My latest IMAGE Journal “Good Letters” blog essay is live at Patheos.com. Titled “Half Man, Half Alley Cat,” it is about Red House Painters and Sun Kil Moon frontman Mark Kozelek and his new record, Among the Leaves. Sample below, and then click the link if you know what’s good for you!

Upon hearing Sun Kil Moon’s newest record, Among the Leaves, I pictured Mark Kozelek as a musical Moses—hoisting his guitar aloft like a staff and parting his loyal listeners down the middle like the Red Sea.

Advance press for Among the Leaves described the album as playful, which frankly frightened his fan base a little (me included). While I can think of a few playful songs in Kozelek’s catalog, the other 303 songs in my Koz playlist on my iPod—including assorted solo recordings and the complete works of the Red House Painters and Sun Kil Moon—are decidedly somber. His melodies and maladies are often indistinguishable from one another.

Read the rest of the essay here!


This week has been a weird one. The day before this essay was published, I was bitten by a brown recluse spider at work. It managed to crawl up my pant leg and gnaw on my leg below the knee. Yesterday, the bite started turning purple and black, so I went to the doctor, obtained a prescription for antibiotics (doxycycline), and worried I might become half man, half spider. I would much rather be half man, half alley cat. We do have five cats, after all. (Have I mentioned this before?)

I went home midday yesterday for recovery because I was feverish, shivering, and felt achy and stiff. I am feeling better today, but baby Evie was awake all night, and has a 101 degree temperature. I am staying home with her today then, taking antibiotics, dealing with diaper explosions, and blogging. She is taking a nap upstairs right now, which is quite delightful. I may even get to work on my newest IMAGE blog essay, which I drafted last week.


I have yet to become half alley cat, or half spider, but I might become half machine if Sola Mi has anything to say about it.

I admit, I have admired Derek Webb as a person more than I have enjoyed his music. That is not to say he makes substandard music. He has almost always made music that simply does not register with my taste buds. I was never a Caedmon’s Call fan, but I respect his solo work, and love that he founded NoiseTrade.com. But this Sola Mi album is another story. It tantalizes my taste buds in oh so many ways! Fans of Radiohead’s electronic work, Portishead, Imogen Heap, Björk, and Stereolab will find it satisfying. It’s free, too. Click the link below, and enjoy the wonders of Webb & Co.

Download this delicious album in its entirety for free here.