Columns

Thursday, September 3 2015

Cacophonies and Heavenly Choruses: A Cure for the Classical Blues

Is there any term in any field that is more slippery or meaningless or that carries such impossible, historically artificial burdens of meaning as "Classical Music"?


Bingham Prize Winner Jack Livings on Imagining China

Award-winning fiction writer Jack Livings discusses his new book, The Dog, and the importance of writing with moral purpose.


Wednesday, September 2 2015

Could YouTube Help Bernie Sanders—and Hurt Hillary Clinton?

Hillary Clinton may be the Democratic establishment's favorite, but on the Internet, social media users are feelin' the Bern.


Monday, August 31 2015

For Jazz and Gospel Artists and Audiences, Music Is Their Faith, and Faith Is Their Rock

Black music's spiritual aspect may be a given, but two new books, A City Called Heaven and Spirits Rejoice! go deep into explaining how that actually happens.


Friday, August 28 2015

Shrines of Supremacy: The Five Best Riverside Songs (So Far)

With Love, Fear and the Time Machine, arriving next month, it's worth discussing why these five tracks make Polish quartet Riverside one of the best modern prog rock bands.


Thursday, August 27 2015

George Carlin: Philosopher, Poet, Preacher

Few comedians have aimed for the mind over the funny bone (while still reaching both) quite like George Carlin has.


Wednesday, August 26 2015

John Moreland Restores Hope in a Hopeless World

John Moreland sings tales that crawl through the soil, hiss in the night, and burrow themselves into the heartpocket of listeners.


Tuesday, August 25 2015

‘Spirits Rejoice!’ Takes a New Look Into an Old Tradition

Scholar Jason C. Bivins thinks through more difficult aspects of the relationships between jazz and American religions, while at the same time examining the permeability of both.


Monday, August 24 2015

Contemplations on the Nature of Truth: True Crime and Dark Empathy

How well can one digest murdertainment's darkest elements?


Friday, August 21 2015

Yellow Fever and Yum-Yum Girls

Multiple versions of the classic story The World of Suzie Wong offer different takes on a social phenomenon, but can any of them escape the biases of their authors?


Thursday, August 20 2015

Why the Arcade Matters

The arcade snatched video games from the rarefied spaces of industry and academia, making playing video games into a truly populist pastime.


Wednesday, August 19 2015

What About the Victim of the Victim of Homophobia?

Recent televisions shows are focusing attention on the plight of the spouses of gay men and lesbians. But is it enough to make their lives less traumatic?


Tuesday, August 18 2015

‘Fresh Romance’ and ‘Island’ Signal a Revival of the Anthology Periodical

The periodical anthology, or comics magazine, allows for a variety of experiments with form that may not otherwise fit into conventional publishing models in the US.


Monday, August 17 2015

‘24 - Live Another Day’ ‘Cause You’re Gonna Die Anyway

24 began sugared-up on gooey clichés of liberty and freedom -- and ended in hypoglycemic shock. Would a new series be worse for our health?


Thursday, August 13 2015

What’s So Smooth About the New Smooth Jazz?

Recent work from a group of young musicians, beautifully represented by the new Supreme Sonacy from Revive Music, makes it cool again to put out jazz that wants to be popular.


Wednesday, August 12 2015

‘Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist’ Is Older But Still Wise and Just As Funny

While this show is as funny now as it was when it first aired 20 years ago, the passing of time has given it even greater cultural meaning.


Tuesday, August 11 2015

In Praise of Kristen Wiig’s Risky Career Choices

Kristen Wiig’s genius is that she can generate humor and pathos from the same source, her characters’ pain.


Monday, August 10 2015

No Apologies: A Critique of the Rockist v. Poptimist Paradigm

Both rockists and poptimists treat music as not much more than a social commodity, a consumerized product within the spectacle of American capitalism.


Friday, August 7 2015

Lush Life: The Music of Brazil’s Doris Monteiro

Doris Monteiro, Brazil's "Queen of Radio", offered in 1976 what was perhaps her finest musical declaration with Agora, a now obscure and luxurious treasure of Brazilian pop-delights.


Thursday, August 6 2015

What Is the Real Story of the Atomic Bombings?

America claimed the atomic bomb ended World War II and saved American lives. Journalist and historian Paul Ham calls that “a pack of lies”.


//Mixed media
//Blogs

Authenticity Issues and the New Intimacies

// Marginal Utility

"The social-media companies have largely succeeded in persuading users of their platforms' neutrality. What we fail to see is that these new identities are no less contingent and dictated to us then the ones circumscribed by tradition; only now the constraints are imposed by for-profit companies in explicit service of gain.

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