The Curious Remaking Of David Foster Wallace


“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.”

Remembering Gunther Schuller


“Although he coined the expression “third stream” in the late 1950s as a suitable epithet for his own amalgam of classical and jazz forms, his music was technically complex and demanding. Hence it never secured a wide and sympathetic audience in his lifetime.”

James Patterson Gives Money For Books To 127 Schools


“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.”

Remembering The Most Powerful Man In Classical Music


“It is hard to think of Ronald Wilford, who died last week, aged 87, without a sneaking admiration. A self-schooled Machiavellian, a Mandelson of music, he invented a chimera of ‘the great conductor’ and, as president of Columbia Artists (CAMI), sold it at unimaginable profit.”

Finally – Disney Bans Selfie Sticks


“Beginning Tuesday, “The Happiest Place on Earth” will check for selfie sticks during routine bag checks when visitors enter its grounds. The ban will extend to California’s Disney Resort, as well as the company’s parks in Paris and Hong Kong.”

For The First Time In His 50-Year Career James Taylor Has A #1 Album


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.

Detroit Police Issue Arrest Warrant For Shepard Fairey


“Fairey is charged with two counts of malicious destruction of property after an arrest warrant was filed in Detroit’s 36th District Court on Friday. The crime carries a maximum sentence of five years in jail and fines of up to $10,000.”

Remembering Philosopher Martin Heidegger 40 Years Later


“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.”

Film Composer James Horner Dies In Plane Crash


“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.”

The Last Living Bohemian At The Chelsea Hotel Tells All

Last Living Bohemian At The Chelsea Hotel

“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.”

Conductor Gunther Schuller, 89


“Schuller began his career in the 1940s as a horn player with the Cincinnati Symphony and Metropolitan Opera, but his love of jazz led him to also become involved in New York’s bebop scene. He played on trumpeter Miles Davis’ seminal “Birth of the Cool” 1949-50 recording session.”

The New Orleans Jazz Musician Who Founded First African-American Owned Music Label


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.”

Underground Economy: Ghost Writers For The Toast Or Talk You Have To Give


“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.”

Jack Rollins, Manager And Mentor To Generations Of Comedy Legends, Dead At 100

jack rollins

“[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.”

Nek Chand, 90, Creator Of India’s Most Beloved Sculpture Garden


“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.

Dudamel Sidelined By Ailing Back


The spokeswoman for Gustavo Dudamel said via mail that the cancellations were due to “intense lower back spasms which have not been alleviated by prescribed medical treatment. His doctors have now ordered him to temporarily cease all work, get immediate further treatment, and rest.”

Conductor Walter Weller Dead At 75

walter weller

“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.”

Judi Dench: ‘I Live In Fear As An Actor’

judi dench

“I have a fear of everything – of not fitting into that slot, of not fulfilling that piece you are asked to do. I get more frightened [the more I do]. The more you do, the more frightening it is anyway as you are much more aware.’

Ralph Nader Is Opening A Museum About Lawsuits

ralph nader

“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.”)