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Better Know a Meme

Do internet memes perplex you? Do you just not care enough to follow (or do you need your kids to explain) that thing with the cats, that squirrel, or Kanye at the mic? Well, there's a site that will do it for you, and it will even parse the Auto-Tune trend trajectory (though admittedly the "how" does not illuminate the "why"). [via Waxy] … [Read more...]

What’s in Your RSS Feed?

In (finally) setting up a blog aggregator for myself a couple weeks ago, I realized how far behind I've fallen since the days when my Friday Informer deadlines kept me on a regular hunt for great online content. However, now that I am properly outfitted with a consumption method, I love finding out who is reading what and why. But it's also making me wonder: Is anyone regularly reading blogs anymore, or have they been traded in for your TweetDeck? Who ranks as the best of the bunch you are … [Read more...]

Epic Advertising

Yes, the "Painfully Honest and Epic Mobile Home Commercial" is more, um, well, more everything. [via BoingBoing] But the one designed by Rhett and Link of "I Love Local Commercials" for Ray's Midbell Music of Sioux City, Iowa, capitalizing on the "band rap", is awkwardly poignant as well. Now, I hear the LA Phil has the community cultural advertising thing down, but some other towns might need a hand in the marketing department. I'm not sure if these guys are open to such a project, but just … [Read more...]

Pardon Our Dust

Okay, admittedly this is a Gap commercial, of all things, and extrapolating large life lessons from it might be a little lame and more than a bit misguided, but it got me thinking about the role of art--as in: is the ultimate goal of art always to shake up our private worlds and ways of experiencing things, to let us mentally knock over a mannequin in the middle of a department store, so to say? And what about our arts institutions? Do we need them to be the staunch, quiet pillars and white … [Read more...]

Let’s Get Philosophical

Some years ago Carnegie Hall asked me to draft a composer profile/program note for Idiot Divine, a solo show of Rinde Eckert's they were putting up in Zankel Hall. I didn't know much about Eckert's work before preparing for our quick interview, but I remembered that phone call for a long while afterward both because of what he had to say and the fact that he could be so philosophical with a phone in one hand and a spatula in the other (he was simultaneously chatting about theatrical devices and … [Read more...]

They Don’t Have WiFi In This Coffee Shop, Do They?

Moving into a new community, even for a short time, requires adaptation. When traveling in America, I usually find these adjustments to be small in scale and yet strangely frustrating--challenges of the "they sell 10 kinds of Coke and yet there's not a single bottle of plain seltzer at the gas station?!?" variety. And grumble though I do about eating dinner before six, the lack of public transport, and what's not playing at the local cineplex--basically, the way people live their lives in … [Read more...]

Music My Mom Likes

Indeed!Hipsters everywhere should take heed. Buble's success demonstrates the enormous power of that not-yet-banished sector of entertainment consumers: uncool people. While their tastes may account for zero percent of the stories America's hipster-obsessed music press writes, they still control a vast swath of the actual music spending dollar. [via Gawker] … [Read more...]

Song of Ourselves

I'm seriously into musicals lately, of a television kind. First there was this, and now this: The humor lies in having actually sat in the theater when the curtain went up once or twice, though, no? Would it, could it actually be a murderously good joke without that part? … [Read more...]

Thou Shalt Not Joke!

As anyone who has lived some of it knows, there is plenty of funny to be found in orchestra life [link via Adaptistration], but there are people who get anxious when you giggle over it. I love that Leonard Slatkin (or the people behind his website at least--anyone know if he'd be the sort to pen this kind of thing himself? Leonard, are you out there?) was willing to go there. I mean, it  has impact precisely because it's a Music Director of Slatkin's reputation tossing out ideas like: … [Read more...]

Without You(r Donation), We’re Doomed

Considering I've had my head buried in the "so how are we going to pay for this whole internet journalism thingy" issue quite a bit over the past couple of weeks, I read this article covering "public radio's 10 most effective fundraising strategies" with a close eye. I mean, what NPR listener hasn't groaned aloud when turning on the radio in the wee hours only to discover that she is going to have to endure the guilt trip that is the week-long fundraiser? Still most of us remain unable to change … [Read more...]

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