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The Superior Format

Adventures in the cassette ghetto.

Featured Stories
I can't keep up with technology. While others around me are transitioning from CD to iPod, I'm just now going from cassettes to CDs. Since the millennium, many friends of mine have made soft-yet-point ...   More
Wednesday, January 4, 2006 Kevin Sampsell

McSweeney's #17

Lit mag-as-pile of mail masks its standout works of fiction.

McSweeney's #17 Edited by Dave Eggers (McSweeney's Books, $24)How far will the editors and designers of Dave Eggers' literary enterprise McSweeney's go before it becomes inaccessible? Issues have been ...   More
Wednesday, November 23, 2005 Kevin Sampsell


The Mountain Goats' John Darnielle explains himself, 17 syllables at a time.

Music Stories
John Darnielle is currently recognized by the music press as one of the premier poetic songwriters in modern music. But the 38-year-old songwriter has been engaging a devout audience with his lyrical ...   More
Wednesday, June 15, 2005 Kevin Sampsell

Authentic American Despair

Sam Lipsyte's latest novel deserves a larger readership.

It just doesn't seem fair. New York writer Sam Lipsyte has now written two novels that should be modern classics, and yet he's barely known. The Subject Steve was a surprising story of a guy apparentl ...   More
Wednesday, January 26, 2005 Kevin Sampsell

THE JOGGERS - Solid Gold

Album Reviews
THE JOGGERS Solid Guild (Startime International)These kids play their hits (and this LP is packed with 'em) like they're knitting their sweatpants out of guitar string. Singer and guitar clanger B ...   More
Wednesday, November 5, 2003 Kevin Sampsell

Testy at Best

Beulah's frontman talks about the band's right to be glum, the unpopularity of its music and fans who won't pay for anything.

Music Stories
Beulah's a little bitter, which is difficult to notice at first thanks to the group's layered, euphoric pop. But with its fourth album, Yoko (Velocette), the large, multi-instrumental band has cre ...   More
Wednesday, October 29, 2003 Kevin Sampsell

State Secrets Revealed

Mates of State let WW in on their disturbingly wholesome behavior.

Music Stories
Circus music: Can it be sexy? Sure it can. Especially if you have a strapping young man bouncing around his drums, a cute blonde manipulating a pile of organs, and their dueling vocals, crisscross ...   More
Wednesday, October 1, 2003 Kevin Sampsell

Maine Events

Lewis Robinson's new collection of short stories puts Maine on the current literary map.

Perhaps in Maine there's an abundance of men who have trouble connecting with parents, women, seemingly friendly strangers, or law-enforcement officials. If so, Lewis Robinson must know his share. ...   More
Wednesday, January 22, 2003 Kevin Sampsell


A New Unsung Hero: Mark Jude Poirier quietly squeezes his way into Portland's literary

KEVIN SAMPSELL: AN EDITOR'S NOTE Sampsell is the author of the recently released Etiquette for Evil, (Kapow! Books) and publisher of Future Tense Books. ...   More
Tuesday, February 6, 2001 Kevin Sampsell
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