an blog | AJBlog Central | Contact me

Archives for April 2010

Come Here Girl, Hand Me That Kazoo

In contrast to that last post highlighting the "dare you to define it" music I have in heavy rotation this week, Tom Service points to the good in the stuff of blatant genre crossing, awarding an A for effort in an era when the "genres of 'pop' and 'classical' now demand such different things from singers that the days of meaningful genre-hopping--when Enrico Caruso and Mario Lanza ruled the charts, the stage and the screen--may be over." Though it doesn't do it for me--the fact that they went … [Read more...]

If I Made You a Mix Tape

Though I don't wake up with post-show ink-stamped hands that often anymore, my current temporary tattoo is a souvenir from Owen Pallett's performance last night at Baltimore's Metro Gallery. He's touring his latest, Heartland, and since a distinctively employed violin is a personal weakness of mine, I had to see how this guy did it first hand. Nitsuh Abebe, who turned me on to Pallett's work in the first place, already paid the new album his compliments and, well, what he said. Pallett creates … [Read more...]

Well, That’s Not Going to Bring Sexy Back

Now, I know there's that saying about how the only bad publicity is no publicity. And isn't making orchestral performance just another part of American life on the list of how we are going to save classical music? But still, if the older woman + Depend undergarments + symphony set-up doesn't make you cringe, just wait for the "magic wand" line. Between that and an inability to operate the complex mechanics of a music stand, this spot may have just set the perception of women conductors back 30 … [Read more...]

Absolute Engagement

Who says a listener can't get in the groove without a discernible backbeat? Composers given to making complex statements just have to come at the issue from a different angle. Or at least that's the challenge Richard Carrick threw down for himself. I'm taking a little personal time out this week, but I filed this tidbit before shutting off the office lights. Luckily, Carrick was very kind to your humble reporter and never made me try and say "Csíkszentmihályi" on tape. It wasn't pretty! … [Read more...]

Welcome to the Woods, Baby

Man, it's the track that just keeps giving. Though in some ways not quite as awesome as this one, the version below has a toy piano, tax code/cow tipping/leaf peeping references, and extensive Robert Frost quoting. I'm torn! [via BoingBoing] … [Read more...]

Via the Transom

"Surely you have been forwarded this 64 (65?) times already today?"I had not. It is brilliant. So just in case you also got left off the forward list...A Tax Form for the Marginally Employed … [Read more...]

We Are All Fact Checkers Now

Lately when I consume media online, I've noticed that I read a few graphs or watch a few minutes and then, in an increasingly frequent breach of self-control, I skip down to the comments to see what kind of discussion the piece generated. The comments can be pretty pointless, but in many places readers offer additional information, alternative viewpoints, etc. that fill out the topic at hand in some cool/useful way. Particularly if it's something like a recipe, I can look for tips or corrections … [Read more...]


Life in (and therefore the music of) New Orleans mixed up with the creators of The Wire. As a now-somewhat-established Baltimorean with a passion for great music, that's an epic TV series equation. Sadly for me, we are not HBO subscribers; the early reviews for Treme only rub salt in that wound. The show premieres tonight at 10 p.m., for those who find themselves in more connected circumstances. … [Read more...]

Can I Get a One Man Band?

And now to fly in the face of what I said previously, perhaps education is exactly what we need. At least the building and a 17-year-old kid with creativity to burn. [via boingboing] … [Read more...]

What a Difference a Soundtrack Makes

Sometimes aural context is everything, or at least it's a pretty good chunk. [via Mashable] Speaking of the power of musical association: When the weather turns no-jacket warm again, I always fall into a bit of windows down/car stereo music revery, in that "this has been the soundtrack of my life" kind of way. This past weekend has been a good climate for that. The music stores so much information in addition to what the composer/artist was trying to get across. Visual images come back in a … [Read more...]

an ArtsJournal blog