Articles and thoughts by Peter Holslin

ICYMI: My Best Articles of 2015

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According to my calculations, I wrote somewhere around 80 articles in 2015. I’m not sure if that’s a lot or a little.Depends on who you’re asking and what kind of writer they are, I guess. But I was able to survive a full year as a freelancer, and I think I came up with some solid work in the process.

I write a lot of feature articles and profiles, but this year I also pushed myself to think deeper and more critically. Next year I hope to be more focused and organized as a writer. I was probably too “all over the place” for my own good in 2015, and I know I’ve got some bigger moves to make. But I’m still happy with what I came out with this year.

“The Vocal Life Coach”
BuzzFeed, Jan. 23
This was the first big story I took on after moving to L.A. — a long-form profile of Eric Vetro, a beloved vocal coach who works with stars like Katy Perry, Ariana Grande and Vanessa Hudgens. The amazing thing is that everything for the article came together perfectly. Working on some articles is like pulling teeth, but this was a true Hollywood miracle.

“The Sex Toys of the Digital Age Still Have a Long Way to Go”
VICE, Jan. 30
This article happened because I attended a sex industry conference on a whim. I ended up coming across tons of story ideas and digging into a whole new beat. Also, it led to me almost getting cast as a Seth Rogen lookalike in a XXX version of The Interview, which is a story I’ll leave for another day.

“Father John Misty sings about love, warts and all” / The “Chaotic Horror Show That Is the Human Experience: An Interview with Father John Misty”
San Diego CityBeat, April 7 / Passion of the Weiss, April 9 (full transcript)
The most insane, bizarre, thought-provoking 20-minute interview I did all year.

“Experimental Noise Duo Pedestrian Deposit Bleed for Their Art”
LA Weekly, April 14
I was stoked about this article, and also stoked that PD members Jonathan Borges and Shannon Kennedy introduced me to the oh-so-lovely Trails Cafe in Griffith Park.

“Chamillionaire Wants to Be a Chabillionaire”
Noisey, April 28
An interview with Houston rapper Chamillionaire about his residency at a Santa Monica venture capitalist firm. I’m still a little surprised that I was even able to set this up; apparently he’d turned down multiple interview requests before finally granting mine.

“Low End Thievery: After Losing His Gear and Beats to Thieves, Nosaj Thing Tries to Move On”
LA Weekly, May 12
My first (and hopefully not last) cover story for LA Weekly.

“David Duchovny’s Dad Rock Band Is a Beautiful Representation of America”
Noisey, May 27
Oh, wait, you didn’t know? Yes, David Duchovny makes music now. My article examining Duchovny’s admitted lack of musical talent and the phenomenon of aging male celebrity actors moonlighting as generic roots-rockers.

“It Takes a Lot of Dick-Tugging To Get Your Foreskin Back”
VICE, July 1
An article about the “foreskin restoration” movement. Title speaks for itself.

“Sounds of Future Past: The Lyricon”
Red Bull Music Academy, Aug. 26
An article about an obscure synthesizer saxophone from the 1970s is just not something that blows up in the 24/7, SEO-driven media market of today. And yet this also turned out to be a beautifully human story, about a father’s one-of-a-kind invention and a son’s desire to keep the legacy alive. I really wish I’d had more time to work on this and more space to flesh it out, but I’m glad I did it. Maybe I’ll return to it one day.

“Floating on Air: How Dam-Funk Made Another Modern Funk Masterpiece”
Passion of the Weiss, Sept. 21
My argument for why Dam-Funk’s music is important in an age of musical dabblers, chillwavers and escapists.

“Omar Souleyman’s Endless Charm: Berating the Heart and Cursing Fate”
Noisey, Oct. 1
I spent a really long time working on this article, but I know it’s just when it comes to my fascination with Levantine dabke music.

“Artist of the Month: Chelsea Wolfe”
Self-Titled, Oct. 19
Redemption in the form of doom-metal riffs and purgative electronics.

“The Cambodian Organization That Stalks Western Child Molesters”
VICE, Oct. 28 (with Simon Henderson)
Working on this one was just crazy for me, but not half as crazy as it was for the reporter in Cambodia I was working on it with.

“10 Odd Future Fans Imagine a World Without Odd Future”
The FADER, Nov. 16
This reminded me that high school kids are sometimes amazingly stylish and smart. Also, nostalgia can never come too early in life.

“Lost in Translation: The Story Behind Making ‘Purple Rain’ in the Sahara Desert”
Noisey, Dec. 22
This article took me almost a year to finish. It reflects a lot of what I think about the world and especially the relationship between the United States and the “Global South.” It gave me a chance to dive deep into questions and debates that have always interested me, but that I’d never really fully explored before. I know this is just the beginning of my look at issues that I’ll be pursuing for some time to come.

Photo by Vito Di Stefano


Written by Peter Holslin

December 29, 2015 at 6:04 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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