Listen of the Week: Aristophanes

Humans Become Machines, by Aristophanes

[B]ass-heavy and dynamic; the language gap begins to register on the less rhythmically intense numbers. But Aristophanes’s vocal shifts in pace and tone, her performance of each song, give her music a different kind of intelligibility.

Got no clue what she’s rappin’ on about, but this album is spot the fuck on. Also highly recommend you listen to the new Dirty Projectors album. It’s a beauty.

Listen of the Week: Aristophanes

The Waterwood Box, 15

Catch up!

Shaking its head, the striped fish swam over to the box. The sun danced over the fish’s stripes, entrancing Adam.  The fish said, “Well now, that’s certainly an interesting tale. How do you know of the flood?”

Adam stared. “I told you. I opened this box and the wave came. I know about the flood because I was there.”

“Hmm…” was all the fish said before moving to inspect the box. The fish put his lips to the box and said, “It’s waterwood. Who gave you this?”

“I don’t know. It was with my other birthday presents.”

“You don’t know but you opened it anyway? Silly human. Silly person. My school has a saying, ‘An unmarked gift may never stop giving.’”

“How was I supposed to know?”

“You weren’t,” the fish said flatly.


“What’s your name?” the striped fish asked, one eye on Adam.

“Adam Might. What’s yours?”

“Spot,” the fish said with a touch of dignity.

“Spot? Why?” Adam sputtered and laughed.

“What’s so funny? Why are you called Adam?”

“Oh, I’m sorry. It’s just that – it’s funny that your name is Spot but you’ve got stripes all over you.”

“What? Where? GET THEM OFF OF ME!” Spot screamed at Adam. He jumped out of the water, did a spastic twist as though he were trying to shake something off, then came back down with a splash. He resurfaced, still upset and said to Adam, “Are they gone? Please tell me they’re gone!”

Adam shook his head.

“AAAAAHHHH!” Spot yelled and jumped out of the water, coming down hard on one side. He jumped again, this time coming down on the other side with a painful SMACK!

They’ve got to be gone now!” Spot declared.

Adam shook his head again. Spot sped over to Adam. “Please help! Rub them off! Rub off those evil stripes!”

The Waterwood Box, 15

The Waterwood Box, 14

Catch up!

“Well, you’ve got that right. You aren’t a water-man. And you aren’t a coral. And you aren’t a shellback. You definitely aren’t an urchin. Are you a dolphin?”

“No,” Adam said. “I’m a person.”

“Well, duh…we’re all persons. No need to get snotty. But what kind of person?”

“What kind? I don’t…I’m a human.”

The striped fish gasped and disappeared again under the water. The fish’s up-down-all-around movements made Adam queasy. The fish popped up a second later and squirted Adam in the face with a thin stream of water. Then he disappeared again. Adam had no idea what just happened and laid his head down on the box to sleep. I must be dreaming.

Some time passed before the fish popped his head up again. Adam heard the small splash and opened his eyes. The striped fish was much further away now.

“Where did you go?” Adam asked.

“I had to go tell my school to go on without me. They were waiting to see if whomever called needed the entire school.”


“You – you called for help, right? Of course you called for help. Everyone in this part of the ocean no doubt heard you. Silly human. You’re lucky the Urchin Army didn’t send a unit your way.” The fish took a dip then resurfaced. “So, again, what are you doing here?”

“Why do you keep doing that?”

“Doing what?”

“Going under the water so much.”

“I have to breathe, you know.”

“Oh…there was a flood.”


“That’s why I’m here. There was a flood. I opened this box and then there was a flood and a big wave. The wave passed over us,” Adam’s voiced dropped, “and I hung on to this box. It brought me right up to the surface. Everyone is gone. I’ve been floating here for a day. I  screamed, ‘Help!’ because I didn’t know what else to do. I think I’m dying.”

