Music

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.

Gateway Spice

On the 20th anniversary of the Spice Girls’ first album, I reflect on two decades of defending their commercial approach to feminism. 

A Singer Must Die

Leonard Cohen was our man, a guy who joked about eternal life and died a month later.

No Solution, Only Movement: The Depths of Leonard Cohen

He laid out every root cause and exposed every broke-ass dream that might spirit us away. There was no continuum, no sliding scale of happiness, just confusions that needed untangling.

In The Air Again

My thirty-five-year love-hate-love relationship with Phil Collins.

‘He’s Going to Go to His Island to Scream’: An Interview with Kevin Barry

Talking with the author of Beatlebone about fictionalizing the life of John Lennon, the hard time Kate Bush gets in the book, and why rock novels are almost always disasters.