Listening to Books
An essay on audiobooks.
An essay on audiobooks.
A trip to Kingston, Jamaica to track down Bunny Wailer, a reggae legend now living “in his own private Zion.”
From 1968-1973, the three teenage Wiggin sisters, guided by a domineering father, played their strange music at New Hampshire ballrooms and recorded a single album. The Philosophy of the World LP goes for over $500 today, but the intervening decades have not been kind to the Wiggins.
A profile of Marlon Brando, 33, holed up in a hotel suite in Kyoto where he was filming Sayonara.
The immersive mise en scène of a 2010 Hollister flagship store, redolent of California beach towns that don’t exist, “lazy, hygienic sexuality,” and weed.
On the then-new phenomenon of dead downtowns.
“It is not only for amenity but for economics that choice is so vital. Without a mixture on the streets, our downtowns would be superficially standardized, and functionally standardized as well. New construction is necessary, but it is not an unmixed blessing: its inexorable economy is fatal to hundreds of enterprises able to make out successfully in old buildings. Notice that when a new building goes up, the kind of ground-floor tenants it gets are usually the chain store and the chain restaurant. Lack of variety in age and overhead is an unavoidable defect in large new shopping centers and is one reason why even the most successful cannot incubate the unusual--a point overlooked by planners of downtown shopping-center projects.”
The making of Caddyshack.
A profile of the film critic.
A mid-boom critique of New York City’s high-priced, mostly glass condo buildings.
How the CIA used a fake science fiction film to sneak six Americans out of revolutionary Iran. The declassified story that became Ben Affleck’s Argo.
As early as 1948, the Oscars sucked.
The making of Blonde on Blonde in Nashville.
A 1993 profile of Ricky Jay, world-class sleight-of-hand conjurer who rarely performs (and never for children), historian of unusual entertainments and confidence scams, bibliomaniac.
A conversation between Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page and William Burroughs.
An interview with Cobain a few months after the release of In Utero.
A profile of Spears at her nadir.
In 2001, a young Japanese woman walked into the North Dakota woods and froze to death. Had she come in search of the $1 million dollars buried nearby in the film Fargo?
An interview with Maurice Sendak.
A profile of director Guillermo del Toro.
The many identities of Andrew Cunanan, Gianni Versace’s murderer.
A visit to the set of Lost Highway, minus an actual interview with the director.
During the 90s, David Bazan was Christian indie-rock’s first big crossover star. Then he stopped believing.
When New York was perpetually on fire.
An 11-hour conversation about “well, just about everything that’s ever been funny.”
"I’m not familiar with books on style. My role in the revival of Strunk’s book was a fluke—just something I took on because I was not doing anything else at the time. It cost me a year out of my life, so little did I know about grammar."