Torch Ballads & Jukebox Music Archives - The Millions

October 20, 2016

How I Got It: Snoop Doggy Dogg’s ‘Doggystyle’ 0

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Cash in hand, I likely lied to my parents about where I was going — playing basketball with friends, not searching for murder-and-misogyny-filled music — and set out.

October 4, 2016

Frank Ocean and the Black Male Body 0

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Frank Ocean asserts the elasticity of black maleness.

April 25, 2016

Years with Yoko 1

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Art is a conversation between you and someone you’ve probably never met, and that conversation can continue for so long.

October 26, 2015

Confessions of a Rock Snob 4

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I think there are a few things we can all agree on: that however much it may be abused and misused, music can penetrate to states of consciousness beyond the reach of words; that music deepens, enriches, and nourishes our lives; and that The Remains were the greatest garage band of the mid ’60s.

September 28, 2015

Pump Down the Volume: On Writing With Background Music 13

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It’s a tempting narrative, and one that fits with the Internet’s culture of simple solutions: If you’re having trouble with that short story, just put on some Brian Eno. Your latent genius will be unleashed.

July 2, 2015

Let Us Now Be Grateful That They’re (Finally!) (Honestly!) (Really Really Really!) Dead 9

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The Grateful Dead’s final tour is another reminder that the band long ago became a large corporation with a bottom line to consider. That’s not a knock on their success. It’s just a fact.

June 18, 2015

Can U Tell Me? Short Stories as Pop Songs 0

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As I’ve thought through the possible criteria for determining the literary equivalent of a pop song, I’ve thought of so many stories that fit the bill, stories that have gotten under my skin, stories that I have to share. Unable to resist that urge, I’ve put together a Thriller-sized playlist of nine pop-musical short stories.

March 17, 2015

Rites of Danhood: On Liking Steely Dan 8

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Steely Dan was like nothing I’d ever heard, and not in an enticing way. It seemed to be the worst of jazz and the most boring of rock rolled into one mutant, bad-sex package. It sounded like what sad aliens might listen to when they got around to masturbating.

January 8, 2015

Loser on the Moon: On Leonard Cohen, Fandom, and Posterity 11

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What is it about Leonard Cohen that not only commands my interest but can also set off no small burst of emotion? Something else, too: what exactly is my legitimate stake in someone else’s posterity? Even as a fan.

April 3, 2014

Liner Notes: A Poetry Playlist 4

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Poetry and music share a word of process — composition — and are linked by negotiations of melody, harmony, rhythm, proportion, and discord. Here is a poetry playlist: 10 poets offer their composition soundtracks.