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      CommentAuthorTheremina
    • CommentTimeJan 19th 2010 edited
     (7593.81)
    Mark! Jeff! Ross! Jess! Hi!

    @Theremina --- If you were to score a Bill Watterson interview it would be the scoop of the century. I've heard he speaks to no one. I would be thrilled beyond tears to read that.

    Never going to happen, of course. You'd be more likely to see J.D. Salinger go on Oprah. But it's a nice daydream to indulge when I'm in a dentist's chair or something!

    A few months back, one of you (I honestly don't remember which one) was having a conversation on Twitter with Chet Zar and the subject of him possibly getting interviewed by the mag came up, to which I said I would buy the shit out of that issue.

    It was definitely both of us, Z. Chet popped up in the comment thread of a Coilhouse post about Beksinski a while ago, much to our delight! We've had machinations ever since.

    Also, Coilhouse has never covered or mentioned Angela Carter despite her work being very coilhausy.

    Almost never. I've definitely mentioned her (in passing) on the blog before, but still. Bless you for bringing her up. It is absolutely fucking criminal that Coilhouse hasn't done a proper feature on her. (Hell, when I was super young and earnest, I even wrote poetry dedicated to the woman that was published by my college lit mag. Eeehnn...) Honestly, there are a lot, A LOT amazing people who haven't been given proper due on Coilhouse yet. I've got to get on some of mine! Just off the very tippy top of my brain: Lee Bontecou, Harry Partch, Moondog, Ota Benga, Brian & Wendy Froud, Eve Tanguay, Frederick Law Olmsted, Brian Wilson, Clara Rockmore, Pamelia Kurstin, Unwound, the aforementioned Angela Carter and Scott Walker... that's like the teeny weeniest, "wahfer thin" slice off the tip of the proverbial iceberg. It's a good thing to remember the next time I get burned out on blogging. (Yes, it happens to all of us.) Thank the gods we have Ross. He is our fussy, cranky rock of Gibraltar. Speaking of...

    Also, Ross Rosenberg's contributions to the blog are always amazing. Do you ever give him specific ideas ("go find a video about _____") or does he come to you with bizarro things? In fact, that could go out for most of the contributors. Do you do much in the way of assignments, or does the Coilhouse Family just come in with whatever they care to write about?

    (For all our jokes about catacombs and chain leashes) Ross is a free agent. A true internet spelunker. Plus, he keeps the tumbleweeds from piling up on the screen whenever we go into magazine production mode, or plain old "Blogger Bed Death" mode and can't get it up. Honestly, the blog would be so fucked without Ross.

    Many of our contributors are friends or longtime readers who either came to us and said "hey, I have an idea for a blog piece, wanna hear it?" or alternately, are people that we approached and asked to write something specifically. For instance, my friend Wayne Chambliss first got involved with Coilhouse when Gary Gygax died. I knew he'd had an amazing personal experience with the man and would be able to write a far more inspiring and in depth anecdotal obituary than any of us ever could. I approached Neil to cover the Handcar Regatta for us, and since he knows the door is open any time he wants to pitch another California counterculture photo essay, he just asked if we wanted Edwardian Ball coverage.

    Our contributors really are a bunch of bootstrappers. They have to be, unfortunately, because Nadya, Z and I just don't have a lot of time to vet their pieces-- we need folks we can trust to be self-motivated and coherent and somewhat on point... even when we're not. Heee.

    The four core blog writers (Ross, Nadya, Z, me) generally write whatever we feel like, whenever we want. No schedules. Most of the time, none of us know what anyone else has planned until it shows up in drafts a few hours before posting. When it's a Serious Business post, something deeply political and/or opinionated and/or emotionally charged, we do like to check in with one another first, as much for grammar reasons as anything.
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      CommentAuthorTheremina
    • CommentTimeJan 19th 2010 edited
     (7593.82)
    PS: Stratocirrus, I completely ignored this incredibly important question...

    How does one maintain a dedication to the weird and alt while 'growing up'/becoming an adult with a job and responsibilities? How do you stay inspired and curious?

