Best Of 2012, Guest Editors: The Old Ceremony’s Django Haskins On E.B. White’s “Here Is New York”

As 2012 comes to an end, we are taking a look back at some of our favorite posts of the year by our guest editors.

The Old Ceremony, the orchestral-pop quintet Django Haskins has led since 2004, just released its fifth album, Fairy Tales And Other Forms Of Suicide. The band’s first LP for Yep Roc is also its first to receive a vinyl pressing, as well as its first to be released in Europe. In other words, it’s the perfect time for a provocative album title. Like many of the reinvented and rejuvenated performers the band now calls label mates (such as Robyn Hitchcock, Nick Lowe, John Doe and Paul Weller), the Old Ceremony makes music unencumbered by the ever-shifting demands of new and now. Haskins will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our brand new Old Ceremony feature.

Haskins: There are a lot of clever writers out there these days. Brooklyn cranks them out like the world’s most efficient English post-doc genius factory. But rarely will you find a stylist so precise, so elegant as E.B. White in this classic essay about New York. “On any person who desires such queer prizes, New York will bestow the gift of loneliness and the gift of privacy,” White begins. Each compact sentence expands in the mind like a drinking straw wrapper dropped into water. Every word matters. In a world of universal blogorrhea, the value of this lost art can’t be overstated.

Video after the jump.