Archive

Phillip Lopate describes the shape of Manhattan Island as‘a luxury liner, permanently docked, going nowhere’. This feeling of being tethered to the land, unable to get to sea, was a feature of New York life for much of the twentieth century. New York was an island without a coast. The West Side piers that once welcomed the Lusitania spent most of the twentieth century crumbling or behind barbed wire, while the East Side’s coves and points were cut off from pedestrians by six lanes of the Robert Moses-designed Franklin Delano Roosevelt Drive. It wasn’t much easier to reach the shores of Brooklyn, Queens or the Bronx, either: with a few exceptions, they were largely reserved for municipal or industrial use, and easiest to see from the Staten Island Ferry (en route to the borough with the most beaches). Now, slowly, the city is reclaiming its shoreline, with some spectacular results.

PURPOSE (or, the Great Subway Leviathan of 1904) by Jeff Tang

OBJECT: Subway Cars

BODY OF WATER: East River 


Such Strange Gravity, illustration by  Tomoyo Hirioshi

Such Strange Gravity, illustration by Tomoyo Hirioshi

SUCH STRANGE GRAVITY by Jeff Tang at National Sawdust

Get your tickets now for Jeff Tang's SUCH STRANGE GRAVITY, featuring PURPOSE, OR THE GREAT LEVIATHAN OF 1904

Use the promo code UNY and we will give you a free broadside featuring original artwork and poetry.

Saturday, August 11, 8:00 pm

Tickets ($15) here.  

Such Strange Gravity: Songs of Gotham” is a theatrical song-cycle that explores and deconstructs the mythology of home via the narrative of a “hidden” historical anthropology of New York City that spans from the first European contact with the Lenape tribe to the near future. Composer Jeff Tang has worked with a variety of lyricists, playwrights, and poets to interrogate how the identity of a city is created and evolves, the question of whose stories and histories persist or are expunged, and how the process of naming and renaming affects the dominant cultural memory. 

Making a necessary inquisition in today’s climate, Tang’s collaborators map to the multitudes of voices and issues of our city. Rigorously researched and inspired by factual events, the project uses some as jumping-off points to create new mythologies. Stories include the “sandhogs” who built the subway system, the spectacular 1911 fire that destroyed Coney Island’s Dreamland amusement park, the demise of the Collect Pond, once the primary life-source for generations of the island’s inhabitants, and more. Narratives both large and small from across time will form a mosaic of our great metropolis.

 

PURPOSE, OR THE GREAT SUBWAY LEVIATHAN OF 1904

Photo by Jeff Tang

Photo by Jeff Tang

 

From the New York Times, Sep 29, 1895: "Phillip N. Jackson, Vice President of the Newark Electric Light and Power Company, confirms the story told by Willard P. Shaw of 41 Wall Street, New York, last week, of the appearance of a sea serpent last Sunday off the shore at Spring Lake [New Jersey]. Mr. Jackson says he saw the monster with his naked eye a half mile from shore, and also had a view of it when two miles away, through Mr. Shaw's marine glasses. He says it was traveling through the water at a great rate of speed, and was about 100 feet long. A number of folds in his body were plainly seen as they rose and fell. At times the monster raised his body ten feet in the air, and it then presented a terrible sight. Mr. Jackson says that, so far as he is concerned, he has no doubt that the object he saw was a genuine sea serpent."

MAN
There once was a man in the ground        (CHORUS: Hmm…)
Some say he's wandering
Some say he drowned                                (CHORUS: Hmm…)
He grew up a sailor
On a Sag Harbor whaler
For forty long months her barrels sat dry
For the sea was fished bare
As the cold winter sky

He hitched from the coast into town        (CHORUS: Hmm…)
To help build the railroads that ran underground
He dug with the others
w/SANDHOGS
Called sandhogs, these brothers
At night each would dream what his purpose should be
MAN
But the man when he dreamed
Only dreamed of the sea
How the crew would sing

CHORUS/CREW
Hey ho
This sea is my home
A four-letter word that I learned to let go of
Hey ho hey ho

MAN
All aboard they sing
w/CHORUS
Hey ho
It's this ocean I love
The endless below and the boundless above, so
Hey ho
Hey ho

===

FOREMAN
The foreman that day, he was nervous and mad
Not enough track
Not enough rail could be laid in the time that they had
in that hey hey hole
SANDHOGS
Blasting a tunnel from asphalt to hell
Not enough air
Not enough pay in the world to be huddled down there
In that hey hey hole
All the sandhogs sing
Hey ho, this hole is my home / They sing
A four-letter word that I learned to unknow / so
Hey ho hey ho
MAN
All day long they sing
w/SANDHOGS
Hey ho
it's this mud that I know
The almighty above and the devil below, so
Hey ho hey ho

