The Plant Musician

Tom Wall is a West Michigan rock star who uses plants as bandmates. He uses a device to harness the electricity in plants, which then turns those impulses into musical notes. Tom insists the plants are talking to us through the music. But can they really do that?

2024-03-05T12:36:52-05:00February 27, 2024|

My Midwestern Fleetwood Mac

She came from a dying Rust Belt town in southeast Ohio, and I came from a famously dying Rust Belt town an hour north of Detroit. We were both oldest children, with the same letter leading our first and last name. Our birthdays were one day apart.  And, we both loved Fleetwood Mac.

2023-07-19T08:13:43-04:00July 15, 2023|

Gordon Lightfoot’s Great Lakes’ Lives

No song better captures the terrifying power of the Great Lakes than Lightfoot’s tragic, captivating rendering. It is a sonic and literary achievement, translating the sudden confusion, fear, and despair as the Edmund Fitzgerald is unable to weather a November storm.

2023-05-08T09:47:46-04:00May 6, 2023|

That That Is… (Not): 1991-1992

When I announced that I was writing this book, I was immediately asked several times if Albini would be providing a cover blurb. The question was posed partially seriously and partially sarcastically, with the ratio dependent on the questioner.

2023-03-11T09:10:48-05:00March 6, 2023|

Trent Reznor’s Conflicted Rust Belt Legacy

Trent Reznor never mentioned the Johnstown Flood in his interviews on MTV, though he would’ve learned about it the same way any other Rust Belt boy does...He never mentioned that he was a rich boy surrounded by a world his ancestors got tricked into helping destroy.

2023-02-04T08:51:09-05:00January 30, 2023|

Play Like a Man

I was a geek who loved role-playing games and knitted Dr. Who scarves in high school. I was the quintessential rule-follower and would cry and beg if I scored an A– on a quiz. But now, I’d discovered punk rock.

2022-12-15T09:04:24-05:00December 12, 2022|
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