From Collegium, a special issue on World Music. David Cope’s software creates beautiful, original music — why are people so angry about that? (and more on how artificial intelligence will change music). From Vice, an essay on Transcendental Black Metal. How we describe pop music proves that we find moral significance in music (and more). From ABBA to ZZ Top, all the good band names are taken. Greg Milner on The Beatles: Some titles to consider when you feel like getting back to where you once belonged. Does a new anthology devoted to a hip-hop classic elevate the genre to its rightful place as a literary form? Alex Ross on why it's time to show our appreciation for classical music: Let our applause be heard. A review of I Am Ozzy by Ozzy Osbourne (and more and more and more and more and more). A look at 6 albums by rock legends that were thinly veiled "F#@k You"s. A review of Ted Gioia's The Birth (and Death) of the Cool. Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon eclipses concept album classics. Audiences hate modern classical music because their brains cannot cope. The first chapter from Elvis for Dummies. A review of Sells Like Teen Spirit: Music, Youth Culture, and Social Crisis by Ryan Moore. A review of The Music Instinct: How Music Works and Why We Can’t Do Without It by Philip Ball (and more and more and more and more and more and more). How Britain is using classical music as a form of social control. Techno lives: A review of Lost and Sound: Berlin, Techno und der Easyjetset by Tobias Rapp. Was Jimi Hendrix's ambidexterity the key to his virtuosity? From Splice Today, how search engines and blogs have changed the way we discover music; and more on the challenges of finding new music, 2.0. Symphony in J flat: An article on the curious quest to re-invent music. Hip-hop can, and should, promote the historical and cultural ideals that underscore the value of historical awareness. The inside scoop on the indie-rock scandal that’s rocking the world of indie-rock.


Denis Donoghue (NYU): Three Presences: Yeats, Eliot, Pound. Edward Clayton (Central Michigan): Aesop, Aristotle, and Animals: The Role of Fables in Human Life. From TNR, a review of books on Raymond Carver. From Evergreen Review, a review of Naked Lunch @ 50: Anniversary Essays; and a review of Beats at Naropa: An Anthology. An interview with creator of feminist sleuth VI Warshawski Sara Paretsky on fiction, power and the open case of race in America. A review of Jenny Woolf's The Mystery of Lewis Carroll. On the social muse: Contemporary poetry is woefully limited by its over-reliance on the lyric form, but the lyric itself is today further reduced by the absence of the dramatic element, by the loss of voices (and of milieux) other than the poet’s own. Simon Van Booy reviews The Possessed: Adventures with Russian Books and the People Who Read Them by Elif Batuman. Relentless careerism: Jim Behrle on how you can become the most important poet in America overnight. Why don’t Jews write more fantasy literature, and a different, deeper but related question: why are there no works of modern fantasy that are profoundly Jewish in the way that, say, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is Christian? A review of Robert Frost: The Poet as Philosopher by Peter Stanlis. A review of Dostoevsky: Language, Faith, and Fiction by Rowan Williams. Will the real Zadie Smith please stand up? From NYRB, Margaret Atwood reviews Anthill by E.O. Wilson; and Cathleen Schine on Austenolatry. From Humanities, a recollection of Wallace Stegner; and an article on Ben-Hur, the book that shook the world. Paul Johnson on how Leo Tolstoy was kind of a dick. The smuttiest French novel ever written, still shocking 50 years later: A new graphic novel based on Story of O.

And check out Paper Trail, Bookforum's new blog on publishing, literature, and our favorite authors.


