Chris DeLine

Cedar Rapids, IA

Beyond Trinity Lane

Published in Blog, villin. Tags: , , .

“I heard Bruce Springsteen say something along the lines of ‘the beauty of a song is that the meaning changes from person to person.’ So why take that away from people by spelling out how I wrote this exactly about that? I’ve done that, but I’m starting to lay back on it a little. A song can mean […]

The Action is Go

Published in Blog.

There’s an album by the band Fu Manchu called The Action is Go. I bought it in 1997 at a Best Buy-style store in Calgary called Future Shop. I had never heard of the band but the album cover had this rad skater on it and I figured that probably meant the music was cool. […]


Published in Blog.

I’ve been reading Rebecca Solnit’s 2005 book A Field Guide to Getting Lost, in which the author “explores wandering, being lost, and the uses of the unknown.” The book landed on my to-read list a few years ago, and has quickly paid positive dividends by bringing to words a feeling I hadn’t been able to […]

We Live to Survive Our Paradoxes

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“As the Tragically Hip’s lead singer and lyricist,” wrote CBC’s John Mazerolle last month in memoriam of the group’s frontman, “[Gord] Downie was the face and voice of a band whose discography sold more than eight million copies. The band’s propulsive, muscular rock, coupled with intense live performances and Downie’s cryptic, literary lyrics, allowed the […]

FJØRA Interview

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Born in Canada and now stationed in New York City, FJØRA isn’t a traditional “Nashville artist,” despite the roots of her debut release being firmly planted in the city’s musical landscape. Having moved to Nashville to attend Belmont, she expanded her presence in the city’s scene following her graduation last year, establishing herself within an […]

The Conversation

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I’m not sure when I wrote this, but when I did, I did so as one side of an imaginary conversation between a frustrated personal trainer (something I was at the time) and a disillusioned client (something else I was at the time). The premise embarrasses me now. I packed all the emotional-boosting know-how I […]

Jon Santana

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“I used to get kind of stressed about my age,” says Jon Santana, sitting outside Steadfast Coffee in Germantown, reflecting in between sips of a coffee soda. “Especially when I was twenty-one [or] twenty-two. I was like, ‘Zedd’s twenty-three – I got two more years! I gotta make it!’” But that sense of artistic dread […]

Magnetic Forces

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“Lots of people think they’re thriving, and all they’re doing is surviving,” reflected Aaron McNutt (aka MC Nutts), speaking of his rhymes on Magnetic Forces’s “VITAL VINYL.” “And I’ve been there, so I recognize that.” The meaning behind McNutt’s personal favorite from the duo’s new album, The Vision on Multiple Occasions ÷x​+​-, eclipses his prescribed […]

Iron Maiden at Bridgestone Arena (Nashville, TN)

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Photos of Iron Maiden taken June 13, 2017 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, TN.

Kevin Kendall

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“I always half-assed doing something in those first seven years,” says Kevin Kendall, reflecting on his time in Nashville prior to relocating to South Western Mexico in 2014. “The Mexico thing was me deciding to do something different, and I wasn’t sure if I was coming back here or not.” Having moved to Nashville from […]

Ten Years of Becoming

Published in Strays.

Everyone has a story, and most of it isn’t interesting. Very little of what was spoken between them remains in his memory except a prediction: That ten years later she was bound to be impressed by the person he’d become. It’s been nine years since they’ve spoken, but for all the words he could have […]

An Intersection

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“It’s a big thing that’s present in the white liberal community. That, ‘I’m talking about it so I’m doing something.’ No, you’re just talking about it. And you’re talking about it usually to other white liberals. You’re not really doing anything here. Talking is not action. Don’t just look at what you say. Look at […]

Good Friday

Published in Strays.

Getting to there from here has almost always felt like the point. This moment, just something to bear on the way to right now becoming something better. This experience a lesser version of what I’m really preparing for. And suddenly the future disappears. With countless conversations touting the value of mindfulness behind me, a feeling […]

My Town

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What’s to make of the city as its population continues to change, the transplants quickly outweighing the natives, yesterday’s vision being resurfaced by an incoming freshman class of civilian? In that pocket of confusion, the circumstances of this city’s facelift served as a fine excuse to guard myself from committing to whatever any of this […]


Published in Strays.

“Imaginary flirtations with the second amazing waitress of the day float through my mind as we drive home for the night, a bleak country-sized horizon lit up by the high-beams. I feel lucky.” Memory of writing down those words has left me, but the vision of those high-beams has stuck, us driving away from the […]

The Paper

Published in Strays.

I got that corner early and didn’t earn much — only made about seven bucks by then — when he showed up with his girl. You could see he was an addict. It was all about the attitude. It was all about me-me-me, take-take-take, but I got it all on my camera. All of it. […]

The Internet

Published in Strays.

Where my mind forgets, The Internet remembers. That sticky residue of the past like sap, a historical cache of connections, moments, and memories sticking to a person with the frightening permanence of an industrial adhesive. Everything stored in the cloud, held in a weightless currency of bits and bytes while its heaviness is immeasurable. The […]

Living Well

Published in Strays.

“What need is there to weep over parts of life? The whole of it calls for tears.” —Seneca How does the saying go, “The best revenge is living well”? Isn’t that the truth? Looking out over the balcony, there’s a calm to the traffic — no horns, no revving of engines, no screeching tires or […]

Walk of Shame

Published in Strays.

“Let me stop you right there – this isn’t going down like I think you think you want it to go down.” Those weren’t the words she used, but they’re close enough. The impression of what she said is what lingers. She’s met him before. This has happened before. Maybe he hurt her before, or […]

Given to Fly

Published in Strays.

It seemed out of place, like a leftover relic from when he had fewer reasons to be careful. That was a different time, and now when he spoke he did so with caution. He was guarded with his delivery and his eyes weren’t always there — it sounds stupid, but it was his ink that […]

Through the Woods and Far Away

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The ghost of scarcity plagues this town. As a child, growing up in Illinois playing music with your family, your vision of success peaked with the concept of being paid to play music. The utmost achievement was a few dollars collected in return for a performance. But our dreams all tend to shift, and in […]

Another Queen

Published in Strays.

Royalty in passing, a red carpet is laid out for you in my mind. Who you really are never seems to cross my thoughts though, because in that moment you are grand — a leader of nations, powerful enough to sway the will of men with a wave of the hand yet wise enough to […]