Over at Uncertain Principles, a nice discussion has broken out about classical music, leading Chad to ask for recommendations. It also lead to Chad being accused of cultural barbarity, a strange accusation of a person willing to listen with an open mind. Also, Chad is freaking huge and used to play rugby, so it is also an unwise accusation.
Proving that the internet is tiny, a similar discussion emerged at John Scalzi's Whatever. This discussion is more specific to contemporary art music, based on a throw-away line John has in comments: "I personally point to the lack of musical appreciation courses in schools as a major portion of that problem, along with (and here my biases show through) so much of orchestral composition of the last 40 years being aggressively unlistenable."
Over at Crooked Timber, Harry asks whether the Smiths were famous because of the tortured-poet act, or because they were funny. And Fred demonstrates why repeated listenings are a good thing.