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Posted Jun 19th, 2014 (5:07 pm) by N. Neal Paradise
In Tribute: Michael Mangarella

We at Inyourspeakers Media have suffered a loss, creating a void that can never be filled. We recently lost Michael Mangarella, one of our best writers, to a fall and a head injury. He may have shuffled off this mortal coil, but we at IYS just can’t shake him. And y’know what? We don’t even want to.

Mike was hired by IYS in April of 2013, about 3 months after I was. I remember first noticing him at the weekly meeting of the Reviews team as the guy who talked a lot. And not mindless drivel, either – he put thought and meaning into every word he said. He just said a lot of them. His language was colorful, his stories were evocative, and he never failed to bring a laugh and a smile. Even amongst people for whom “a way with words” was not only commonplace but required, Mike was impressive. When I became Reviews Editor, he was at nearly every one of my meetings. And in March when he took a hiatus to take care of his health and his ailing mother, part of me didn’t expect to hear from him again; that’s just the business we’re in. But he DID come back, and his writing was better than ever.

In the business of music journalism, especially in a singular setting like this one (no office, all online), it’s easy to become bogged down by what you have to do, so much so that you forget what you get to do. Mike never did, though. He loved writing for IYS. Every single week, his excitement for both the chance to write and the material he was writing about was palpable, overwhelming and contagious. The most consistent thing he did for everyone on the team, myself included, was remind us just how great it is that we do what we do. I mean, we get to write about music! It combines what we do best with what we love best! How great is that? For that, I owe him a great debt.

Mike’s writing contributions that we’ll now be without leave one type of hole, but the bigger type is not having him around anymore – Mike, the funny guy who always had a story, a corny joke, or a turn of phrase that had even us language-obsessed geeks in stitches. He was singular in my mind, occupying a place no one else could touch, and I’ll always think of him fondly.

So I’m inviting all of you to raise your metaphorical glasses to Metaphor Mike. Gone from this world, but never from our hearts.

Here are a few of Mike's best reviews. As you'll see, his positive reviews were almost as good as his negative ones.

Centro-Matic: Take Pride In Your Long Odds
Chasing Dragons: Checkmate
Lullatone: While Winter Whispers
The Lowest Pair: 36 Cents
Magik Markers: Surrender to the Fantasy
A Perfect Circle: Three Sixty
Monista: Isla
Pretty Lights: A Color Map of the Sun

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