March 2019
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Gene V. Baker is an immensely talented multi-instrumentalist and singer, as well as a composer and songwriter. He speaks candidly about the challenges he’s faced moving from the Bay Area to New York, and about the difficulty he’s had finding time for his creative practice outside of his all-consuming day job teaching music to kids.

Category:general -- posted at: 6:21pm EDT

In Episode 40 of Make/Work, host Scott Pinkmountain speaks with writer and activist Kate Schatz, author of the New York Times bestselling Rad American Women A-to-Z and Rad Women Worldwide, which she did in collaboration with illustrator Miriam Klein Stahl. Schatz is also one of the founders of the nationwide feminist resistance network Solidarity Sundays, which she started with Leslie Dotson Van Every and Jennye Garibaldi, and which has grown from a house party back in early 2016 to over one hundred chapters with more than eighteen thousand Facebook members. Likely, you know her for both of those things.

Direct download: Episode_40_Kate_Schatz.mp3
Category:Make/Work -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Dorian Wood is a musician, vocalist, and experimental performer. Much of Wood’s music and performance is an intensely visceral celebration and embrace of the body, often his own, which he fearlessly exposes while rendering gorgeous and virtuosic melodies. The effect is a powerful and intimate expression of his singular beauty that simultaneously reveals the more universal beauty of each of us as individuals.

Pinkmountain and Wood discuss the impact of the election on a personal level and Wood’s reluctance to directly address political matters through his creative work. Wood points out bluntly that as a self-identified “overweight, queer person of color,” being singled out and antagonized by those in power is not exactly a new experience.

Photograph © Pablo Almansa.

Direct download: EP_39_Dorian_Wood_.mp3
Category:Make/Work -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Beth Pickens is an LA-based consultant for artists and arts organizations. Pickens’s background is in Counseling Psychology and she applies those skills to her work, specializing in supporting queer and trans artists, women, and artists of color.

After the election Pickens wrote the how-to guide—Making Art During Fascism—and started running a free weekly drop-in workshop at the Women’s Center for Creative Work in LA. The workshop recently finished up, but Pickens is expanding the pamphlet into a book, which will be published by The Feminist Press as part of the Feminist Survival Series that author Michelle Tea is editing.

Photograph © Tammy Rae Carland.

Direct download: MW_S2E1_-_Beth_Pickens_-_Making_Art_During_Fascism.mp3
Category:Make/Work -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Episode #37: Melody Parker

Melody Parker composes intricate chamber songs, and Archipelago is her imaginative debut record. It invites the listener to inhabit an otherworldly place and time, yet it evokes the familiar as much as the fantastical. She has created these songs with mourning and celebration for this watery home we know—and for the paradoxical richness of our experience within it.


Photograph of Melody Parker © Andria Lo.

Direct download: Episode_37_Melody_Parker.mp3
Category:Make/Work -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Episode 36: Abeer Hoque

Author and photographer Abeer Hoque lives in New York, has Bangladeshi roots, was born and raised in Nigeria, and identifies home in several different places. She captures this kind of simultaneous global existence beautifully in her new collection of linked short stories, The Lovers and The Leavers, which was recently published by HarperCollins India.

Direct download: Episode203620Abeer20Hoque.mp3
Category:Make/Work -- posted at: 12:00pm EDT

Episode 35: Dru Farro

Scholar Dru Farro is currently finishing his PhD at the Center for the Study of Theory and Criticism in London, Ontario. He is also the Chief Deputy Editor of the journal Chiasma: A Site for Thought, and head administrator of the blog Song, and Sin. Farro talks with Pinkmountain about his role on the fringes of academia, his deeply ingrained American reluctance to seek medical attention, his eventual and abstract creative goals, and lots of Faulkner with some highfalutin references to someone named “Husserl.”


Direct download: Episode203520Dru20Farro.mp3
Category:Make/Work -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Episode 34: Joy Castro

Joy Castro works in memoir, nonfiction, both literary and so-called commercial
fiction, and poetry. And she’ll also be directing the Institute for Ethnic Studies at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln this fall. Castro speaks about her somewhat unorthodox writing process, the course of her career, the distinctions (real or false) between literary and commercial fiction, and whether or not she’d feel comfortable leaving her child with the “slutty drunken” narrator of her crime thrillers.

Direct download: Episode203420Joy20Castro.mp3
Category:Make/Work -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Episode 33: Daniel Baird and Alex Chitty

Back in January, artists Daniel G. Baird and Alex Chitty sublet their apartment, quit their jobs, packed what they could into their van, Bosco, and left their home base of Chicago to travel around for a year with the intention of figuring out how to make it all work better. They speak to host Scott Pinkmountain about their goals, fears, hopes, and their desire to avoid being perceived as slackers. And of course the value of “Wiggly Time.”

