Archive for the ‘Features’ Category

Both Sides

Both Sides (bothsides.info) is a website I built to show evidence of votes where Republican and Democratic legislators in Congress have differed greatly. The aim is to show cases where the “both sides” narrative (ie, “both sides are really just two sides of the same coin”) falls apart. The hope is that prospective voters and non-voters, no matter their political stripe, will see that the balance of power between the two parties can and does make a difference.

This site was inspired by a classic reddit post showing a list of important votes where both parties dramatically diverged in their votes. I’m hoping to provide a lasting, easy-to-find archive of these votes, one that will grow over time through a feature where users can suggest more Congressional votes that fit the bill (if you’ll pardon the pun).

These Shorts Will Get You Through the Apocalypse

My piece of short satire about the best shorts for the worst people, appearing in Greener Pastures.

Tainted Love / Boys Don’t Cry

Red Spot Rhythm Section brings you a two-sided single of broken-hearted soul, in these renditions of hits from 1980s Britain, featuring Claire Liparulo and Erthe St. James.

The tracks have appeared on KPCR, KCBP, WLUW, WNUR, WHCM, CHIRP Radio Chicago, Southern FM (Melbourne, AUS), and syndicated shows such as This Is Ska among others.

Cover art by Shannon Belock.

Released May 6, 2022.

Starting A Short Story: A Craft Essay Goes Too Far

What’s the opposite of analysis paralysis? I got a bit obsessed with the beginning of a short story I found at a writing conference and went a little too far with it. I knew better but I couldn’t help myself.

The result ended up in The Masters Review.

https://mastersreview.com/starting-a-short-story-a-craft-essay-goes-too-far-by-j-howard-siegal/

Rocks and Snow

My short story, “Rocks and Snow”, appearing in Lamplit Underground volume 6.

This story was nominated for a 2021 Pushcart Prize.

Lamplit Underground

Won’t Back Down: A Roots Tribute to Tom Petty

Red Spot Rhythm Section presents “Won’t Back Down”, a loving tribute to the music of Tom Petty. The Chicago musical collective and rhythm section has re-imagined hits and deeper tracks from every era of this beloved American musical great, rendering them in roots rock, reggae, and ska arrangements. The album features immense vocal talent and teems with groove, heart, and, of course, incredible songs.

The album features the talents of Akasha, JC Brooks, Todd Kessler, Angela Peel, Jaik Willis, and more.

It has received airplay on WBEZ, WNUR, WLUW, WCGO, CHIRP Radio, KPCR, and KCBP, as well as syndicated shows such as This Is Ska and The Music Authority, among others.

Released August 6, 2021

That Kid Who Saved the World One Time

My short story, “That Kid Who Saved the World One Time”, published in the Spring 2021 issue of SHiFT: A Journal of Literary Oddities.

Hard To Give Thanks / Foundation

In March of 2020, the Red Spot Rhythm Section went into the studio to begin recording a new two-song single, but unfortunately the studio’s doors had to close – along with most businesses – before the end of the month. Undaunted, the group continued to work with the engineer and guest artists remotely, while recording additional parts at their home.

The single debuted on The Deli Magazine, and has been featured on Alternate Root, WLUW radio, CHIRP radio, WZRD radio, and WCGO radio.

The single features the guest talents of Shane Jonas (Akasha, Lowdown Brass Band) on vocals, Mike Bruno (Spare Parts) on drums, and Michael Bizar (AJ Croce) on lead guitar.

Rhythm Guitar, Keyboards, Bass, Percussion – Red Spot Rhythm Section
Vocals – Shane Jonas
Lead Guitar – Michael Bizar
Drums – Mike Bruno

Engineer – Doug Bistrow
Master – Rollin Weary
Cover Art – Shannon Belock

Words & Music by Red Spot Rhythm Section
Produced by Red Spot Rhythm Section

Covid By State

covidbystate.org is a covid tracker I built to view normalized curves of covid cases for US states overlaid against one another. The site has received over 100,000 visits by over 60,000 unique visitors.

The site uses the wonderful Covid Tracking Project, an open-source tracking and data API project supported by The Atlantic.

Check out the project on github.

Solar Shrine Fundraiser Soundtrack

I created this soundtrack for the Solar Shrine fundraising video to support their architectural installation planned for Burning Man 2020.

The Solar Shrine is a large-scale Afrofuturistic art installation for Burning Man 2020 that is inspired by the architecture and art of the Ancient Egyptian and Nubian cultures. It’s a holistic space of healing, spirituality, and wonder designed to help connect people of all cultures in the present to their pasts and futures together. The Solar Shrine is positioned precisely so as the Sun rises in the East, it illuminates the solar discs on the tower and the solar barque inside the shrine, connecting us with the cosmos and the energy of our Earth. This is a sacred space, a refuge, a place for sharing art, music, healing, and ideas. It is a space for people of all cultures and backgrounds to commune and express their histories, experiences, and visions of what lies ahead.

To donate and find out more information: https://www.gofundme.com/f/the-solar-shrine-community-arts-project