Listen to This
powerHouse Arena (37 Main St., Brooklyn)
Listen to This—which collects Alex Ross’ finest writing for The New Yorker since 1994—is that rare book that moves across the entire landscape of music, from classical to rock and back again. In this series of lively, erudite essays, Ross tells of his own late-blooming discovery of pop, and of how contemporary sounds relate to centuries of musical tradition. He vividly sketches canonical composers such as Schubert, Verdi, and Brahms; gives us in-depth interviews with modern pop masters such as Björk and Radiohead; and, in a previously unpublished essay, brilliantly retells hundreds of years of music history—from Renaissance dances to Led Zeppelin—through a few iconic bass lines of celebration and lament. Witty, passionate, and brimming with insight, Listen to This shows how music expresses the full complexity of the human condition.