===

SANDHOG 1
Well he'd heard in the tunnels a terrible tale
A man fell thirty feet when they blew through a rail
And the sight of his fall
w/SANDHOG 2
And the sound of his wailing
Would haunt all the men in their dreams
SANDHOG 3
And yet he survived and called out
w/SANDHOG 1
Through the black
SANDHOG 3
So they lowered a lantern then watched
ALL 3      
As the water he'd landed in foamed
Then churned, then attacked!
And the memory's drowned out by the screams

SANDHOG 1
But the ones who were there
They gathered to swear
They'd never admit what they'd seen
SANDHOG 2
Yet whispers were heard
SANDHOG 3
They were twisted, absurd
ALL 3
For man is, by nature, a greedy machine
When they dug out the tunnels too quick and too deep
They awakened a thing that they should have let sleep

===

(IRT Ribbon cutting ceremony, October 27, 1904)
CITY SPEAKER
Ladies and gentlemen - the Mayor of New York City!
MAYOR MCLELLAN
I give to you the Interborough Rapid Transit railroad! 

(spot light up on SANDHOG GHOSTS)

Well they lost two more men by the end of the year
     (Hey ho hey ho) 
(MAYOR MCLELLAN: "City Hall to Harlem in 15 minutes!")
Then they lost twenty more when they quit out of fear
     (SANDHOG GHOSTS: Hey ho hey ho)
(MAYOR MCLELLAN: "The fastest and safest in the world!")
The mayor needed this monster -- he needed it dead
MAYOR MCLELLAN: "Put an end to it."

Is all that he said

====

(Months later, a subway car is sitting stalled in the station. It’s hot. PASSENGERS are agitated and waiting to leave. A busker enters the car. PASSENGERS groan…)

BUSKER
There once was a man in the muck
Some call it Providence
Some say it's luck
For only one sandhog at work in the biz
Had the right set of skills as specific as his
And the point of his resume
Was to chase that goddamn whale!

(The traincar revs and the lights flicker; MAN: "Stand clear of the closing doors!" The train is propelled into darkness. The passengers sing and sway rhythmically as the lights flicker on and off like a haunted carnival ride.)

CHORUS
Those so obsessed
They are blessed with a higher calling
PASSENGERS
I have a purpose - I just have to find it!
CHORUS
Find one or Gotham will swallow you whole!
ALL
Hey hey ho
CHORUS
Purpose will keep you alive…
MAN
---There she blows!
ALL
Hey hey ho

All aboard they sing
Hey ho, this city's my home now
A four-letter word
That I learned to outgrow
Hey ho hey ho

All aboard they sing
Hey ho, this rock is my high
We plant our dreams in the dirt
Pray to steel in the sky
Hey ho hey ho

(The train bursts through a wall and lands in the East River. Water floods the car and PASSENGERS scream. The lights flicker and die. BLACKOUT.)

====

MAN
There once was a train in the deep
Some say they searched
But rescue’s not cheap
So a small superstition persists to this day
When approaching a bridge your conductor might say
"There's traffic ahead and a minor delay."

And even the skeptics they don't make a sound
Just a nod to those lost on this merry-go-round
And the one who discovered his purpose
Deep underground

 


JEFF TANG is a Brooklyn-based music theatre composer and arts + culture producer whose work has been seen in New York, Chicago, London, Minneapolis, and La Jolla. Commissions include NYC's Leviathan Lab, the NYU Write/Act Festival, Music Institute of Chicago, Theatre Latte Da in Minneapolis, and St. Anne's School in Brooklyn. He is at work on a song cycle on the hidden history of New York City with a variety of lyricists, playwrights, and poets. He spends his days as a producer on the Metropolitan Opera's Media & Presentations team, and many evenings co-curating and producing National Sawdust+, a new performance and conversation series in Williamsburg. MFA, NYU Graduate Musical Theatre Writing. Find him at www.jefftang.com

The Hudson River, The Trains Below by Tobias Carroll


Tell me about memory and distance and time. I don’t quite understand how they converge even now, pushing forty. I used to view distance solely in terms of time, used to think any trip that was an hour north was in the same place: visiting cousins in Bergen County, going on trips to museums in the city, venturing off to my dad’s office in North Brunswick. They were all in the neighborhood of an hour from my hometown and, being a child, I never looked at a map, never gleaned where they all were in relation to one another. I thought of everything with a flawed logic, without a sense of space or geometry. That was something I had to learn. It shifted when I went from passenger to driver, changing my relationship to the roads on which I traveled.

