For All I Care

Six years and seven releases into a collective journey devoted to the notion of cultivating a stylistic room of their own, pianist Ethan Iverson, bassist Reid Anderson, and drummer David King, who comprise The Bad Plus, offer several firsts on For All I Care . For one thing, TBP completely eschews original music, instead presenting Iverson's idea-packed arrangements of Euro-canon music by Igor Stravinsky, Gyorgy Ligeti, and Milton Babbitt, and eight atonal, polymetric deconstructions of post-'70s pop tunes, their trademark since TBP's eponymous 2001 debut for Barcelona-based indie Fresh Sound, thereby doubling their "cover" output. Also for the first time, TBP joins forces with Minneapolis-based alt-rocker Wendy Lewis, who functions as a co-equal fourth musician on songs like Nirvana's "Lithium," the Bee Gees' "How Deep Is Your Love," and Heart's "Barracuda." Rather than inhibit TBP's collective energy, Lewis enhances it -- she knows how to project an emotional point of view while dealing with the cerebral, push-the-envelope heat of TBP's highly curated highbrow language. She articulates the lyrics clearly and understatedly, phrasing them in a rubato bob-and-weave over King's meters and timbral combinations, Anderson's vamps and interpolations, and Iverson's contrapuntal lines, eliminating any archness or camp that a listener might attach to TBP's purely instrumental treatments. Further energizing the flow are the signature compression and distortion techniques of TBP's producer Tchad Blake, back in the fold after recusing himself from 2007's Prog, a date that purported to evoke the band's in-person sound.

July 25: On this day in 1834 Samuel Taylor Coleridge died of heart disease at the age of sixty-one.

Crime fiction legends Dennis Lehane and Michael Connelly discuss the new book that unites their beloved sleuths Patrick Kenzie and Harry Bosch.

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Paradise and Elsewhere

Canadian short story marvel Kathy Page emerges as the Alice Munro of the supernatural from these heartfelt tales of shapeshifting swimmers, mild-mannered cannibals, and personality-shifting viruses transmitted through kisses.


When a persuasive pastor arrives in a sleepy farm town, his sage influence has otherworldly results (talking sheep, a mayor who walks on water). But can he pull off the miracle of finding kindly local Liz Denny the love of her life?  Small wonder looms large in this charmer from Andre Alexis.

The Hundred-Year House

When a poetry scholar goes digging through the decrepit estate of his wife's family to uncover a bygone arts colony's strange mysteries, he awakens a tenacious monster: his mother-in-law. A wickedly funny take on aging aristocracies from author Rebecca Makkai (The Borrower).