Alt-J's Joe Newman has a funny way of singing — especially for the uninitiated, it can seem cartoonish or, worse, affected. He bends his high, twisty voice in strange ways, wrapping it around inventive arrangements that burble and boom and otherwise ramp up a sense of unease. The easiest way to embrace Alt-J's idiosyncratic charm is to witness the band live; to hear how often Newman sings quietly and subtly, and to get a fuller feel for the prettiness at the core of Alt-J's songs.
Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 9:00 am
A studio wizard still in his early 20s, Youth Lagoon's Trevor Powers makes music that documents the spiraling uncertainty of a worried mind. It must have been tough to translate to the live stage, where the comfort and cover of the studio are stripped away and every fussy swirl has to be thoughtfully re-created or excised entirely.
If Katie Crutchfield ever becomes a solo star, it's hard to imagine how the Waxahatchee singer's most bruised and beautiful songs will translate to a gigantic stage. Tucked into a back room at Stubb's during SXSW on March 13 — and following in the immediate aftermath of Nick Cave's swaggering turn under the stars — Crutchfield opened her 25-minute set with a string of fragile solo songs, each more delicate than the last. This was interior music, made of guts and nerves and other viscera we don't share easily.
Originally published on Wed March 13, 2013 7:16 pm
After his election as pope Wednesday, Jorge Mario Bergoglio chose a name that, for many Catholics, sent an immediate signal of his goal to unite the Roman Catholic Church: Pope Francis. The name also prompted some confusion whether it should include "I."
Math and sports are expressions of our controlled creativity. Above, Brazil goalkeeper Julio Cesar watches as the ball sails past for an England goal by Frank Lampard during a friendly at London's Wembley Stadium on February 6, 2013.
Originally published on Thu March 14, 2013 8:49 am
Some results in mathematics have the force of real truths, being independent of interpretation or context. When we state that 2 + 2 = 4 we know that this will be correct for any intelligent entity able to count. In algebra, given an equation, say, x + 3 = 4, we know that there is only one solution, x = 1. The same with Euclidean geometry that we learn in high school. Given certain axioms (assertions taken to be true that are the starting point to obtain results), we can prove a series of theorems that are unique.