You Gotta Heal: Strand of Oaks Faces Down His Demons
Philadelphia’s Tim Showalter endured a house fire and a near-fatal car crash. But nothing prepared him for the emotional bloodletting that inspired his Dead Oceans debut, “Heal”
I spent some time with Strand of Oaks in Philly recently. Here’s the resulting profile.
The Ubiquity of Upworthy, or, You’re Better Than This, Print, or, Your Highest Calling as a Journalist is not to Make People Cry.
"I Killed A Man": What Happens When A Homicide Confession Goes Viral
Last summer Matthew Cordle drove drunk the wrong way on a highway in Ohio, killing another driver. With the help of a charismatic, entrepreneurial do-gooder, Cordle admitted his guilt in a YouTube …
After about six months of reporting and writing, here’s my #longread about Matthew Cordle’s “I killed a man” video and what happens when contrition goes viral. Some weekend reading, perhaps?
My Year in Music: Joel Oliphint
Top ten albums & tracks, musical highlights, etc. from 2013.
Tompkins Square is releasing a new 4-CD comp on Dec. 10 called “I Heard the Angels Singing: Electrifying Black Gospel from the Nashboro Label, 1951-1983.” This track is by a group called the Brooklyn All-Stars, recorded around 1970, and it’s devastatingly good.
I love the tinny, down-stroked electric guitar thwacks. I love the backup singers. But mostly I love the existential weight of the lyrics juxtaposed with an unheralded soul singer blessed with a range and tone that rivals Sam Cooke. The guy is shaking his fist at God for taking his parents while also admitting he can’t do anything about it: “You took my father; you came back and got my mother… And all I could do was just stand there on the banks of Jordan, tears in my eyes.” The guy is so distraught he wishes the Almighty would just go on and take him, too: “Listen Lord, I’ve got my ticket; please Jesus, don’t leave me down here.”
Forget the emo revival. This is some real emotion. Give it a listen and see if you don’t hear/feel/see those ships go sailing by.