Category Archives: Podcast

Cup of TNB: Zara Potts

Cup of TNB host Joseph Matheny talks to author and TNB contributor Zara Potts.

ZARA POTTS is an Associate Non-Fiction editor at The Nervous Breakdown. In a former life, she was a network television journalist, specialising in murder stories and entertainment. She has worked variously as a producer, reporter and publicist as well as contributing to major newspapers and other media outlets in New Zealand. Alongside her television work, Zara has also been involved in radio and film. She also, weirdly, has been a judge for the NZ Music Awards. When she isn’t online, she is working on her first novel. She lives in Auckland with a bionic dog.

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The GSpot: Mark Mallman

Joseph Matheny in conversation with the diversely creative spirit, Mark Mallman.

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“Criminally under appreciated” and “The greatest indie songwriter you’ve never heard” are both phrases written in the past 12 years of Mark Mallman’s professional career.  He’s opened for the likes of Donovan, Of Montreal, Cat Power, Green Day, Howie Day, Linda Ronstadt, Tegan and Sara, and Guided by Voices to name a select few.  His songs have been featured on This American Life, MTV, VH1, MSNBC, Current Television, and Public Radio International.  In Minneapolis, he boasts a star on the side of First Avenue Nightclub.  He is also featured contributor in the book “Music Theory for Dummies”.

As front man for Kindercore records electro/house/rock act, Ruby Isle – or composer for major motion picture trailers such as 10000bc, Adventureland, The Hitcher, and The Haunting of Molly Hartley – Mark Mallman has accomplished more creatively than most artists twice his age.  Unlike ANY other artist, he’s performed the longest rock song ever written, a piano solo with the rear tire of a full sized motor scooter, and for 10 hours inside of a refrigerator box.  His newest release, “Invincible Criminal”, was released  fall of 2009 on Badman Recording Company (My Morning Jacket, Starf***ker) .

Cup of TNB: Steve Abee

Cup of TNB host Joseph Matheny talks to TNB contributor, poet and author Steve Abee .

STEVE ABEE was born in Santa Monica, California and began writing after high school when he held a job as an orderly at St. John’s Hospital. His mind started to unfold itself and he thought if he was going to save it, he had better start writing things down. Abee recalls, “I saw the fragility and blessedness of lives and started to come apart in the wonderment of it all.”

Abee writes in the American lyric tradition of Whitman and Kerouac yet as numerous fans remark, experiencing Abee perform his work in person is like attending a university lecture if Iggy Pop was the professor! Suffice it to say, Abee is his own kind of American Literary experience. His work seeks the ecstatic universal in the common grains of the day. Beck Hansen has called Abee “the love-powered bull horn blasting down from the altitudes,” and Lydia Lunch has remarked that his “savage poetry demands the reader to devour passage after passage, only to be left soul seared and simultaneously re-invigorated.”

He holds a MFA in Fiction and Poetry from Antioch University, Los Angeles and just released a new poetry collection, Great Balls of Flowers on Write Bloody books. Also his novel, Johnny Future, is coming out with MacAdam/Cage in the Fall of 2010; Other titles include The Bus: Cosmic Ejaculations of the Daily Mind in Transit (Phony Lid Books), and King Planet (Incommunicado), a collection of short stories and poems.

He lives and teaches in Los Angeles.

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The GSpot: Yony Leyser

Joseph Matheny in conversation with filmmaker Yony Leyser director of the documentary “William S. Burroughs: A Man Within

Yony Leyser is a twenty-five-year-old filmmaker living in Chicago, Illinois, USA. He has directed several short films. After being kicked out of film school, he moved to Lawrence, Kansas, and began his passionate first feature film, William S. Burroughs: A Man Within,  about one of the most interesting icons of
the 20th century,

He also works as a curator, video artist and photographer, documenting people who are outside the mainstream of society. His photograph series have included Ida, a utopian transgender commune in Tennessee; Christiana, an anarchist village in Copenhagen; Kopi, Berlin’s largest
squat, and naked bike rides in the US. His work has been shown work in galleries and theaters in Chicago, New York, London, Berlin, Paris,
Vienna and Los Angeles. Yony Leyser brings a more personal perspective to Burroughs’ legacy, examining the private versus the public personae
of Burroughs and the effect this may have had on his most intimate

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Cup of TNB: Heather Fowler

Cup of TNB host Joseph Matheny talks to TNB contributor, poet and author Heather Fowler . They discuss the infamous iPhone application censorship that involved one of Heather’s Flash Fiction stories. More about that story here and on the podcast.

