Karim Doumar

Headin’ on down

Cutting Room Floor

The first time I heard those shouting, happy voices declare that there were only 15 miles to the love shack, I had no idea what they were talking about. It would be many years before I figured out that my family’s favorite roadtrip song described unholy and uncouth acts of
Read More…

Stacey Nguyen_online

Riding the ‘70s sad girls wave

Cutting Room Floor

Grief comes in waves, and these waves never go away permanently. During the last few years of his life, my paternal grandpa brought our family to the beach twice every summer. He was too frail to come down to the sand, so he enjoyed the view from the picnic area.
Read More…

MadelineWellsOnline

Picking up the pipe dream

Songs of Myself

Sitting in my apartment alone a few weeks ago, I started to enter full-on crisis mode. As usual, I was listening to Twenty One Pilots and getting emotional. No homework tonight? One large helping of existential crisis coming right up, ma’am. I was thinking about my future — a recipe
Read More…

Kayla Oldenburg_online

Becoming brandless

Cutting Room Floor

I used to never know any songs at any party I went to because my personal brand was, “I don’t know what song this is because I only listen to obscure genres no youth living in this century listens to.” And after attending enough functions to feel entirely left out
Read More…

MadelineWellsOnline

Finding my (sound) soulmate

Songs of Myself

Wracked with indecision, I scribbled furiously into my butterfly-adorned songwriting notebook. I drew three columns underneath a haphazardly written title: “3 Versions of Me.” Separated by lines were three options. One: acoustic singer-songwriter. Two: punk chick. Three: indie rocker. I had hoped getting it down on paper would make my
Read More…

Miyako Singer_online

Unburying my Internet self

Cutting Room Floor

“My name is Madrid, but call me Maddy. A real JAP, a Japanese-Jewish American Princess.” So read the excruciating bio of my old Polyvore account, a social media platform where you make and share “sets,” digital clothing collages that showcase capitalism at its finest. In case there was any confusion,
Read More…

MadelineWellsOnline

Making time for music

Songs of Myself

I packed up my keyboard, my acoustic guitar, my microphone and my recording software, all stuffed snugly into the back of my mom’s SUV. All summer long, I’d been worrying about how I was going to fit all my instruments into a tiny Unit 3 double. Unable to cope with
Read More…

Eda-Yo-full

Beauty, a bit on the nose

Cutting Room Floor

When I was 11, I would’ve sold my soul for a nose job. There isn’t anything particularly hideous about my nose. Its bridge rises higher than most Asian noses, forming a little bump before declining into a bulbous, downward-sloping tip. Its round shape even allows me to move the cartilage
Read More…

MadelineWellsOnline

What do I do with my hands?

Songs of Myself

If you’re anything like me, class presentations are essentially the ninth circle of hell. When confronted with a room full of eyes focused on whatever dumb shit is about to come out of my mouth, my mind goes completely blank. What are words? How do I use them? Why is
Read More…

MadelineWellsOnline

The ‘keys’ to success

Songs of Myself

I stood in front of the merch table with my too-indie-for-you 16-year-old friends, quivering with excitement and nerves as I prepared to meet my idol. It was a school night, and I’d convinced my parents to let me attend a Jukebox the Ghost concert via a highly persuasive PowerPoint presentation.
Read More…