Cover illustration: Charles Burns!
VOL. 7, NO. 6

Dancing About Architecture
by Arthur Phillips
What is so elusive about music that makes generation after generation of writers argue that it can’t be captured by words?

The Beatles, 1970-75
by David L. Ulin
If they hadn’t broken up, what would their 1970s albums have sounded like?

The Maestro from Another Planet
by Ken Parille
The Lawrence Welk Show was one of the most otherworldly psychedelic chiffon musical paradises ever seen on television.

The Clash of the Jamaican Deejays
by Ross Simonini
As with American gangsta rap, the threats that fill the lyrics of dancehall reggae often deliver on the real-life violence they promise.

A Figure in the Distance Even to My Own Eye
by Justin Taylor
David Berman’s poems would be no less vital if they were erased from the historical record and published tomorrow for the first time.

Sobbing Children and Singing Shillings
by Paul Collins
William Gardiner’s extraordinary works offer precise musical notation for the sounds made by kittens, crowds, and wheelbarrows.

The Gossip Takes Paris
by Michelle Tea
Wobbling between a critique of the madly consumerist culture of Fashion Week and a longing to sink deep into its unbridled excess.

The Ballad of Benji Hughes
by Joe Hagan
From the land of Wachovia and shotgunned beers by the river comes a fresh voice in pop music that blends Randy Newman with Prince.

“Fantastic and Spectacular”: The 2009 Believer Music Issue CD
compiled by Daniel Handler

Phil Elverum
interviewed by Brandon Stosuy
The man behind Mt. Eerie and the Microphones wants to generate sensitivity and awareness without using traditional punk-rock didacticism.

Phil Elverum on Six of His Songs

by Michael Ian Black and Michael Showalter

Creative Accounting: Opera
by Christopher Benz and Michael Simpson

Pat Martino
interviewed by Greg Buium
After a successful twenty-year career playing jazz guitar, a brain aneurysm left Martino with near-complete amnesia. So he started over.

Real Life Rock Top Ten
by Greil Marcus

Thom Yorke
interviewed by Ross Simonini
“I always hated CDs.”

The Last Interview: A Single-Sentence Performance on the Subject of Polly Jean Harvey
by Hilton Als

Schema: It Takes Four
by Ben Greenman

Matador Records    •    4AD    •    Merge Records    •    Farrar, Straus, and Giroux