New Season, New Music

A few years ago, I finally got rid of the heavy pleather binders of CDs that were occupying valuable storage space in my closet. I’d fully committed to streaming music, I reasoned. If I wanted to hear a song, I’d find it online. Who even owned a CD player anymore?

I miscalculated. I can locate most obscure tracks, but I can’t listen to the mix a friend made me of favorites from the Nigerian AM radio station he listened to as a child. The Rufus Wainwright compilation a boyfriend sent me when I was living abroad and feeling homesick in my 20s. The songs are out there, but the artifact is gone. I can access the raw materials, but not the thing itself.

Once I become misty-eyed over the CDs I’ve loved and lost, I can go deep into longing for the shoe boxes of mixtapes gone forever, the inexorable marching of time, etc. I yank myself back: Mixtape nostalgia is an old pastime, sticking your tongue in the spot where the pulled tooth was. Here I am, in this moment, with the splendor of endless choice! It’s a gift! Right?

As I write this, I’m listening to and loving Jana Horn, an artist new to me, whom I discovered via my colleague Lindsay Zoladz’s new newsletter, The Amplifier. The promise of The Amplifier is an alternative to the algorithm, personalized recommendations from a music critic who understands the paralysis of too many options. (Check out her list of songs that define her! A conceptual sibling of the likes/dislikes list I discussed a couple weeks ago.)

A friend recently told me she had undertaken the project of digitizing her old mixtapes, and I kicked myself again for not keeping mine. But there’s a lightness, a figurative and literal spaciousness to clearing shelf space for new enthusiasms, new obsessions. I have room for Lindsey’s twice-weekly recs, for new college radio stations and forest sounds and poolside tunes and other digital phenomena.

What are you listening to lately? Send me one song (just one!) that’s bringing you joy this spring, and I’ll compile them into a playlist, a human-curated, algorithm-free soundtrack to the new season.

For more

Sign up for The Amplifier.

A fascinating essay on how the shuffle button has changed everything.

“Despite the complaints of its critics, digital technology seems here to stay.” From 1985, “Invasion of the Compact Disks.”

Live shows are back, but buying tickets has become a mess of high prices, complicated registrations and scalping, The Times’s Ben Sisario writes.


You can bet on how “Succession” will end.

Do you love Picasso or loathe him? Fifty years after his death, the Times critic Deborah Solomon reflects on her feelings toward him — with essays for both admirers and haters.

Can you tell which of these photos is real?

A storied British soccer team is having one of its most remarkable seasons. But its competitor is getting more attention, thanks to the documentary series “Welcome to Wrexham.”

The Netflix series “Beef,” a dark comedy about a road-rage episode, is one of the best new shows of the past year, the Times critic James Poniewozik writes.

The first trailer for “Barbie,” directed by Greta Gerwig, set the internet ablaze.

“Shucked,” a musical about corn that opened on Broadway, pelts the audience with puns, dad jokes, one-liners and double entendres.

The comedian Alex Edelman is bringing his one-man show, “Just for Us,” to Broadway this summer.

A night of 1,000 Kates: Fans paid tribute to the singular Kate Bush.

The former Times restaurant critic Mimi Sheraton was a true omnivore, deeply curious well beyond the dinner table. She died at 97.

TikTok has outgrown its label as the “dance app.” But in the dance world, its influence is everywhere.

Angela Gheorghiu, one of opera’s few remaining old-school divas, is returning to the Met in “Tosca.”

See what’s on the “Paint” star Michaela Watkins’s phone.


A Texas judge issued a preliminary ruling invalidating F.D.A. approval of an abortion pill. But another judge quickly issued a decision that contradicted it.

The judges’ conflicting orders created a legal standoff that will almost certainly escalate to the Supreme Court.

Are abortion pills safe? Here’s the evidence.

Classified documents that appear to contain U.S. national security secrets surfaced online.

