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The Year in Music: 2008

Actress Scarlett Johansson released a truly weird record. Anywhere I Lay My Head is an album of (mostly) Tom Waits cover songs sung by Johansson as a sub-alto, bizarro-universe Annie Lennox. Her voice is actually more grating than Waits’, if you can imagine that. But fans of Waits may enjoy these interpretations. And there’s a chance that Johansson’s stylings may be an acquired taste, though I very much doubt this is true.

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Essays

Open wounds

She marched past me with purpose, not even noticing me, it seemed. Her eyes shimmered. I could almost hear her heart breaking when she tried the door and found it locked. She turned back toward me and spoke for the first time.

And she began pouring her heart out to me. She was in tears as she spoke. The fresh grief of her infant grandson’s death was raked up and torn open by an act that was probably contemplated for all of thirty seconds.

In one reckless decision, a woman’s soul was wrung out; and there were still tears left to fall.