City Musicians Are Going Rural: William Ryan Fritch, Zammuto, and Monome for Modern Farmer



Made it into Modern Farmer right before the big shakeup—my editor published this, and walked two days later. This piece is close to my heart, and not just because it features one of my favorite humans, William Ryan Fritch, plus two other dudes I deeply admire: the Books co-founder Nick Zammuto and Monome inventor Brian Crabtree. It’s about the collision of old world and new—the fact that modern technology affords us the opportunity to live off the grid. This means artists and aesthetes like these can set up shop in spaces far more conducive to inspiration than the urban environs. I hope this can evolve into a bigger project for me and photographer Nathaniel Wood, who shot Willow and Jaden Smith about an hour before we road-tripped in his Prius to the chicken-rich farmlands of Petaluma. (Sorry about the dog bite, buddy.) Continue reading

Feauture: Bend Everything – Inside DIY Electronics With Lucky Dragons And Daedelus

Just as Los Angeles’ musical profile has been rising over the last couple of years, so has the average youthful (“young” or otherwise) citizen’s interest in getting involved. Our scuzzy experimental pop, the “beat music” movement, and the D.I.Y. spirit that envelops them both make for a certain punk accessibility that extends beyond inspiring listeners to strum a detuned guitar or screen-print their own T-shirts. As it turns out, electronics are fair game too, and there are cheap, easy classes available locally — some taught by known artists, at institutions like Machine Project and The Public School — that offer novices the ability to harness an incredible spectrum of sounds. Circuit-bending workshops teach people how to modify thrift store finds (keyboards, toy instruments, Speak & Spells), while other classes focus on a particular computer programming language (Max/MSP) which is graphical, linear, and easy to experiment with.

The LA Weekly has just published my story on the topic, “Bend Everything,” which features insight from L.A.’s own Lucky Dragons and Daedelus, among others. Check it out here, and grab a copy if you’re local.

Also, watch Lucky Dragons blow some minds at Machine Project.