“You can be successful in the machine, but your art will forever be compromised.”
That’s Rory Ferreira speaking to Stacy Lee in an excellent interview here. My vinyl copy of Ferreira’s latest album Purple Moonlight Pages just arrived and I am sitting here listening to it & thinking about what this album has meant to me since its release in March.
I am not a musician or a music critic and I am therefore unequipped to explain the kind of music Ferreira makes. I have heard it called art rap, jazz rap, heady rap, indie rap, etc. I was drawn to his stuff because it is chill and uses a lot of interesting words. When I listen to him I can feel my brain curling around the edges like cardboard packaging tossed into a fire. …
Imagine you’re a small fish, maybe four or five inches long, foraging in the reeds at the edge of a clear, quiet pond. Do you notice the heron’s legs?
The legs are long and knobby. You may mistake them for a pair of sticks. They’re certainly as still as sticks would be. What about the shadow? Can you separate the S-necked shadow from the familiar pattern of swaying leaves?
Do you, even for an instant, glimpse the lidless yellow eye?
If you do, it’s probably too late. What happens next is so swift as to be essentially instantaneous. One study clocked avian reaction time to visual stimuli at 76 milliseconds. A few milliseconds after that, the heron’s beak descends. A heron’s beak is six inches long, and extremely sharp, tapering to a lancelike point. The beak breaks the water and strikes you. Even if you survive that sudden, obliterating blow, the heron will take advantage of your inevitable daze to swallow you whole. …
The unparalleled ascension-saga of Adam “Armada” Lindgren
This profile originally appeared in Glixel, Rolling Stone’s videogame vertical, in December 2016. I’ve cleaned it up a bit for republication here.
Since I wrote this piece, the Melee scene has changed. The five Gods are no longer unassailable. Earlier this year, Jeffrey “Axe” Williamson won Smash Summit 8 (Congrats bro!), and there were no Gods in the Top 4. Armada himself retired from Melee singles in September 2018.
This piece is a dispatch from another era, when Armada, Mango, Hungrybox, PPMD, and Mew2King won every tournament they entered. Dynasties are still somewhat rare in esports. …
The origin story and lasting impact of Super Smash Bros. Melee’s most resilient god
This profile originally appeared in Glixel, Rolling Stone’s video game vertical, in 2017.
“God, I’m crying a lot, I’m sorry,” said Juan “Hungrybox” Debiedma, one of five Super Smash Bros. Melee players known as “Gods” for their lopsided domination of the modern competitive scene. He wiped his eyes. Ten minutes earlier, he’d won DreamHack Winter 2015, earning $10,000. Though he’d been considered one of the best in the world since at least 2009, this was his first five-figure payout.
His interviewer, the ever-professional D’Ron “D1” Maingrette, hastened to reassure him. “It’s fine! A lot of emotions are going through you right now.” …
This floating-eye feature on TI5 originally appeared in The Meta in like the fall 2016ish timeframe. I’ve cleaned it up a little for republication here.
Through the smeared window of a 757, Mount Rainier is gargantuan. It is too big to be real. It looks like a piece of videogame scenery viewed from outside and above the map, a huge dome dropped atop a featureless peneplain stretching to infinity in all directions. …