Oh My Darling

With her penchant for floppy hats and her pale blonde hair, London, Ontario?based Basia Bulat could pass for a high school girl. But her music so perfectly evokes decades of the classic chanteuse that one feels she would be equally at home on the am dial alongside Joni Mitchell, playing festivals with Tonya Donnelly or Liz Phair in her acoustic period, or opening for the likes of Sondre Lerche and Loney, Dear (which she actually has done). Bulat's debut album, Oh My Darling, opens with a song about first love, accompanied only by ukulele, simple handclaps, and Bulat's own throaty, magnificently distinguished voice. Though that voice alone could make a career, Bulat plays guitar, banjo, ukulele, saxophone, flute, upright bass, and autoharp; the latter makes for a striking image when she breaks it out onstage at rock clubs. She moves easily from barely-there instrumentation to symphonic compositions. Brother Bobby's drums lend some rock 'n' roll to the proceedings, especially on the rollicking single "In the Night." While Bulat would fit nicely on a mix tape alongside contemporaries Feist and Becky Sharp of Lavender Diamond, one could imagine that particular tape could be passed along to both the college kids and their parents and sound familiar to each group. -

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.