Music Quarterly

Longing for Night

Meet the Producers

What Remains

Armstrong's Revenge


Highway Ambition

Riding the Fader

The Past Takes It Back

Riding the Line


Behind a Glowing Television

Forget the Producer

Allan Steed's Little Boom Box

When She Backs Up She Beeps


Let's Get Ready to Rumble

The Two Together Couldn't Ruin It

TV Without Pictures

Prank #3: Fan vs. Band Vengeance

One Hundred Shades of Blue

Loud Motherfucker

Same Shade of Blue

Touch That Dial

Prank #4: Band vs. Audience Vengeance

CD Review Revue

Among the Ghosts

Prank #5: Intra-Band Vengeance

Que venga la noche

Movie Review Revue

Fan Mail: An End to the Discussion


He showed up at my house just wanting me to let him in. He knocked softly so as not to wake my roommate's kid, and I let the door creak open, standing back.

I borrowed my roommate's Honda. He had gotten the night off from band practice. We stole gin from my roommate and put it in Coke cans.

We made a mess of the city that night. Crisscrossing neighborhoods, highways, alleyways. Clicking tapes in and out; racing past street lights. Until I finally pulled into an empty parking lot off of Lake City Way. I grabbed his hair, and he shoved his hand under my ass. I took my shirt off.

A police officer found us with the car still running, slowly gliding across the parking lot.

"Car," by Built to Spill

State of Shock

We stole a bottle of water and headed for the dock. We'd had enough wine. I put my feet in the sea. Denise talked about going to nursing school when we returned, learning to work with ultrasound. Matt talked about working at Microsoft and how sad and terrible it all had been.

"Look." Denise pointed at the left horizon. "What the fuck is that?" Matt said. "What the fuck is that?" I repeated. I immediately believed we were in a whole mess of trouble, being on the Amalfi coast close to Mt. Vesuvius. I was sure this infamous volcano that hadn't blown in 4,000 years was finally going to shoot hot molten lava again, and while I was there. The Pompeii bodycast images, especially the dog, circled my mind with a whole new terror: my immediate death.

But it wasn't the volcano, because it was so much bigger than a volcano. Less red now, it began to rise and become round. Denise said with little breath, "It's the moon."

The moon! The moon that I had seen and dismissed most nights of my life was, on this night, completely unrecognizable. Bigger than I had ever seen it and with all of its strange blood-orange color, the moon successfully mocked the sun.

The world became so light and easy in that moment--as if we could spin it easily on the tips of our index fingers.

Before it could rise to its traditional state--diminished and colorless--we turned around and left.

"State of Shock," by the Ex

Because the Night

She got me up on a school night and we got into the car. We took the quiet exit and the white Cadillac cut the dark night right in half. My mother was accelerating weirdly, creating a strange beat for my strange thoughts. We pulled into the cul-de-sac on the hill.

Oh Christ, I thought, there's his car. My dad's 1967 Cougar was parked in Mrs. Thompson's driveway. There was a light on. Justin Thompson was in my sixth-grade class. I'd have to see him the next day. I got out of the car ready to fight. I'm not sure what I was thinking.

My mother sat in the car looking straight ahead and not in the direction of the infidelity.

I'd never thought of it before, as it was a concept in general I hardly grasped, but that night I knew my mother was my father's lover, however jilted.

Everything stretched until all elasticity irreparably gave. We measured the night's success by how long we could wait. I looked every once in a while to see if the light in the front room had been turned off.

"Because the Night," by Patti Smith (co-written with Bruce Springsteen)

The Most Useless Thing

He gave me his card and so I just sat there in this strange bar with him. I didn't know anyone in New York City. I didn't know where I was. I wasn't sure if I still had my wallet.

He looked like a football player, but he was a painter. After the first two drinks, he told me he was engaged. After the fourth, he told me he was already married, just not by law. After the fifth, he told me he wasn't sure it was going to work out because they would sometimes try and break each other down until there was nothing but a pile of drool, glass, and fingernails.

After the bar closed, he looked at the address on my scrap of paper and pointed me in the right direction. By pointing, though, something caught his eye. A bag of oranges fell out of a moving garbage truck. He chased over to them. Shouting, he said, "See that! That's beautiful!"

They rolled and rolled all over the street.

"The Most Useless Thing," by Scarnella