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.

April 24: "[The HST] lifted a curtain from our view of the universe, changing it so profoundly that no human can look at the stars in the same way..."

Kenneth Calhoun (Black Moon) and Lysley Tenorio (Monstress) of the Discover Great New Writers program on B-movies, heritage, and finales.

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
In the Light of What We Know

Zia Haider Rahman's mystery of a brilliant Bangladeshi mathematician's past barrels through the Ivy League, London high finance, and spy-haunted Afghanistan in a page-turning tale of exile, intrigue and the price of friendship. A Discover Great New Writers selection.

The People's Platform

Once touted as the foundation for tomorrow's digital democracy, the Internet is increasingly ruled by a few corporate giants, while millions of contributors till its fields for free. Astra Taylor looks at why the web has failed to deliver a communitarian cyberscape, and offers a compelling case for restoring its original vision.

A Private Venus

Dubbed "the Italian Simenon," Giorgio Scerbanenco (1911-1969) began his crime-writing career with books set in the USA, but quickly shifted scene closer to home, the city of Milan.  In this adventure, appearing in English for the first time, his underdog hero Dr. Duca Lamberti finds himself in the middle of a seedy, scantily clad criminal racket, where the presence of an outsider could result in death.