The Reader’s archive is vast and varied, going back to 1971. Every day in Archive Dive, we’ll dig through and bring up some finds.
Last week the music section published a meaty feature on the Atlas Moth. As much as I welcomed a thoughtful, engaging story on one of this city’s great metal bands, I was even more happy to see the story’s byline: Monica Kendrick. The feature is her first for the Reader in about a decade. Which means now is as good a time as any to revisit the excellent work she’s written for us in the past.
In 2005 Kendrick wrote “Bang the Head Slowly,” a review of an Empty Bottle set by Dylan Carlson’s long-running metal band Earth. I trust few people to find beauty in deliberately slow, slugging riffs more than I trust Kendrick, and her concise, vivid piece is exactly what I could want from a piece on a historically important cult band with an imposing musical catalog; I’ve read this story before, and even now I’m still discovering something new about Earth. Come for the Sylvia Plath epigraph, stay for, well, the whole thing.
I’m far from the only person enamored with “Bang the Head Slowly.” In 2006 Da Capo published it as part of its now-defunct Best Music Writing series.