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Emphasis on the writer — a Reader group issue

The Idealization of Jessica Trump She paused for a moment. I could hear her thinking, and then she said, “My spring break is next week, and I haven’t made any plans. I could catch a ...

June 13, 2017
From the music archives

A Pit Stop on the FM Band The San Diego radio blues. 6:00: Our listening session kicks off about a third of the way into "Take Me Out" by Franz Ferdinand. You know, past the ...

November 21, 2015
Reader writers tell what music they would take to a deserted island

I'd press play on my older brother's boom box, and listen to the Beach Boys' "Surfin' USA." The volume never passed two; I was terrified of discovery by my mother who had a ban on rock music.

August 11, 2005
I Grew Weary of Three-Chord Rock

My first favorite album was the original cast recording of Oklahoma. Mom says when I was a baby, she'd put on the record as she lay me down to sleep and by the second line ...

August 11, 2005
The Hiss Was Bylsma Himself

Before puberty, before a scalding flood of hormones seared my synapses and boiled my cerebellum, I was a smart kid. My parents blame the eventual change on a month spent in the mountains of Wyoming ...

August 11, 2005
Trouble Man

I'm a lousy housekeeper, and by the end of the week dishes are stacked on every available surface of my kitchen. The thought of cleaning them is overwhelming. So I've developed this ritual. I slip ...

August 11, 2005
The Woes of a Woman in Love

My hand paused before the mascara reached my lashes and I inhaled deeply — it was almost time. The mounting passion in her voice, off-key yet somehow harmonizing with the piano's crescendo, jerked me to ...

August 11, 2005
Whoooooooo

Though I had anticipated its arrival, I dreaded this day. The exact hour when the desire to experience something thrilling had effervesced within me for so long, it expired. Cognitive reservoirs of gumption, drive, purposefulness ...

August 11, 2005
Stranded

RE: the rock and roll album and unfurnished island situation. I'm going to have a problem packing my rucksack. The fact is, I don't have a relationship with music, although at one time in my ...

August 11, 2005
Black Celebration by Depeche Mode

My life changed forever when I was 13 years old. Up until this time, my thoughts were filled with jumping my BMX bike off curbs and lighting things on fire in my back yard. This ...

August 11, 2005
A Rage Against Monotony

I was grounded, which was a worse proposition than it sounded in my house. I was 14. It was 1965. My father's decree, he knew not to what he was consigning me. A summer in ...

August 11, 2005
Alto Workouts

It was the stuff we did in high school band class that eventually told how my life would play out. It's hard to imagine any public school music class as being influential, but this was ...

August 11, 2005
In Love with Two Daughters

I've been sleeping on a lumpy sofa for several days, and my back is on fire. The sofa isn't in my own house, a take-no-prisoners zone I return to only to collect fresh clothes, but ...

August 11, 2005
Joni's Hejira

Stranded on a desert island, I'd find relief from the blazing sun in the wintry imagery of Joni Mitchell's album Hejira. Just gazing at the black-and-white album cover would start cooling me down: Joni in ...

August 11, 2005
Love-Drunk Kid

When I was 12, most of my time was spent (a) being mad at absolutely everybody and everything, (b) writing furiously, or (c) being mad at absolutely everybody and everything and writing furiously at the ...

August 11, 2005
A Summer on Desolation Row

"Like a Rolling Stone," the most famous song on Bob Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited, portrays somebody who thought she was on top contending with her fall to the bottom. It's a fun song but not ...

August 11, 2005
Could I Start Over?

These days when you can download all sorts of music into an iPod and burn your own CDs, it's odd to think of taking one prerecorded CD to a desert island. But the spirit of ...

August 11, 2005
Family Music

It's not that I listen to it very often -- I don't think I've listened to it once in the past 15 years. Even if I owned a copy I wouldn't be able to play ...

August 11, 2005
Forth From My Pioneer Speakers

The summer of 1976, PBS broadcast The Unanswered Question: Six Talks at Harvard by Leonard Bernstein. Each week Bernstein explained the structure and the meaning of music as well as the crisis of harmony composers ...

August 11, 2005
Leontyne and Me

I met Joseph when I was 25 and he was 52, eight years younger than I am now. I shared my one-bedroom apartment on the Lower East Side in New York City with night-crawling cockroaches ...

August 11, 2005
From "American Tourist" to "Loser"

"Dancing in September" wept from the doorway of a music shop. I pulled my scarf and jacket collar open, exposing my neck and ear. I stayed on that street for the day. I wanted to ...

August 11, 2005
The Ultimate Love Song

In the age of the iPod, I can't imagine not bringing a music mix with me to the proverbial desert island. In fact, it goes further back than the iPod. I grew up in the ...

August 11, 2005
Loud, Shrill, Piercing, and Unpleasant

This is a weighty matter, or would be if there was the slightest possibility that it might actually happen. In my case it's complicated by the fact that I'm older than dirt, and have more ...

August 11, 2005
My Junior High High

James Taylor was the soundtrack for my adolescence. I would sit in the living room and play his records over and over on our big console while I tried to imagine what anyone would ever ...

August 11, 2005
Notes Give Pathos to Clouds

Artur Schnabel Plays Beethoven, Volume 1 Sonata no. 19 in G Minor, op. 49, no. 1 My father bought my first piano from the Briscoes in Sumter, South Carolina. We knew the Briscoes from church ...

August 11, 2005
An Album with a Singer

What one album would I take with me to a desert island? Immediately, it occurs to me that perhaps I shouldn't take any music with me at all. I'd have my untainted memory of other ...

August 11, 2005
We Carried Each Other

In 1991, God seized my attention. So did Homer, Plato, Aristotle, and U2. I was 20, a freshman in college, raised Catholic but without much understanding or interest in practicing my faith. I had plenty ...

August 11, 2005
The Psychedelic Furs' Talk Talk Talk

"If you like Hendrix, you'll like this," my guitar teacher said, handing me a cassette of the Psychedelic Furs' second album, Talk Talk Talk. More than 20 years later, I have no idea what he ...

August 11, 2005
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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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