Siobhan Phillips (Harvard): What We Talk About When We Talk About Food. Full of Beans: How a classically trained chef reinvented fast food. A taste of junk food's ground zero: Deep-fried Pepsi, anyone, or would doughnut upside-down cake hit the culinary G-Spot? Nicole Allan on the dark side of food porn. The Fake-Food Detectives: Food fraud has been around almost as long as food itself; finally, some experts are starting to get tough. A review of An Edible History of Humanity by Tom Standage. A review of Ripe: The Search for the Perfect Tomato by Arthur Allen. A Matter of Convenience: Is there anything Americans won't put in their mouths? China is expected to consider banning a centuries-old culinary tradition: the consumption of dog and cat meat. Australia’s bush meat is tasty, healthy, and enviro-friendly — but can you get people to eat it? A review of Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual by Michael Pollan. Raw food — what is it good for? Rosecrans Baldwin on popcorn, cinema's worst enemy. An excerpt from Cheesemonger: A Life of the Wedge by Gordon Edgar. Jan Heufer (Dortmund): In Vino Veritas: The Economics of Drinking. Drink Like a Tuscan: Cheap Chianti is often better than the expensive stuff. A review of I Drink Therefore I Am: A Philosopher’s Guide to Wine by Roger Scruton. A good wine is like an art exhibit, or a film, or a book — and you're not paying $80 to get into an art museum, are you? You drink what you think: Your experience of wine can be fooled. Bubbles and flow patterns in champagne: Is the fizz just for show, or does it add to the taste of sparkling wines? Hipster Moonshine: Hooch isn’t just for hillbillies anymore. Alcohol is an important part of life in many cultures throughout the world, but there are many misperceptions about this common social lubricant.


From The New Yorker, does the wrangling of interest groups corrupt politics — or constitute it? Laws for Sale: Why politicians, and not the lobbyists who influence them, are the problem in Washington. Notes on a Scandal: Why pledges to "clean up Washington" never work. Michael Weiss on the five varieties of bad political thinking: Understanding what's wrong with politics today. The word "partisanship" is typically accompanied by the word "mindless" — that's not simply insulting to partisans; it's also untrue. The GOP's Dirty War: How Republicans have risen from the dead by distorting Obama's agenda and shutting down the government. Weapon in Unity: Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has found some success in his strategy to contain Democrats. Why Republicans want gridlock: Groups in decline, such as the white working class that controls the GOP, tend to focus on blocking change. Hail on the Chief: Crackpot! Socialist! Tyrant! Oh, how we Americans love to pillory our presidents. Research hints that the roots of political judgments may lie in fundamental personality types and in the hard-wiring of our brains. John Protevi explains his book Political Affect: Connecting the Social and the Somatic. What can policymakers learn from happiness research? Elizabeth Kolbert reviews The Politics of Happiness: What Government Can Learn from the New Research on Well-Being by Derek Bok (and more and more). From Boston Review, Eliot Spitzer on government’s proper role in the market (and responses). All power to the choice architects: Alan Wolfe offers up a liberal critique of libertarian paternalism (and a response by Mark Schmitt, and a reply by Wolfe). From TNR, it's you, not me: Liberals and libertarians finally break up (and a response).


Chick flickology: What can your average guy learn about women by watching movies made for them? Male and female shopping strategies show evolution at work in the mall. Are men more evolved than women? Men might not be so primitive after all. An analysis of titles of Harlequin romance novels provides evidence that evolutionary impulses help explain our choice of mate. Why Men Cheat: One man's unfiltered, unadulterated explanation. Jesse Bering reopens the case of the female orgasm. The myths about Mr. and Ms.: Men’s and women’s brains really are not the same — but most of those differences are learned, not inborn. A review of The Masculine Mandate: God's Calling to Men by Richard Phillips. What do this year's Superbowl spots tell us about men and women? (and more on the "castrating woman") Innate gender differences in abilities exist, but why aren’t they controversial this time? An interview with Greg Middleton, author of Real Men: What's Happening to Our Male? A new meta-analysis finds gender differences in sexual attitudes and behaviors are smaller than you may think. The shame cycle: Jessica Grose on the new backlash against casual sex (and more). A review of Male Sexuality: Why Women Don't Understand It and Men Don't Either by Michael Bader. Dockers and Dicks: Genderless society is an utter myth — someone tell the advertising companies. Why are boys so keen on cars and construction kits? Hormones, not upbringing, could be the explanation. Here are revelations about women and sex. Pregnant women have a long list of rules to follow to protect the health of their child, but evidence suggests lifestyle choices of fathers should be called into question too. Men are hardwired to love tanks; Will Smith decides to step up his manhood and mount a few.

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