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2007-01-25 - 8:53 p.m.

Kristin Hersh's new album is astounding, and a career peak. It blends the psychotic element of Throwing Muses with the more controlled, songwriterly solo stuff, and the result is a really intense blast of acoustic pop. I am bowled over.

Ten years after this phenomenon made him an international star, and 50 years after his countrymen enjoyed his music, I'm discovering Compay Segundo and the enchanting world of son.

And, somehow, I'm enjoying a novel by a Barthelme sibling. Never have before, but I picked this up at work and idly began reading it and got hooked. Did you know there are at least three writing Barthelem sibs? Everybody knows the late Donald, and the afore-linked Frederick, but there's also a Steven and I've noticed a Peter, too, but I do not care enough to find out if he's related.

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