Over the Rhine Presents a Christmas Playlist

Looking Closer's month-long celebration of Christmas music continues with a new Christmas music playlist as imagined by Linford Detweiler and Karin Bergquist of Over the Rhine.If you're just joining us, we're well along in our playlist series. So far, I've published imaginative programs of music from Joe Henry, Ashley Cleveland, Sara Zarr, and Alissa Wilkinson.Then, yesterday, I interviewed Linford Detweiler about Over the Rhine's new Christmas album.Here now, is what Over the Rhine … [Read more...]

Sara Zarr Presents a Christmas Playlist

2014 marked the tenth anniversary of my friendship with YA novelist Sara Zarr.In the decade since we happened to sit down at the same table for a fiction workshop led by author Erin McGraw, Sara has written five of the best-reviewed new YA novels. (She became a National Book Award finalist for her first. Not too shabby.) She's also collaborated on, or contributed to, a variety of multi-author books (Jesus Girls, edited by poet and writer Hannah Faith Notess) and journals (including Image … [Read more...]

Looking Elsewhere: Blood Oranges, Image, Hurray for the Riff Raff, PJ Harvey, Lightsabers, P.D. James, and More.

The last couple of weeks have been full of terrible news and similarly terrible shows of hard-heartedness and prejudice, with the headlines dominated by violence, racism, injustice, riots, and worse. Thus, I've been especially drawn to rare flashes of goodness, humor, and grace.Some of those have come in the form of the Christmas party playlists that I've published here at the blog, thanks to Joe Henry, Ashley Cleveland, and several more that I'll post in the coming days.And here are a … [Read more...]

Meet Me At the Edge Of the World: Over the Rhine Arrives at a Place Called Home

“Jesus come… turn my world around!”That was singer Karin Bergquist’s soulful appeal in the song “Changes Come,” the fiercest, most emotional moment of Over the Rhine’s 2003 double-album Ohio."Changes Come" was written in the aftermath of the attacks on America, during a time of heightening strife in the Middle East. Moreover, it was a time when Bergquist and her husband, Linford Detweiler — the other half of the Over the Rhine partnership — weren’t sure if their marriage would recover fro … [Read more...]

Look! Wes Anderson Winners, Over the Rhine, James Bond, “Anna Karenina,” “Lincoln,” Twitter, Wim Wenders, Aimee Mann, Scott Derrickson, Sara Zarr, and “The Kid With a Bike”

Look!These links caught my attention today, for one reason or another.Check back later. I may add more look-worthy links as the day goes on. … [Read more...]

Linford Detweiler of Over the Rhine interviews Joe Henry in Image

The new issue of Image is out! Order yours today.In the meantime, you can get a preview online... … [Read more...]

Over the Rhine, The Long Surrender: Track 2, “The Sharpest Blade”

Here is the second part in my review of Over the Rhine's The Long Surrender. (Part One, "The Laugh of Recognition," is here.)Thanks for your patience. I told you I was going to take my time and do this right. Here goes... … [Read more...]

Over the Rhine, The Long Surrender: Track 1, “The Laugh of Recognition”

Over the next few weeks, I’m going to post thoughts on Over the Rhine’s The Long Surrender... my favorite album of 2010… and 2011 (so far).The band's website calls The Long Surrender a 2011 release, but since almost all of their fans had the album in hand long before we hung up new 2011 calendars, I think of it as a 2010 record. Produced with exquisite textures and depth by Joe Henry, it’s my favorite album of the band's 20-year career. Why haven't I reviewed it yet? Simply because I haven't … [Read more...]

Over the Rhine will orchestrate the sunset in Seattle on Monday

To celebrate Over the Rhine's upcoming outdoor concert at Bumbershoot in Seattle (It's supposed to be an 80-degree day!), I've brought back three different conversations I've had with Linford Detweiler over the last 11 years. … [Read more...]


Over the Rhine is enjoying an excellent 2011 so far.Their fan-funded album The Long Surrender, my personal favorite from their entire 20-year catalog, is enjoying rave reviews all over the place. One of the highlights of their current success came last week, when they were interviewed on NPR's "All Things Considered." … [Read more...]