Direct download: Episode203320Baird202620Chitty.mp3
Category:Make/Work -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Episode 32: Nathan Langston

Several years back Nathan Langston schemed up a “gimmick” to meet other artists when he landed friendless in New York City. In April, he launched Telephone: An International Arts Experiment with the Satellite Collective, linking 315 artists from 42 countries. Langston speaks about the origin and development of this ambitious project as well as the effect it’s had on his creative and personal life.

Direct download: Episode203220Nathan20Langston.mp3
Category:Make/Work -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Episode 31: Aurora Tang

Researcher/curator Aurora Tang splits her time between Los Angeles, working as the Program Director at the Center for Land Use Interpretation, and Joshua Tree, where she’s the Managing Director of High Desert Test Sites

Direct download: Episode203120Aurora20Tang.mp3
Category:Make/Work -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Episode 30: Jon Nielsen

Guitarist/composer Jon Nielsen spends half of his year working as a bike mechanic in Minneapolis and the other half traveling the country in an RV. He speaks about becoming disillusioned with the music scene, the difficulty he’s had regaining his inspiration and motivation over the past several years, and how he hit the road in search of finding that motivation.

Direct download: Episode202920Jon20Nielsen.mp3
Category:Make/Work -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Episode 29: David Meltzer and Julie Rogers

Episode 29 of Make/Work is the fifth of a sub-series where host Scott Pinkmountain interviews couples in which both partners are artists, addressing some of the unique issues that may arise in those relationships and talking about the challenges and benefits of building a life with someone who's also engaged in a creative pursuit.

This week, Scott speaks with poets David Meltzer and Julie Rogers. Husband and wife, reading and performing partners, Meltzer and Rogers also share a Beat sensibility with Buddhist leanings.



Direct download: Ep202920David20Meltzer202620Julie20Rogers.mp3
Category:Make/Work -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Episode 28: Pamela Z

Rooted in the San Francisco avant-garde music scene, composer and performer Pamela Z combines vocals, electronic processing, and multi-media performance into a hybrid, experimental medium of her own invention.

Direct download: Episode202820Pamela20Z.mp3
Category:Make/Work -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Episode 27: Saul Melman

Host Scott Pinkmountain speaks with emergency room physician and visual artist Saul Melman about ephemeral relationships, the parallels between creative practice and caregiving, and how to reconcile your identity as both a doctor and an artist.

Direct download: Episode202720Saul20Melman.mp3
Category:Make/Work -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Episode 26: Christine Hiebert

Christine Hiebert has focused on drawing for nearly 30 years. She has shown at museums and galleries all over the world, including the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Her work is both abstract and organic, investigating the nature and language of line. 


Direct download: Episode202620Christine20Hiebert.mp3
Category:Make/Work -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Episode 25: Jim Ragen

For over forty years, with career, family and various natural disasters intervening, Jim Ragen has been at work on a five-volume novel spanning generations of life in the Dakotas. He turned down an offer to publish his writing in his mid-twenties because he knew he needed a lifetime of experience to best tell his story, which centers around the devastating 1972 flood in Rapid City, South Dakota that changed his life.

Direct download: Episode202520Jim20Ragen.mp3
Category:Make/Work -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Episode 24: Artist Roundtable

Host Scott Pinkmountain facilitates a conversation between four artists—Fiona Connor; her brother, Jamie Connor, a web developer; artist and writer Brigitte Nicole Grice; and artist Catherine Davis, who works as the manager at the Eames House in the Pacific Palisades. Their conversation veers from Marx and labor power to the difference between honesty and truth in art, to public vs. private practices, to Scott's ignorance about New Zealand, as well as Moondog and a whole passel of other stuff.

Direct download: Episode202420Artist20Roundtable.mp3
Category:Make/Work -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Episode 23: Katherine Ball

Katherine Ball’s work happens at the intersection of anti-capitalism, environmental issues, and social justice issues. For Ball, this has translated to a broad spectrum of projects ranging from making inflatable barricades for climate change demonstrations to helping turn a squatted Greek military base into a sustainable farm.

Direct download: Episode202320Katherine20Ball.mp3
Category:Make/Work -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Episode 22: Mick

Guitarist and songwriter Mick (who has requested anonymity due to the nature of the discussion) speaks frankly about his childhood abuse and drug use, and the crucial need for alternatives to Katy Perry.    

