Some Elks Lodges glitter like country clubs; this one used to be a motel with a pancake house attached. In the parking lot, stretching after the hot drive, there is a pretty girl in a black dress. Not one of you. But she must be, no one but your party, the party assembled for your uncle’s funeral,…
The Elk’s Funeral
‘Against each wall stands an ornate throne—junk, dark Victorian junk, pulled by crowbar twenty years ago from the old lodge in the doomed downtown. Sitting on each is a battered looking Elk in a frayed tuxedo or black suit, his shoes cracked as the skin around his eyes. You feel sure they will sleep, and soon.’
A Bleed of Blue
‘I had always thought that in Blue Joni had taught me about love, about being in love and losing it.’
Amy Key on Joni Mitchell’s seminal album, released fifty years ago in 1971.
Work, or the Swet Shop Boys
‘My work life – like, maybe, yours – is built around another, non-paying vocation.’
Hilary Plum on listening to the Swet Shop Boys while (not) working.
Shirley from a Small Place
‘The highs and lows of fame, have been far better and far worse than both mother and daughter could have hoped for.’
Fiction by Alexia Arthurs, inspired by Rihanna.
‘Only M.I.A. could juxtapose the tropes of bad diaspora poetry against the horrors of interrogation techniques and get away with it. For a while, at least. ’
Momtaza Mehri on M.I.A.
First published in Granta 76: Music, an essay by Greil Marcus on Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music, which inspired the Grateful Dead, Allen Ginsberg and Bob Dylan.