    ...because I have no idea how to answer it. I think if I had a concise answer, I'd feel a lot more confident and optimistic about the world in general. Also, I'll admit it: I'm an irresponsible, nomadic, extremely bratty "grown up" without any monetary savings or mouths to feed and as such, I have somehow managed to steer clear of day jobs that don't directly involve the arts. I get to travel a lot, and record cartoon music and run away with ciruses for money, so it's probably a little easier for me to stay inspired and curious than most.

    I'm really hoping Nadya's open to talking about this. She's the true, undeterred, breadwinning powerhouse of our group-- she works an intensive corporate 9-5 job, and still has time to come home and write passionate love letters.

    I'm off to rehearse for a few hours, be back tonight!
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      CommentAuthorZoetica
    • CommentTimeJan 19th 2010 edited
     (7593.83)
    Oops! Sorry Mer, missed your and Chet's Twitter exchange.

    @Jeff Owens Happy to have Coilhouse be your first recent magazine purchase!
    I can't seem to find any subscription information. Am I missing it? Do you not offer subscriptions? If not, are there plans to? I would strongly consider getting one for myself, as I'm sure would many others.

    Straight from our FAQ: Unfortunately, no subscriptions at this time. In order to offer you a good subscription deal, we need to obtain a Periodical Permit from the United States Postal Service. Having this permit will enable us to mail the magazine inexpensively, thus giving us the opportunity to offer an affordable subscription rate. However, applying for this permit is a costly, rigorous process that’s currently outside the scope of what our small staff can handle.Offering subscriptions is definitely on our agenda, but unfortunately, we don’t see it happening until we’ve published at least 10 issues.
    How does one maintain a dedication to the weird and alt while 'growing up'/becoming an adult with a job and responsibilities? How do you stay inspired and curious?

    I wonder if not growing up in the traditional sense is at least a part of it. Like Mer, I've stuck to doing creative work, even when I've had day jobs. I can count said day jobs on one hand, and the most recent one ended in May, 09. I will say that, back then, I actually found the work-induced time restrictions stimulating to the creative process. These days, I'm free and that comes with a price, but it's been completely worth it so far. And yes, I suppose making art in some form for a living makes it easier. Most of all though, I think it's the notion of not falling into a rut, no matter what you do. For me, remembering to take the time to actively nurture my cultural and adventure muscles, no matter how busy I might be with any given project, is vital. And not always easy, even as an independent artist! There are days when I have to literally force myself to take a break, but doing so keeps my inspiration-abs TIGHT.
    I'm really hoping Nadya's open to talking about this. She's the true, undeterred, breadwinning powerhouse of our group-- she works an intensive corporate 9-5 job, and still has time to come home and write passionate love letters.

    Yes, I would love to hear Nadya's take on the subject!
    • CommentAuthorben morris
    • CommentTimeJan 19th 2010 edited
     (7593.84)
    One thing I've wondered about before is the name. To me COILHOUSE has always felt like a perfectly fitting and appropriate name for the magazine/blog and sounds quite nice rolling off the tongue but is there a deeper thought process or meaning behind it?

    Also were there any other especially interesting names that were discussed weren't selected?
    Harry Partch

    Yes! I'd really love to see a post or article on Partch, he's one of the 20th century's most unique and fascinating musicians.
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      CommentAuthorTheremina
    • CommentTimeJan 19th 2010 edited
     (7593.85)
    @Ativistian

    A common theme that comes up around here is what Warren listens to while writing. Is there anything in particular that you, collectively or individually, often have playing while you create?

    Collectively? Um... we all danced together to the Numa Numa song once, does that count? *cackle*
    We all work in separate cities, so there's not a lot of communal listening going on. That would be fun, though. Z turned me onto the amazing Headphone Commute podcast. I enjoy listening to their "Modern Classical Mix" while I write. We're all fans of my friend Joshua Zucker's Roadside Picnic podcast. (I've been meaning to put together a narrated Coilhouse Radio Podcast, but I keep getting bashful.)

    What I listen to while I work varies a lot. Hell, what I listen to, period, varies a lot. Here's my Last.fm page, if anyone's curious. Warren recently got me addicted to Pyramids With Nadja. Right now I'm listening to Popol Vuh.

