Blogs

Articles

Mothers’ Day

There was a time when I had dreams, infrequently but strikingly, that my mother had died. These occurred some years ago when I did not talk to her very regularly or see her often.

The Vacuous Consumption of the Urban Hipster

Starbucks uses for its in-stores soundtrack music celebrating individual tenacity and collective rebellion, but that supposed renegade spirit takes on a different context when the soundtrack is bebop jazz, and two African-American customers are arrested for failing to place their order in due time.

Dogmatism and the Judgments of the Music Critic

The reason the Grammys repeatedly lead to such a feeling of disappointment and letdown is, ultimately, because the Grammys in their current form cannot possibly reflect the intersecting and complicated notions of musical value held by its audience. The best the Recording Academy can do—and indeed, what the Academy should do—is make transparent its musical priorities.

Voices

About The Common Reader

The Common Reader, a publication of Washington University in St. Louis, offers the best in reviews, articles and creative non-fiction engaging the essential debates and issues of our time.