Cue up the next course, then; cue up the next track. In this case it was public transportation: at the age of eighteen I moved into a Manhattan dorm and began to familiarize myself with the New York City subway system and its cousin, the PATH train. I’d taken the subway once or twice before, most memorably to save money on parking when friends and I had driven up to see Pink Floyd at Yankee Stadium in the summer of 1994. But the subway took some work, even considering that I was taking it in the most simplistic manner possible: largely, between Greenwich Village and Midtown. Brooklyn was a mystery to me then, a place where I’d travel with carefully remembered directions; Queens and the Bronx and Staten Island were even less on my radar.

I’m pretty sure that the first trip I made on the PATH was to the Newport Centre Mall, along with my oldest friend. I don’t remember what the purpose of the trip was. It might have just been that most archetypal and predictable of decisions made by people who grew up in the Garden State: we missed seeing the inside of a mall. The PATH is similar enough to the subway that it shouldn’t feel all that different, and yet it does. Some of that pertains to the stations, with tiled floors and walls that look more roughly hewed. Some of it is the smell–-not a bad one by any means, but a more industrial one, and one that’s sufficiently different from the subway to be easily recognizable as such. Blindfold someone and place them in the 9th Street PATH station, then lead them one block away to the 8th Street entrance to the station housing the A/C/E and B/D/F/M lines. There’s a noticeable difference there, despite their proximity and similarity of function.

In those days, the train seemed to take ages between the Christopher Street stop and its next destination, either Hoboken or the Pavonia-Newport station, depending on the line for which you’d opted. In college, I made that trip frequently–-sometimes to see movies at the Newport Centre Mall, sometimes to meet up with a friend at the Hoboken stop and drive around the northern part of the state talking about punk bands. The spaces between stops in Manhattan felt fast and regular: 33rd to 23rd to 14th to 9th to Christopher. And then, the wait.

That gap under the Hudson no longer seems as long, and I’m at a loss as to why. Maybe the speed of services has improved in the last twenty years. Maybe I’ve gotten more familiar with the route and it simply seems faster. I’ve kept on taking the PATH from Manhattan to Hoboken. I’ve kept on taking it to Pavonia-Newport, to visit friends or pick up rental cars in the mall’s parking garage. I’ve taken it to Grove Street for bookstores and bars. And in recent years I’ve also become familiar with the World Trade Center’s PATH station, traveling to Harrison repeatedly to watch soccer games and, for a little less than a year, to the Exchange Place station as part of my morning commute.

***

It’s a strange corner of Jersey City. Pavonia-Newport abounds with towering apartment buildings and office spaces. Grove Street and Journal Square feel comfortable and residential: they’re places where people live, shop, and eat. Exchange Place felt disorientingly generic, as though I was walking through a video game’s idea of what a waterfront business district looked like. The PATH train was the last leg of my trip there in the mornings and the first leg of my trip home at night. Sometimes I’d sit and drink a cup of coffee and write at the Starbucks next to the station first. Sometimes I’d be there late and I’d go straight to the station and begin the slow trip home.

After a while the routine got to me. The temporary platform to which the train ran in Manhattan made for a bleak start to the commute back, and the tendency of those waiting on the platform for the New Jersey-bound train to push their way on before those of us who were heading into the city had had a chance to disembark added to the frustration. Atop an already-jittery work situation, this seemed to be one source of stress that I had some ability to work around. So the trip home found some variations; I sought new ways to cross rivers.

I began to take a roundabout way home: a ferry from Jersey City to South Street Seaport, and then a second ferry from there to a stop closer to my neighborhood. A large boat on the East River, and a smaller boat to cross the Hudson. It was a welcome change; it was nice to sit and stand and look out and see the open sky, to watch the blue and the clouds above. The sensation of moving down the river with skylines on either side, the sense of being surrounded by life on all sides. There’s a certain point where the sky starts to seem like something alien, where cloud formations resemble structures and vessels hanging impossibly in the distance. I welcomed it.

It wasn’t an everyday occurrence. And for all that I live near a ferry stop, it isn’t really a service I use regularly. It is hard to argue with the frequency and utility of the city’s train systems. Even so, the drift and the different types of motion are welcome. It’s a reminder of something older and something rapid. It’s a trip out of the tunnel; it’s an elision of time and distance. It’s a crossing of an empty space, or the realization of new ways to move, and a welcome conveyance home. 