Direct download: Episode202220Mick20Darling20Freakhead.mp3
Category:Make/Work -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Episode 21: Mona Tian

Mona Tian grew up in Shanghai and started playing violin at age 3. She made her major solo debut at age 8, then moved to the US to further her studies when she was 12. She speaks with Scott Pinkmountain about her lost childhood, the pressure she felt as her parents invested everything into her musical education, and how she eventually had to discover her own reasons and motivations to continue playing music as an adult.

Direct download: Episode202120Mona20Tian.mp3
Category:Make/Work -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Episode 19: Angela C. Villa and Thollem McDonas

Documentarian Angela C. Villa and musician Thollem McDonas have been living on the road on perpetual tour for the past eight years. Villa has captured Thollem in improvised performance with the likes of Nels Cline, Brian Chase of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Pauline Oliveros, and countless others.

Direct download: Episode201920Thollem20Macdonas202620Angela20Villa2028129.mp3
Category:Make/Work -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Episode 18: Lisa Ward

An artist and architect, Lisa Ward also has an extensive background in theater, and speaks about her work with the Brooklyn Pageant Project bringing performances to the streets of New York on a wagon that folded out into a theater. More recently, she's focused on visual work—sculpture that blends her interest in architecture and the American West, and in her own words, "exploring symbols of human habitation and infrastructure and their relationship to the surrounding landscape."

Direct download: Episode201820Lisa20Ward.mp3
Category:Make/Work -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Episode 17: Brett Fletcher Lauer

Brett Fletcher Lauer is mainly known for his work as a poet. His debut book, A Hotel in Belgium,  has recently been published by Four Way Books, and his work has also been published in American Poetry Review, Boston Review, Fence, Harper's, and Tin House. He is the deputy director at the Poetry Society of America.

Direct download: Episode201720Brett20Fletcher20Lauer.mp3
Category:Make/Work -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Episode 16: Cheryl Leonard

Composer, performer, and instrument builder Cheryl E. Leonard is known for creating compositions using materials she finds in the natural world—things like stones, wood, water, ice, sand, shells and feathers. She’s travelled as far as the Arctic and Antarctica in search of new sounds like calving glaciers and her set of penguin bone instruments.

Leonard talks about some of the challenges of making her microscopically quiet music while living in a city, like having to wake at 3 a.m. and climb into her closet to record. She also discusses the benefits she gets from her other two serious passions, Aikido and mountaineering, and how making art doesn’t necessarily trump those things.

Direct download: Episode201620Cheryl20Leonard.mp3
Category:Make/Work -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Episode 15: Nate Wooley

Trumpet player/composer Nate Wooley’s playing has been widely praised by everyone from the New York Times and DownBeat to trumpet icon Dave Douglass who called him “one of the most interesting and unusual trumpet players living today.” He’s constantly performing and recording internationally with such folks as John Zorn, Thurston Moore, and pretty much every one playing contemporary free jazz and improvised music. For his day job, Wooley is the curator of the Database of Recorded American Music and the editor-in-chief of their online quarterly journal, Sound American.


Direct download: Episode201520Nate20Wooley.mp3
Category:Make/Work -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Episode 14: Dan Nelson and Lexa Walsh

Dan Nelson and Lexa Walsh are both interdisciplinary artists with too many different pursuits to list in full. Nelson is perhaps best known for his book, All Known Metal Bands, but he’s also made a lot of visual work and he records music under the name Boron. Much of Walsh’s work is socially-rooted and based around fostering community and, as she says, “working to create a hospitable democracy.” She’s also a musician and plays in the band Toychestra, as well as in The Pleasure Class with Nelson.

Direct download: MakeWork20Ep201420Dan20Nelson202620Lexa20Walsh.mp3
Category:Make/Work -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Episode 13: Vanesa Zendejas

Artist Vanesa Zendejas has recently been dealing primarily with Modernist sculpture and her habit to decorate, perfect, and balance, which she says may or may not be related to being a woman.

Zendejas speaks about the value that value she gets from totally immersing herself in a community of artists and blurring the lines between her domestic and creative life. She also talks about growing up with a strong awareness of her Mexican-American heritage taught to her from her father who is a traditional communist painter, and her successful mother who expects her to “be smart” about the choices she makes.

Direct download: MakeWork_Ep_13_Vanesa_Zendejas.mp3
Category:Make/Work -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Episode 12: Diane Cook

Writer Diane Cook was a producer at This American Life for years until she quit to pursue her own fiction writing. She’s since had work published or forthcoming in places like Harper'sGranta, and Zoetrope, and in 2012 she won the Calvino Prize for fabulist fiction.

