Then you get to engage in the highly enjoyable process of managing your band. Here is one of Johnny Rotten’s most profound observations: “[You] must eat shit in the rehearsal room. The histrionics of the lead guitar, the excesses of the drummer, and the stupidity of the bass player have to meet on equal footing.”
My readers at the time were aware of this, but since time has passed and the audience has changed let me say that, if there was a pop writer in America in the 1990s who wrote more about major-label sleaziness in general, rising album- and concert-ticket prices, and ancillary consumer issues like scalping than me, I wasn’t aware of him or her. (Joe Kvidera, the manager of Tower on Clark, would let me know whenever some price increases hit.) I wrote so much about crowd safety that . These didn’t get mentioned in Albini’s broadside.
The next six months or so, as expectations grew for the release of the album, were delightful. I had the tape and could lord my possession of it over everyone else. I tracked Phair’s every local appearance and delighted in the exasperation I sometimes heard. Phair and I kept talking, always as reporter and subject, and all of the conversations were taped. I knew the record would be a critic’s darling, but in Phair herself you could see the makings of an actual star. She was disturbingly, instinctively talented and poised; extremely good-looking and seemingly intent on sexualizing her persona; and sparklingly intelligent.
As the year went on and excitement built, her life got better, though she still didn’t have much money and still was just a person living in a not-particularly swellegant corner of pre-gentrification Wicker Park. Increasingly people recognized her on the street, in stores or in restaurants. Her phone—we all had landlines back then—rang incessantly. (Literally incessantly.)
Every time I listened to the album over the next year I found new things to be impressed by. More than once I talked to colleagues in other cities—one I remember was Tim White at Billboard—and together we’d enthusiastically unpack some of the record’s secrets, from Phair’s songs to the massive sonic coup that was Brad Wood’s production.
Get your creative juices flowing by brainstorming all the possible ideas you can think of to address your college essay question.
College essay questions often suggest one or two main ideas or topics of focus. These can vary from personal to trivial, but all seek to challenge you and spark your creativity and insight.
Believe it or not, the brainstorming stage may be more tedious than writing the actual application essay. The purpose is to flesh out all of your possible ideas so when you begin writing, you know and understand where you are going with the topic.
Architects use a blue print. A webpage is comprised of code. Cooks rely on recipes. What do they have in common? They have a plan. The rules for writing a good essay are no different. After you brainstorm, you’ll know what you want to say, but you must decide how you’re going to say it. Create an outline that breaks down the essay into sections.
By now you know exactly what you will write about and how you want to tell the story. So hop on a computer and get to it. Try to just let yourself bang out a rough draft without going back to change anything. Then go back and revise, revise, revise. Before you know it, you will have told the story you outlined—and reached the necessary word count—and you will be happy you spent all that time preparing!
You have worked so hard up until this point, and while you might be relieved, remember: your essay is only as good as your editing. A single grammatical error or typo could indicate carelessness—not a trait you want to convey to a college admission officer.
The single most important part of your essay preparation may be simply making sure you truly understand the question or essay prompt. When you are finished writing, you need to make sure that your essay still adheres to the prompt.
Note: Did you know you could win a $10,000 scholarship for college or grad school just by registering on CollegeXpress? This is one of the quickest, easiest scholarships you’ll ever apply for.
Her talk was something: fast, slightly nutty, kind of winning. There was a lot of TMI, incessant and creative profanity, combative observations on the music scene and more. Some of her opinions about music cracked me up, particularly what she said about her tape. It was, she said, “a song-by-song refutation of ‘Exile on Main Street.’”