The Booth Option

Randy’s band is playing tonight. I haven’t seen Randy since that time I met him in that dive in Dallas. He got there ahead of me and was on his second beer, had his ear buds in at a booth by himself, black ball cap low over his eyes saying don’t bother me. And that’s…

Standing in the shower thinking

The heel of my hand accidentally hits the wall of the shower and a resonant bass note sounds. I strike the wall of the shower again, start to pound out a drum beat with my knuckles and the fat part of my fist. Long-dormant synapses fire, the beat of an old song rises in my…

Nothing seems to kill me

She said those lyrics were going to kill me. I said they’re just lyrics, imagining. Release. She said, “I don’t like them. They’re not you.” I set my phone on the nightstand, tossed off the covers, swung my feet to the floor. I gazed out the window into the night and considered hugging a moonbeam,…

In which the neophyte will enjoy a concise history of Metallica on the occasion of the band’s new release, which (at times) rocks one’s bollucks

Today Metallica released their tenth studio album, Hardwired…to Self-Destruct. At least two people alive now were not alive when the previous album, Death Magnetic, came out eight years ago. One of them is my daughter. The other is my other daughter. Both of them can read now (more or less) and both are being subjected…

Multiple Ones

One of my favorite bands of all time is U2. One of my other favorite bands of all time is Metallica. One of my favorite rock singers of all time is Chris Cornell. (Many know him as That Guy From Soundgarden, but he’s also That Guy From Audioslave, where ((Audioslave = (Rage Against the Machine)…

Lions, Priests, Paramedics, Oh My

A workboot pushes a shovel into earth. The blade lifts dirt over the grave digger’s shoulder. Dust falls on his white t-shirt, dissolves in sweat under his collar. He leans the shovel against the side of the hole. Smears his forearm against his brow. He blinks, distracted by beeps from a vehicle in reverse. He…

Penguin Classics and the downfall of modern literacy.

I’ve been a bookseller for a long time. I’ve seen a lot of books come and go. There are some great ones out there. And there are some not so great ones. The really great ones last tens, twenties, thirties of years. Hundreds of years. Sometimes thousands. The ones that are not so good…well they fade away.…

A Curious Case of Failure

The mid-1990s had little to offer in the way of quality, lasting rock music. Just a few short years after grunge had exploded the entire genre, the 90s offered up a long, dead period of time during which everyone sorted through debris while trying to figure out what to do next. This was because, by…