Unwritten Rules

Excerpted from First of the Year: 2008 Copyright Transaction Publishers, New Brunswick, New Jersey.

It’s been an elegiac time for our crew lately. In the past year, we lost (among others) Hans Koning, Ellen Willis, George Trow, Kurt Vonnegut and, a year before that, Benjamin DeMott. They were First readers as well as writers for our tab. You could count on them to give it to you straight and there were occasions when one of their opinions could outweigh all others due to its cogency. There are no substitutes for irreplaceable elders but we’ll try to sustain what they valued in First by finding new originals to help carry us into the future. Which, sorry to repeat myself, remains unwritten (despite the chorus of that slack Natasha Bedingfield song).

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Safe American Home

Drive-By Truckers’ new double CD Southern Rock Opera is the most daring and developed expression of rock and roll attitude since the Clash’s Sandinista. The subject of the Truckers’ Opera is the “duality” – their word – of life in the land where blues began.

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