Marc Bain

Stories by Marc Bain

  • Mark Mulcahy: A Musical Lifeboat

    In his 25-year career, Mark Mulcahy has never had a hit, but he's had his successes—opening for Jeff Buckley; getting a chapter in Songbook, Nick Hornby's collection of essays on music; and earning high-profile fans. REM frontman Michael Stipe admits he "took more than a few pages" from the songwriter.Stipe is one of many singers on Ciao My Shining Star: The Songs of Mark Mulcahy. It's what you might call a tribute album, though it's more of a musical lifeboat. Mulcahy's wife, Melissa, died unexpectedly last September, at 41, from causes the family has not disclosed. In addition to Mark, she left behind 3-year-old twin daughters. Losing Melissa meant not only losing his biggest inspiration. He also has no one to care for the girls, which means he can't tour or leave home to record. All the artists on Ciao, including Thom Yorke and Frank Black, donated their recordings so that all royalties can go to Mulcahy. "All of a sudden someone tells you there's this record being made for your...
  • Settlements: A Stumbling Block to Mideast Peace

    The U.S. wants peace talks to resume this fall but says israel must halt construction in the West Bank. Israel has dismantled some "outposts" but says other settlements are off limits and need to continue their "natural growth." What separates one settlement from another? History, location, and population. Main areas of interest: ...
  • Worth It: David Lynch's Interview Project

    One of the subjects in the Interview Project, an on-the-fly Web documentary series hosted by surrealist filmmaker David Lynch, is a round-faced man named Clinton, who shares an experience he had years ago at a Stevie Nicks concert. Her singing, he says, opened up a "sixth sense" in him. When his mother died years later, he had planned to commit suicide, but it was Nicks's songs that saved him. The story would be a laugh if it weren't so wrenching. He believes in his tale of -ecstatic salvation. (Story continued below...)The project's interviews, each a glancing few minutes and filmed during a 70-day, 20,000-mile road trip led by Lynch's son, Austin and a friend, largely feature Americans living on the margins. The elder Lynch introduces them in his halting, deadpan way, and his site will post a new clip every three days for a year. Depression, confusion and abuse are recurring themes. A woman named Lynn, abused as a child, calls herself "broken." But viewed as a whole, the project...
  • Space: China's Display Of Strength

    An apparent explosion in space on Jan. 11 resounded loudly on Earth last week after U.S. officials announced that China had successfully conducted its first-ever test of an antisatellite weapon.The test, in which China destroyed one of its own weather satellites with a ballistic missile, brought "expressions of concern" from the United States, Britain, Japan and Australia that it would spark an antisatellite arms race. Some experts speculated the launch was a ploy to force the U.S. into negotiating a weapons ban. "The Bush administration has been rattling its sword to say 'We dominate space'," said Philip Coyle, a senior adviser to the Center for Defense Information. "China is saying, 'No you don't'."
  • Demographics: Saying Goodbye to the Burbs

    People aren't just fleeing the cities. They're fleeing the suburbs, migrating to the outermost metropolitan fringes, according to new Census Bureau population estimates detailing growth patterns for the first half of the decade. Some counties, like Flagler, Fla., grew more than 50 percent; others, like Mississippi, Ark., lost nearly 8 percent of its residents. Other areas of interest? Buckle up, folks:Why the 17% drop in Blaine County, Neb.? That's what happens when 99 people leave a county of 583.Basil Huffman, board of commissioners chair for Forest County, Pa., says a new correctional facility in Marienville (2,030 beds, 700 employees) helped bump population 16%Loudoun County , Va., about 30 miles from D.C., grew 50.7% due to high-paying jobs at high techsHuge gains in Florida, but Monroe County is down 4.1%. The cost of living has skyrocketed due, in part, to high premiums on storm insurance, says county Mayor Charles McCoy.McKinley County, N.M., shrank 4%, but borders counties...