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Grand Hotel Abyss

Four books January 2018

Starting this year, I will occasionally post lightly commented lists of books I’m currently reading. My tendency is to occupy myself with nonfiction, erring on the side of theory, anthropology, philosophy, politics. For those who got to know me (or my blog) via work, […]

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Courtesy of Jennifer Johannesen via Instagram

Best new music 2017

This year’s best music list comes in the middle of the Great Deep Freeze of 2017, where it’s apparently colder in Canada than at the North Pole. Winter has come. This time, I have no summary words of political, cultural or technological wisdom to […]

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Ai Weiwei, Still from Human Flow

On Ai Weiwei’s Human Flow

Ai Weiwei’s Human Flow, at two and a half hours, is neither light entertainment nor what most would think of as a seasonal movie. It is currently in an extended run in two of Toronto’s theatres supporting more cerebral fare (TIFF Bell Lightbox or […]

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Nathan Phillips Square, Toronto, December 2016

Best new music 2016

As 2016 plowed on, it revealed itself as an annus horribilis. Many of the world’s temporarily dormant or subdued evils really came alive this year, and there’s no need to enumerate them here. Music lost more than a few important people, starting early with […]

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Pirate Nutcracker by Daria Nepriakhina via Realisticshots.com

Best new music 2015

It has become an annual tradition on this blog, a chore, and — increasingly — an unwelcome reminder of how infrequently I blog these days. Life is busy, and my writing energies are differently channeled, for example into academic assignments. But music remains important, […]

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Winter Road by Pavel P. Creative Commons via Flickr

Best new music 2014

Finding the energy to write about the year’s favourite music doesn’t come as easily as it used to anymore. This year, I’ve literally left it to the last hours of 2014 and am now trying to cram it in like a school project on […]

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Bach Cantatas

Best new music of 2013 — Classical

To round out the year (and in customary fashion), here’s a quick post to list my favourite classical music releases of 2013. The picture above shows the box and looming contents of John Eliot Gardiner’s Bach Cantatas box set — which finally arrived at […]

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