On the Death of the Album Review

On the Death of the Album Review

For reasons that can best be described as “inexplicable,” my parents subscribed to both Rolling Stone and Entertainment Weekly while I was in high school. Neither periodical was a particularly good fit for my already-well-developed anti-establishmentarian artistic tastes and yet this was a time (for me, at least) before easy internet access and so, with few exceptions, I read [...]

Something That Was Mine

Something That Was Mine

Reading is an inherently independent activity so if there's anything unusual about my reading The Lord of the Rings every year, it's limited to the fact that I read The Lord of the Rings every year and not that I do so alone. Most years, after I finish that reading, I watch Peter Jackson's trilogy [...]

Niche Periphery: Tolkien’s The Silmarillion

Niche Periphery: Tolkien’s The Silmarillion

Before reading The Silmarillion, there are some questions that you should probably ask yourself: Do you know the basic stories of Gil-Galad and Beren One-Hand? Do you recognize names like Barahir, Grond and Fëanor and want to know more about them? Have you figured out, through context alone, what (fictional) words like dagor and ithil [...]

4 Times When Tides of Man Should Be the Soundtrack to Your Life

4 Times When Tides of Man Should Be the Soundtrack to Your Life

When it comes to post-rock soundtracks, the focus is usually on Explosions in the Sky because their music has been featured in several films while Tides of Man is often overlooked because, well, they haven't. But just because Tides of Man hasn't written the soundtrack for a film doesn't mean they can't write the soundtrack [...]

The Kindle Dilemma

Partly because I'm easily ensnared by shiny new things and partly because I try to be a devout practitioner of efficiency, I'm very tempted to purchase the forthcoming, revamped Amazon Kindle. I've never owned an true e-reader before (though I do own an iPad) and the allure of the Kindle has always been obvious to [...]

The Ocean and the Word

The Ocean and the Word

Spells and enchantments are enticing to writers because they suggest that words - the writer's most beloved commodity - have power and value beyond what simply appears on the page. And in 1968 Ursula LeGuin incorporated the similarities between writing and magic into her masterful bildungsroman A Wizard of Earthsea. Long before Harry Potter, A Wizard of Earthsea is the [...]

Made for the Screen

I had probably seen The Prince Bride (the movie) about twenty times before I realized that it more than just a brilliant Rob Reiner project and was actually based upon The Princess Bride (the book) by William Goldman. I was an ignorant child. So now, twenty odd years after I first fell in love with the film, [...]

Immersed In the Clouds

Immersion is the goal. It doesn't matter which medium you're talking about. Art should suck you in, make you feel a part of another world so that you see its colors, feel its turmoil, and speak its tongues. In your mind, at least, the fiction should become the real. If that sounds more than a tad [...]