A popular rumor about Karen Dalton is that she died homeless on the streets of New York. (In fact, although her life and especially the latter part of it retains a lot of mystery, it seems that she spent her last couple of weeks under the care of guitarist Peter Walker in southeastern New York state.) Her biography is murky enough to allow for imagination, and archetypical enough to suggest the tragedy of the folk singer. Her voice is a storied and sad alto, the kind of voice that makes you feel you know her personally...Read More
The other week, I was having a conversation with a friend of mine who is a new father - we’ll call him Cronus - and we were talking about parental instinct. He lowered his voice conspiratorially, considered the infant in his lap and said, “Sometimes I love my baby so much that I want to eat him. Is that normal?”
Turns out, it’s not just normal--it’s science! Olfactory chemical signals--the smells of newborn babies have been linked to dopamine spikes in the brains of new mothers, essentially triggering the same neurological reward circuit activated when a very hungry person eats, or when a heroin addict shoots up...Read More
I’ve always loved love songs. They make magic. They affirm belief in fate. They outline a divine plan that guides our love lives, pushing us through the wrong relationships and inexorably toward the arms of “the one.” Love songs accept love at first sight as a fact (I’m not sold on this particular theme). Regardless, they give us hope. That’s what gives them power.
My “love song” story is about the first time I saw a photography student whose name isn’t really Thomas. I was a freshman in college, at a screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show...