Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 5:19 pm
There's no clear formula for why a new song catches fire at one of our partner radio stations. Sometimes it's a hook you can't get out of your head, and sometimes it's a tune's ability to distill a station's overall vibe into three sublime minutes.
We asked five stations to select a song currently blowing up on their airwaves and tell us why. For a limited time, you can download their answers — the results include new music from the smart Canadian pop band Metric, U.K. singer Lianne La Havas, folk newbie John Fullbright, funk collective Brownout and British pop group alt-J.
As I did last year at this time, I'll be spending this week at the Silverdocs documentary festival in Silver Spring, Md. If you've been reading the blog for a while, you're very familiar with this project, as it was the first place I saw a couple of fairly high-profile documentaries including Being Elmo and Buck, but also where I saw a couple of smaller movies that became favorites, including Resurrect Dead: The Mystery Of The Toynbee Tiles. (Available on Netflix streaming! Do it!)
Meg Wolitzer is a novelist whose most recent works include The Uncoupling and a book for young readers, The Fingertips of Duncan Dorfman.
You know how people talk about so-called gateway drugs — drugs that lead to harder ones? I think some books can be considered gateway books, because reading them leads you to start reading other books that are similar but more intense. Lisa, Bright and Dark, John Neufeld's 1969 novel for young adults, is one of these.
Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 3:46 pm
Whether it's learning saxophone in school band, taking Saturday piano lessons, or participating in a top-flight youth orchestra, there are tens of millions of kids in the United States learning to play instruments. Way back in 2003, Gallup pollsters figured that at least 84 million Americans play an instrument — and at least a third of those players were then between the ages of 5 and 17.
The death Sunday of Rodney King, the victim of a 1991 police beating in Los Angeles who became a "reluctant symbol of race relations," as the Los Angeles Times says, is prompting many looks back at what happened to him and the Los Angeles riots that followed the 1992 acquittal of the officers involved.
European leaders and global markets expressed relief after Greek conservatives' narrow parliamentary election victory over leftists who had vowed to ditch the tough austerity terms of an international bailout.
But the next government will have to deal with a polarized society and with widespread anger at wage and job cutbacks that have targeted the middle class and spared an entrenched political and business elite.