I can’t work in silence. And if I’m working with words—which is most of the time—I can’t work while playing typical pop, rock, or hip-hop. So I collect instrumental and foreign-language music on a scale better measured by weeks than by hours. Here are some of my greatest sources of background music for work, studying, and creativity. Recommendation Lists Flow State: This is my very favorite way to get new background music. Daily newsletter recommending instrumental albums and DJ mixes, with focuses on contemporary classical, ambient, and electronic music. Excellent curation with descriptions of each album. Most recommendations are available on Spotify and YouTube. Personally, I load all their recommendations into a gigantic playlist and hit shuffle. 40 Cosmic Rock Albums: Music lovers have posted over 47,000 lists on Rate Your Music, and this is the list that helped me discover prog rock and its offshoots. This soaring, often instrumental genre is a … [Read more...] about The Ultimate List of Work and Study Music
Brain games will make you smarter! The internet is making you dumber! Alcohol is killing your brain cells! The brain is a mystery we've been trying to solve for ages, and the desire to unlock its secrets has led to vast amounts of misinformation. Many of these false notions are more widely believed than the truth. We took our healthy skepticism and a bunch of brain research to find the truth behind some of the most common myths about intelligence and our brains. Here's what we learned. Photo by Igor Nazarenko (Shutterstock). Myth 1: Left-Brained People Are Organized, Right-Brained People Are Creative Advertisement We're a stubborn people who become set in our ways, so it's no wonder we want to believe that our inclination towards creativity or organized thinking is decided at birth. The right- or left-brained myth suggests we're simply fulfilling a version of our genetic destiny and we should accept our strengths and weaknesses as part of who we are. But as Lisa Collier Cool … [Read more...] about Nine Stubborn Brain Myths That Just Won’t Die, Debunked by Science
The idea that Morning Phase is a “companion piece of sorts”—to quote directly from a press release—to Beck’s 2002 album, Sea Change, is a nice way of saying he’s decided to re-explore the same musical terrain more than a decade later. For those enamored of Beck at his saddest, it’s a welcome return: Sea Change and now Morning Phase find the songwriter in fully serious mode—the Beck of “Loser” and “Deborah” doesn’t seem to inhabit this same skin. Heading back to the darkness was a smart move, since Beck’s last album (2008’s Modern Guilt), while not without its moments, was ultimately pretty forgettable. In fact, he recently told Rolling Stone that Guilt was recorded while he was in a tremendous amount of back pain, which felt like a dismissal. Advertisement So just how similar is Morning Phase to Sea Change? “Morning,” which opens Phase (after a short ambient intro called … [Read more...] about Beck’s new album,
The Volkswagen Golf GTI has had solid performance credentials for the past 35 years, but it's never been a full-fledged sports car. In 2004, VW decided enough was enough and gave the Golf all-wheel drive, a wider body, and a melodious 3.2 liter VR6. The limited production R32 was born. After a second tour of duty in 2008, the R32 returned to America for 2012, but this time VW replaced the trademark VR6 with a 2.0-liter turbo four and called it the Golf R. Does the new four banger retain the torquey, mellifluous spirit of the original? Advertisement (Full Disclosure: VW wanted me to drive the Golf R so bad that they flew me to San Francisco. They also let me borrow one for a weekend. Oh, and they invited me to drive one on track at Summit Point Raceway last weekend. Apparently they like letting me drive this car.) The first two generations of R32 got their character from the sonorous and torquey VR6. But included in that character was a front-end weight bias that made the cars go … [Read more...] about 2012 Volkswagen Golf R: The Jalopnik Review
I’ve given them time to ship out multiple story arcs, find their footing and sketch out whatever themes and big ideas they’re aiming for. But there’s no denying it any more: The X-Men line just isn’t exciting nowadays. For years, the X-Men books burned as the molten, superheated core of the Marvel Universe. Co-created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, the original X-Men series took the nerve-wracking chrysalis of adolescence and shot it through with superhero energy and angst. Even as new characters were introduced and founding members got older, the X-titles operated on a premise that made them ripe to be read as metaphor. If you felt like society pushed you aside or said that your kind of people was worthless, then an X-Men comic spoke to you in a special way. Moreover, the various series in the X-family continually boiled with simmering sexual tension, starcrossed romance and existential hand-wringing. Characters drank, smoked, hooked up and moped in X-Men comics. … [Read more...] about Why Are Marvel’s X-Men Comics So Terrible Right Now?
Justin Timberlake is serving as a Team USA "Ambassador" for this year's Ryder Cup at Medinah, a job title apparently created especially for the pop singer, actor and golf lover. Timberlake's appearance at today's opening ceremony was preceded by an introduction by Olympian Michael Phelps and accompanied by the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra. It was also godawful. I'm not ashamed to admit I'm a J.T. fan, but his performance (a reading of the terrible, terrible poem "Golf" by Randy Sabados—which organizers appear to have found by searching for the word on PoemHunter) did make me ashamed for Timberlake. While Golf Channel hosts praised the performance (with David Feherty calling it "beautiful") it was, actually, awful. You can watch the video above and see for yourself. Sure, the music is nice, but Timberlake is working with such horrid source material that it was impossible for him to make anything called art out of it. Opening ceremonies are always weird (and often pointless and … [Read more...] about Justin Timberlake Opened The Ryder Cup By Reading A Shitty Poem About Golf