    If you happen to pick up #04, check the acknowledgments section on the Masthead page, and you'll see a ton of bands and song titles listed. That's mostly stuff I listened to nonstop while working on that issue.

    Second, and more cliche, question: what do you think are the three most important qualities in a person?

    Not cliche, so much as REALLY difficult to narrow down. I've never been good at these Sophie's Choice type question scenarios! Brutal! I'd say that open-mindedness, resourcefulness, and compassion are way up there. But I could go on and on for miles, you know? Integrity, psychological resilience, courage, loyalty, a great sense of humor, honesty, humility, healthy self-reflection.... etc.

    @Ben Morris I have the same birthday as Harry Partch. And Terry Riley. I am irrationally proud of this fact.
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      CommentAuthornadya
    • CommentTimeJan 19th 2010 edited
     (7593.86)
    One thing I've wondered about before is the name. To me COILHOUSE has always felt like a perfectly fitting and appropriate name for the magazine/blog and sounds quite nice rolling off the tongue but is there a deeper thought process or meaning behind it?


    Hey, Ben! You know... I think you're the first person who's asked that online, although in meatspace it comes up all the time. Although, I don't think it rolls that easily off the tongue the first few times you say it. It's hard in real life. "It's called Coilhouse." "Coil-WHAT?" "Coil. House." "CoilHOUSE? Okay. WHY?" Okay, so. The name comes from a short story I wrote in college, in a fiction workshop with the esteemed Samuel Delany. I actually don't remember the story very well myself, I haven't read it in years. But in this story, a guy comes into possession of a long-boarded-up house, where he discovers that the rules of physics behave differently and unpredictably on the second floor - objects float, water runs up, etc. He opens up a shop on the first floor, and after a while all sorts of strange people start coming in, asking him if they could spend a few minutes upstairs. He finds himself playing host to these secret nighttime gatherings, during which people use the space upstairs for all sorts of things. Scientists, tinkerers, sculptors, rabbis, you name it. Everyone is there for a different reason: motion/gravity experiments, alchemical processes, Kabbalistic rituals, etc. These people don't know each other, but they all need the warped nature of this house to carry out their work. Being confined to the small space together, eventually all start talking to one another, influencing each others' theories, cross-pollinating. The results are spectacular projects that mix together things like chemistry and fortune-telling. Of course, some vandal burns the house down at the end of the story. I liked the idea of a weirdly magical, secret space where people from different walks of life find themselves doing and talking about things they love in hushed tones, getting excited, letting themselves be influenced and inspired by the other people who were also drawn there, especially if everyone is from different backgrounds.
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      CommentAuthorFractal
    • CommentTimeJan 19th 2010
     (7593.87)
    @Theremina: Terry Riley and Harry Partch SHARE A BIRTHDAY? How has this fact not ended the world of music as we know it yet?

    (Also, have you seen the In C Remix project?)
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      CommentAuthornadya
    • CommentTimeJan 19th 2010 edited
     (7593.88)
    Second, and more cliche, question: what do you think are the three most important qualities in a person?

    Kindness, curiosity, creativity, sense of humor. Whoops, that's four. And people who possess the latter three qualities on that list, but not the first one, are the most dangerous people you'll ever meet.

    How does one maintain a dedication to the weird and alt while 'growing up'/becoming an adult with a job and responsibilities? How do you stay inspired and curious?

    ALT+TAB: learn it, live it, love it.

    First, I'm going to address the worst-case scenario, which is getting stuck in a job you hate. If you find yourself in this position (and many do, in this unfortunate economy), think of it as training for your true passion in life. Trust me, you're learning something that will help you - even if you don't know how, at this moment in time. For example, the first two years at my "real corporate job," leading up to Coilhouse's inception, were a nightmare. As summed up by another employee on the site JobVent: "This company is run like an internment camp. There is zero creativity or respect for original ideas. It is a deadline driven, management and process heavy, throw you under the bus, me-first, money hungry environment that will pretty much kill off any goodwill or life you have outside of the company. Management is petty, sometimes abusive, invasive of your private life (you won't have a private life anymore), vindictive and controlling." Despite that, the years I spent in that environment taught me skills I use every day for the magazine: accountability, communication, project management. I'm not saying you have to put yourself through this trial-by-fire, but if circumstances put you there, I find that this attitude will get you through it. My job's technical nature prepared me to code the Coilhouse site. The sales techniques I learned when I switched departments helped me with the advertising part of Coilhouse. But too much of a stressful environment will destroy you. If you're really getting abused at your job, if you're crying about it every day, if you find yourself losing weight because you don't have the time to take lunch AND dinner breaks (which happened to me in my first year), QUIT. Don't let people treat you with disrespect. I was too scared to take this advice a few years ago, but if I had to do it all over again, maybe I would have.

