“A strong sense of place informs the music of the composer John Luther Adams, who won a Pulitzer Prize this year, be it the Pacific Ocean, the Sonoran Desert, or the plains of his adopted Alaska.”—Wow, I didn’t realize the kind of real estate you could win for being a renowned composer. (New York Times)
“PIG 3D: ALL SIDES OF THE STORY – Activities, photo opportunities, recipes and tips on how to prepare pork encourage understanding about values important to both consumers and pig farmers. Stop by for free samples of grilled pork and enter for a chance to win free bacon for a year! Minnesota pig farmers will donate a pound of ground pork to local food shelves for each question asked about pigs, pig farming or preparing pork.”—Just one of the exciting new exhibits planned for this year’s Minnesota State Fair.
“Mary Gabler née Walker was not a whore, Anglo or otherwise. She was a very pretty twenty-six-year-old community relations manager for Wells Fargo Bank, who lived in Mendota Heights with her husband of fifteen months, and who agreed to meet me at a coffeehouse not far from the Mendakota Country Club—but only if I promised to call her ‘Muffie.’ ‘That’s what they called me all through grade school,’ she said. ‘High school, too. Probably my mother just started calling me that when I was an infant and it stuck. She still calls me that. So does my family, some old friends, too. Only the people I’ve met since I went to Notre Dame call me Mary.”—My aunt Mary “Muffie” Gabler appears as a semi-fictionalized character in David Housewright’s The Devil May Care. This whole passage is accurate except that Muffie’s in her 50s, she’s been married for about 30 years, she lives in St. Paul instead of Mendota Heights, she went to the University of Minnesota instead of Notre Dame, and everyone calls her Muffie.
“I began an epic on Cuchulain and another on Finn, in English hexameters and in fourteeners respectively. Luckily they were abandoned before these easy and vulgar metres had time to spoil my ear.”—C.S. Lewis’s—unironic—memoir of his teenage years.
Jay Gabler is hosting the Local Current stream until 6:00! Listen in for an update on Captain Octagon, a song about President Obama’s new favorite food, music from the band who were owning the Internet when Spooky Black was just a tween, a song by a band that just posted a want ad for a new drummer, some HOT GOSSIP, a little nepotism, a reality-TV-themed music puzzle, a hint about what’s in Looch’s cubicle, a very special guest appearance and request by Leah Garås, and of course the WEEKEND AIR HORN at 5 PM. Let’s party!
“As a feminist, I wince when I hear ‘Ultraviolence.’ But as a feminist, I also applaud her. Because what is the alternative: That these dark parts of people stay buried, and that the female side of these stories remain untold? There wasn’t any outrage when Foster the People broke out with a song that enacts a school shooting, or when Fun. rose to the top of the charts with a song in which the narrator apologizes to his girlfriend for giving her a black eye. Listeners weren’t so quick to equate those songs’ lyrics with the real-life personalities of their singers. But when Lana sings it, we are quick to believe her.”—Andrea Swensson, "It’s time to stop hating on Lana Del Rey" (via 893thecurrent)
One day when I was a little kid, I was at my grandma’s house being watched by a few of my aunts and uncles in their early 20s. A commercial for a new flavor of ice cream came on TV, and everyone agreed it looked good. My uncle went out, got in the car, bought some ice cream, and brought it…
Appropriately for a franchise centering on robots with the ability to dramatically change their appearance, the Transformers stories have evolved from a small toy line and gently absurd comic—created, on Hasbro’s order, to provide a new American narrative involving pre-existing toy molds from…
Really, the most implausible thing about this movie is that every human character isn’t Instagramming everything, all the time.
A writer I edit asked for some advice on expanding his work as a freelance writer for various publications. Here were the suggestions I shared.
• Make yourself available. Create a website with contact information and links to samples of your work. Be active on Twitter, which journalists and writers spend a lot of time on. Make sure your Twitter bio links to your website.
• Do the kind of writing you want to do—whether paid or unpaid. Whether you’re writing on paid assignment, as a volunteer contribution to a publication, or just for your own blog, writing what you want to write and sharing it will help you build an audience and connections, as well as give you clips to show that you can do that kind of writing well.
• Consider what your target publications would be—where do you want to write? Follow those publications closely, as well as the tiers of publications below them: the smaller publications where there are apt to be more opportunities. When you’re ready, propose stories to those publications. Starting at the bottom and working your way up isn’t a bad idea, but you can also try going straight to the top if you feel ready.
• Personal relationships are indeed key—and online relationships count, if they’re premised on shared interests. Watch who’s editing and writing for the sites you want to write for, and follow them on Twitter and elsewhere. When you have a chance to meet them—even just to say hi at a concert or party—don’t pass it up.
• Pitching stories—whether you know the editor or not—is a fine art, but the basic rules are: (a) know the publication, so you know what kind of stories they’re likely to run; (b) share samples of your work and a brief bio; (c) send a few different story ideas, which gives an editor more chance to say yes and also demonstrates that you’re engaged and knowledgable in the field you’re proposing to write about.
Jersey Boys, the 2005 jukebox musical that tells the (more or less) true story of Frankie Valli, is one of the sturdiest and most enjoyable Broadway shows of its type. Focusing on the relationships among the Four Seasons—in particular between Valli and guitarist Tommy DeVito—gives writers…
Save your Jersey dollars for the Garden State soundtrack on vinyl.