HEATHER FOWLER received her M.A. in English and Creative Writing from Hollins University in 1997. She has taught Literature, Writing, or Composition related courses at UCSD, Modesto Junior College, and California State University Stanislaus. She is the Poetry Editor at Corium Magazine.  Her poetry has recently appeared in The San Diego Poetry Annual 2009 (2010); poeticdiversity (December 2009); The Medulla Review (Fall 2009); INTHEFRAY (February 2007), (November 2007), and been selected for a joint first place in the 2007 Faringdon Online Poetry Competition (October 2007), as well as published in various venues including: the Map of Austin Poetry, The Coast Highway Review, the Driftwood Highway 1999 Anthology, Joe’s Journal, Best of the Beach 1998, The Publication, and the Cityworks Literary Anthology, Volume 6.  She runs an open participation annual Poem A Day in July marathon at her MySpace creative blog.

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The GSpot: Henry Baum

Joseph Matheny in conversation with author Henry Baum about his newest novel The American Book of the Dead. This book recently won the The Independent Publisher gold medal for Visionary Fiction.

Henry Baum is the author of the novels The Golden Calf and North of Sunset and has published work in anthologies with Another Sky Press and 3 AM Magazine, as well as stories in Scarecrow, Identity Theory, Purple Prose, Storyglossia, and others. He lives in Los Angeles.

“If you read Lolita or A Clockwork Orange without drop-kicking the book out into the garden on a rainy day, this novel is for you.” Tessa Dick, author of The Owl in Daylight, and widow of Philip K. Dick

“Reminiscent of Philip K. Dick and Haruki Murakami, a book that boldly explores the future and defies genre.” Largehearted Boy

“The book is skilfully written and edited to pro standards. Baum is a credit to alternative publishing. The story is totally fresh. I haven’t read anything like it before and I give it an unhesitating recommendation.” Darryl Sloan, author of Chion and Reality Check

“One of the most unique approaches to storytelling I’ve ever come across!” a reader on Goodreads

Two Novel Responses by Philip Heying & Philip Persinger

From the Tyranny of the Muse.

Winner: Best Fiction at the DIY Book Festival

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Cup of TNB: Slade Ham

Cup of TNB host Joseph Matheny talks to TNB contributor, author and stand-up comedian, Slade Ham.

Slade HamSlade Ham is a stand up comedian. He has performed in 22 countries on four continents. When not on stage, he drinks Irish whiskey on the rocks and listens to rock and roll much too loud. One day he hopes to write a book, host a travel show, and continue to trick the world into paying him to do the things he loves to do. He keeps a very expensive storage unit in Houston, TX.

For more information about The Nervous Breakdown check out TNB in the LA Times or ABC.

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The GSpot: Richard Nash

Joseph Matheny in conversation with Richard Nash about publishing/e-publishing past-present-future.

Utne Reader calls Richard Nash “One of 50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World.” ranks him him “The #1 Twitter User Changing the Shape of Publishing.” He ran Soft Skull Press, now an imprint of Counterpoint, from 2001 to 2007, and ran the imprint on behalf of Counterpoint until early 2009. Here’s why he left. The last book he edited at Soft Skull, Lydia Millet’s Love in Infant Monkeys, was just picked as a Pulitzer finalist.

Nash now runs his own consulting business (details here) and is developing a start-up called Cursor, a portfolio of niche social publishing communities, one of which will be called Red Lemonade.