Tobias Carroll is the managing editor of Vol.1 Brooklyn. His writing has been published by Bookforum, Men's Journal, Tin House, Hazlitt, and Rolling Stone. He is the author of the collection Transitory and the novel Reel. He's on Twitter at @TobiasCarroll.

Islanders Like Me by Alanna Schubach

SONG: The Downeaster 'Alexa' by Billy Joel 

BODY OF WATER: Atlantic Ocean 


The year I was born, a hurricane made landfall on Long Island that sent gray Atlantic waves gobbling up the sand and slamming against the building where my family lived. We had a third floor apartment that faced the sea, nothing but a strip of beach between us. When I got a little older, my father would take me onto our terrace during storms to see bolts of lightning slice the water, or watch as the ocean slowly swallowed the sun.

As south shore kids, we bragged about our wipe-outs, how strong waves sucked us into themselves and sent us somersaulting until we could only guess which way led back to breathing. Once, a friend collided with another child’s boogie board and emerged onto the sand slicked with blood running from his nose. When his mother saw him, she fled in the other direction. Once our parents spotted a baby, upside down, chubby legs churning in the air after it tipped into one of the buckets of water we dragged up to our piece of beach, where we laid out towels and vinyl chairs, where the adults sat under umbrellas reading or talking nonsense or doling out pieces of fruit, occasionally hauling themselves up to stand at the shore and watch over us. The danger was part of the appeal, as was the discomfort, the sunburn, the sand collecting inside the crotches of bathing suits, the stripes of zinc under our eyes, the heavy sensation in our lungs when we took deep breaths after swimming for hours. During the day, our beach was populated with gentle characters: the sand sculptor who with his hands shaped huge turtles, the bagpiper bleating at all hours, the martial artist up at dawn doing tai chi by the jetty. But at night, the boardwalk became dotted with shambling figures that required a wide berth; they were left over from the deinstitutionalization of the 1970s, when city mental institutions discharged their patients to ancient motels lining the Long Beach sand.

When I was seven, we moved a few miles inland, to a town that was wealthier and whiter. And greener: here was your classic suburb of split-levels, sycamores, and well-groomed lawns. My brother and I were forbidden from watching television when the sun was out, so we pulled the neighbor kids from their air conditioning and onto the streets, which we crosshatched with chalk drawings. My parents started calling our house Camp Schubach, and we quickly forgot that it ever hadn’t been ours.

But something must have remained off-kilter. Once, while riding bikes down one of the smooth avenues of our neighborhood, a friend shared with me her prophecy: “You’re going to leave and I’m going to stay here, and every now and then you’ll come back and visit and tell me about where you went.” And the idea, Stay here, suddenly struck me as impossible; it provoked a disgust I couldn’t explain.

*

Last summer some friends and I drove out from Queens to the island to spend a weekend at the beach. Before we headed back to the city, we stopped at a diner. It was packed for Sunday breakfast, and as we waited to be seated, carful after carful of Long Islanders piled in behind us, surveyed the crowds, and proclaimed to whomever would listen, “I’m not fucking waiting.”

The situation, we learned over and over again, was bullshit, this place was poorly run, if a table didn’t open right away they were leaving. The pitch of their anger seemed at odds with the well-lit, bustling circumstances of the little diner, almost to the point of the surreal. But in fact it was familiar, the impatience and the aggravation, the suspicion that, absent constant vigilance, you will get fucked. Many Long Islanders do not have deep roots in this country; growing up, most everyone’s grandparents, including my own, had foreign accents. Perhaps it’s how they had to fight for their little pockets of affluence after who knows what kind of nightmare stops along the way, a fight passed down the generations but now missing a reasonable target. The hostility was like a gene activated at the onset of puberty; I remember wondering a few days into middle school, the kind of place where reading Lord of the Flies would have been redundant, is this what it’s going to be like? Where were the friendly beach clans, the children whose brutishness ended at carving up jellyfish with plastic sand shovels? So I found a new clan—the Goths—and made it my business to loathe Long Island, to make my outsider orientation clear to everyone.

