The Riddle of Robert Johnson

Here at Insomnia, we love the strange crossroads of hardscrabble blues and high weirdness that come together in the life of legendary singer/songwriter/guitarist Robert Johnson. The story of the blues pioneer finds the gifted musician rejected by his family, living the reckless, itinerant life of a musician, drinking heavily, womanizing, dying mysteriously and infamously associating [...]

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Stanley Kubrick on the Moon

Yesterday we marked the anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing and today we’re reminded of the first human footprints on the lunar surface. What may have been a “small step for man” may have been an epic studio production for cinematic sorcerer Stanley Kubrick. According to researcher Jay Weidner, we actually landed on the [...]

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LORE at Corvidae Collective

If you missed the Art Crawl last Saturday night and you’re craving a gallery fix, let me suggest this fun event tomorrow afternoon at Corvidae Collective in The Arcade in downtown Nashville. LORE is an exhibition of work exploring and celebrating fairy tales and folk myths from around the world. I’ve seen a few of [...]

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Haunting Goatman’s Bridge

Was casting about for some weirdness to post here when I got into a quick chat with Chris Charbonneau on Facebook. A few quick clicks around on his page uncovered a paranormal phenomenon that I wasn’t familiar with: It’s a story about America’s haunted history of racism and violence that may have resulted in an [...]

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The Witch of Kings Cross

This year we’re remembering the passing of Rosaleen Norton, 35 years ago in 1979. The infamous Australian occultist and artist lived the bohemian life of an artist in the red light district of Kings Cross, Sydney. Norton lived openly as a witch and created then-shocking paintings that found her demonized in the tabloids and targeted [...]

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Celebrate Summer Soltice with Insomnia

Here at Insomnia we’re anticipating a great summer celebration this Saturday, June 21st — no doubt many regular readers are planning revels of their own. With that in mind, check out this amazing 24 hour broadcast of live Indian ragas courtesy of WKCR in New York. The music started last night at midnight and will [...]

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American Witch

While the date varies depending on the source, sometime within the last 48 hours, way back in 1647, the first American woman was executed in Salem, Massachusetts for being a witch. Achsah Young was hanged for using her knowledge of natural herbs to cure her neighbors of their ills. In 1692, 24 alleged witches were [...]

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10 Years of Insomnia

This month, Joe Nolan’s Insomnia is celebrating an important anniversary. In May of 2004, I opened up a Blogger account and started writing this illuminated scroll. Blogging was just becoming mainstream at that time and everybody was doing it. I didn’t really have a subject in mind for Insomnia, I just wanted to share thoughts [...]

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Loch Ness Monster on Apple Maps

Given the multimedia mediation of our experience of the space around us, it was only a matter of time before this kind of speculation became a part of our virtual dialog. Did internet users spot the Loch Ness Monster on Apple Maps or is this just a trick of light and shadow? The important point [...]

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Brion Gysin Speaks

Brion Gysin is one of my favorite painters and his writing is an undervalued commodity. A counterculture fixture, Gysin is best known for his cut-up collaborations with William S. Burroughs and his role in creating the Dream Machine. Here is Gysin live in London in 1982, lecturing on the possibilities of teaching creativity. Gysin dives [...]

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