James Whorton, Jr.: His novels sketch bleak, tender interior worlds of vividly human beings. Subtly funny; earnest without being cloying.
Stephen Andrew Palermo: With Palermo you find what’s lacking in Bukowski: idiosyncrasy. Bukowski’s oeuvre could’ve been written by any dipsomaniacal misogynist with a pen and a penchant for betting ponies. Palermo’s poems could only have been written by Palermo.
Deerhunter/Atlas Sound: Dreampop/shoegaze with electronic influences. Cox’s blog is loaded with tunes composed as he roams the world. By ’09, there were 200+ exclusive tracks, free to download. Around November ’10, he gave away four complete albums in four consecutive days. Exciting things happen when unfettered artists are allowed to engage their audiences in a manner befitting the post-BitTorrent age.
Nine Inch Nails: I owe a huge debt to Nine Inch Nails, a major influence on my aesthetic sensibilities. Radiohead gets the press, but Trent Reznor is leading the way in the post-BitTorrent age. Free albums, free multi-tracks for remix contests judged by the man himself. In ’08, he gave away 405gb of hi-def AV footage so fans could create their own souvenir of a tour ranked among the Top Ten most spectacular of all-time.
The Null Corporation: Reznor’s independent label-not-label. Click the links. Everything’s free with an option to buy hard copies and support the art—which you all should do.
The Sobriquets: An impressively harmonic neofolk act that finds a way to make mandolin backed by drum machine not only not sound awkward, but instead incredible.
Echoing the Sound: The only webforum I’ve ever gotten involved in or wanted to. Technically, it’s devoted to Nine Inch Nails and associated acts, but really it’s just a lot of fun and insightful people with a passion for a wide range of art. A great place to maybe make a friend, waste some time and have a laugh, or get down and dirty, talking music, books, or politics.
Pitchfork: Yes, it favors bands so underground, they haven’t even been formed yet. But it’s a killer resource for finding new acts in every genre—ambient to black metal, folk to hip hop.
Rob Sheridan: Spectacular, generous graphic designer & photographer. If you like the backgrounds on this site, drop by his page and check him out: those backgrounds are all his.
Love/Hate Tattoo: I’ve spent a decade letting the tattoo techs at Love/Hate carve their art into the meat of me. If you’re ever in or around Rochester, New York, see if you can sneak in. Truly spectacular work that stands the test of time: ten years hence, my sleeves are very nearly as bright as the day they were finished.