Long Island can be shockingly provincial, its proximity to one of the world’s greatest cultural centers seemingly not a factor at all; it’s among the most racially segregated areas in the country, and in 2014 the state had to order school districts to enroll undocumented immigrant children, after they claimed to have no room for them. My brother’s peewee baseball coach once told the players to run like a pack of people were chasing them, using a slur to describe said people that is not appropriate for children or for anyone, and when I had my Bat Mitzvah, another girl told me that her mother disapproved of the whole proceeding because the invitation cards had been “too casual.” Often, people’s approval and disapproval seemed misplaced; what stoked their outrage had little to do, I thought and continue to think, with what was actually wrong.

We Goths felt that we alone knew this. We were imbued with the righteous authority to identify poseurs, followers, and Jewish American Princesses, to forge our own paths. What you feel you discover as an adolescent about your culture, its pettiness and justifications, its encouragement of the forfeiture of dreams and values, is not actually wrong; you just gradually become acclimated until you fall victim yourself, like being sucked under a wave, only very, very slowly.

My affection for Long Island has not exactly grown. I jettisoned my accent in college because students from the New York suburbs were widely known to be brash, entitled, and oblivious, about as appealing as an eight a.m. class. But it’s started to come back. I’ve found it makes me sound tough, if only to myself, when I want to seem like I’m not nervous or self-conscious. That edge of hostility, unfounded though it may be, imbues us with power. Holding onto misplaced rage is a form of self-harm, like holding a hot coal in your hand, but we can always throw that coal at someone else.

Maybe what we’re all angry about is being from Long Island. But none of us control where we come from; place of origin is as arbitrary as it is formative. Which may be why it’s so appealing to overlay our homelands with an ambitious sweep—which in turn explains Billy Joel.

The homegrown troubadour unites nearly all Long Islanders, be they Goth or poseur—though of course even he sings mostly about the city. “The Downeaster ‘Alexa’,” though, evokes a dream-Long Island, gritty, romantic, and sea-swept; it’s the ballad of a down-on-his-luck fisherman from a vanishing community, struggling to make a living off the same waters that hemmed us all in, left us vulnerable, formed an incubator for the kind of insular, territorial island culture that has at some points in history bred cannibalism. In the music video, a solemn-faced Joel plays an accordion on a crumbling dock and then underneath a boardwalk, intercut with images of bearded men shaking out damp fishing nets on ship decks. The song is so epic that it includes a violin solo by Itzhak Perlman. Its seriousness can be a little tough to take.       

But his brazen earnestness must be what people love about Billy Joel, why he is playing thirty consecutive shows at MSG this year. Long Islanders, too, often carry with them a touching streak of sincerity; my friend from Islip does an impression of a “classic Long Islander,” which is a middle-aged tough guy wandering nervously around a drugstore, looking for the tampon aisle because his girlfriend sent him out to get some.

“The Downeaster ‘Alexa’” concludes with a nod to Long Island’s social divisions: “There ain't no island left for islanders like me,” Joel sings. The track is at its heart a folk ballad about a vanishing nautical community, but hearing Billy Joel intone the phrase “islanders like me” almost feels like tacit permission to be just a little proud of coming from Long Island. And you can’t sing about it without singing about the water; the whole region’s saving grace may be its vulnerability to the natural world, which periodically makes sure to remind us that the apartment towers, the motels, the baseball fields and shopping malls and wedding venues, can be taken by the waves, the pettiness and provincialism is nothing against the mouth of the ocean, which can swallow it all as easy as it swallowed the sun every night when I watched from the terrace. 


Alanna Schubach is a teacher and freelance journalist living in Queens. Her fiction has previously appeared in Newtown Literary, Post Road, Prick of the Spindle, the Bellevue Literary Review, and more. She was named a 2015 Fellow in Fiction with the New York Foundation for the Arts.

 

Sea Elegy by Bobby Gagnon

OBJECT: dead giraffe

BODY OF WATER: New York Harbor


Music Credits:

Mark Brotter - Drums

Charlie Torres - Bass

Charlie Giordano - Keyboards

Martin Bisi - Door Hinge

Bobby Gagnon - Guitars

Engineered by Martin Bisi - BC Studios, Brooklyn, NY

Image Credit: Giraffe courtesy of John R. Hutchinson. Used by Permission.

Dead Horse Bay by the Deedle Deedle Dees


Words and music by Lloyd Miller

(c)(p) 2010

Broken baby dolls and animal bones
that’s what I found at Dead Horse Bay
Pets used to come here
and leave as glue
So if you hear a bark or neigh…

Put your Leopard-skin pocketbook on your shoulder… now sashay
Fill up your wooden pipe even though it’s far decayed
Shake your silver rattle, don’t listen to the sound
Pour your tea before the spout falls to the ground

Dead Horse Bay
Can Sitar Boy sing without a head?
Dead Horse Bay
Can a heel from a shoe walk without a leg?

