Steve Silberman’s deep-dive into Bill Evans, one of the most enigmatic figures in jazz, is a fantastic read that examines the intersection of what happens when virtuosic talent inexplicably falls short. Silberman also probes his own obsession with ‘Nardis,’ a complex arrangement which Miles Davis, who employed Evans as a member of his sextet, said the pianist could play “the way it was meant to be played.”
When the author’s high school friend supposedly dies from accidental drowning, he doubts the official story, but his academic mind soon leads him down a dark path, and through an examination of conspiratorial thought itself.
During the eight years after Haiti’s catastrophic 7.0 earthquake, a litany of opportunistic mega-church preachers have become popular and rich comforting the healing nation. They often battle each other for market dominance and battle Haiti’s indigenous Vodou tradition to gain more followers, influence and money. Many Haitian evangelicals and white foreign missionaries view Vodou as a demonic practice, but in a country continually enslaved and exploited, Vodou offers a source of autonomy and liberation from outside control.
Manson bloggers, the world of murder fandom, and the philosophy of being — can you ever escape who you are, or were?
Examining the music of the female orgasm and the orgasmic language of music.
Tragedy struck, but we’re thinking about our commute. What’s wrong with us? Are we not grieving enough? Or is a return to banalities a healthy sign? A meditation on loss and melancholy.
Moving is something Americans used to do a lot more of—not just moving out of a house, but moving an entire building with you. “Breaking off and hauling walls and roofs to a landfill is easier, and often cheaper, than recycling a house. Even simpler: demolition.” Jeannie Vanasco grew up in a while-sided saltbox house that had bee cut in half and moved across town. She began to search for the reason why.
A profile of Ron Capps, an Army combat veteran and former Foreign Service officer who served in Iraq, Darfur, Afghanistan, Rwanda, Eastern Congo and Kosovo during his career. After returning home, Capps was suicidal and haunted by PTSD; writing brought him relief and helped him make sense of his experiences.
Jeannie Vanasco on being named after the daughter her father lost, and artists named after dead siblings.
Excerpted from The Believer’s new book, Confidence, or the Appearance of Confidence: The Best of the Believer Music Interviews.