I am a graphic designer and auditory atmospherist.
I've written over one hundred albums in a dozen genres.
My music has circled the globe and I have some of the most amazing, dedicated fans in the world.
I've played drums in a dozen bands over 30 years.
I've written hundreds of thousands of words about thousands of bands and albums for many companies, both in print and on the web.
I've produced 20 or 30 live events.
I was a DJ for 13 years and played with Moby once.
I'm a graphic designer, producing catalogs, emails, ads, posters, t-shirts, and logos, as well as all of my own material for my music and other exploits.
I am a writer, musician and graphic designer, among other dark and unpronounceable things.
Starting in 2005 or so, I was a music reviewer, band interviewer, taste maker, trend touter, best music of the year lister, podcast hoster, video game opinion spouter, guest writer and expert interview subject for a wide range of media.
I've been a drummer and (non)musician since 1988 in both solo and group capacities.
I've been playing video games since 1980.
I have never had a good night's sleep.
(NOTE: Sorry if some links are broken. I don't control the internet.)
I was an on-air DJ at KUMD in Duluth, Minnesota from 1995 to 2008, initially as a volunteer, then as a paid work-study, then just as a regular paid employee. At various points during that time I became the head of one arm of their student-run programming, missed only two of the 260 episodes of my own weekly show (The Shack of Xaq), filled in at least once for every programming slot, became the employee most knowledgeable of the station’s systems (second only to their brilliant and long suffering engineer) and raised the most money for a student-run program in the station’s history.
I produced 20 all-ages live dance/DJ events, titled “Progress,” in the Duluth area.
I played to thousands of people at the City of Duluth's official New Years Eve event.
I was the on-stage DJ for Moby in St. Paul during the “Play” tour. Another highlight of my life.
I have been a drummer since 1988.
I have been a drummer in bands since 1993.
I have been releasing my own solo music since 1994, on my own label Xero Music.
I have produced the music of other local bands, as well as remixed the work of many more, such as Low, Haley Bonar, The Dames etc.
I am the mastermind behind the new-wave/electro-rock band The Surfactants.
I write synthpop under the name The Electric Witch.
In 2011 I released an eight hour dark-ambient album titled Field Recordings from the Edge of Hell under the name Dirty Knobs, to widespread international acclaim. Warren Ellis, writer of Transmetropolitan and the Castlevania Netflix series, blogged “...I have little more to add...I swear I can hear organs playing from inside a pit...Wonderful.” Another highlight of my life.
I have continued to record under various monikers, and Xero Music now has well over one hundred releases available via Bandcamp.
In 2005 I was a paid writer for Duluth's Ripsaw News, the local alternative news and culture newspaper then magazine then back to newspaper.
From 2007 to 2011 I was a paid daily contributor to japanator.com (RIP), posting 1000 stories (mostly about music) and hosting 169 hour+ long episodes of the Japanator Radio podcast. Many people (let’s say 2000 regular listeners per week) enjoyed the show.
During that time I interviewed Final Fantasy music composer Nobuo Uematsu, one of the high points of my carrier/life.
From 2008 to 2012 I was a paid writer for the bi-monthly Otaku USA Magazine, contributing 2-4 pages of music coverage (feature interviews, album reviews, etc.) per issue with occasional video game and anime reviews. I have also written for their website.
From 2009 to 2012 I wrote weekly album reviews (a few hundred) and official press releases for the online Japanese music store HearJapan.com.
I started my own modern Japanese music blog ZB’s A-Z of J-Music in 2009. 300 bands were profiled across 800 posts.
I have been interviewed as an expert on J-Pop for the Christian Science Monitor and CNN and have been a go-to referral for many others looking for information on modern Japanese music.
I have been a paid contributor for Destructoid.com, providing interviews, video game related music reviews and video game reviews, as well as having other non-commissioned work (aka cblogs) featured on their site.
I have been a paid contributor to Red Bull Music Academy.
I have written for CNN.
I have been a paid contributor to TheEscapist.com.
I have been a paid contributor to Fanboy.com.
(You can see a small example of my design work here.)
In 2000 I won the Howard W. Lyons/Alice Tweed Tuohy Award for Outstanding Undergraduate for my book Stun.
I have designed dozens of album covers, including all 100+ albums released on Xero Music, as well as many other local album releases.
I've been a professional graphic designer from over 20 years. I've produced thousands of catalog pages, email campaigns, book designs, websites, and all manner of marketing ephemera.
I am also a photographer, video game lover, husband, and pet owner. Those are all pretty good, too.