    But let's say you have a semi-enjoyable job that leaves you with room to breathe. Enjoy it as much as possible. Don't treat "office job/full-time artist job" as this rigid dichotomy of success/failure. Surround yourself with things that remind you why you're there; when we were working on Issue 03, I printed out proofs of articles and artwork from that issue and pasted them on the walls of my cubicle. Only tell your co-workers about your creative projects if you really trust them. At my last job, I told this girl who was friendly with me about the magazine. She seemed interested and supportive. Well, one day a few weeks later, when she felt like I wasn't working fast enough on a project she'd assigned me, she loudly and very openly accused me of working on the magazine during office hours. Never, ever let yourself end up in that position. Just don't talk about it. Don't work on personal stuff at work unless you are the master of ALT+TAB.
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      CommentAuthornadya
    • CommentTimeJan 19th 2010 edited
     (7593.89)
    Burroughs (who you referenced in the same post I quoted, I believe) is a constant source of inspiration to me. He gave up on writing for years, only to get back to it when, if memory serves, he was about forty. And even then, it's not like he was some glamorous superstar that lived "the life", yet he is thought of as a great man by many.

    Wow, I didn't know that about him! That's actually really inspirational, the fact that he quit and came back to it so many years later. I'm sure a lot of us have talents that we haven't had the time or will to explore at this exact moment in our lives. Sometimes there's that feeling of, "If I haven't done ____ by age ___, it's too late." With some things like pro gymnastics that may be true, but not with writing.

    @Nadya-- Reading the list of your influences explains a lot and gives you tons of credibility in my opinion, and tells me that you are coming purely from a place of passion for the art form with your publishing intentions. Girl's Guide, Mondo, Ben Is Dead, all great vehicles for getting into the print underground. I've been a zine hound forever myself, being mainly obsessed with Cometbus these days, especially his forays into novelization.

    Mickierat, bless you! Thanks for saying that. I've had moments where I felt stunted for not discovering more underground/obscure stuff by a certain age, but whatever. I should also mention that I grew up obsessed with 'Teen, YM, Seventeen, and the Stepford Sassy (I didn't know about the real one). You can still be led to your true passion through corrupted sources.
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      CommentAuthorhmobius
    • CommentTimeJan 20th 2010
     (7593.90)
    @theremina It's not entirely true about Bill Watterson. Radio 4 got an interview with him last year I think for a series about comic heroes. So it is possible, if unlikely. Now Gary Larson - I would actually eat your fish cookies to read that.

    Really happy to hear there'll be some film-related stuff in Coilhouse soon. I saw you mention Lynch earlier. I guess other auteurs would fit the coilhouse bill too - Jarmusch, Gallo, Von Trier etc?

    Couple of other questions too.

    Has the dynamic between the three of you changed since Mer moved to New Zealand to annoy Weta? If so, how have you had to adapt? In my past, I was remote editing UK books from India without the aid of a safety net, so I'd be curious to know how you do it today.

    Would you be interested in UK-related submissions? There has been a lot of US-based stuff for good reason, but as you're 'international' these days....
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      CommentAuthorTheremina
    • CommentTimeJan 20th 2010 edited
     (7593.91)
    "since Mer moved to New Zealand to annoy Weta?"

    ...says the annoying guy.

    Skype helps. We talk on the phone now more than ever. I think everybody misses hanging out at Canter's or the Edison together, but that's more a social hindrance than a professional one. Issue 04 didn't go into production until long after I'd arrived in Wellington, and Nadya had left LA for London, then SF.

