Credit: US Army 1st Lt. Zachary West

After Hurricane Harvey, Houston property owners joined the millions of Americans with uninsured losses. The National Flood Insurance Program isn’t giving the rest of us a reason to “buy in” anytime soon.

Flood. Repair. Repeat. This mantra — echoed by many homeowners in flood-risk areas — is most apparent in the records of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). In Spring, Tex., for example, a home worth $42,024 has been repaired 19 times. These repairs come out to $912,732, nearly 22 times the home’s value.

Still, more Americans are risking uninsured damages rather than buying into an NFIP plan. Initial…


Father John Misty at CrossroadsKC in Kansas City, MO — August 20, 2017.

The artist has always shown flashes of real heartbreak. But with his latest release, God’s Favorite Customer (2018), Josh Tillman is finally ready to meet these meditations head-on.

The last track of Fear Fun — Josh Tillman’s 2012 release under the newly-adorned moniker, Father John Misty — is titled “Every Man Needs a Companion.” Ending his first record and starting the next with one this imperative in mind, Tillman had created the foundations for a love album early on.

His following release, I Love You, Honeybear (2015), though, finds Tillman looking for his own reflection in his partner’s eyes.

In…


A hike, however, on this clear windy day sounds delightful.

A train ride, a hike, and a man selling oranges. Snapshots of a journey through Cinque Terre, Italy.

The train from Rome to La Spezia is about four hours long, and if you’re lucky, you’ll have a direct route, one that doesn’t make you transfer in Florence or Pisa. Today, we are lucky.

Claire and I sit in a car that’s about half-full, and the two seats across from us are empty. I always enjoy long train rides like these — “always,” as in, during the two months I’ve been here. There’s a lot of talk about how unreliable, how…


Credit: Abby Gillardi, Flickr

It’s Friday night, and Kristian Matsson has a problem. Just two songs into his set, the Swedish singer-songwriter has busted the pick on his right thumb.

He, along with a crowd of about a thousand in Rome’s Auditorium Parco della Musica, now find themselves waiting for the adhesive on his thumb to set.

The position is a familiar one for Matsson, though. Guitar-less, he scans a crowd of dark, indistinct faces and remarks:

I have this recurring stress dream.

I come out to play in front of a lovely audience like this. I step out on stage, and I realize…

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