The following is an excerpt of a longer, recorded conversation between Cup of TNB host Joseph Matheny and Richard Nash that occurred on March 23, 2010.

(A text excerpt of this interview ran earlier on The Nervous Breakdown)

Schedule of upcoming shows

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Cup of TNB: Chris Illuminati

Cup of TNB host Joseph Matheny talks to TNB contributor and author Chris Illuminati. (Yes, that’s his REAL name)

Writer CHRIS ILLUMINATI has lived in Lawrenceville, in central New Jersey (also Jon Stewart’s hometown), his entire life. He is a regular contributor to such popular men’s sites and publications as,,,, and Penthouse, although he’s also written for Cosmopolitan (go figure). His many humorous perspectives can be found at his own blog (, and he scopes out trends, dishes advice, and blogs about a number of subjects on a daily basis for, the web site for three suburban Philadelphia newspapers owned by Calkins Media. Illuminati is co-author of the humorous new assertiveness guide for men, A**holeology: The Science Behind Getting What You Want – And Getting Away With It (Adams Media), which was recently featured on TMZ, in OK! Magazine, and a bunch of other celebrity sites just because some hunk from the Twilight saga was photographed reading it while sitting in a tree. Illuminati is a 2000 graduate of Rider University. He and his wife are expecting their first child, a son, in March 2010.

For more information about The Nervous Breakdown check out TNB in the LA Times or ABC.

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THE GSpot: Nick Belardes

Joseph Matheny in conversation with Nick Belardes about his new book, Random Obsessions and a new episode of Bound Up With Books, reviewing De Sade’s Valet by Nikolaj Frobenius.
NICK BELARDES is the author of Random Obsessions (2009) a book of oddities where you will learn that Mothman might be your big brother, Napoleon had stomach aches, and Thomas Jefferson’s grandson was an ax murderer. In 2005 he released the dark novel Lords: Part One a fictional account of the mysterious “Lords of Bakersfield.” A writer, poet and author, Belardes turned TV/online journalist overnight after blogging his way to success on Bakersfield issues. His articles and essays have appeared on the homepage of and other news sites across America. Lately, he has started to write less journalism in order to focus more on writing books and performing activist poetry that might wake up some of the lethargic brains of California’s Great Central Valley. He lives in Bakersfield, which is in the valley’s southern end. You can find Nick on Facebook and Twitter.

Schedule of upcoming shows

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Cup of TNB host Joseph Matheny talks to TNB fiction editor and author Gina Frangello.
GINA FRANGELLO is the fiction editor of The Nervous Breakdown. She is the author of the novel My Sister’s Continent (Chiasmus 2006) and the collection Slut Lullabies (forthcoming from Emergency Press). She was the longtime Editor of the literary magazine Other Voices, and co-founded its book imprint, Other Voices Books, where she is now the Executive Editor of the Chicago office. Her short stories have been published in many lit mags and anthologies, including A Stranger Among Us: Stories of Cross Cultural Collision and Connection, Prairie Schooner, StoryQuarterly, Swink and Clackamas Literary Review. She guest edited the anthology Falling Backwards: Stories of Fathers and Daughters (Hourglass) and teaches creative writing at Columbia College Chicago and Northwestern University’s School of Continuing Studies. Gina lives in Chicago and can be found online at Facebook, and the Other Voices Books’ website, She has twin daughters, a wild preschooler son, and never sleeps.

For more information about The Nervous Breakdown check out TNB in the LA Times or ABC.

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The GSpot: Nick Pell

Joseph Matheny in conversation with Nick Pell, writer, blogger and media activist.  Also, introducing Bound Up With Books, the podcast edition. This week, Psuke  reviews The Pilo Family Circus.
Nick Pell has been a professional writer for more than half his life. He has written about culture, arts, spirituality, and politics for “Maximumrocknroll,” “Just Out,” “The Hit List,” and “Key 64.” He has also been an editor for Immanion Press and London PA.

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