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The Music Does Not Matter: Notes on Music in Literature

“Nevertheless, all across Boston, music remains awake, remains traveling from performance hall to telephone wire to private music room or bedroom, whether it can be heard or not . . ..” Jaydn Dewald roves through literature, looking at the challenges–and pleasures–of representing music in words.

The High Rise on Desolation Row

“Dylan became our soundtrack, as we wrestled with confusion, living so far from home.” Philip Metres discovers a quintessentially American album while living in Russia.

Standing Water

“I am eight years old, and the sun has set, and I am nowhere near Memphis, Tennessee, when Jeff Buckley slips under the surface of Wolf River Harbor.” Lee Huttner on music, mourning, and faith.

Never So Much Seething: Twenty-Five Liner Notes and a Poem for Fugazi

A look back at youth and Fugazi by Philip Metres.

Scrawl–Punk Rock for Grown-Ups: A Retrospective

“. . . the history of women making rock music is a history of women finding ways to give those qualities feminist ends: ‘Rebel Girl, you are the queen of my world.’” Stephen Burt looks back at the grown-up punk of Ohio’s Scrawl.

Notes for a One-Man-Show: An Interview with Chad VanGaalen

“…so then I just pull the cap off my marker and start to draw so that’s what I’ve kinda been focusing on lately. At the end of the day I get a lot of ideas from my drawings for sure, for music, at least.” Musician and visual artist Chad VanGaalen talks pedal steel guitars and cartoons with At Length Magazine.

Albums At Length: Death Cab for Cutie’s Transatlanticism: 10th Anniversary Edition

“Being a wordsmith has its own particular baggage that is perhaps a bit different from other avenues of artistic expression. Even a visual artist has the choice to go beyond representation, but most writers, to some degree, must rely on narrative.” Eric Gansworth looks back ten years after Death Cab for Cutie’s break-out album, Transatlanticism.

Albums At Length: Shearwater’s Fellow Travelers

“Probably every artist—no matter their art—has a moment of wondering what they can bring to the world that is new. The ultimate criterion for artistic genius seems to be originality. But as one of my friends said, ‘Nobody gives a bloke a hard time for recording Mozart, do they?’” Ayse Papatya Bucak kicks off our Albums At Length series with a look at Shearwater’s Fellow Travelers.


Seattle bassist and composer Jherek Bischoff talks about how his life growing up on the high seas prepared him for the extremely DIY recording process for his new art-pop album Composed.

Those Who Didn’t Run

Saxophonist Colin Stetson combines jazz musicianship, rock songcraft and the physicality of a grand slam final to create a truly unique and atavistically compelling sound. Stetson took a rare moment of mid-winter’s rest to talk to At Length about his breakout year, his physical limits and his rather daunting New Year’s resolution.