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Monthly Archives: February 2011

Q&A: Nuns Gone Wild!

In 1986, Craig A. Monson—now a professor of music at Washington University in St. Louis—took a few days off from his research in Italy, and visited a little-known museum in Florence. There he found a Renaissance music manuscript that he traced to a Bolognese convent—surprising, given the raunchy lyrics of its secular selections: “One day […]

Shy Shoes

This week, it’s “The Intimates,” by Ralph Sassone, that’s getting added to my list: Sassone has a keen understanding of the professional indignities and romantic frustrations of the young and well educated, but the novel feels like the prologue to a story that hasn’t been written yet. Tweet

Jazz Hands

What are the one hundred quintessential jazz songs? Listeners of NPR Music and Jazz24, a radio station with offices in Seattle and Tacoma, have voted for their all-time favorites, and the results—which lead with songs by Dave Brubeck, Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, and John Coltrane—are now available for live streaming on NPR.org. Read […]

Josh Ritter: “Galahad”

A few years ago, Michael Arthur—an illustrator whose music-video work was included in the recent New York Times series “All-Nighters”—met the musician Josh Ritter at a downtown bar. Ritter had seen Arthur’s video for his own band, Balthrop, Alabama, and the two discussed a possible collaboration. Read more at newyorker.com… Tweet

My Super Sweet Solemn Vows

Lots of great choices in this week’s Brieflier Noted, but this one in particular–”Nuns Behaving Badly,” by Craig A. Monson–sounds just fantastic: Many pampered noblewomen entered monastic life … Their conduct often scandalized church officials, whose complaints the Vatican stockpiled for centuries. Monson, a musicologist and self-proclaimed “archive mouse,” happily scurries into this forgotten repository, […]

En Fuego!

January was cold this year, so cold that I contemplated lighting myself on fire on more than one occasion. February hasn’t been much better. So hooray for this warm sexy explosion of a video, which my husband sent me today. I watched at my desk, over and over, as outside people struggled vainly against the […]

Where Seldom Is Heard a Discouraging Word

From the Brieflier Noted review of “Bird Cloud,” by Annie Proulx: Proulx, who winters in Santa Fe and vacations in Capri, does not mask her contempt for the locals, many of whom go to astonishing lengths to indulge her whims. At certain moments one imagines that the feeling is mutual. Tweet

Power Up the Mr. Fusion

When YouTube Time Machine débuted last fall, it was as a beta site that its creators, Justin Johnson and Delbert Shoopman III, conceived after a few rounds of beers and Johnson’s recollection of a recent night in which he’d spent hours captivated by videos from 1996—Michael Jordan highlight reels, Primal Rage videos—until other related content […]