Jason Isbell, Unloaded

It’s a few months old, but this New York Times piece on Jason Isbell is excellent. It turns out that his departure from the Drive-By Truckers wasn’t as amicable as originally presented:

[Isbell’s] exit from the band was carefully stage-managed. It was said to be about creative differences among friends, and about Isbell’s desire to go solo because he was writing more songs than the band could handle. […]

But the reality was more complicated. Hood called Isbell and suggested he take some time off and get his life together. Isbell replied that if the band was going to tour under the name Drive-By Truckers, he wasn’t going to miss even one show. Cooley then called Isbell and said, as Isbell recalls, “that isn’t going to work for us.” He was forced out.

We used to sleep twice each night

Before the invention of artificial light:

Every night, people fell asleep not long after the sun went down and stayed that way until sometime after midnight. This was the first sleep that kept popping up in the old tales. Once a person woke up, he or she would stay that way for an hour or so before going back to sleep until morning — the so-called second sleep.

MOTR owners to revive old theater as venue for bigger bands

It’s great how quickly MOTR Pub in Over-the-Rhine became one of the most relevant venues in Cincinnati’s local music scene. Now they’re going to renovate the old Woodward Theatre, virtually across the street, into a new 600-person music venue.

For bands, the Woodward would provide the bridge between smaller bars like MOTR and larger area venues such as the Taft Theatre and Bogart’s. It would also give Cincinnati a leg up in attracting musicians, McCabe said. When a band is making its way from Chicago to Nashville, it doesn’t make stops at Indianapolis, Columbus and then Cincinnati; it just picks one.

Afghan Whigs Damage Eardrums, Silence Skeptics

From the strike of the first downbeat last Thursday night, the sound of the Afghan Whigs was so dominating that I felt foolish for having entertained — even for a moment in the year leading up to their homecoming — the thought that the band might be overhyped.  I didn’t just feel stupid, I felt throughout the performance as though the band was humiliating me for having dared to doubt them.

My Sister Paid Progressive Insurance to Defend Her Killer In Court

Matt Fisher:

In Maryland, you may not sue an insurance company when they refuse to fork over your money. Instead, what [my parents] had to do was sue the guy who killed my sister, establish his negligence in court, and then leverage that decision to force Progressive to pay the policy. […]

At the trial, the guy who killed my sister was defended by Progressive’s legal team.

If you are insured by Progressive, and they owe you money, they will defend your killer in court in order to not pay you your policy.

Game-studies scholars (there are such things) like to point out that games tend to reflect the societies in which they are created and played. Monopoly, for instance, makes perfect sense as a product of the 1930s — it allowed anyone, in the middle of the Depression, to play at being a tycoon. Risk, released in the 1950s, is a stunningly literal expression of cold-war realpolitik. Twister is the translation, onto a game board, of the mid-1960s sexual revolution. One critic called it ‘sex in a box.’

Angry Birds, Farmville and Other Hyperaddictive ‘Stupid Games’