August 15, 2016
Michael T. Dolan is a writer from West Chester The sound of stone and gravel crushing under tires signaled my escape was at hand. The small lot sat empty, as it usually is, and the trailhead stood in front of me, waiting patiently as it always does. The asphalt road, with its winding path to the impatient world I was running from, lay behind me. I stepped out of the car, and soon my feet touched unpaved earth. My solitary sentence began. Such prison breaks have become increasingly necessary for my soul, as day by day it seems this extroverted world into which I was born grows more and more extroverted, thriving on ever-increasing noise, exposure, activity, and connectivity.
July 4, 2016
CAN YOU HEAR NOW? If you feel tormented by ambient airplane noise or your spouse's snoring in a hotel room, pity the target shooter with a rifle cocked at ear level. OK, don't, but you must admit that's an excellent venue for testing the mettle of noise-blocking earmuff devices, which are the refuge of those who can't tolerate earplug-style sound mufflers. That might get you over the hump of considering the "shooter's folding earmuffs" from Howard Leight, a topnotch defense against encroaching decibel levels wherever the threat.
July 2, 2016 |
Michael Gira has been making gorgeously abrasive music as Swans on and off since 1982, when he was part of New York City's No Wave scene. The brooding singer/composer took a long Swans hiatus after 1996's cinematic Soundtracks for the Blind to start the shimmering, acoustic Angels of Light ensemble. He then shuttered Light and combined the dark Swans' and more sun-dappled Angels' sounds for 2010's My Father Will Guide Me Up a Rope to the Sky and the rebirth of Swans 2.0. Now it's time for another change.
June 16, 2016 |
Question: I live in an apartment building, and a family with four kids lives in the apartment above us. They are so loud all the time and it drives me insane! My husband and I can hear them screaming, singing, crying, jumping, and running. Sometimes it sounds like a marching band is practicing up there! We just had a baby and I find that I can't nap because of all the noise. We're not friends with them and haven't really spoken to them much, but I'm ready to leave a note on their door to tell them to quiet down!
May 22, 2016
The Noise of Time By Julian Barnes Knopf. 224 pp. $25.95 Reviewed By Jim Higgins In Julian Barnes' new novel, Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich considers the two types of composers in the Soviet Union: dead ones and frightened ones. Call Shostakovich one of the latter. His music is played around the world, but he also stands by the elevator in his fifth-floor apartment many nights, a valise packed with his favorite cigarettes, in case he is arrested by the NKVD.
May 14, 2016 |
Question: My family is very lucky to live in a big house with a big front porch, backyard, and second-floor back porch. My preteen daughter especially loves that back porch. In the summer, she spends whole days out there, listening to the radio and yakking on her cellphone. This is great for the rest of the family - she is not bothering her brothers and sisters, or nagging me to drive her to the movies. And my daughter is happy. My neighbors (behind us) tell me that the way the porch is built, it acts as a huge megaphone or band shell.
April 10, 2016 |
2016 Toyota Tacoma TRD Sport 4x4 Double Cab: Midsize hauler? Price: $38,290 as tested ($33,730 for base TRD Sport 4x4 Double Cab; the Tacoma starts at $23,330, for one row of seats and rear-wheel drive). Marketer's pitch: "Built for the endless weekend. " Conventional wisdom: Edmunds.com liked "the Refined V6 engine with available manual transmission; excellent off-road ability; responsive touchscreen interface; extensive list of options; peerless resale value" but not the "low driver seat with no height adjustment; steering wheel's minimal telescoping range; unimpressive V6 acceleration times.
March 19, 2016 |
Q: Please help! I've read in some of your other articles about how great dimmers are, so my boyfriend installed them in our dining room and bedroom. I love the dimmed light but can't stand the high humming sound. Is there something wrong, or is this the way they're supposed to be? My boyfriend can't hear it, so of course he thinks I'm imagining things. - C.M. A: You are not imagining anything! Sometimes dimmers do create a high-pitched buzzing noise. If you can hear it, the noise certainly kills the romantic and calming effect the dimmed light is supposed to create.
March 19, 2016 |
SPOKANE, Wash. - The St Joseph's Hawks practiced Thursday afternoon in "Bigfoot Country," at Spokane Community College. (There's an actual stuffed rendering of Bigfoot out in the lobby.) An administrator wanted to put up Do Not Disturb signs outside the gym. "Don't bother," Hawks coach Phil Martelli told her, knowing there would be more noise going out the door than coming in. Preparing for Friday night's NCAA West Regional first-round matchup with Cincinnati, loud basketball talk filled the little gym, even during stretching.
February 29, 2016 |
Certain forms of artistic expression seem almost intentionally off-putting. That's fine of course. There must be space for art where mass appeal is not the goal, where the creator hopes to break through to something different, something new. For the average consumer immersed in the culture that the rebel is striving to tear down, it can be a deeply unpleasant experience. Imagine how abrasive the Sex Pistols seemed to the disco-attuned ears of the 1970s. Today it is hard to imagine what the fuss was about.