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//Only Noise

Every Thursday, ONLY NOISE explores music fandom with poignant personal essays that examine the ways we’re shaped by our chosen soundtrack.

ONLY NOISE: Finding A New Gospel in Unlikely Hymns

Julien Baker photo by Nolan Knight ONLY NOISE explores music fandom with poignant personal essays that examine the ways we’re shaped by our chosen soundtrack. This week, Tamara Mesko reckons with her evangelical upbringing via songs by Julien Baker, Kevin Devine, and David Bazan. As a child, my world was mostly black and [...]

By | 2018-11-12T19:51:16+00:00 November 15th, 2018|COLUMNS, Only Noise|

ONLY NOISE: 20 Years Ago, Outkast and Goodie MOB Were the Soundtrack to My Budding Bisexuality

ONLY NOISE explores music fandom with poignant personal essays that examine the ways we’re shaped by our chosen soundtrack. This week, Rebecca Bodenheimer reflects on an important friendship with a fellow fan of Southern rap legends Outkast and Goodie MOB - one that would eventually lead to her coming out as bisexual. Touched what I never [...]

By | 2018-11-09T03:49:15+00:00 November 8th, 2018|COLUMNS, Only Noise|

ONLY NOISE: Why I Talk to Jim

ONLY NOISE explores music fandom with poignant personal essays that examine the ways we're shaped by our chosen soundtrack. This week, Beth Winegarner revisits her teenage obsession with infamous Doors frontman Jim Morrison, an archetype of both the sensitive poet within herself and the thorny men she encountered. The day before I discovered Jim Morrison, I [...]

By | 2018-10-31T15:31:41+00:00 November 1st, 2018|COLUMNS, Only Noise|

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|