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Return to Waterloo August 28, 2014: Ray Davies’s “Waterloo Sunset” is one of the loveliest songs in rock. A light-handed paean to the pleasures of solitude, distance, and that spiritual equanimity the Greeks called apatheia, it [...] by

Palmette August 25, 2014: David Larsen is the Swiss Army knife of friends. Poet, Arabist, visual artist, classicist, guerilla chef and hip-hop whiz, he’s that “gateway” person who turns you on to interests you didn’t [...] by

Keep It In Line August 21, 2014: A few weeks back on YouTube, I came across a video Guided By Voices made for one of their recent singles. In it, a magician sits in front of a dressing room mirror before a performance, practicing [...] by

Classic Breakup August 18, 2014: Why do bands break up? Why is the breakup (and inevitable reunion) such a durable pop trope? Is it part of the essential disposability of culture under capitalism? That groups should fade, creating [...] by

The Huckster August 13, 2014: If the world sorts into Stones and Beatles people, I’m Kinks. Where the Stones had sex and swagger, and the Beatles structure and strings, the Kinks were a more ambiguous outfit whose pull I find [...] by

Qasida August 11, 2014: I have trouble thinking about form in poetry. From a wide view, it makes rough sense—a poem has a different form than a novel, Western than Rom-Com, opera than pop song. But that’s genre, not [...] by

Keep It In Motion August 7, 2014: A few weeks back on YouTube, I came across a video Guided By Voices made for one of their recent singles. In it, a magician (played by comedian Jon Glaser) sits in front of a dressing room mirror [...] by

Classic Lineup August 4, 2014: I only just learned that Guided By Voices is back together. Rod Smith had them on in the car as we zipped past the Washington National Cathedral, America’s valentine to the Middle Ages it didn’t [...] by

Lend Me Your Ears July 31, 2014: Is it me or is Marcel Broodthaers the new Vito Acconci in the poetry world, the de rigueur historical example of the poet/artist? It seems rare nowadays to engage in a conversation dealing with [...] by

I Like People, and I Like People to Like Me July 24, 2014: Two things I heard last weekend have been stuck in my head like earworms. Make that three. Okay, four. The context in which I heard them is worth noting: the symposium “Expanded Writing” at the [...] by