I love it here, but I tend to get away whenever I can. I like to climb mountains. I travel a lot and always take a bivy sack. I have an international family. I've lived in five countries and four states, not counting mental ones.
I've met all sorts. I've met poacher-hunters and wandering monks. I tried to explain raccoons to the former and he didn't believe me. I explained the benefits of wool vs. cotton to the latter, but he already knew. I sang at a fire beside a Basque gypsy wearing a Pepsi T-shirt and hand-sewn pants. We cursed the name of Francisco Franco and drank Rioja until our teeth turned purple. I've seen poverty so awful it doesn't exist in this country, and wealth so extravagant it can only be wielded by idiots.
And I am all of that. And they're all a little bit of me. Meet people, create art, live forever.
Graphic novels are important too. Sandman, Sin City, Watchmen, Hellboy, Preacher, Transmetropolitan, Maus, Persepolis and V for Vendetta were all pretty important to me at some point in my life.
Mad Max: Fury Road was amazing. I liked San Andreas but hated Jurassic World, except for any scene featuring my favorite character, the mosasaurus. Some of my favorite directors: Tarantino, Kubrick, Miyazaki, Kurosawa, Edgar Wright, Brad Bird, Wong Kar Wai, Michael Mann, Takashi Miike. I am unhealthily obsessed with cheesy martial arts films and anything involving at least one samurai.
I'm picky about TV drama, but I love animation. Samurai Jack (see above) and Adventure Time are important, especially since their creators went to my alma mater. Rick & Morty and Metalocalypse are fantastic. I liked seasons 1, 2, and 5 of Breaking Bad, and I'm into Game of Thrones, though their deviations from A Song of Ice and Fire are getting pretty damn sloppy. The Sand Snakes were just awful.
The best album to come out in the last year was To Pimp A Butterfly. Jazz is a metaphor for what music should sound like, even when it sucks. Vonnegut says jazz the America's greatest gift to the world. Music today, especially pop, is still searching for its identity in terms of the Western European vs. African tradition, and other international sounds are like the colors over a tetrachord. I love that you hear a lot of Middle Eastern notes, particularly Bollywood, tala, Arabic and Persian, be it modal or sample-based or whatever. So when someone incorporates jazz as seamlessly into pop as Kendrick does, I kinda freak out.
Growing up, my musical heroes were Squarepusher, J. S. Bach, and Lead Belly. I loved Radiohead back when that made people look at you sidelong. I still have a soft spot for late-nineties and early-aughts electronic music like Aphex Twin, Boards of Canada, Autechre, DJ Shadow, RJD2 and Plaid. I threw a huge party when alt rock finally died and crashed and burned and was forgotten forever. I think it was in 2010 when My Name Is Skrillex came out. If Sonny Moore was here right now, I'd kiss him on the cheek, at least. Club-oriented hip hop and dubstep really dropped a bomb on where the industry thought music was headed. It finally got Americans to listen to electronic music, and thanks to the plummeting cost of music production and distribution, there's more readily available good music than ever before, and I couldn't be happier about it. Home taping is killing the music industry. We left this side blank so you can help.
In terms of chamber, academic or contemporary music, I tend to compose rhythmic postminimalist (more Reich than Glass) and weirdly structured electroacoustic stuff. I work with choreographers a lot, which I strongly prefer to composing for film, although I've done that too, and I've won a couple awards that way. I especially like when I get to do stuff like this. I tend to shy away from truly atonal stuff, but I don't mind it in small doses.
Vidya: I've been going through a lot of old NES and SNES JRPGs on my Android lately. I get really unhealthily into games with good puzzles, like Portal or Myst. Journey was amazing too, and Bastion. I can't imagine ever getting bored of GTA V and played my first Bethesda game (Daggerfall) back in the late 90s on a Compaq Presario. I've played Final Fantasy 1-7 and 10, and I'm about to start 8. FFVI is still my favorite, but I had to change to a clean pair of underwear after the FFVII remake trailer came out, so we'll see.
When it comes to food, I am like the Nothing in the Neverending Story, except with slightly more chewing. I'm a supertaster, which means my palette is an idiot.
My biggest heroes of all are comedians. Richard Pryor, Mitch Hedberg, Steve Martin, Louie CK, George Carlin, Dave Chappelle, and most importantly Bill Hicks.
Honorable mentions in this section go out to Dan Savage, Bill Watterson, Stoya, Carl Sagan, Charlie LeDuff, Klaus Nomi, Klaus Teuber, and whoever invented Go.
• 25' of good strong rope
If you're always trying to gauge how weird you should present in a given social situation.
If you know why Jessica Rabbit chose Roger.
If you're a queer non-binary counter-monogamous glam-punk warrior with perfect comedic timing who loves books more than Cookie Monster loves cookies and dances like we don't go nowhere when we die.