Stories from the End

Matador Review, Fall 2018 (Pushcart Nominated)

D's connections to the Velvet Underground, as loose as they were, warranted my respect. I had spent the entire summer before coming to NYU with one CD in my '98 Honda Accord—Volume I of the recently-released Velvet Underground box set—the one that contained all the demo versions of their most famous songs. I listened daily to that demo version of "Heroin," blasting it with the windows and sunroof rolled down, chain-smoking cigarettes and driving down the highway that skirts Atlanta's sparse skyline of shiny glass buildings.

"Ah when the heroin is in my blood and that blood is in my head. Then thank God that I'm as good as dead. And I thank your God that I'm not aware. And thank God that I just don't care." I can't tell you how often I felt exactly like this song. Ready to give it all up just for one all-encompassing feeling. It describes youth to me, or at least my youth. Both starving and full to the brim.

The Lawn Jockey

Heavy Feather Review, No More Presidents

On the highway and during a stop for gas, we got our shares of both horrified looks and cheers. We tried our best to ignore everyone. When we got back to the dorms, we put the two artifacts in a giant black bag. We decided we would go camping soon and burn the stuff then. The bag stayed in a corner of Hunter and Shawn’s room, which was our main hangout spot. For weeks, whenever we were there, I couldn’t keep my eyes off of it.

I began dreaming about the two objects. Sometimes the statue was large, foreboding, made even more grotesque in its largeness. It wanted to destroy me. I’d dream it was fighting me, but it wouldn’t move. It was all anticipation. I’d dive in order to escape one of its giant blows, but then I’d look back on it and it wouldn’t have budged from its position. I wouldn’t dream of the racist guy himself, but his footsteps provided the soundtrack to these nightmares.

A few times after a dream like this, I’d go over to their room first thing in the morning and demand that we get rid of the wretched objects soon.

“We’re gonna do it,” one of them would say. “Just wait. Next weekend isn’t good.”

Music Reviews for Immersive Atlanta Magazine

"The Black Lips Sing in a World That's Falling Apart," March 2020

The track begins rather calm, with two harmonizing guitar parts and sparse background vocalizations by the boys. Zumi’s Karen-Dalton smoky croon is pure heartfelt goodness. I swear I could listen to her drawl, “there goes Richie with a one-way ticket” all goddamn day. It’s all incredibly Southern, especially as the song builds toward its crescendo and you hear Rosow yelling, “Get it on time!” How Rosow, a model and Gucci muse from Los Angeles, manages to sound just like my chain-smoking Great-Aunt Ruby from Hartwell, Georgia, yelling at her kids, is a straight-up mystery to me, and I might be suspicious if I didn’t love it so much.

"Upchuck E.P." Februrary 2020

My favorite track, “Scruggdust,” is more melodic and less percussion-driven. It highlights the variety of tones in KT’s voice, which can handle both bass-heavy chanting and scratchy, higher-tone melodies. Over the course of the song, we get a variety of dynamic movements—a staccato storytelling rhythm dissolves into a pensive-sounding hook, then we’re back into storytelling, then back into a moment of reflection before the whole thing suddenly unravels into a burst of feedback that sounds like a UFO beaming somebody up. Overall, the effect is a tightly controlled release, and I love it.

"Feature: A proposed land deal between DeKalb County and Blackhall Studios seeks to bulldoze history as well as trees," September 27, 2020 (non-fiction piece)

The atrocities that happened at the Old Atlanta Prison Farm site were spread out over a long period of time and didn’t involve just one event; overall, it’s a complicated history to reckon with. However, just because it’s complicated, doesn’t mean it should be ignored. Human beings were enslaved, tortured, lynched, and imprisoned on this site. They were worked to exhaustion, injury, and maybe death. To turn even part of it into a movie studio parking lot is not only a bad idea ecologically — it’s obscene.

Blackhall Studios & DeKalb County land swap deal finalized, hit with legal challenge

The Mainline, February 2021

One of South River Watershed Alliance’s main concerns is that removing the heart of Intrenchment Creek Forest would create more runoff for Intrenchment Creek, an important tributary of the South River. While there was an ecological assessment done by Wood Environment and Infrastructure Solutions, Echols’ view is that the assessment focused too much on the tracts themselves without adequately addressing ripple effects development would have on surrounding ecosystems. The surrounding areas include, all too importantly, those connected to Intrenchment Creek. In short, ecosystems can’t be confined to property lines.