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RIP Merle Haggard, The Only Man Who Could Live Up To The Name

Ah, Christ, Merle Haggard died, shit. On his 79th birthday. He was one of the greats. You know this for two reasons. First off, objectively, he just was, an acerbic and jovially iconoclastic teller of hard truths and winsome lies, a prickly charmer and actual outlaw (he once attended a Johnny Cash concert in San…

Sean Price, RIP: In Praise Of The Brokest Rapper You Know

If Sean Price’s rap career had ended in 1996—if his only contribution to the genre was that year’s ingenious Nocturnal, the debut album from his duo Heltah Skeltah—he would still be worthy of the respect, admiration, and mourning that has poured forth since the announcement of his sudden death this past Saturday. But…

We'll All Go Down Together: Billy Joel Says Goodbye To Nassau Coliseum

It’s a little after six on a sultry Tuesday evening, and the Champions sports bar nestled inside the Long Island Marriott is packed with an unusual crowd. The walls are lined with memorabilia from the New York Islanders, who up until a few days ago called the crumbling Nassau Coliseum next door home; beneath the…

Adios, Sucker: A Conservative Bids A Mostly Fond Adieu To Jon Stewart

Jon Stewart’s last episode of The Daily Show is tonight, and everyone promises to miss him, even if, like me, they stopped watching him religiously years ago. It wasn’t too long after he made his mawkish 2004 plea to Tucker Carlson and Paul Begala to “stop hurting America”—and, as a result, became the most celebrated…

How To Move Across the Country, One Step At A Time

Last winter, after waffling between leaving or staying in Brooklyn for close to four years, I finally bit the bullet. I decamped to Seattle. I used to think I couldn’t live without an egg & cheese from the bodega, McGolrick Park, or Pete’s Candy Store (where there’s no candy, but plenty of liquor). Now I do a lot of…

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RIP Ornette Coleman, Who Confounded Most People And Humbled Us All 

“There is a law in what I’m playing, but that law is a law that when you get tired of it, you can change it.” So said incomparable musical innovator Ornette Coleman, who died this morning at the age of 85, and while his career was full of these kinds of delightfully cryptic remarks, few unpack his special genius so…