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02-20-09 : Agony Column Podcast News Report : Excerpts from 'Shriek' CD

Even though I have today's podcast typed as "Speech," you'll not hear a lot of speaking in it, as it is in fact a montage of the music from the CD included with the Wyrm Publishing limited edition of Jeff VanderMeer's 'Shriek: An Afterword.' The music manages to capture the complicated, spooky and urban setting of the novel.

I'll have readers know that I went through channels to get the permission to use this music, so please reserve all rights and you know, be good. The total length of this excerpt is 20 seconds north of five minutes, which is 1/8th of the total music you'll find, so I've tried to be representative. Given that you can drop $20 on a CD without breathing too hard, I have to say that this book/CD thing is a real steal, and a good indicator that we should be looking to Wyrm for other material. Moreover, I think pairing CDs and books, music and books is a great way to create synergy for both art forms. Immerse ... and let this world disappear.

02-19-09 : Agony Column Podcast News Report : Agony Column Broadcast Radio Show for January 4, 2009, Saul Ferris, Anne Ishii and

Today's Agony Column Podcast News Report is a podcast version of the show I broadcast on January 11, a few weeks ago, featuring Saul Ferris and Anne Ishii talking about Bat-Manga! I really enjoyed both of these conversations and in their slightly edited state, I think listeners will get a great overview of their contributions to the project.

One of the most enjoyable aspects of broadcasting interviews on the radio is the opportunity to sit down and listen with the perspective of a radio listener when I do so. It's an essential part of the interview process that can easily get overlooked as you rush headlong into new interviews and subjects. The combined interviews with Saul Ferris and Anne Ishii offer a compare and contrast perspective on the subject of compulsive collection that I think will feel quite familiar to all the readers of this column. Compare and contrast yourself by clicking on this link.

Wendy Mayer-Lochtefeld, Hut Landon,
Jeremy Lassen and Casey Coonerty Protti
02-18-09 : Agony Column Broadcast Radio Show :
Re-Inventing the Local Bookstore, Part 2

It was literally a Dark and Stormy Night on Sunday, February 15, 2009 featuring Wendy Mayer-Lochtefeld of Capitola Book Café, Casey Coonerty Protti of Bookshop Santa Cruz, Jeremy Lassen of Borderlands Books and Hut Landon, the president of the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association. At least the power held through the show — which hasn’t always been the case!

In the second half of our discussion about re-inventing the local bookstore, we confront the issue of Amazon and the Internet head on, with Hut Landon talking about a bill moving forward in the California State Assembly that would force Amazon and other super-size sellers to pay sales tax on sales within California. This isn’t new and it isn’t an easy subject to suss out; there are lots of subtleties and complexities. You can hear the second half of our conversation here.

02-17-09 : Agony Column Broadcast Radio Show :
Re-Inventing the Local Bookstore, Part 1

Forces beyond my control were allayed against this panel happening. Even as I type this note about the panel, it's still pouring rain, with flash flood warnings and much thanks on my part that I'm using a laptop, because I've got no power here and no ETA for its return. I have to say that I'm just thankful most of my guests, including Hut Landon and Jeremy Lassen who both trekked down from san Francisco, and I hope made it back as well. I did in fact lost a guest to a tree in the driveway. That said, we had a fabulous time, and I think explored some really interesting ways that independent bookstores are changing — and have to change — in order to continue to be relevant and viable in a world where just about anyone with a cell phone can buy a book over the Internet. You can hear the first half of our conversation here

Photo: Michael Katakis
02-16-09 : A 2009 Interview with Michael Katakis : 'Traveller'

Katakis has certainly lived up any implication in the word "traveller." I didn't know what to expect from the book, but once I read it I had a good idea of what to expect from the writer, and I wasn't disappointed. I spoke with Katakis in what I'll call "Studio C", that is, the office of Capitola Book Café, which has great sound even when they're rolling shelves of books around. Katakis is a remarkably perceptive writer and an engaging speaker who talk to me about the connection between his photography and his writing, as well as the future and the past. You need merely click on this link to hear our conversation and get a sense of history repeating.

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