(1) John Jeremiah Sullivan, Pulphead. Years go by, perfectly good records are released that you like and listen to a lot, then something like Supreme Clientele or Arular comes along, and you realize everyone else has been treading water. Game changed. That's what this collection of essays feels like. Not since DFW has anyone even approached this level of the form. It's my favorite record of the last ten years or so. If I weren't a lazy bastard, I'd buy a bunch of copies and hand them out on street corners like Lee Harvey freeing Cuba. Read Sullivan's best essay, on the Christian rockfest Creation, here.
(2) The Daily, culture section. I don't think anyone reads The Daily, Rupert Murdoch's iPad-only newspaper. Making almost none of your content available on the internet, not even behind a paywall, is an interesting business strategy. And I wish Rupert Murdoch spectacular failure in everything he is and does. But for some reason—well, because someone was savvy enough to hire Sasha Frere-Jones as the culture editor—The Daily contains some of the best writing on music and culture-type stuff around. Read Zach Baron's HST retrace "Fear and Self-Loathing in Las Vegas" and tell me it doesn't deserve a Pulitzer. Or a Grammy.
(3) @TriciaLockwood. Tricia is a dear friend, but even if she were evil like @rupertmurdoch I would have to admit that she is the funniest person on earth. She is the funniest person on earth, people. Big blue ball? You live on it? Get with the program. Here is an article about her famous, famous tweets, and here are a couple of her poems. Tricia's first book of poems, Balloon Pop Outlaw Black, will be published by Octopus in the summer and I suggest you start camping out in front of Walmart now.
(4) Lana Del Rey, "Video Games." Rob Harvilla in Spin says all that need be said: "'Bob Dylan' is not his real name. The 'Ramones' were not related. 'Sun Ra' was from Alabama, not Saturn. The Strokes' dads are not plumbers. 'Rick Ross' … look, we don't have time for this."
(5) Jeffrey Foucault and Lisa Olstein, Cold Satellite. This record—a collaboration between the folky-but-not-too-folky Foucault (music) and the terrific poet Olstein (words)—didn't get enough attention. It sort of breaks the wind-up dinosaur I have instead of a real beating heart. A satellite has stopped transmitting. It has gone cold. "Drive to the end of River Road, there's nothing out there but an old army base, couple of missile silos. You can feel the wind on your face. When there's no wind you can hear the wires sing. The first time you might get frightened. It doesn't sound like anything."