//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: 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+00:00May 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+00:00April 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+00:00April 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+00:00April 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+00:00March 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+00:00March 8th, 2018|COLUMNS, Only Noise|

ONLY NOISE: Don’t Be In Love With the Autograph

On Monday, Mount Eerie’s Phil Elverum posted a lengthy Reddit AMA explaining his reluctance to sign autographs for fans. The statement was originally published in a pamphlet Elverum hands out to concertgoers in search of his John Hancock. The statement is six single-spaced pages and nearly 3,000 words long. In it, Elverum not only questions the [...]

By |2018-08-09T17:04:44+00:00March 1st, 2018|COLUMNS, Only Noise|

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