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Music

Old Ideas [private]


The first poem in Leonard Cohen’s posthumous book The Flame made me laugh. Not because the lyrics are especially funny (although there are touches of Cohen’s characteristic wry humor), and not because the poem is foolish (it’s quite good), but because it is practically a medley of every single theme and obsession Cohen took up over his sixty-year career. Holiness and pussies are just a start. One almost senses him (knowingly, always knowingly) ticking off boxes. Angels and devils: check. Art, sartorial elegance, and slaves: check, check, check. Messianism: check:


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Saint Coltrane

October 3, 2016

1. A painted portrait of Coltrane—robed, with halo—hangs on the wall. Reverend Marlee-I Mystic welcomes the congregation, many of whom are here for the first time, hoping to catch this San Francisco institution (forty-eight years in the Fillmo [...]

Photography by Ryan Spencer Reed

RNC CLE

Erika Meitner's poetry and prose, combined with photography from Ryan Spencer Reed, take us inside the city of Cleveland during the Republican National Convention.

Furious 7. Directed by James Wan. Universal Pictures, 2015.  137 minutes.

Driving Off Into the Sunset

The rest of the world eyes the lives of Golden State tribes—Hollywood “movie people,” surfers, gay San Franciscans, Silicon Valley programmers—with a mixture of fascination and longing. What is the powerful appeal of the California subcu [...]

A Whole Lotta Soul

May 5, 2014

The music closest to my heart (and soul) has been jazz, blues, rumba, son, reggae, soca, R&B, and—later in life—gospel. (This, despite being a godless Jew.) Growing up in Chicago helped. It was home to the powerful WVON (Voice of the N [...]

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