Top 5 artists I’ll never buy again

by Maria on November 21, 2004

This may simply be a sign that I’m past 30 and culturally marooned, but most of my favourite bands haven’t done anything good since 1994.

Which is not to say popular music in general has been rubbish since then – it hasn’t – just that if I was completely honest about it, I’d rather some acts stopped putting out records that I feel compelled to buy out nostalgia, consistency, and a slight feeling of guilt that I’ve moved on and they clearly haven’t.

I’m tired of going into record shops and coming out with mediocre albums of artists who were once truly or almost great. So, reluctantly, I’ve recently compiled my list of bands/artists whose work I will now stop buying just because they were good ten years ago.

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German resource

by Chris Bertram on November 21, 2004

Regular readers will know that I’ve been trying to learn German since January of this year. And it is going ok. I just want to put in a plug for my favourite German resource: the online German-English dictionary “Leo”: from the Technical University of Munich. Not only is Leo invaluable as you’re trying to decipher that article in Der Spiegel or FAZ, it also enables registered users to enter the words they don’t know into a little personal list and then to test themselves repeatedly on their chosen vocabulary. Leo is also very easy to integrate with Mozilla Firefox both by adding to the search engines box and — this is really great — by installing the ConQuery plugin so you can highlight the German text and then have the dictionary open with a translation in a new tab.

The NEA and The Big Tally Book of Cultural DNA

by John Holbo on November 21, 2004

Kevin Drum and Matthew Yglesias (and again) are happy to take Chait’s hint: abolish the NEA.  Well, the NEA did two nice things for me this week, so let me tell you what they were. First, as mentioned, I’m studying the NEA’s Reading At Risk survey. I’m glad someone does this kind of stuff. Who knew reading literature was strongly correlated with attending sporting events? (Maybe the NASCAR folks aren’t hating on this arts stuff so badly after all.)

But this survey is hardly matchmaking Eddie Punchclock and Suzy Housecoat to the Divine Muse of Art. This brings me to item two. NEA support for The Capital of Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeyland Review. The DNA of Literature Project. This is just fantastic. It’s great. Wonderful! Searchable and everything.

Welcome to the DNA of literature—over 50 years of literary wisdom
rolled up in 300+ Writers-at-Work interviews, now available
online—free. Founder and former Editor George Plimpton dreamed of a day
when anyone—a struggling writer in Texas, an English teacher in
Amsterdam, even a subscriber in Central Asia—could easily access this
vast literary resource; with the establishment of this online archive
that day has finally come. Now, for the first time, you can read,
search and download any or all of over three hundred in-depth
interviews with poets, novelists, playwrights, essayists, critics,
musicians, and more, whose work set the compass of twentieth-century
writing, and continue to do so into the twenty-first century.

"There is no other archive quite like The Paris Review interviews.
The National Endowment for the Arts could not be more pleased or more
proud than to make this resource available free to the American public."

—Dana Gioia, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts

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