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Posts Tagged ‘Knoxville’

Big, Bent Ears, Part 2: Borderline Religious

March 25, 2015 | by

Joyce-piano

Photo: Kate Joyce

“Every now and then, when I’m tuning, I can make myself cry,” he said at one point. How can a piano tuner make himself cry? I thought to myself. What in the act of tuning would cause someone to do that? When I reviewed this footage months later, I could hear how dumbstruck I was. “When do you make yourself cry?” I asked, baffled.

Tim came back with an explanation that, in one fell swoop, answered the question, created a bigger mystery, and effectively ended that part of the conversation.

“This is getting sort of borderline religious here,” he said, “kind of with the f-word mixed in with it … When you say, God, I’m here—I’ll do the motions, you do the work.”

The second chapter of Big, Bent Ears, Sam Stephenson and Ivan Weiss’s “Serial in Documentary Uncertainty,” is available now. We launched the series earlier this month; it’s a combination of video, audio, photography, and writing in various arrangements and states of completion. This week, Sam and Ivan talk to Tim Kirkland, a piano tuner in Knoxville, and to the members of Nazoranai, an improvisational noise band. Read the piece here, and stay tuned for the next chapter, which comes next Monday, March 30.

The Best-Read City in America, and Other News

February 7, 2013 | by

washingtonpostcard

  • “The ordinary, mild-mannered bookstore had stripped off its everyday shirt to reveal its superpowers, moving with a slamming shift into warp-speed pleasure.” A paean to vanished bookstores
  • How to (if you must) divest yourself of books
  • Here is a trademark lawsuit involving both space marines and superheroes. Yes, I said space marines. 
  • “The precision and spirit of Austen’s novels derive, in part, from the cherished objects with which she and her heroines were in daily contact—things that might well have been overlooked or spurned by everyone else.”
  • Washington, D. C. earns the title of Most Literate City. The Most Romantic crown, however, goes to Knoxville, Tennessee. (If you define romance as only shopping at Amazon.com, of course.)

 

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