The opened box
One of the neater sites I've come across recently, Pandora allows you to discover plenty of new music cost-free. You input a song or an artist you know you enjoy, and by associating this artist or song with similar songs via comparions drawn from the Music Genome Project, Pandora finds you other music you're likely to enjoy. For instance, I just formulated a "Sufjan Stevens Radio Station", and "Sister Ice" by Archer Prewitt began to play. What's neat is that I can give "Sister Ice" a thumbs-up or thumbs-down, which affects the songs that Pandora will play for you in the future. It's like a Choose Your Own Adventure through music. The sound quality isn't bad at all. If you don't mind the occasional ad, it's free.
Give this one a Pulitzer
Deadwood, HBO's laureled old West drama about a Dakota town's schemings and general moral lassitude, is known for its extravagant and stunning profanity. Salon's Heather Havrilesky provides a context for the show's just-begun third season, weighs in on the prospect of a fourth (currently not in the works), and fulminates against some of TV's other current offerings: "The most foul and inexcusable of the lot is "The Hills" (MTV, check listings) populated as it is by the whoring sea donkeys of "Laguna Beach" fame. Whatever limited charms "Laguna Beach" may have held for those easily distracted by the wiles and worries of winsome whippersnappers up to their collarbones in gold, the sorts with soft hands and weak minds who've never worked a day in their lives and likely never will, suffice it to say that "The Hills" has none of those charms whatsoever." More inside. Television criticism should always be this good. It's language at its most alive. Be sure and read it aloud.