The Waterwood Box, 14

Listen of the Week: Maggie Rogers

Now That the Light is Fading, by Maggie Rogers

Rogers is still very young at 22, after all, and she takes several game attempts at subtlety throughout the EP—the pan flute, the guitar line rippling through “On + Off” like wind chimes, the featherlight harmonies. She has a platform. She’s got ideas. But like all discovery stories, the real reward lies in what comes next.

Listen of the Week: Maggie Rogers

The Waterwood Box, 13

Catch up!

Adam heard a splash behind him. His attention picked up but he was too weak to lift his head. He kept his eyes closed and listened. A few seconds later, he felt a steady stream of water squirt him right on the forehead.

Adam’s eyes jerked open and he saw a black and bright blue striped fish, its head half out of the water, with its lips puckered up and ready to spit another stream of water at him. When the fish saw Adam’s eyes open its mouth dropped and water spilled out. “It’s alive!” cried the fish before disappearing under the surface. Stunned, Adam let go of the box and slid under the surface. The water revived him but he was still very weak. He bobbed back up, groping for the box. When he finally settled back with the box underneath him he paddled in a quick circle, looking for the fish who’d spit at him. Nothing. I must have been dreaming. No sooner did he think this than the striped fish’s head sprang up out of the water, talking a mile a minute.

“Whoareyouandwhatareyoudoingwiththatboxandwhendidyougetthat boxandwhereareyoufromandwhyareyoufloatinguphereandhowdidyougethere?”

“I -,” Adam began.

“Hmmmm, hmmmm, hmmmm?”

“I…I don’t…know…there was a wave and my family…,” Adam stammered. His thoughts moved slowly, he was so thirsty and tired. The fish swam around Adam in a quick circle.

“But why are you up here?” the fish wanted to know.

“Where else was I supposed to go?”

The fish looked at the ocean surface. “Below,” he said, as though the answer were completely obvious.

“Below? I …I don’t understand.”

The fish quickly dunked his head under the water and brought it back up again.

“Below, below, beeeeelooooow. I mean you’ve got to breathe, right?”

Adam laid his head down on the box.
“Right? Right? You’ve got to breathe. What kind of water-man are you anyway?”

“I’m not a water-man.”

The fish’s eyes widened and he disappeared under the water.

The Waterwood Box, 13

The Waterwood Box, 12

Catch up!

Adam woke up thirsty. He was hungry too, but right now he was thirsty and wanted juice or milk or a glass of ice water. He tried drinking the ocean but its saltiness made him gag. Water all around me and I’m going to die of thirst. He coughed, growing angry thinking that he’d lived through a giant tidal wave only to be left alone, floating on a box. “Stupid box,” he said, wishing he could let it go. Unfortunately, without the box, he would have drowned long ago.

What am I gonna do? What am I gonna do? Adam’s mind returned to that question over and over again. He didn’t have many options: sink or float, stay put or paddle. The only way he could be sure of a change of scenery would be to let go of the box. His family and friends all gone, his home, his school, his town, his world…it was all too much. Adam screamed, “HEEELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLP!” The wind responded quietly but offered no assistance. For no reason other than sheer frustration, Adam dunked his head into the ocean and screamed again, “HEEELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLP!” What Adam failed to consider was that sound travels farther and faster through water than through air. He pulled his head out of the water and laughed at himself.

Adam floated on, drifting in and out of sleep. His throat itched from thirst, his face ached from sunburn, and his arms and legs throbbed from the cold. A lazy breeze moved him back and forth on the water. Hurt and scared, Adam resigned himself to letting go and sleeping forever.

The Waterwood Box, 12

Ironic Methods with Sincere Motivations

If you’re in Kansas City this Friday, come check this out:

The curators are using photocopiers and office printers to reproduce art, words, and musings. At the reception, gallery go-ers will be able to do the same. The images will then be hung in the gallery, to create a new collage from the results. Some of my writings will be thar, including a piece about the miniaturized clones of Milli Vanilli that live in my underwear drawer.

