A. E. Stallings lived in Athens, Georgia, at its zenith of cool, back when R.E.M. was a bar band. She describes the scene, and her place in it, in "Alice in Wonderland, Or How I Almost Became Hip in Athens, GA."
Jon Mooallem recalls his unexpected friendship with Hayden Carruth, a bearded recluse who lived in the sticks outside of Syracuse, New York. Carruth was a National Book Award−winning poet, although he didn't give a damn. He was rumored to have left his medal in a urinal at the award ceremony.
Blake Hazard is a Los Angeles−based musician, via Vermont and Harvard, who fronts an indie-pop band named The Submarines, along with her solo career. She's also the great-granddaughter of F. Scott Fitzgerald—she writes about both the gifts and challenges of that family connection here for the first time.
Rock journalist and Leonard Cohen−biographer Sylvie Simmons looks at one of Dylan's dark masterpieces. What's the best part of getting your heart broken? If you're lucky, you end up with an album like Blood on the Tracks.
Before Sam Lipsyte was known as a brilliant and hilarious writer of fiction, he was the frontman for the long-lost punk/noise band Dungbeetle. In "The Rock," Sam recaptures a moment from those glory days, and he considers an existential question: What does it mean to rock?