About a year ago I read Diane Williams's "Four In Prose" in Harper's Magazine, and I could not get it out of my head. In her characteristically brief fashion, Williams uses all of fiction's signposts but sends readers off into another dimension entirely where meaning hovers just beyond the brink of understanding. This is true… Continue reading Disorienting Clarity
Today's cultural acceleration leaves me completely unmoored. Step away from the current for less than a second and the frenetic wash of conversation has already gone down to the sea and is evaporating, only to reform again upstream so that it can rush back to the the sea once more, quickening, and ever faster. Time… Continue reading Processed Product’s 2015 Mid-Year Best Of List
Ever since I picked up To Pimp a Butterfly three days ago, I can't stop thinking about anything else. I've listened to it at least ten times and it holds up to all of the praise and talk it's generated so far. It's been hailed as for-real black music, the blackness of which is beautifully, achingly… Continue reading Chrysalis, Listening
A guy I once knew had a sticker on his car that read, "I Love Hip-Hop." (I'm interpreting. Love was denoted by a bright red heart.) Both the simplicity and the sentiment struck me. I loved Miles, Satie, Bob Dylan and Tom Petty. I loved a lot of punk rock and ska bands too, but… Continue reading those sOunds.
At Thanksgiving dinner years ago, discussion somehow turned to rap music. More wine was poured, the gravy was curdling, and no one was yet ready for dessert. "But wasn't it Blondie who sang the first rap song? I'm pretty sure it was, and then it was copied." Let the historical record show that it was… Continue reading Expiration Date: 11/9
When I fell for the Wu, I fell hard. It was 1998, I was seventeen, and I was on a bus in Austria with a bunch of band and choir kids. I exchanged CD booklets with a friend of mine (because that was what you did back then), and after a one-two punch from the… Continue reading GZA Bradstreet: Puritan Samurai