Blog: 2013’s Best Music in Haiku

As the year comes to a close, countless words will be written about the year’s best records. In an effort not to add to the glut of words, I offer one haiku to each of my ten favorite albums of 2013. If you think I've missed one, please let me know, preferably with a haiku about what makes it special.

 neko-case-the-worse-things-get

NEKO CASE

The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You

It can’t be easy

To improve on perfection

But she has done it

Push_the_Sky_Away

NICK CAVE & THE BAD SEEDS

Push the Sky Away

Thirty-five years in

Instead of disappointing

Still bringing the dread

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Blog: Daddy and Me

This piece first appeared in The Advocate. Mommy-and-MeThe first time I ever saw a sign that read “Mommy and Me” was outside a movie theater in Los Feliz, an extremely liberal enclave of extremely liberal Los Angeles. On Wednesday afternoons, this movie theater hosted “Mommy and Me” screenings. I imagined a theater filled with mothers nursing their newborns as they watched the latest art-house film, and as a father-to-be, I immediately felt excluded. Since having my children, I have run into the phrase “Mommy and Me” time and time again. The Pump Station, a Los Angeles destination for all things baby, declares on their website that “the support and friendship of other Moms who will be part of your world for years to come! You can’t put a price on that!” They offer not only a series of “Mommy and

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Blog: Oh Lorde: Bring back alternative female musicians

Recently, Lorde became the first woman since 1996 to top Billboard’s Alternative Songs Chart. That’s right, the chart went an astonishing 17 years without a female atop it. Something is very, very wrong here. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the top of the Alternative Songs Chart was home to a brilliant array of female musicians: Tori Amos, Suzanne Vega, Kate Bush, Sinead O’Connor, and Alanis Morissette among them. These women existed alongside pop stars like Madonna and Janet Jackson, carving out successful careers that had little to do with glitz and glamour. 24433910 We are a long way from 1994, when Tori Amos, Bjork, and PJ Harvey appeared on the cover of Q Magazine together, each of them a unique force in the music industry. These days, there seems to be little mainstream interest in the kind of confessional, experimental songwriting that the Toris,

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Blog: Seriously, Madonna?

madonna-releases-third-secret-projectMadonna wants to be taken seriously, people. Like really, really, really seriously. In her new film, which I watched projected onto the wall of the Santa Monica Civic Center, she proclaims her desire to start “a revolution of love.” Over visually stunning imagery of Madonna being imprisoned, we hear her inimitable voice: “I keep telling everyone that I want to start a revolution, but no one is taking me seriously,” she says. “If I had black skin and an Afro, would you take me seriously? If I was an Arab waving a hand grenade, would you take me seriously? If I was wearing combat gear and I had an AK-47 strapped to my back, would you take me seriously?” she asks. And then she adds the film’s best and most self-aware line: “Instead, I’m a woman. I’m blonde. I have tits and ass,

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Blog: Goodbye Damon

I met Damon Intrabartolo on November 5, 2000. I was twenty-four years old. I had never had a boyfriend. My friend Mark told me he was going to take me to his friend Jon Hartmere’s play, “bare.” Jon was single and Mark thought we would hit it off. We arrived at the Hudson Theater in Los Angeles. I was so busy crying through the show that I didn’t notice that above the actors, a manic young man conducted the band. Scan19 After the show, I met Jon Hartmere, and then I was introduced to that manic young conductor. We looked in each other’s eyes and felt an instant connection. We drove the same car. We had the same Kate Bush CD in our cars. Everything was a sign that we knew each other in a past life. The night we met, he spelled my

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