New York Is Killing Me
A profile of Gil-Scott Heron.
A profile of Gil-Scott Heron.
The artist at 85.
"The honesty in Perfume Genius’s music has attracted him a devoted audience, and he receives a lot of messages on Twitter from young kids going through the process of coming out, or dealing with their own addictions. “I think people come to my music just to feel less lonely,” he says. “When I write, sometimes I think, What would I have liked to have heard when I was younger?” But on his new record, out this May, he aimed for something a little more developed: essentially, he wanted to make a grown-up album about life after you’ve trudged through the trauma."
All of the books about all of the David Bowies:
There are more and more books like this these days: rock histories and encyclopedias, stuffed with information, compendiums of every last detail from this or that year, era, genre, artist – time pinned down, with absolutely no anxiety of influence. And while it would be churlish to deny there is often a huge amount of valuable stuff in them, I do think we need to question how seriously we want to take certain lives and kinds of art – and how we take them seriously without self-referencing the life out of them, without deadening the very things that constitute their once bright, now frazzled eros and ethos.
While on a string of tour dates opening for Radiohead, interaction between Mark Linkous’ antidepressants and the Rohypnol he took to sleep caused him to pass out. A hotel maid found him the next morning bent into a position where his legs had been cut off from circulation. When they untangled, built-up potassium shot from his lower body upward, triggering a harmful chain reaction that caused a heart attack and kidney failure.
The producer of Big Star’s Third and piano player on ‘Wild Horses’ recounts a life of music in Memphis.
Romantic complications between a surgical coordinator and a brilliant transplant specialist.
"I hadn’t wanted Clara at first, at least no more than any other woman I’d casually slept with. Too bony, too neurotic. Too pale. But when she asked for a ride home from the dinner party where we met, I drove, intrigued at the prospect of UCSF’s top heart-transplant surgeon debasing herself with a med school dropout-turned-cellist."
A woman travels in a band on the way to their next show.
"With raised eyebrows, Jay crouched down, turned his hand up, and motioned wide. From the flat top, we could see oil rigs in the distance. A pair of buzzards looped in a slow figure eight. I wondered what kind of body lay out there on that red expanse, just out of my eye line, drying out under the sun into those bleached desert bones people put on fireplaces. They disgusted me, sure, but something about them called for touch, to feel those natural cracks in skulls, how similar we are to porcelain on the inside. Once we lose our connective tissue, we can show softer to those that put their hands on us."
An unhappy mother yearns for a return to her creative roots.
"It seemed to her now like motherhood was a constant fall, a never-ending tumble. After she’d finished her nursery fresco and looked for surprise shapes in her sky, Marlee couldn’t find any meaning in the edges and swirls she had created."
Robert Aaron was a veteran horn player who sold bags of heroin to friends to support his own habit. Then his friend Philip Seymour Hoffman overdosed.
Inside the cluttered Los Angeles apartment of lo-fi auteur Ariel Pink.
A memory of interviewing the late great songwriter Townes Van Zandt shortly before his death.