Last weekend I bought Alex Ross's The Rest is Noise from Book People in Austin (the largest independent book seller in Texas). I paid the full, non-Amazon price, which is unusual for me, but I've been waiting for this book to arrive for almost two years, which is when I started reading Ross's blog of the same name. Ross is the music critic at the New Yorker, and he writes clearly and without pretension about both classical music and acts like Bjork and Radiohead. The little I know about classical music comes from him.
And speaking of the New York Times and classical music, the Magazine has an interesting article about Gustavo Dudamel, the 26-year-old Venezuelan conductor who was just named the music director of the L.A. Philharmonic. A good read, even though I am skeptical of big-haired conductor theatrics.