The U.S. generated job growth last month, but at a slowing rate that appeared to reflect the toll of rising interest rates.

Critics viewed the ejection of two lawmakers from the Tennessee House as race-driven and pushed to return them to their seats.

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas said he followed others’ advice when he decided not to disclose lavish gifts and travel from a wealthy conservative donor.


By Gilbert Cruz

🎬 “Renfield” (Friday): You would be forgiven for assuming that Nicolas Cage had previously played a vampire in multiple films. Technically, he has never played one (unless you consider his role in “Vampire’s Kiss” as canonically bloodsucking — whatever it is, it’s genuinely bananas). Until now. Here, he plays the real-deal Dracula, living in modern-day New Orleans, alongside his titular servant (Nicholas Hoult).

📺 “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (Friday): Amazon is closing the book on its award-winning show about a female stand-up comedian (Rachel Brosnahan) in ’50s and ’60s New York City with this fifth and final season. If you want more Brosnahan, you can find her on Broadway starring alongside Oscar Isaac starting at the end of April.


By Melissa Clark

Chicken Breasts With Lemon

Chicken seasoned with lemon is a classic, whether the bird is roasted whole or sautéed in parts. This beloved interpretation from Pierre Franey stars boneless, skinless chicken breasts that are quickly seared in a skillet and then coated in a tangy, easy pan sauce. The secret to its citrus intensity is using two teaspoons of grated lemon zest along with the juice. Some fresh or dried thyme, shallots and a little garlic round things out, while butter adds richness and helps carry the other flavors. You could serve the chicken as Franey suggests, with mashed potatoes with garlic and basil. But I think torn hunks from a crusty baguette would be effortlessly elegant — and just as appealing.


What you get for $295,000: A converted 19th-century schoolhouse in Elizaville, N.Y.; a one-bedroom condo in Washington, D.C.; or a 1920 home in Peoria, Ill.

The hunt: They had $350,000 and a dream to live together. Could they make it in Manhattan? Play our game.

Year of disappointment: Many hoped the housing market would improve. It hasn’t.

In the garden: Don’t forage for wild edible plants. Instead, welcome them into your garden.


2024 Olympics: Booking your trip to Paris already? Here’s what you need to know.

Flash weddings: Ceremonies can come together in little more than a week.

Hair oil: When a hair-care product favored by Black women became harder to find, attention turned to the influencers.

Stress relief: Ashwagandha is the supplement of the moment.

Brush, twice a day: Oral hygiene is crucial to your overall health.


Check your bike helmet

Prepping for your first spring bike ride? Examine your helmet. No, helmets don’t “expire” — the EPS foam under the shell can last for eons. (Just like foam coffee cups!) But if you’ve crashed while wearing your helmet — even if you don’t remember hitting your head — replace it. (Wirecutter has recommendations.) You can’t see whether the impact compressed the foam, and if it did, the foam is toast. Also, check the fit. If the straps tend to loosen or the padding inside has worn thin, your helmet won’t fit snugly, which means it can’t protect your head. — Christine Ryan


The Masters golf tournament: Last year, golf was ripped in two. LIV, an upstart league funded by Saudi Arabia, offered big-name players boatloads of money. The PGA Tour punished players who joined, and its members spent months sniping at their carpetbagging competitors. The drama comes to a head this weekend at one of golf’s most prestigious events, which includes players from both leagues. Everyone has been cordial so far, but make no mistake: Both leagues really want to win this one.

For more

A visual guide to Augusta National Golf Club’s most famous holes, which are named after flowers and plants that grow along the course.

Untangling the web of LIV Golf, which has ties to the Saudi crown prince, U.S. consulting firms and the Trump family.


The pangrams from yesterday’s Spelling Bee were painkilling and planking. Here is today’s puzzle.

Take the news quiz to see how well you followed this week’s headlines.

Here’s today’s Wordle, and today’s Mini Crossword.

Thanks for spending part of your weekend with The Times. — Melissa

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