald Barthelme
24. High Lonesome – Barry Hannah
25. Platform – Michel Houellebecq
26. The Stories of Breece D’J Pancake – Breece D’J Pancake
27. I Love and Understand You and Would Be... - James Yeh
28. The Spectacle of the Body – Noy Holland
29. The Collected Works of Tony Millionare's Sock Monkey*
30. The Writer's Notebook: Craft Essays from Tin House
31. Fugue State – Brian Evenson
32. Prison Pit Vol. 1 – Johnny Ryan
33. Skin Deep – Charles Burns
34. The Squirrel Machine – Hans Rickheit
35. Tours of the Black Clock – Steve Erickson
36. Child of God – Cormac McCarthy
37. Light Boxes – Shane Jones
38. Che: A Graphic Biography – Sid Jacobson
39. The Ask – Sam Lipsyte
40. The Hour of the Star – Clarice Lispector
41. In Watermelon Sugar – Richard Brautigan
42. Born Standing Up – Steve Martin
43. Twilight of the Superheroes – Deborah Eisenberg
44. The Book of Evidence – John Banville
45. The Anthologist – Nicholson Baker
46. New York Tyrant V. III Issue I
47. All-Star Superman Volume 1 – Morrison and Quitely
48. All-Star Superman Volume 2 – Morrison and Quitely
49. Log of the S.S. The Mrs. Unguentine – Stanley Crawford
50. Numbers in the Dark – Italo Calvino

* indicates books I'd read before previously...although this year that was only one book.

20.5 novels/novellas
15 story collections/lit mags
8 comics/graphic novels
5 books of non-fiction (one of which was also a graphic novel)
2.5 poetry collections

This year I was working full time and also finishing up my fiction thesis for Columbia University, which I think cut down on my reading time substantially (14 fewer than 2008). I'm a little ashamed of the gender imbalance in the above list, something to fix in 2k10. The amount of poetry I read fell dramatically and I'm not sure what explains that. Non-fiction is always low since I read a lot of magazines for that (primarily The Believer, New Yorker, Harper's and The Oxford American).

I read two books each by Steve Erickson, Barry Hannah, Grant Morrison and Donald Barthelme. Three books each by Brian Evenson (all 2009 releases no less) and Richard Brautigan.

Top 10 favorites (no order):

Days Between Stations – Steve Erickson
Autobiography of Red – Anne Carson
The True History of the Kelly Gang – Peter Carey
The Ask – Sam Lipsyte
Child of God – Cormac McCarthy
Last Days – Brian Evenson
Like You’d Understand Anyway – Jim Shepard
NOON 2009
Personal Days – Ed Park
In Watermelon Sugar – Richard Brautigan

6 honorable mentions:

The Anthologist – Nicholson Baker
How to Sell – Clancy Martin
All-Star Superman Volume 1 – Morrison and Quitely
Hey Jack! – Barry Hannah
Trout Fishing in America – Richard Brautigan
Fugue State – Brian Evenson

hollaback blog

I wanted to give a shout out (back?) to Jay Diamond at Vol 1. Brooklyn (a great culture blog based in, well, Brooklyn). He recently made a nice post titled Scott Esposito vs. Lincoln Michel in a Cage Match to Determine who my Favorite Lit. Blogger is about my book blogging at The Faster Times and then some guy named Scott Esposito who I must now destroy.

The fight will take place in February in a cage suspended above the Gowanus. I'm told I'm allowed to bring either one folding chair or one copy of Infinite Jest into the ring. Is anyone available to help me train?