Shuja Haider

is a bookstore worker who has written about music for Little White Earbuds and Resident Advisor.

The Singer in the Subway: Damon C. Scott and Storm Queen

The Singer in the Subway: Damon C. Scott and Storm Queen

In 2007, Wash­ing­ton Post colum­nist Gene Wein­garten and Grammy Award-winning clas­si­cal vio­lin­ist Joshua Bell teamed up to play a prank on com­muters in Wash­ing­ton, DC’s pub­lic trans­porta­tion sys­tem. Weingarten’s account of what he called “an exper­i­ment in con­text, per­cep­tion and priorities—as well as an unblink­ing assess­ment of pub­lic taste” appeared in a Post arti­cle called “Pearls Before Break­fast.” It describes how Bell stood in the L’Enfant Plaza Sta­tion pos­ing as a sub­way busker, and per­formed a selec­tion of clas­si­cal pieces typ­i­cal of his con­certs. He played them on his Gib­son ex Huber­man Stradivarius—a 300-year-old piece of wood that is val­ued at $3.5 million.

No One Famous Ever Came From Here: Joe Paterno in State College

No One Famous Ever Came From Here: Joe Paterno in State College

Novem­ber 8, 2011. I was shoot­ing pool at State College’s best dive bar when the bouncer came run­ning in, his face flushed with excite­ment. Accord­ing to TV news, he told us, the Penn State Board of Trustees had just fired foot­ball coach Joe Paterno. Though Paterno had already declared his inten­tion to retire at the end of the sea­son, after alle­ga­tions that he had con­doned an ongo­ing pat­tern of child molesta­tion by assis­tant coach Jerry San­dusky, the trustees decided they couldn’t wait. Paterno would not be coach­ing that Saturday’s home game.