Chicago-based music critic Jessica Hopper disdains introductory tedium. Were I to mimic her style, we'd be off and running by now, or grappling with a question that shoots straight to the topic's heart. When this anthology's forty-two think-pieces, reviews, and ephemera first appeared in Village Voice, Chicago Reader, SPIN and elsewhere, a few words of context may have preceded each of them. Here, we just have bald beginnings such as 'Kurt Cobain died for somebody's sins, but not mine', 'The first thing I noticed was that Michael Jackson was gone', and '"People used to compare him to Jesus", says a backstage manager as David Bazan walks off stage, guitar in hand. "But not so much anymore".'