The contents of Da Capo's Best Music Writing 2010 anthology, selected in part by excellent Los Angeles Times critic Ann Powers, were announced today. The list of contributors reads like an excerpt from my own personal roster of the only current music writers worth reading. A big highlight for the Reader is the inclusion of Jessica Hopper's profile of David Bazan, published in the paper last summer; it goes deep into the crisis of faith that transformed Bazan from a darling of music-loving evangelical Christian youth to a proselytizer for a brand of skeptical agnosticism. Bazan's story is fascinating and extremely moving—much like the album, Curse Your Branches, that came from his experience—and Hopper did a great job capturing it.
Of course we've got a strict no-resting-on-laurels policy at the Reader, and this week's music coverage is nothing to sneeze at either. Coincidentally we're running profiles of two new lo-fi electro-pop acts signed to the tastemaking California label Lefse Records: Leor Galil tells us about boyfriend-girlfriend duo (and Hype Machine sensation) Houses and I profile the R&B-tinged one-man band (and Pitchfork sensation) How to Dress Well. Gossip Wolf talks pop-metal paradise and the phenomenon of "zombie bands," Photo Pit gets sweaty to Horse Meat Disco and Clique Talk, and the List calls out shows by the Baseball Furies, Four Tet, and sissy-bounce star Big Freedia.