Music

My Abyss

Obsession will always be an attractive fresh hell for a person like me, a product of abandonment with a longing for attachment.

Growing Up Emo

Why am I loath to confess to the role these bands played in allowing me a measure of catharsis when I was a teenager facing down extraordinary grief?

Dead Time

The temporal shift from serving in the Army to my formless but chaotic life in New York had unmoored me. Then I started listening to the Grateful Dead.

The Death Strobe of EDM, or Daft Punk at Coachella for Dummies

The could-be-true story behind the rumored what-have-we-done-to-deserve-this Vin Diesel/Steve Aoki EDM collaboration.

It’s the New (Old) Thing: When Post-Punk and Literature Meet

From Pissed Jeans inviting Lindsay Hunter onto a song to Lynne Tillman writing for Y Pants to Kathy Acker performing with the Mekons, there’s a unique energy and catharsis in these collaborations.

One More Time Around: Remembering Chris Cornell

The singer walked a line between overt masculinity and brooding sensitivity—fearlessly exploring the dark, wailing with the voice of a man who could sound like he was trying to escape his own body.

Lead Me On

Both holy and wholly her own, Amy Grant was the soundtrack to my rebellion. When my church rejected her, what I heard was, “You can’t be a believer and a woman who wants more.” 

In Praise of Stupid Song Lyrics

Stupid lyrics are good for you. Bad lyrics are just bad. 

The Year in Audio Nostalgia

Modern music streaming services are rigorously quality-controlled from the instant the songs are uploaded by labels and artists—there’s no longer any room for happy accidents.

Lil’ Kim and the New Possibility Model

Power broker, sex symbol, and kingpin of the block: reflecting on the rapper, who reconfigured familiar faces into something wholly unfamiliar, 20 years after the release of her debut album.