i am alt lit

alt lit reviews

I AM ALT LIT interview ‘#3’: beach sloth

here are some ‘questions’:

1) where are you answering these ‘questions’? what are your ‘surroundings’ like?
I am answering these questions in a room different than the room you are sitting in now. My surroundings are dark. I have a computer in front of me. The air conditioner is behind me. I am wearing headphones and am listening to an album I’ve never heard before. Outside I hear a nice breeze and kids playing late at night.

2) do you consider yourself part of alt lit? do you like alt lit? are
you confused about what alt lit ‘is’?

I think I consider myself part of alt lit. My main output is mostly reviews. Since you are ALT LIT, I think you’d agree that reviews are help alt lit grow. There are a few stories I have out along with a handful of poems. Hopefully I can add more poems and stories to my skill set. My reviews though sometimes deviate heavily from the actual story itself, hence some of them may count as short stories. Riffing off of the poem or short story’s subject matter is probably the most fun I have.

Oh yeah I love the snot out of alt lit. We’re bros.

Alt lit is fairly definable. I know there are a lot of conflicted emotions about it (see ‘New Sincerity’ or ‘Quickshit’) but overall it appears to be well-defined. The approaches change dramatically but I do feel there is a specific tone to most of the work.

3) I AM ALT LIT has never rated anything by you. Which of your work are you most interested in receiving a rating from I AM ALT LIT?
If ‘I AM ALT LIT’ rated ‘Grand Piano’ by me that would be excellent. That is probably one of my favorite pieces. ‘Dr. Seuss on Bath Salts’ or ‘American’ would be the two poems I’d pick. ‘Dr. Seuss on Bath Salts’ seems to get a fairly good response in public readings. ‘American’ takes a lot of energy to deliver in the way I envisioned. People enjoy ‘American’ a lot I think.

4) why did you ‘start’ beach sloth?

Basically I was lonely. When I started Beach Sloth I had a lot of anxiety in my life about what I wanted to do. Weirdly this blog has helped me figure out a balance in my life between artistic inclinations and work. If I didn’t have the Beach Sloth blog I would be considerably more depressed. Every time I post or write something on Beach Sloth I realize others care about me. I do not get that feeling from real life as often as I’d like.

5) where did the name ‘beach sloth’ come from?
I love the beach. There is something about water that puts my mind at ease. Everywhere I have ever lived has been at the very most a 30 minute car drive to the water or less. I am into the coasts.

Sloths excite me. I always brought them up during dates because I thought they were funny and cute. Usually I only have a first date. Maybe I come across as too strange when people first meet me.

6) you seem to review both music and alt lit things. why not just do one or the other?
Originally it started out as a music blog before I got into alt lit. Alt lit and music complements each other. There are a few writers in fact who also have their own musical projects. So I feel the two worlds co-relate enough to cover them both. Though I do wonder about whether or not I should spin off my music reviews into another blog sometimes. Lately more people seem to read my musings on alt lit more than any album reviews. We’ll see what the future holds.

7) who are your favorite bands ‘right now’? who are your favorite authors ‘right now’?
Asking me my favorite bands ‘right now’ is like asking me to count grains of sand. I have a hard time picking out my favorites. Right now the following bands would be: Mouse on Mars, Moritz von Oswald Trio, Chris Weisman, Hot Chip, Dat Politics, Kyle Bobby Dunn, Human Teenager, Drainolith, Shit & Shine, Ryan Power, Black Dice, Beach House, Sleigh Bells, and Frank Ocean. That’s off the top of my head.

Favorite authors are too many to count. Plus, if I left even one out I’d never hear the end of it. Believe me, it has happened before.

8) i always ‘marvel’ at how fast you are able to ‘write something up’ about the latest alt lit happening/release. are there ‘multiple’ contributors to Beach Sloth? or just yourself? how are you ‘able’ to respond so fast?
I simply follow alt lit very carefully. People send me things sometimes which help me keep a good handle on everything happening. Also, I have an ultra-specific schedule I try to adhere to (barring a huge amount of work or travel).

There is only one Beach Sloth.

I respond so fast because I do not get many G-chats or Facebook messages. Most of my time is spent writing the reviews. Anything outside of that is much smaller. I know a lot of members of alt lit spend time responding to people. I rarely do that. There are a few people I keep in close contact with otherwise it is the ‘liking’ and ‘commenting’ life for me.

What makes it easy to do is how I have a large queue of posts waiting to be published.

Full books still throw me for a loop however. If I did more book reviews I would probably need another member to join Beach Sloth.

9) do you want to be ‘successful’ in writing? do you want to be ‘more’ successful as a critic or as an author or are they the ‘same’?
A good critic and writer can be the same thing. I want to be successful at both. Being a good writer is definitely harder. I am working on improving my creative pieces, my outlines for books, etc. That takes a lot of time and I need feedback in order to continue any project. That’s why I can do the blog thing so quickly. Writing a book (or even a tiny chapbook) is harder for that very reason.

10) what did or what will you have for lunch?
Today I stole two pizza slices from work for lunch. Upper management had a meeting and gave me the leftovers. Think this is similar to how trickle-down economics works.

11) what was the last book/movie/ or ‘internet video’ you read/watched?
Last book, oh my, there are so many books. Hate to pull this again but if I left anybody out I’d never hear the end of it. Let me say ‘All of them’ LOL. Though I think people can figure out which pieces I care more about than others. Look for the clues. I leave them there for a reason. I may be messing with you a little bit right now.

Last movie I saw was ‘Moonrise Kingdom because I was contractually obligated to see it as an alt member of society. That was one of the best movies I’ve seen for a long time.

12) what else should i ask about?
California is the next place I want to visit.
I plan on offering more art artifacts at some point in the not so distant future.
Hope by next year I can learn how to play the guitar.

13) please write some words about yrslf that could function as a ‘bio’.
Beach Sloth reviews alternative music and literature on the internet. He has appeared in Up Literature, Screaming Seahorses, Shabby Dollhouse, Thought Catalog, HTML Giant, Habitat, Have U Seen My Whale, The Curiosity Cabinet, Thousand Shades of Gray, Unreality House, unsure if i will allow my beard to grow for much longer, Banango Lit, and Hipster Jesus Unicorn. Though he’s never met you, he probably loves you and supports all your endeavors, however big or small they might be.

(Ed. ‘note’: Beach Sloth’s first chapbook 'I Want to YouTube Down the Rivers of America' is out now.)