This summer I have taken it upon myself to tackle John Steinbeck’s American epic East of Eden, a modern retelling of the biblical Cain and Abel story set to the backdrop of post-Gold Rush era Northern California—that is, Steinbeck’s own backyard. Summer is, for students at least, that blessed time of intellectual freedom during which schoolwork means almost nothing to you and you are free to read, write, study, and contemplate whatever you wish.
A couple weeks ago, legendary shoegaze band My Bloody Valentine released their first album in twenty-two years. The press surrounding the release of m b v was as extensive as any I’ve seen for a musical release in quite a long time. Why? What’s the big deal about this band coming back after so long?
“These are Alma’s and the film’s first words. A cynic will scoff, but no, give a serious thought to this idea. How many of us have the courage to dream – how many of us have the courage to dispense with cynicism and see our dreams come true?”
The performance was viscerally compelling. Immersed in evolving harmonies and asymmetrical rhythms, I found myself transported to a space outside the predictable and rigid schedules of junior spring, of deadlines and word counts, into a rustic, sunlit world where patterns existed to be deconstructed and reformed.