My favorite novels about adolescence

By necessity incomplete, this list of old, new, and new-ish favorites treat adolescence as a hinterland whose borders recklessly separate childhood and adulthood when, really, to some degree we should’ve held on to medieval notions about children as young or little adults. Maybe I knew I was queer by adoring Judy Blume and especially LouiseContinue reading “My favorite novels about adolescence”

Just look who’s back in business: Songs about God

From “God is a concept by which we measure our pain” and “You’re the one I want but it’s him that I need” to “My God, just look who’s back in business,” these songs address God as idea, deity worth a knee or two, or the excuse for a passionate synth pop song about theContinue reading “Just look who’s back in business: Songs about God”

I won’t give up on my life: Songs about the night

I have been one acquainted with the night. I have walked out in rain—and back in rain. I have outwalked the furthest city light. I have looked down the saddest city lane. I have passed by the watchman on his beat And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain. When the sun goes down, rock ‘n’Continue reading “I won’t give up on my life: Songs about the night”

Singles 11/27

So many country songs by women stress the gunpowder and lead — deservedly because men are chumps — that when a “Never Wanted to Be That Girl” evinces such empathy it’s like hanging out afternoon with two good chums. Carly Pearce and Ashley McBryde have recorded two excellent albums in the last eighteen months; thatContinue reading “Singles 11/27”

‘The Beatles: Get Back’ gently dissolves myths, strengthens new ones

In keeping with their status as a Western institution as vital as the International Monetary Fund, The Beatles that emerge in The Beatles: Get Back function as alternately soothing and obtrusive background noise, best played when packing corn casserole to take to a cousin’s for Thanksgiving.

Ranking #39 singles, U.S. edition: 1965-1967

Ranking #39 singles, U.S. edition: 1965-1967 “It is impossible to measure how much [Dionne] Warrick adds to the tone of the songs, since so many of them were written for the benefit of her interpretation,” writes Geoffrey O’Brien, whose Sonata for Jukebox: Pop Music, Memory, and the Imagined Life friends have recommended so often IContinue reading “Ranking #39 singles, U.S. edition: 1965-1967”