Recent Features

25 Oct 2013 // 2:15 AM

Novelty: A History of the New

Novelty remains a central problem of contemporary science and literature—an ever-receding target that, in its complexity and evasiveness, continues to inspire and propel the modern.

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How That Flawed Man Flew: Beyond the Myth of Charlie Parker

Chuck Haddix's new biography of the great alto saxophonist unearths fresh details of his early life—and helps us to see more clearly his genius and his tragedy.

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18 Oct 2013 // 2:15 AM

Merle Haggard: The Running Kind

Merle Haggard’s music helped invent the America we live in today. David Cantwell explores the fascinating contradictions that define not only Haggard’s music and public persona, but the very heart of American culture.

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Guston’s Ghosts: ‘Out of Time: Philip Guston and the Refiguration of American Postwar Art’

Robert Slifkin's book on Philip Guston is an incantatory debut work that shows us a compelling new side of the artist's famous Marlborough paintings.

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Getting Gone: David Cantwell’s Take on the Iconic Merle Haggard

Merle Haggard's restlessness breaks him out of one prison and sends him towards another.

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‘Til Your Eyes Bleed & Your Ears Explode: 61 Books You Really Should Read & Have Read To You

More books you'll love than you can swing a cat while shaking a stick at.

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How John Lurie Made Me Read Fewer Books

The great Elmore Leonard wrote dozens of novels. Some, like Get Shorty, were adapted for film. So why do I associate him with smooth jazz? Well, John Lurie had a hand in that.

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The Connoisseur of Crime, John D. MacDonald, Is Shadowing the E-Book World

Available again in ebook form, the crime classic Stephen King called "one of the greatest American novels of the 20th century", The End of Night, is ready for rediscovery by a new generation of readers.

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20 Sep 2013 // 3:30 AM

Sweet Dreams: The World of Patsy Cline

Country music singer Patsy Cline embodied the power and appeal of women in country music, and helped open the lucrative industry to future female solo artists.

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In Defense of the Influence of ‘Difficult Men’

Brett Martin's latest book serves as a reminder of how enlightening dealing with darkness in television can be.

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13 Sep 2013 // 4:00 AM

The Vagina: A Literary and Cultural History

In our postmodern, porn-obsessed culture, vaginas appear to be everywhere, literally or symbolically -- yet they are as silenced as they are objectified. The Vagina examines the paradox of female genitalia through literature, film, TV, visual, and performance art.

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Take a Look, It’s in an eBook: An Interview with LeVar Burton

From Roots to Star Trek and well beyond, LeVar Burton says that his time on Reading Rainbow was "the most important thing I've ever done." With a new app to encourage reading, he tells us how its legacy will extend to a whole new generation.

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Without Copyrights: Piracy, Publishing, and the Public Domain

This is a book about the periphery, the elusive point at which law and piracy traded places, legitimacy became lawless, and courtesy grew discourteous.

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29 Aug 2013 // 11:15 PM

Smoke Signals: A Social History of Marijuana

Award-winning investigative journalist Martin A. Lee takes us on an entertaining and informative ride through the complex landscape of the Great American Pot story.

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How to Make Political Pop Without Trying

"Dancing in the Street" did not seek the kind of greatness ascribed to it -- it simply woke up one morning and found that greatness bestowed upon it.

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22 Aug 2013 // 11:15 PM

Assimilate: A Critical History of Industrial Music

More extreme than punk, industrial music revolted against the very ideas of order and reason: it sought to strip away the brainwashing that was identity itself. It aspired to provoke, bewilder, and roar with independence.

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Eat, Drink, Draw: Lucy Knisley’s Comic Book ‘Relish’ as a Cookbook

Drawing her recipes for Relish, Lucy Knisley almost literally shows cooking to be more art than science.

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15 Aug 2013 // 11:15 PM

Pretty Good for a Girl: Women in Bluegrass

Drawing from extensive interviews, well-known banjoist Murphy Hicks Henry gives voice to women performers and innovators throughout bluegrass's history.

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Thrift, Schemes & Restlessness Characterize Both Katherine & J.F. Powers’ Writing

"I am not by nature cut out for this life, as it's defined in these parts by the chamber of commerce and our bishop, who is devoted to Christian family living, as everyone knows." This deadpan tone suits J.F. Powers and his conflicted, capitalist, Midwestern, mid-century priests well.

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8 Aug 2013 // 11:15 PM

Mingus Speaks

Charles Mingus is among jazz’s greatest composers and perhaps its most talented bass player. During his lifetime he had a lot to say about the place of jazz in music history and American culture and much more. Mingus speaks, we listen.

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More Recent Features
//Mixed media
//Blogs

Truth and Other Restrictions: 'True Detective' - Episode 7 - "Black Maps and Motel Rooms"

// Channel Surfing

"Series creator Nic Pizzolatto constructs the entire season on a simple exchange: death seems to be the metaphysical wage of knowledge.

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