Billings Art Brew

There are some amazing artists and stories in Billings, MT and we think they need to be shared and celebrated. The good, the bad, the difficult all help us in our creation of beauty. Waste Division is happy to officially announce the addition of Billings Art Brew to our growing lineup of podcasts! Join the talented Matt Blakeslee and Parker Brown as they traverse the landscape of Billings in hopes of shedding light on the diverse array of artists the city has to offer. Check out all the great stories they've compiled, and be on the lookout for more great episodes here in the Waste Lands!

Julia-Louis Dreyfest 2018: Promo #1

Here's the first promo video of the season for Julia Louis-Dreyfest 2018! Don't forget to get your submissions in by May 1st to be a part of the fun this August in downtown Billings, Montana! We are looking for musicians, comedians, poets, visual artists, and craftspeople! Before submitting, you should know a couple things about the fest:

1). Set times are 30 minutes for bands, with 5 minutes MAX for setup and tear down. Comedians and poets will receive information about their performance arrangements closer to the festival. Visual art is displayed in a variety of ways at the different venues depending on the type of art. Craftspeople will set up at this year's new event, the Dreyfest Bazaar-B-Que.

2). Traveling acts will receive at least $50 for gas and expenses (we will pay more as the budget permits). You will also have the opportunity to sell your merchandise. Julia Louis-Dreyfest is entirely not-for-profit, so local acts play for free to support the fest and venues provide their services free of charge. We realize that $50 is not truly enough to travel this far out of the way, but we also put a big emphasis on this being a really cool community event and would be stoked to have you as a part of it!

UPDATE: Submissions for all but craftspeople are closed. Please hit us up next year!

Looking to volunteer your time and labor? Please contact us!

Video by Mary Kate Teske

Waste Books- "Dune" (Part One) by Frank Herbert

Join the adventure as CooperJordanPhilDan, and Eric tackle the first half of Frank Herbert's sci-fi masterpiece Dune.

Also available on iTunes!


Ten years after Lord of the Rings, twelve years before Star Wars, and nineteen years before David Lynch’s godawful film adaptation, Dune holds true as perhaps the greatest science fiction epic of all time. Frank Herbert’s masterwork of a novel (and five sequels) realizes through the mythos and mystique of the planet Arrakis (a.k.a. Dune) the fertile intersection of ecological, colonialist, feminist, Marxist, religious, and philosophical debates compacted in this prophetic, addictive, and somehow familiar journey through the most unfamiliar of worlds. Dune is heavy without pretension, enjoyable without ease, and immersive without the escapism that cheap science-fiction promises: fantasy without the reminders of why we choose to look elsewhere for answers.

The journey that readers and the characters themselves take on this hostile planet begins with Herbert’s hero Paul Atreides being initiated into the rites of a secret order as the reader too is sucked into a world full of intrigue, subterfuge, and tightly packed action. Be warned though that the initial chapters demand patience: Herbert projects a Tolkienesque universe of history and language, elaborately detailed in the work’s four-part appendix, planetary map, and the book’s “Terminology of the Imperium” referencing hundreds of words and phrases. But the payoff is certain – it’s the world’s best-selling science fiction novel (so it can’t be that difficult) and winner of science-fiction’s two most important awards: the Hugo and Nebula. Cartography and encyclopedias aside, the minutia isn’t essential to fully experiencing Dune’s full effect. The novel holds up not just in its political ponderings but magnificently as a riveting tale established in the tradition of the adventuring hero we’re all too blissfully drawn to.

Although Herbert stuffs the text with abstruse references to Islam, cybernetics, and The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire the novel is undeniably excellent and thought-provoking. For true fans of science-fiction give it a reread. For those interested in delving into the realm of science-fiction look no further for your opportune introduction. And for those just wanting a classic page-turner of a story, you’ll get that and so much more: the likes of intergalactic war, taut characterization and suspense, and a grandiose setting that replicates the cinematic visions that made the space-opera possible. Did I mention it has thousand-foot sandworms?

