• John Michaels
  • Sam McPheeters exhibits an unusual startle response

You might recognize Sam McPheeters‘s name from his occasional Reader byline—his piece on Articles of Faith is my favorite so far—but it’s more likely you’ve encountered it elsewhere. For nearly two decades he was a musician, zine publisher, and label owner, most famously as cofounder and front man of Born Against. And in fact I first bugged McPheeters about writing for the Reader after seeing an amazing piece of work he’d done for Vice: a profile of former Crucifucks front man Doc Dart, who now calls himself 26, that ran to nearly 8,000 words. Earlier this month Mugger Books published McPheeters’s first novel, The Loom of Ruin, and on Thursday he’s in town to read from it (at Columbia College) and do some spoken word (at Permanent Records).

Philip Montoro

Philip Montoro has been an editorial employee of the Reader since 1996 and its music editor since 2004. Pieces he has edited have appeared in Da Capo’s annual Best Music Writing anthologies in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, and 2011. He shared two Lisagor Awards in 2019 for a story on gospel pioneer Lou Della Evans-Reid and another in 2021 for Leor Galil's history of Neo, and he’s also split three national awards from the Association of Alternative Newsmedia: one for multimedia in 2019 for his work on the TRiiBE collaboration the Block Beat, and two (in 2020 and 2022) for editing the music writing of Reader staffer Leor Galil. Philip has played scrap metal in Lozenge, drummed with the Disasters, the Afflictions, and Brilliant Pebbles, and sung for the White Outs. He wrote the column Beer and Metal from 2012 till 2015, and hopes to do so again one day. You can also follow him on Twitter.