Cook speaks about what she learned from her time at This American Life, how she ultimately had to leave the job to develop her own identity as a writer, and her need to focus exclusively on her writing for the last couple of years.

Check out Diane Cook's story, "Moving On", in the latest issue of Tin House. Preorder her debut collection, Man V. Nature, here

Direct download: MakeWork_Ep_12_Diane_Cook.mp3
Category:Make/Work -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Episode 11: Aaron Siegel

Aaron Siegel is one of the co-founders of the New York-based organization Experiments in Opera, and his own opera, “Brother Brother,” has its full-length premiere coming up in New York City on May 2nd and 3rd at the Playhouse at Abrons Art Center.

Direct download: MakeWork_Ep_11_Aaron_Siegel.mp3
Category:Make/Work -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Episode 10: John Colpitts

John Colpitts, aka Kid Millions, is a founding member of the band Oneida, but he’s toured and recorded with tons of bands including Yo La Tengo, Spiritualized, Akron/Family, Marnie Stern, The Boredoms, and the Rumpus’s own Rick Moody. More recently, he’s focused on his solo percussion project, Man Forever. Man Forever is currently on tour, and the new album, Ryonen, which is a collaboration with the So Percussion ensemble, comes out this month on Thrill Jockey.


Direct download: MakeWork_Episode_10_John_Colpitts.mp3
Category:Make/Work -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Episode 9: Jon Bernson and Jennifer Welch

Musician Jon Bernson performs mainly with his groups THEMAYS and Exray’s and actor/director Jennifer Welch runs the Tides Theater, located in the heart of Downtown San Francisco’s theater district.

Direct download: MakeWork_Episode_9_BernsonWelch.mp3
Category:Make/Work -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Episode 7: Nate Query

Nate Query plays bass for both The Decemberists and Black Prarie, and has made playing music with nationally touring bands his main job for around twenty years.

You can check out Query playing live with Black Prairie on KEXP hereTheir new album, "Fortune," comes out April 22 on Sugar Hill Records.

Direct download: MakeWork_Episode_7_Nate_Query.mp3
Category:Make/Work -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Writer LuLing Osofsky’s work ranges from intimately personal lyric essays about her love and sex life, to investigative journalism and researched history, which she also manages to approach with a personal, revealing perspective.

You can read LuLing's essay "Chop City," published in Orion Magazine and mentioned at the end of the episode, here.


Direct download: MakeWork_Episode_6_Luling_Osofsky.mp3
Category:Make/Work -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Episode 5: Emily Chenoweth and Jon Raymond

Emily Chenoweth is the author of the novel Hello Goodbye, which was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award. She’s also a highly prolific ghostwriter. Jon Raymond has written The Half-Life, Rain Dragon, and the short story collection, Livability. His screenwriting credits include Wendy and Lucy, Meek’s Cutoff, the HBO miniseries Mildred Pierce, and several other films.

Direct download: 01_Make_Work_Episode_5_Chenoweth__Raymond_FINAL.small.mp3
Category:Make/Work -- posted at: 6:50pm EDT

Episode 4: Jacopo Andreini

Italian musician Jacopo Andreini is mainly known as a drummer and composer in bands like Squarcicatrici and L’Enfance Rouge, but that only makes up a small fraction of the work that he does.


Direct download: MakeWork_Episode_4_Jacopo_Andreini.mp3
Category:Make/Work -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Episode 3: Katie Bachler

Katie Bachler is an artist/educator based in Southern California and her work is centered on our connections to place and to each other. She recently created a Map of Home or the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and is currently working on building the Women’s Center for Creative Work in Los Angeles.

Direct download: MakeWork_Episode_3_Katie_Bachler.mp3
Category:Make/Work -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Episode 2: Julien Nitzberg

Julien Nitzberg is a writer/director/documentarian most well-known for the documentary, The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia, and his musical, The Beastly Bombing, which won Musical of the Year from the LA Weekly Theater Awards in 2007.

Note: At one point Nitzberg refers to my working with Tune-Yards. I didn’t work with them; they were working in my studio.

Direct download: Make.Work_Episode_2_-_Julien_Nitzberg.mp3
Category:Make/Work -- posted at: 12:00am EDT

Episode 1: Maggie Nelson

Maggie Nelson has been published, and celebrated, as a poet, a memoirist, an essayist, an art critic. It's best just to call her a writer, or a woman of letters. Her most recent book The Art of Cruelty, an examination of images of violence in fine art, was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. She's also faculty at Cal Arts in Southern California.

Direct download: Make.Work_Episode_1_-_Maggie_Nelson.mp3
Category:Make/Work -- posted at: 12:00am EDT