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//Only Noise

Every Thursday, Madison Bloom explores music fandom with poignant (and often funny) personal essays.

ONLY NOISE: Like A Summer Thursday

One of my favorite descriptions of summer, particularly its languid, melancholy months, comes from Don DeLillo’s first novel, Americana: “Summer unfolds slowly,” DeLillo writes, “a carpeted silence rolling out across expanding steel, and the days begin to rhyme, distance swelling with the bridges, heat bending the air, small breaks in the pavement, those days when [...]

By | 2018-08-09T17:04:12+00:00 June 28th, 2018|COLUMNS, Only Noise|

ONLY NOISE: Glenn Branca’s Final Ascension

I wound up at the Kitchen sort of by mistake. It was a Tuesday - February 23rd, 2016 to be precise. It had been a year since the worst week of my life, and sitting at my desk after a long day of designing women’s underwear, I longed for a little culture that evening, a [...]

By | 2018-08-09T17:04:23+00:00 May 24th, 2018|COLUMNS, Only Noise|

ONLY NOISE: Punk Rock Mom

“Punk Rock Mom” was a distinction of honor my mother appointed to herself, and though the title mortified me on more than one occasion, she’d well earned it. She was the one helming the two-hour, round trip commute between my hometown of Arlington, Washington and Seattle, where any and all rock concerts worth two hours [...]

By | 2018-08-09T17:04:25+00:00 May 10th, 2018|COLUMNS, Only Noise|

ONLY NOISE: Waterloo

Waterloo always sounded like an exotic place to me, an English garden oasis dotted with fountains and plum trees and those little stone statues of naked angel-babies. The name suggested a swan pond, croquet matches, and crustless triangle sandwiches served at 3 p.m. for tea. Little did I know that the “Waterloo” Ray Davies was [...]

By | 2018-08-09T17:04:26+00:00 May 3rd, 2018|COLUMNS, Only Noise|

ONLY NOISE: An Audience of None

In what world does this sound like a good time? You are in a dark room, surrounded by drunks you don’t know, and some you know too well. Your favorite song is playing, only it’s a compressed, simplified version void of lyrics. You are holding a cheap microphone, and the fate of the next three [...]

By | 2018-08-09T17:04:27+00:00 April 26th, 2018|COLUMNS, Only Noise|

ONLY NOISE: Adult Entertainment

In 1997, filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson was racking up a lot of “firsts.” He released his first major feature, Boogie Nights, which garnered his first Oscar nomination. Moreover, Boogie Nights was the first widely celebrated Hollywood film about the Golden Age of pornography. Set in 1970s San Fernando Valley, California (aka “Porn Valley”), the film [...]

By | 2018-08-09T17:04:29+00:00 April 19th, 2018|COLUMNS, Only Noise|

ONLY NOISE: When You Walk

There is certain music that you share with close friends and family. Music that scores the first dance at your wedding, albums you recommend to your sister, and songs that make your dinner party mix. There is music that feels inherently a part of a communal experience, and necessitates sharing immediately. And then, there is [...]

By | 2018-08-09T17:04:31+00:00 April 5th, 2018|COLUMNS, Only Noise|

ONLY NOISE: Let Them Eat CupcakKe

You don’t have to be intimately familiar with Chicago rapper CupcakKe to glean that her work might be sexual in nature – if titles like “Deepthroat” and Cum Cake don’t tip you off, I’m not sure what will – but on Tuesday, YouTube saw fit to censor her video channel, pulling clips for the aforementioned 2016 [...]

By | 2018-08-09T17:04:33+00:00 March 22nd, 2018|COLUMNS, Only Noise|

ONLY NOISE: A Woman Like Your Kind

Today is International Women’s Day, and people are celebrating in many ways. This American Life devoted their entire show on Tuesday night to listening to the stories of five women who were sexually harassed by media executive Don Hazen, giving individual voice to members of the #MeToo movement. Mattel came out with 17 new Barbie dolls celebrating diverse and [...]

By | 2018-08-09T17:04:36+00:00 March 8th, 2018|COLUMNS, Only Noise|