New Music with Edgar

So, last year, I did something possibly very dumb, and joined a group dedicated to emo music on facebook. I say “possibly very dumb” because the group has metastasized wildly, with spin-off groups proliferating like spider plants. But joining this group did have an unintended side effect: for the first time in years, I felt compelled to keep up with new music releases. And it was fun! It’s still fun! It even lead to me making a list of my favorites from 2018 (though somehow in writing the list I super forgot to even mention Cursive’s Vitriola, which I loved very much, and, of course, the fact that I only heard about some great 2018 releases after the turn of the year).

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Edgar's Book Round-Up, January-March 2019

I haven’t been reading as much this year, or at least not as many books. I think I’m still reading with the same frequency, but this year I decided to dial back my Goodreads challenge number, because I wanted to read some denser, odder stuff. I found that in trying to read many books (last year I hit 45, which I think is pretty good considering I periodically do other stuff), I was privileging briefer ones. That’s no bad thing — efficient style is nothing to be sneezed at, and frankly I think we should all be reading more poetry — but I had been eyeballing a few longer and more intense pieces for quite some time.

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Cameron's Book Reviews: Spring 2019

Alex is hard at work on the next episode — as Episode 8 is to Edgar, so Episode 9 is to me, so I’m very excited for it. Of course, we’re admittedly a bit behind: it’s inevitable. Alex works tech support, I’m an Adjunct, Charlie has a job at a museum. We’re not always able to put the time towards our creative endeavors that we would like.

One thing, however, that we can manage, is to read: we’re all avid readers, and we try to stay abreast of what’s going on with the written word. Here are some highlights from what I’ve read this Spring.

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Inspirations, Part 1: Other Podcasts

Perdition’s Teeth didn’t happen in a vacuum. The other members of the creative team weren’t really into podcasts, but I consumed quite a few — I work delivery and I don’t really like most of what’s on the radio in this town, so I started listening to podcasts. While the informative “talking head” type podcasts are quite good, I’ve got a soft spot for narrative. Some of my favorites are:

  • Alice Isn’t Dead - a weird fiction podcast from Nightvale Presents (whose flagship podcast is quite good at times, but I prefer this one,) that follows a lesbian truck driver searching for her wife. At turns horrifying and heartbreaking, it’s very engaging.

  • Archive 81 - each season of this podcast is radically different. The first season follows an archivist going through the titular archive of “true” stories of the residents of an apartment building, the second season centers on the exploration of a strange other world, and the third follows a pair of siblings conducting a ritual. The seasons are interconnected, and the combination of weird fiction and anti-capitalism is definitely an influence on Peridtion’s Teeth.

  • The Black Tapes Podcast - A monument to what could have been. The Black Tapes ran for two and a half brilliant seasons, pioneering the PNWS style of fictional journalism podcast. It follows journalist Alex Reagan and debunker Doctor Richard Strand as they review the unresolved cases from Strand’s archives.

  • Limetown - while it’s only had one season, this is one of the earliest journalistically-framed fiction podcasts. It follows a journalist — Lia Haddock — trying to figure out what happened at a closed research facility ten years ago, when three hundred people vanished without a trace.

  • Our Fair City - a “post-apocalyptic radio epic” about the inhabitants of a bunker in the middle of a frozen wasteland, run by the insurance company HartLife. It’s been running for eight seasons, and while each episode might only be fifteen minutes or so, there’s such a backlog that it makes a very satisfying binge.

  • SPINES - Think something halfway between X-Men and Serial. A single narrator — Wren, for most of the series — wakes up with no memory of her past, and seeks the eight people who were present in her earliest memory, trying to sort through where she came from and what’s going on.

  • TANIS - Possibly my favorite podcast, following the journalist Nic Silver exploring a myth. Influenced by Mark Z. Danielewski’s House of Leaves and Jeff VanderMeer’s Area X, it draws you in slowly. While the first few episodes are uneven, the second and third seasons are beautifully done.

While there are others, these are the ones that I enjoyed the most while preparing for Perdition’s Teeth, and if you’re waiting for more content from us, there is more than enough in each of these shows to satisfy you.