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Nick Jaina's Little Box of Lies: In Search of Real Tomatoes


Four years ago, on the day of my 30th birthday, I woke up despondent due to foolishly misplaced desires. I couldn't bring myself to answer my phone, which was ringing with birthday wishes. Instead, I decided to drive out to the coast to be by myself. I wandered around until I discovered the Columbian Cafe in Astoria. (Appropriate that it's named after Columbus and I said I "discovered" it even tho...   More
Friday, December 16, 2011 by Nick Jaina

Nick Jaina's Little Box of Lies: All You Have to Do


If you haven't read the wonderful book "Just Kids" by Patti Smith, you absolutely have to. Actually, you don't have to. Only read it if you love New York, or if you love music, or if you love the 1960's, or the 1970's, or if you love "love," or if you love the world. The book is about Patti Smith moving to New York and meeting Robert Mapelthorpe, and about them wanting to be a artists and be free...   More
Friday, December 9, 2011 by Nick Jaina

Nick Jaina's Little Box of Lies: How to Write a Song


I am not any superior authority on the music business, and for that matter on music leisure. I don't know a lot about music history or music literature. But, over the course of writing this column, the subject of songwriting has come up often, and so I thought it would be pertinent to offer my guide on how to write a song. I think you will find this information informational and informative whethe...   More
Friday, December 2, 2011 by Nick Jaina

Nick Jaina's Little Box of Lies: Unless You Love

On Andy Rooney, liking everything and a formula for writing the perfect song.


I used to think that the purpose of being mature and refined was to be critical. That the only way to properly display expertise was to shoot down something perceived as lesser. That a life spent learning a certain craft meant that I had to be the biggest snob about that craft, forever standing with my arms crossed picking apart anyone offering their version of it. My particular life pursuit—the...   More
Friday, November 18, 2011 by Nick Jaina

Nick Jaina's Little Box of Lies: A Simple Prop to Occupy My Time

Nick Jaina's column returns to address the Occupy protests, meaning and T-shirts


I was in line for a comedy show last week in New York City. Standing next to me was a young woman talking on her cell phone to a friend back home. She was telling her friend about all the things she's been doing in New York lately. At one point she said, "And then we walked past those insane protesters on Wall Street and laughed at them. They're just a bunch of homeless people complaining in the p...   More
Friday, October 28, 2011 by Nick Jaina

Nick Jaina's Little Box of Lies: The Benefits of Obscurity


People don't really want to know how music is made, just like they don't really want to know how sausage is made. They might have a brief interest in the pulled-out guts, the ground-up assholes (here I'm talking about the music business—oh, did you think I was talking about sausage still?), but when it comes down to it, we just want to believe that it's all magic; that we can turn on the faucet ...   More
Friday, August 5, 2011 by Nick Jaina

Nick Jaina's Little Box of Lies: Starting a Conversation After the End of the World


Whenever I encounter someone I don't like, I try to relax and think about a long time from now, after our sun has died out and all the stars in the sky have collapsed and all the matter in the universe reverses course and hurtles toward one infinitesimally small point in a Reverse Big Bang. Every particle that has ever existed—you, Oprah, every person that you've ever loved and hated, city buses, hair spray, your lost mix-tapes, the early notes for the lyrics to the Eagles' "Takin' It Easy"—all of that will coalesce into one little point MUCH smaller than the elevator in an old building, and we will all have to learn how to get along and find something to talk about. For at least one billionth of a second, that is. Until the universe Big Bangs again.   More
Friday, May 27, 2011 by Nick Jaina

Nick Jaina's Little Box of Lies: I Saw Secret Positions That We Never Try, I Saw Jealousy

Nick Jaina

You go to a party in Los Angeles, up in the Hollywood Hills. It's the house of a television actor. The house is bigger than any house you can ever imagine owning, even if everything in your life were to go really well. Right when you arrive you are shuffled into a little room where a dozen people are watching a man perform magic tricks. He's really good. He makes the cards disappear and reappear a...   More
Friday, May 20, 2011 by Nick Jaina

Nick Jaina's Little Box of Lies: If You had to Perform a Show but Weren't Allowed to Sing or Play Music, You'd be left with Stand-Up Comedy

Nick Jaina

It took me a long time to realize that no matter what we do or how old we get, we'll never stop telling the story of our lives. And it's not just because the story keeps changing, although that's part of it. But there will always be someone that hasn't heard your story, even if you just finished telling your story perfectly five minutes ago and you're on your death bed and you don't feel like tell...   More
Friday, May 13, 2011 by Nick Jaina

Nick Jaina's Little Box of Lies: Recorded Music has Possibly Turned us all into Shallow, Demanding Aristocrats


Recording an album is a specific form of insanity. This is clear to anyone. What is curious is that so many people are interested in willfully hurtling themselves towards catching an ever-shrinking horizon such as this. I can isolate three main reasons why anyone would want to record an album: 1) "Let's see if we can do it! Recording an album! Like the Beatles! That would be awesome!" 2) "We're going to make it big as a band! Like the Beatles! We gotta record an album!" 3) "There are some things I have to get off my chest. Like John Lennon did with the Beatles. I need to record an album."
Friday, May 6, 2011 by Nick Jaina
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