These are the things we found while walking one day
along the beach at Dead Horse Bay
I’d like to come here,
leave as glue
hold together the next thing you make


The Deedle Deedle Dees are an educational rock band based in Brooklyn, NY. Since October 2003, the band has been entertaining family audiences with songs inspired by history and science–”Underground Railroad,” “Nellie Bly,” “Rancher Ants”–as well as simple movement-based tunes like “Play Your Hand” and “Vegetarian T-Rex.” The Dees current line-up features Ulysses S. Dee (aka Lloyd Miller, teacher) on upright bass, rhythm guitar and vocals; Innocent Dee (aka Anand Mukherjee, teacher) on lead guitar and vocals; Booker Dee (aka Chris Johnson, teacher, choir director) on keyboards, banjo, ukulele and accordion; and Otto Von Dee (aka Ely Levin, writer) on drums. You can find them online at www.thedeedledeedledees.com.

East River of My Devotion by Lindsay Sullivan


Watch video of Lindsay and her collaborator Doug Keith performing this song at the American Folk Art Museum here

 

Lyrics

I took the sea to the C

searching for ghosts at Dead Horse beach

a ship appeared to me

I swam out so I could see

"Come aboard my darlin

it's the last time I'll be callin

come aboard and sail with me."

We sailed along the water's edge

Brighton Beach over Dreamland

cut right and towards the bridge

first Brooklyn then Manhattan.

"It wont be long my darlin

until you are drownin

and you belong to the sea."

Then the wind began to blow,

lightning struck and hit my boat.

I swam hard but fell below

I sang out to the River, don't let me go.

"You are the waves to my ocean,

East River of my devotion

I'll drink your salt

I'll breathe your sea."

I sunk down onto my knees,

Threw my head down to Her Sandy feet,

I begged Her please to let me breathe,

one breath of Her Salty Sea.

"You are the waves to my ocean,

East River of my devotion

I'll drink your salt

I'll breathe your sea."

<>

And I became the River Bed,

Dead Fish, Stripped Cars and Soda Cans.

River City below Manhattan,

Piano Keys, Submarines and The Princess Ann. 

I am the waves to Your Ocean,

East River of our Devotion.

I drink Your Salt and 

I breathe Your Sea.

Yes I am the waves to Your Ocean,

East River of our Devotion.

I drink Your Salt and 

I breathe Your Sea.


Lindsay Sullivan is a student, yoga and meditation teacher, singer, songwriter and piano player living in Los Angeles. In 2008 she released her debut LP, Long Road Home with her band Clair. 

Songs for Underwater Ice Cream Trucks by Michael Hearst

OBJECT: Ice Cream Trucks

BODY OF WATER: The Rockaways

 


Listen to Michael Hearst's composition "Songs for Underwater Ice Cream Trucks." 

See the (shaky) video of Michael Hearst Underwater at the UNY launch party on board the Lightship Frying Pan here, and video of Michael Hearst at the Word for Word reading in Bryant Park here


Michael Hearst is a composer, multi-instrumentalist, writer, and producer. He is a founding member of the bandOne Ring Zero, which has released seven albums, including the acclaimed literary collaboration As Smart As We Are, featuring lyrics by Paul Auster, Margaret Atwood, Dave Eggers, and Neil Gaiman, among others. His most recent works include the solo albums Songs For Ice Cream Trucks and the forthcoming Songs For Unusual Creatures, the website Songs For Newsworthy News, and the soundtrack for the movie The Good Mother. As a writer, Michael’s work has appeared in such journals as McSweeney’sThe Lifted Brow, and Post Road. He hosts a podcast series with Rick Moody called 18:59 and is a producer for the website Cassette From My Ex. Hearst has performed and given lectures and workshops at universities, museums, and cultural centers around the world. He has toured with The Magnetic Fields, and performed with The Kronos Quartet at Carnegie Hall. Hearst has appeared on such shows as NPR’s Fresh Air, A+E’s Breakfast With The Arts, and NBC’s The Today Show.

Dreamland by Lawrence Kim and His Boss


Listen to the original song by Lawrence Kim and His Boss: Dreamland. 

You can also watch the live performance of this song at the Underwater New York launch party aboard the Lightship Frying Pan here.


 Lawrence Kim and His Boss are Lawrence Kim and Jen Black.