The more I do this, the more I read through the weekly choices and selections and get a feel for the diversity of voices that are assembled within this digital Big Tent, I get reminded again and again what a remarkable place this is.
With that briefest of brief preambles out of the way I give you this week's best as brought to you by the editors of Blogcritics.org.
Music Editor: Connie Phillips
CD Review: Carlos Jimenez, Arriving, by John Owen (Jan. 4)
John Owen offered up three reviews this week, but this one stood out. He takes an in-depth look at this artist, the album, and the jazz flute in general. He gives a full and complex review and offers up a bit of history to the instrument and the genre.
The Friday Morning Listen: Devendra Banhart by Mark Saleski (Jan. 6)
Mark always delivers great tidbits in his weekly column, but this week's edition was especially enjoyable as he examines an artist who had to grow on him.
Books Editor: Warren Kelly
Mr. Kelly did not make a selection this week, so I'm going to slide in a pick here by a true class act, Blogcritics.org Editor Natalie Bennett:
Book Review: Duel: A True Story of Death and Honour by James Landale by Natalie Bennett (Jan. 4)
A tale of Scottish dueling and family history reviewed and laid out in a rich and uniquely British voice? Yes please, and I'll take milk with my tea as well, ta:
The reader can imagine a Prussian aristocrat shuddering with horror at the scene and the class of the opponents. But now it was that the two men had to meet on that muddy field the next morning.
TV/Film Co-Editors: Alisha Karabinus and Joan Hunt
The American Family Association Questions The Book Of Daniel by swingingpuss (Jan. 4)
A new year, a new controversial show on TV - that's the name of the game. Except that The Book of Daniel is likely to be less objectionable that watchdog groups would like to have us believe. However, the good news is that their outrage draws attention to the show and provides greater publicity than NBC could have ever planned. Or did NBC plan it that way? Swingingpuss looks at the show and the reasons the America Family Association is up in arms.
Do Comedians Have A Point of View? by Tony Fiqueroa (Jan. 6)
Tony jumps into the Bill O'Reilly vs. David Letterman pool with both feet. I don't think he bothered to test the waters first, but that did hurt him one iota. Included in this article are portions of the transcript of the encounter, including some of the best lines heard on TV in a long time.