The Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, Calif., just might be America's least known great museum. It houses a vast collection of works — from South Asian sculptures to works by Europe's Old Masters, Impressionists, and contemporary Americans — yet even Californians who live nearby say they've "always meant to go but ..." The museum tends to attract more European than American visitors.
I won't mince words: This is the best record Bright Eyes has ever made. In fact, it's the best record the band's frontman, Conor Oberst, has ever been a part of. Publicists like to say as much any time an artist releases a new album, but in this case, it's actually true. The People's Key is a career-defining work of art.
I've always admired artists who can make darkness feel like sunshine, and Telekinesis does it better than most. The group's only permanent member, Michael Benjamin Lerner, writes songs that exude loneliness, heartache and the dizzying grief of dysfunctional relationships. But his agony is packaged in tightly wound, unabashedly upbeat pop songs. Misery has never sounded so worthy of company.
What happens after rebirth? The newness of one's soul, vision or culture can only last so long until it disintegrates with fading inspiration, jaded attitudes and divided opinions. Rebirth is only as powerful as its ability to continually transform the transformed and those around them. As Earth developed its heavy instrumental vision in the past six years, subtle deviation has been crucial to the band's renewal.
How are state governments coping as the recession drags on? We talk to CO Governor John Hickenlooper. Then, Nobokov's love for butterflies, the Oregon Trail returns, and the secrets of chess genius Bobby Fischer. Plus: new and notable jazz and the poem inspiring protesters in Egypt.