    Would you be interested in UK-related submissions?
    Depends on who's submitting what! We already have a fair share of UK contributors. Mil's in London. Mark Powell's in Manchester. The Science of Ghosts lecture Mark covered took place in Edinburgh. There are more UK-based interviews in the works as well.

    There has been a lot of US-based stuff for good reason, but as you're 'international' these days....
    Come to think of it, our content is pretty international these days.
    Other non US-based subjects in recent issues: the Kowloon feature, an article on Russian Pulp, the Chilean/ Ukrainian/Parisian Jodorowsky, Spanish photographer Gustavo Lopez Mañas, Siberian/Canadian dollmaker Marina Bychkova, Montreal's Kristamas Klousch, Austrian horror/fantasy photographer Bernd Preiml, a Dia de los Muertos overview. I think we're doing okay!
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      CommentAuthorhmobius
    • CommentTimeJan 20th 2010 edited
     (7593.92)
    ...says the annoying guy.

    Wasn't trying to be annoying. Bad choice of words on my part perhaps. Sorry about that.
    Also, I genuinely didn't realise you'd already had some UK contributors in there already.
    I'll just sit in the back...
  1.  (7593.93)
    I'll just sit in the back...

    I think that would be wise, yes.
  2.  (7593.94)
    Anything you can tell us about 05 yet, or is it still too early? Themes, perhaps?
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      CommentAuthorTheremina
    • CommentTimeJan 20th 2010
     (7593.95)
    Wasn't trying to be annoying. Bad choice of words on my part perhaps.
    Oh, relax. Make a jibe, take a jibe.

    ANYhoo.
    It's really, really late night/early morning here at the bottom of the world, and I'm just plumb wore out from dragging my enormous nut sack around all day...



    G'night, lovelies.
    • CommentAuthorIronRinn
    • CommentTimeJan 20th 2010 edited
     (7593.96)
    rickiep00h- Thanks for the compliment dude! The only thing I'm sent out to get is the fermented beet juice that Nadya seems to live on. Also, Zoe makes me look for bivalve porn, but I think she only does it so she can see the color drain from my face.

    (For all our jokes about catacombs and chain leashes) Ross is a free agent.


    HAHAHA...YES! A JOKE! THAT'S WHAT IT IS! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Please, someone call the police. I forget what the sun looks like and everything smells like beets and urine.

    HA HA HA HA HAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

    Seriously.
  3.  (7593.97)
    Oh God it's Ross.

    We need a fire wielding mob now.
    • CommentAuthorIronRinn
    • CommentTimeJan 20th 2010
     (7593.98)
    Ginja- You and the other villagers may have driven me off the last time, but I assure you it shan't happen again.
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      CommentAuthornadya
    • CommentTimeJan 20th 2010 edited
     (7593.99)
    (This question response is proudly sponsored by stolen Wi-Fi from the Continental Presidents Club in ATL)

    Does the mag pay for itself usually or is it more of an out-of-pocket labor of love, done for the sheer enjoyment of the creators? I'm hoping it's the former as I'm sure you do, but I know from experience (been in the same diy punk band for 15+years) that most people who are doing things that they love are not becoming millionaires off of doing so.

    We keep upping the ante, so right now we're still in the red. Otherwise, we'd be breaking even or possibly even making a modest profit. For example, for Issue 05, we flew one of our staff photographers, Allan Amato, out to New York to do two incredible shoots that Mer art-directed (I think that Mer just might be persuaded to post one of the outtakes here on Whitechapel... stay tuned!). It was insane: a 10-person crew in one Manhattan studio, alternating between two different shoots happening almost simultaneously. We'd never attempted something like that before, logistically or financially. Basically, any time we make a little bit of extra cash, it goes straight back into producing more elaborate content for the magazine. The good news is that our loss on paper this year was only half of what it was last year. So, hopefully, we're getting closer. It's not happening as fast as we'd like, but it's happening.
    • CommentAuthorjessnevins
    • CommentTimeJan 20th 2010
     (7593.100)
    Also, Coilhouse has never covered or mentioned Angela Carter despite her work being very coilhausy.

    What's stopping you from writing an article on her?

    Seriously. If you want to see something in Coilhouse, how about writing an article about that something?