“Yet none of his major compositions are in print, he rarely performs, and he places such extensive restrictions on performances of his music that it’s rarely heard. He has all but disappeared, by his own hand.”
“He has become a character, an icon, and in some circles a saint. A writer who courted contradiction and paradox, who could come on as a curmudgeon and a scold, who emerged from an avant-garde tradition and never retreated into conventional realism, he has been reduced to a wisdom-dispensing sage on the one hand and shorthand for the Writer As Tortured Soul on the other.”
“In March, Patterson invited librarians, teachers and principals to apply for $1,000 to $10,000 grants. Scholastic Reading Club, a division of children’s publisher Scholastic, pledged to match each grant with bonus points that can be used for books and classroom materials. More than 28,000 applications came pouring in.”
For the first time in his nearly half-century career, James Taylor topped the Billboard 200 Wednesday with his latest record, “Before This World.” The singer-songwriter’s first set of new songs since 2002’s “October Road” (which opened at No. 4), “Before This World” sold 96,000 copies during the week that ended Sunday, according to Nielsen Music.
“Next year will mark the 40th anniversary of his death. Yet he will not be commemorated in the way many of his disciples, such as Hannah Arendt, Richard Rorty, and Jacques Derrida, have been. Evidence that Heidegger at one time was a member of the Nazi party has led to a chilling effect on the way he is being studied, and remembered: his thought is once again being set aside because of his political adventure, and apparently racist views.”
“One of Hollywood’s most highly regarded and prolific film composers, Horner wrote the music for well over 100 movies in the course of his career, touching on every conceivable genre. His credits include some of the most successful films of the last three decades, and he collaborated with many of the industry’s top directors, including Ron Howard, Terrence Malick and James Cameron.”
“Paramount among them is Gerald Busby, composer, pianist, author of one of the great modern dance scores (Paul Taylor’s Runes), H.I.V. survivor, and also, at one time, as he confides openly, a crack addict. In his tiny studio apartment, complete with piano, at the hotel … on a good morning you can still find him holding forth on art, life, music, Robert Altman, Virgil Thomson, the crack epidemic, and the many uses of hotel (and human) adversity.”
Harold Battiste “was instrumental in developing New Orleans music icon Mac Rebennack’s famous Dr. John persona, producing his celebrated first album, 1968’s ‘Gris Gris,’ a spooky, psychedelic-tinged stew of voodoo New Orleans R&B recorded in L.A. Battiste and Dr. John reportedly cut the album quickly using leftover studio time from a Sonny and Cher session.”
“At a time when everything is a branding opportunity, and toasts live on for posterity in social media, few people want to be memorialized “um”-ing, “you know”-ing” and “remember that time we got drunk”-ing their way into ignominy. And yet: Nobody wants to admit he Botoxed his son’s bar mitzvah toast with some punch lines from an “Everybody Loves Raymond” writer. A result is a little-known under-the-table economy.”
“[He was] a sharp judge of talent who saw more than a shy gag-writer in Woody Allen and believed that the manic improvisations of Robin Williams would crack up audiences … To his clients – who also included Billy Crystal, David Letterman, Lenny Bruce and the team of Mike Nichols and Elaine May, an American pantheon of hilarity – he was a father-confessor, real estate agent, psychiatrist, marriage counselor and financial guru.”
“Having embarked on a mission to turn waste into beauty, Chand used broken crockery, iron foundry clinker, electric plug moulds, fluorescent tubes, bicycle frames, bottles, glass bangles, shells, cooking pots and smashed up bathroom fittings to create his wonderland” – the Rock Garden of Chandigarh.
“He started his career as a violinist, joining the Vienna Philharmonic (in which his father, also Walter, was a violinist) at the age of 17, and at 22 became joint concertmaster with Willi Boskovsky. … In 1977 he was appointed Principal Conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and … led the Scottish National Orchestra from 1992 to ’97.”
“Officially titled the American Museum of Tort Law, the nonprofit attraction will focus on aspects of the legal system that handle wrongful actions that result in injury, otherwise known as ‘torts’.” (Unfortunately, Nader rejected the idea to have “a clock that marks time by having a life-size Pinto erupt in flames every hour, on the hour.”)