Musical education is very much on the menu this week, whether your tastes run to jazz, indie rock, or the blues. The Books section runs the gamut from so-bad-it's-good to the smartly amusing, and hits the intellectually solid in between. The Fourth of July holiday brought out the patriotic and the pyrotechnic, and the Culture section celebrates triumph over adversity. As always, we have news and opinion on everything you're interested in.
Let me remind those of you who are chosen that you are invited to submit your own pick for next week (due to space considerations, please limit it to one). Please feel free to email me your picks (including the URL) by next Tuesday.
From Music Editor Connie Phillips:
Thank you Tara Clark for A Conversation With Bogie Bowles of the Joe Bonamassa Band. It was an insightful and fascinating interview examining a long and rich career.
DJ Freq voices his dissent against The Black Eyed Peas and musicians selling out in general in a very entertaining manner in It's Official: The Black Eyed Peas Have Killed Hip-Hop! Or Did They Just Sell It?
From Asst. Music Editor A.L. Harper:
Michael J West explores his, and your, must-have jazz albums from Impulse! records. A great way to start your jazz education.
Getting a musical education is important and Connie Phillips helps you along your way by giving you a good grounding in Soul Asylum, one of the leaders in the transition between garage alt.rock and today's indie rock.
From Books Editor Natalie Bennett:
So bad it is good: Maybe a book of really, really bad sex doesn't appeal to you , but we can all enjoy a good laugh, so don't miss A.L. Harper's review of Summer Liaison. Could this be the first cult classic created by Blogcritics?
But since it is not yet quite the silly season, I'll go serious for this week's second choice — an excellent, intellectually solid review of Ron Sider's The Scandal Of The Evangelical Conscience. The reviewer, Jordan J. Ballor, says: "Freed from the pervasive distortions of leftist economic ideology, Sider's corresponding message becomes even more clear and powerful."
From Editor Gordon Hauptfleisch:
Warren Kelly, in his deft and well-crafted review of the breezy and accessible language book Far From the Madding Gerund not only tells us where we can stick our “anarthrous occupational nominal premodifier,” he also aptly conveys the book’s amusing and thought-provoking qualities. That is something up with which I can put.
From TV Editor Jackie:
Al Barger cracked me up when spoke up about what he feels are The Ten Worst Sitcoms Ever. He's not shy when it comes to talking sitcoms, is he?
Don Baiocchi reviewed The Devil Wears Prada . Don's reviews always bring about a smile; he has a way with words. "Get over it, you fashion snobs!"
From Editor Justene Adamec:
Golden Girl Rue McClanahan Accused of Slander, Malicious Conduct, and Other Calamitous Piercings of the Soul. Eric Berlin dishes the dirt on the '70s sitcom star and the lawsuit brought by her former business partner.
From Culture Editor Diana Hartman:
What was an already extensive list of three (I normally pick just one) has since grown to six best of the best. The Culture Section lit up with all the brilliance a World Cup night game with very different writers exploring very different subjects.
The assault of cheap architecture and rampant commerce on the ancient remains of a long-established civilization is well addressed in Mayank 'Austen' Singh's Malls, Multiplexes and McDonald's – The New Communist World Order.
Conquering Self-Doubt leads the reader from definition to resolution, courtesy of the life experiences of author chantal stone.
The impact and honor of one person's choices and accomplishments are not left forgotten in Howard Dratch's CIA Files: WWII Heroine Virginia Hall Remembered.
Long thought to be a tool of detriment, especially for children, the Internet is proving to be a valuable and indispensable resource. Kathryn Krastin turns the tables in a big way in Teens and the Internet: The Positive Power of Families.
When science takes to the playground, we see one of the most fascinating and anticipated events of childhood: the fireworks display. Joan Hunt takes us behind the scenes in Confessions Of An Explosive Woman.
Victor Lana explores the elusive, yet ever-definable world of freedom in Some Self-Evident Truths on Fourth of July.
From Asst. Politics Editor Mark Schannon:
The Current Iranian Regime Up For Sale On eBay by Jim Fielder is an absolute riot; one of the best satires in a long time.
The Horrid Nasty Right by Harry Forbes is a pretty insightful analysis of an example of the doublethink of the new left and the media.
From Sports Editor Matthew T. Sussman:
MLB 2006 All-Star Picks by Adam Hoff
Someome always gets snubbed from the All-Star team when fans get to stuff the ballot box, but Adam Hoff's lineup is hard to argue with.
Goodbye, Mr. Agassi by manfred
Andre Agassi's final Wimbledon, along with the rest of the action in the first week of England's greatest tennis tournament, is well recapped by Manfred and his band of merry tennis sportswriters.
From Gaming Editor Ken Edwards:
Nintendo DS Review: Sudoku Gridmaster by Meryl
"If the company releases more of these, I won't have time to do much else." I could not agree more with that statement.
From Sci/Tech Editor Lisa McKay:
PoizonMyst writes of a close encounter of the kind we're glad we missed in an informative piece about the asteroid that passed very close to Earth on July 3.
Exploring the ways in which developers attempt to model the real world in Software Development and Mimesis, Chromatius delves into the abstract side of object oriented programming. See if you can follow the ensuing discussion.
From Editor Justene Adamec:
Windows Genuine Advantage: Microsoft Spyware? by Phillip Winn looks at whether
Microsoft's new anti-piracy update is really spyware.