Month: March 2018

From the Vaults: The Singles Soundtrack

It’s never going to be a good day when you wake up with Paul Westerberg’s first track from the Singles Soundtrack in your head.  That’s right, I woke up with ‘Dyslexic Heart’ in my head yesterday and suffered for my sins, with both a sick dog and a migraine.  Good times.  I don’t like slagging artists, but ‘Dyslexic Heart’ might be one of the worst songs ever written, and this is Paul Fucking Westerberg we’re talking about here.  This one track is probably the only horrible song he’s ever written. I got to thinking back to 1992, though.  It was a...

Read More

The Memorial Project: Irish Famine Memorial, Lincoln Park, Jersey City, NJ

The 18-foot tall Celtic cross in Jersey City’s Lincoln Park marks both a memory of profound trauma and the persistence of the community that remembers it. Erected in 2011 in a public park by the Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick, the memorial’s design reaches far back into Irish history to commemorate an Gorta Mór (the Great Hunger) of 1845-1852, the cataclysmic famine that killed a million and sent millions more from their homeland. The Irish community has deep roots in Jersey City that reach back to that cataclysm. Father Mark O’Connell opened the dedication ceremony with a blessing, following...

Read More

A Hitchhiker’s Guide to Border Crossings by Stephen Brockwell

Installment 16 presents six short vignettes: snapshots of care and risk that resist our age of dehumanization. Stephen Brockwell’s speaker offers tender, chilling, and at times humorous glimpses into why certain drivers are willing to go the extra mile for their human cargo. *** A Hitchhiker’s Guide to Border Crossings 1 Phil, we remarked on your broad lapels. You were thumb-wheeling home to your brother’s funeral in a vintage three-piece you bought on the Main, black wool with satin piping better suited to a gala. It had seen more years than you, more than your brother. And so, we...

Read More

Ride: Tomorrow’s Shores

Ride Tomorrow’s Shores Wichita  Away back in the early 90s, Ride burst onto the scene on the back of three celebrated eps, two of which were collected on the long-player, Smile, the third of which was tacked onto the end of the band’s proper début, Nowhere.  They were at the vanguard of the so-called shoegazer scene of the era, but like My Bloody Valentine, were louder and heavier.  Their live show was an avalanche of guitars and the dreamy vocals of co-frontmen Andy Bell and Mark Gardener.  I wore out three cassette versions of Nowhere between 1991 and when I bought it on...

Read More

The Day After Parkland: A Student Reflects

On Wednesday, February 14th, 2018, the world witnessed one of the deadliest school shootings in its history. As everyone knows by now, seventeen people were murdered at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, with an additional fourteen people being seriously injured. Nikolas Cruz, a former Stoneman Douglas student, committed the crime with an AR-15 which he legally purchased. News of the massacre spread rapidly, evoking passionate and visceral online reactions as shocked people around the globe voiced their sympathy and solidarity with the victims. University High School in San Francisco, which I attend, held moments of silence...

Read More