Any man who serves me Edna St. Vincent Millay with a shot of Jim White and dashing references to New Order, Robert Johnson, Astral Weeks, and The Cure, needn't bother with "hello." I surrender utterly. Yes, yes! Literature + Rock & Roll. Thank you, Dan Stone. Thank you for your first issue of Radio Silence, a very fine new magazine dedicated to the two things that serve as triumphant testament to the success of the human experiment. Let us repeat: Literature + Rock & Roll.
Radio Silence brings the media and the messengers together in print, online, and in person with live shows and a marquis launch event planned for San Francisco (right on!) this fall. Tune in, turn on, and subscribe your superfly self so you don't miss out.
Here's a sampler. Track 3: Poet A.E. Stallings on growing up shiny, happy in REM's Athens, Georgia, trading Mahler to play violin with Vic Chestnutt and his pet rabbit. Track 13: An F. Scott Fitzgerald short story "Winter Dreams" that's so painfully beautiful it could melt vinyl. The Radio Silence playlist -- from Adam Haslett's essay and Ted Gioia's musings to David Mason's poems -- is about melting, stripping, changing one's life. Stories do that. Songs do that. They do profoundly and they do it again and again. Isn't that the definition of the pleasure we all seek ... and need?
For me, there are singular voices, lyrics, and basslines that slay me -- same goes for certain written passages and phrasing. Nick Cave holds a key to my inner sanctum, as does Vladimir Nabokov. In the zone of Radio Silence, I can actually imagine Cave riffing on VN. DJ Dan, are you listening? That's my request for the next slow dance in the depths of delicious duende.
For that's the intrigue spun by Radio Silence. It's the void that Radio Silence fills. That wide open-throated yen to be shaken and rattled and rolled by the all-consuming energy that pours through us when we hear the notes, the words that make us feel alive to the hard core of our beings.
The ancients said that Prometheus stole fire for the love of mankind. A modern day Titan would bring us this: Literature + Rock & Roll. Come on baby, light my fire.
Maintain Radio Silence, as loud as you dare.
Follow Tamsin Smith on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@slipstreamer