Will It Play in Peoria?

Collage by the author

“Will it play in Peoria?” Ever since I left the heart of Illinois, this phrase has been a constant rejoinder when I divulge my hometown to new acquaintances.  Strangely enough, during my morning commute from Santa Fe to Los Alamos a few months ago, my own car radio reminded me that not even the sparsely populated mountains of Northern New Mexico can insulate me from that famous idiom:

Will It Play In Peoria?

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The Celebrities of Your Town


Cities bereft of a centralizing celebrity culture (i.e. cities that are not Los Angeles or New York) take an unusual pride in the famous people who were born in, grew up in, or once passed through them. Somehow a half-interesting bit of trivia about a movie star’s origin takes on more significance than it probably should.… Read More

Creative Ambition and Places That Aren’t New York or L.A.

It's My Thing

I saw a band play the other night, enjoyed it, and as I’m wont to do when I enjoy a band live, I moseyed over to the band’s “merch” booth, ready to happily part with some hard-earned cash. (By the way, the band was Columbus’ Psychic Wheels, whose sound, if I were a music critic, I would resort to a facile “Buzzcocks meet Beat Happening” description in an attempt to communicate their awesomeness.) You can usually tell how good or bad a band is by a glance at their “merch” booth.… Read More