-Jordan Finn

Show Notes

This episode covers exactly the first half of Dune in terms of pages in the narrative section (i.e., excluding the Glossary). In other words, we read through page 235 in the 40th Anniversary Edition of the book. In other other words, we read up to the chapter that begins with the epigraph "At the age of fifteen, he had already learned silence." Is that clear as mud??

Music for this episode provided by Brooklyn punks Idaho Green, with their new track "Rancher Bones."

Produced by Phillip Griffin.


Next episode we'll be finishing our discussion on Dune! To catch up on the rest of our episodes and delve into some more great books click here.

Waste Books- "Frankenstein" by Mary Shelley

CooperJordanPhilDan, and Eric discuss Mary Shelley's seminal sci-fi/horror novel, Frankenstein.

This episode's book was chosen by: Eric


It was one fateful summer night in the year of 1816 that young Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin found herself near Lake Geneva in the company of fellow romantic authors Lord Byron and her future husband Percy Shelley. Due to the unpleasant nature of that year’s summer, they were confined to Byron’s villa for much of their time there, reading German ghost stories and exciting their imaginations. This led to Lord Byron’s suggestion that they each write their own ghost story. And, from this, a monster was created.

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is a classic horror tale that follows the exploits of one Victor Frankenstein, a noble young gentleman from Geneva, Switzerland. At the ripe age of seventeen Victor must simultaneously cope with losing his mother to scarlet fever and leaving the nest to journey off to study at a neighboring university. In his turmoil, Victor becomes obsessed with natural philosophy, alchemy, and other practices not seen as acceptable in the academic world. Isolated in his makeshift workshop, he finds a way to reanimate a body he assembles from pieces of various types of corpses, human and animal alike. On the night his creation comes to life, he flees the scene in a panic, and the monster is left to fend for itself.  Victor tries to overlook fears of what the monster may do unsupervised, but eventually his greatest fear is realized when months later he and his family are confronted by the monster, now armed with the knowledge of its creator’s misdoings. 

The novel, while short in length, is packed full of early feminist critiques about man’s abuse of nature and the subversion of female’s biological role in reproduction. This was during a time when women were mostly seen as care takers of the home and bearers of children. Unsurprisingly, Mary Shelley’s own success in writing as a woman during this era was rare occurrence. These circumstances create a unique blend of horror and social commentary that feed off of each other, a technique we see in practice still today. But this novel remains timeless because these themes remain just as relevant in today’s society. We are currently dealing with the exponential growth of technology that threatens the extinction of many different plant and animal species. And, even two hundred years after this was published, women are still fighting for workplace equality and an end to a culture of rampant sexual misconduct.

Unlike almost every film adaptation of Frankenstein, Victor’s monster becomes a sympathetic being by the conclusion of the story. This monstrous being gains an understanding of the world around it, as well as the use of language, but because of its overly hideous outer appearance it is hated by every human it encounters--including its creator Victor Frankenstein. Time and again, the creature seeks companionship but is met with utter rejection. With no help from even his creator, the monster responds with exceedingly violent acts against Frankenstein and his family. It’s easy to root against something that is portrayed as objectively bad or evil, but that is where Shelley’s brilliance becomes apparent. In the end it's hard to decide whether Victor or his monster is necessarily Bad or Good, and we are often left wondering whose misdoings are truly to blame for the tragic events that unfold. We eventually ask: Who's really the monster here?

Much like Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein has been adapted thousands of times throughout modern history and has become a cultural icon of the modern horror genre. Also much like the classic vampire tale, much of the source material is ignored and changed to fit the needs of whatever culture is viewing it. This book provides a refreshing look for anyone looking to more deeply examine the lessons that tend to be watered down in the popular retelling of the myth. It’s always good to get back to the basics, and this novel is a delightfully chilling reminder of that.

-Eric Toennis

Show Notes

This one is a good piece about Frankenstein and film:

This one is about the theme of femininity and nature in the novel:

The last one makes us all question what really is a monster:

This episode's music features a song called "Beverly," from Golden Hour's new EP, Demo Daze.


Next episode we'll be talking about Dune by Frank Herbert! To catch up on the rest of our episodes and delve into some more great books click here!