Tag Archives | interview

Craig Finn: Punk Rock, Literature, and the Art of Being an Optimist

Craig Finn, best known as frontman for The Hold Steady, sat down with Ron Placone at a coffee shop in East Nashville. Topics include the Punk and Hardcore movements of the 80s and 90s, Poetry and Literature, Spirituality and Religion, Rock ‘N’ Roll, Songwriting, why Craig doesn’t like Jim Morrison, the comparisons to Bruce Springsteen, Minneapolis, Brooklyn, the Replacements, and last but certainly not least, Craig’s first solo effort, Clear Heart Full Eyes, and his upcoming album and tour. YES!!

For more interviews like this check out Ron Placone and the Indie Bohemians Morning Show.

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James Jesso & Benton Rooks On Ayahuasca and Psilocybin

I caught up with my friend James W. Jesso recently to ask him some questions regarding psychedelic culture and his new book The True Light Of Darkness

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BR: As of late you’ve been having jungle journey’s in Peru with our mutual friend author/filmmaker Rak Razam. What are some of the qualitative differences you’ve seen between traditionally brewed ayahuasca and psilocybin? I know you have explored the latter in your book Decomposing the Shadow, which is one of my very favorite reads on the subject (and also one of the few!). More recently you have explored the former in your essay ‘Ayahuasca and I’.

JJ: Yes, I went to Peru in September of 2014 and attended one of Rak’s retreats as a part of that adventure. What led me to the jungle was one of those synchronistic arrangements of opportunity and timing that seem to sing to some grander frequency pattern that undertones a harmony between one’s purpose and the unfolding of space/time events; a set of opportunities I just couldn’t turn down.… Read the rest

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A Universe of Causes [Interview with Physicist George Ellis]

We assume that effect follows cause. But could this most basic of beliefs be mistaken?

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Mathematician George Ellis made his name focusing on some of the big questions of cosmology and relativity. Along with Stephen Hawking, he co-authored 1973’s The Large Scale Structure of Space-Time, which attempted to describe the very foundations of space itself.

More recently, Ellis has been focusing on top-down causation – the process by which higher level organised systems, such as humans, interact with their own component parts. His theories have important repercussions across many fields of research – from consciousness and free will to understanding quantum phenomena. Ellis is also an active Quaker and was a vocal opponent of apartheid during the 1970s and ‘80s.

We spoke to Ellis about his theories, their implications, and the reasons behind certain resistance to these ideas.

What exactly is top-down causation?

A key question for science is whether all causation is from the bottom up only.

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Political Apocalyptic Witchcraft


Witchcraft — The very name of this ancient religion has been one of the longest enduring means to induce a community to panicked frenzy. Even in 2015 you don’t need to go far to find witchcraft’s continued legacy of damnation by other religions. Witchcraft is so hated that the very word “witch” is still used throughout the world to oppress. To be a witch is de facto guilt, not uncommon to be followed by public humiliation, mutilation, and death.

In this 38-minute talk called Fly on the Wings of the Storm, Peter Grey of Scarlet Imprint and author of Apocalyptic Witchcraft urges his fellow witches to awaken to the historic “battlefield” and current state of That Old-Time Religion. Drawing a parallel between the current ethics and practices of global war, endless urbanization, the surveillance state, and planetary climate catastrophe with the religion’s historically near-ubiquitous persecution, Grey urges witches to suspend their differences and begin including a more politically-conscious dimension to their religion.… Read the rest

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Temporality, Friedrich Nietzsche & Modern Times

In Conversation with Espen Hammer


What is time? Has our relation to temporality changed time? Norwegian philosopher Espen Hammer talks to four by three about our shifting time consciousness, Friedrich Nietzsche’s ideas about circular time, the promises and dissatisfactions with modern times and how art might be the key to new existential possibilities.

Questions by Bernard Hay and Christine Jakobson
Originally appeared on four by three magazine.


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Cambridge University Press

four by three: A central thesis of Philosophy and Temporality from Kant to Critical Theory is that a theory of modern temporality is crucial for grasping certain dissatisfactions that arise in Western modern societies. What motivated you to undertake a study of temporality and to put forth this claim?

Espen Hammer: I had for a long time been working on, and trying to get a grasp of, the post-Hegelian tradition of European philosophy – the line, basically, from Hegel and Schopenhauer to Nietzsche, Heidegger and the Frankfurt School.… Read the rest

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Chris Gantry: Songwriter, Beat Enthusiast, Outlaw

Chris Gantry has written over 1000 songs. He has also written several books. He has worked with Kris Kristofferson, Johnny Cash, and that’s just naming a few. He came to Nashville in the early ’60s from New York where he was heavily inspired by the Beat Poets. He was an Outlaw, before it was even a thing, and certainly before it was a trend. These days he still spends his time kicking around East Nashville collaborating with up-and-coming songwriters. We talk music, the idea of the Outlaw, Kerouac and much, much more. For Nashville folk: He has a reading at Howlin’ Books tonight (April 2), 6-8pm.

This interview was by Ron Placone and appeared on the Indie Bohemians Morning Show. A morning show, for people who hate morning shows.

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Interview with Robert Guffey, author of Chameleo (OR Books 2015), March 2015

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I sat down with Robert Guffey, author of Chameleo published by OR Books, for a riveting interview.

John Hawkins:  Chameleo read like it would make for a brilliant screenplay. The whole thing came to life. I felt like I was reading a mash of Hunter S. Thompson, Philip K. Dick, but also a bit of Elmore Leonard, with the slick characterizations. The first third is extremely entertaining, but later you bring together a lot of threads – verbatim interviews, emails and phone call transcripts, all of which makes for an interesting combination of humor mixed with striking, frightening stuff.

RG: Yes, the first third is very narrative driven and then I get into the transcripts. I can see where the narrative might slow down some at that point. But I was hoping that at that point the reader would be interested enough to get to the end.… Read the rest

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