Jayme having noted that the rest of us have also been tagged with the Thinking Blogger Award, which requires us to each identify five other blogs that make us thing, here's my partially considered selection:
1. Mark Dery's Shovelware. America's greatest living culture critic is the model for the blog post-as-essay approach to weblogging that some of us here aspire to emulate. Every post a densely packed treatise of connections between disparate threads no one but Mark could interweave, consistently lighting up one's brain while making one squirm at the white slippery things this cultural spelunker spots with his headlamp in the dark subterrain of American consciousness. If you want the full treatment, Mark's The Pyrotechnic Insanitarium is mandatory reading for understanding the current Zeitgeist.
2. The Bad Plus' Do the Math. When not exploding your head with cascading cool improvisational jazz renditions of such jazz standards as Rush's Tom Sawyer, Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit, Vangelis' Theme from Chariots of Fire, and their own superior compositions, Ethan Iverson, Reid Anderson and Dave King of The Bad Plus (mostly Ethan) maintain a consistently outstanding blog annotating and reinventing the history of contemporary jazz (and its interrelation with other popular music) as well as riffing on their own pop and pulp cultural interests.
3. Simon Sellars' Ballardian. The persistent Mr. Sellars has taken the idea of a site devoted to the works of an author and transformed it into something far more powerful -- a blog that documents the world's increasing memetic resonance with the peculiar "Earth is the alien planet" worldview of the author. Welcome to life in the Ballardosphere.
4. Geoff Manaugh's BLDG BLOG. "Architectural conjecture, urban speculation, landscape futures." Blog as documentary futurism of our three-dimensional space and its reflections on the back of our foreheads. Beautiful, crisp, and deep, realizing the Ballardian notion that the application of a science fictional sensibility to the present is the only true way to understand it.
5. The Chronicle of Higher Education's Arts & Letters. An old school compilation of links with thumbnail blurbs in the manner of Robot Wisdom, Arts & Letters scours the Internet mediascape for the day's freshest nuggets of intellectual interest for a primarily academic audience -- philosophy, aesthetics, literature, language, ideas, criticism, culture, history, music, art, trends, breakthroughs, disputes, and ivory tower gossip. Mandatory daily stop-off point.