Ironic Methods with Sincere Motivations

Listen of the Week: Sinkane

Life & Livin’ It, by Sinkane

When everything clicks right, it’s a breezy thrill. Consider “U’Huh,” the second song and first single. It starts out with a rippling breakbeat, then goes into a series of horn stabs, the sort of riff that can lodge itself in your brain for days at a time. There’s some delicate Isaac Hayes chicken-scratch guitar, and then there’s Gallab singing in a strained falsetto, his best Curtis Mayfield, and going into call-and-response with a whole chorus of backing vocals.

Listen of the Week: Sinkane

The Waterwood Box, 11

Catch up!

Chapter 2
Alone in the Ocean

Adam’s head and face burned under the intense, angry stare of a full sun. The seawater underneath, however, was cold and he couldn’t get enough of his body out of the water to warm up anything else. He tried by sitting on the box for a while, but it took so much energy to keep his balance that he found it easier to drape his body over the box and float with his bare back to the sun. No matter in which position he floated, though, some part of his body was in the water, making it impossible to fight the cold.

Where is everybody? Adam thought. All of them, where did they go? He put his head down on the box where his sadness leaked out in tears.


There was no way for Adam to know how much time had passed between his birthday party and the big wave. Everywhere he turned looking the same. There were no people, no streets, no cars or trees, no sounds of life – just water, only water. Airplanes? he thought and looked to the skies. A flock of birds flew in a V formation far off in the distance. Well, at least something besides me is alive.

Adam gripped the box and propped himself up so that it rested under his chest. He kicked his feet and paddled ahead, hopefully in a single direction, but, with no landmarks for him to gauge whether he moved toward or away from anything, he was certain of nothing.

Adam paddled off and on until the sun went down. As darkness fell, the temperature dropped further. Adam’s felt his legs grow numb and he didn’t know what to do. He put as much weight as he could on the box without sinking it and tried to sleep.

The Waterwood Box, 11

The Waterwood Box, 10

Catch up!

“Get off, you tub,” cried Carlos between sobs. He tried to push Juan in the face. “It won’t hold us all.”

“It’s okay, Carlos,” said Adam. “It’s not sinking. See?”

Mrs. Might was crying now too. “We’ve got to find another float.”

“C’mon Don, Leon,” said Cory, “let’s go find something.” The boys swam off.

“Mom,” said Adam, “come over here. Take my place on the box. You need – ” Adam paused. He heard something that sounded like a strong gust of wind coming from off in the distance. “Do you hear that?”

Between sniffles and splashes, they could all hear something. To Adam, the sound was like the wind. To Mrs. Might it sounded like a distant train. Whatever it was, the sound grew louder. Soon, they began to bob up and down in the water; small, gentle waves rocking them about. Mrs. Might was the first to understand what those waves meant. “Hang on to that box, boys!” she screamed. Hang on tight!”

Adam and the others looked in the direction of the waves and cutting a new horizon across the sky was a giant wave, taller than any building, as tall as the highest mountains on earth. The smaller waves became bigger waves and lifted them higher and higher. Carlos stared at the oncoming mountain of water and let go off the box. No one noticed as the water’s steady ebb and flow pushed Carlos farther away.

The giant wave came upon them and swept them up, high onto its face. They rode the wave for a time, treading, floating, before it began to curl up and crash. The water’s force turned everyone over, and shoved them far, far under the surface. Adam thought of nothing other than hanging on to his breath and the box. He was underwater for so long. He wanted to open his mouth. Instead he willed his mouth shut and held his breath until it hurt.

Finally, in the wake of the giant wave, the box, with Adam clinging to it, bobbed up through the surface of the water. He opened his mouth to suck in salt-tinged air and yelled, “We made it! We made it!” A relaxing sigh of relief passed through him. He opened his eyes to see who needed help. No one was in front of him. He kicked his body around in a circle, looking for a head, a hand, anything. But there was nothing, not even a bit of trash floating nearby. He swam in another circle, slower this time. He was alone and floating in the middle of an ocean.

The Waterwood Box, 10