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Monday, November 6

Visual Arts

A Culture Of Guarantees? More and more sellers of art at this fall's auctions are asking for (and getting) guarantees. "Some 48 of the 168 works being offered at Sotheby's two evening sales have guarantees. Christie's has granted guarantees for 49 of the 168 works in its two evening sales."
CultureGrrl (AJBlogs) 11/06/06 Posted: 11/06/2006 10:21 am

Glassed In: High-Rise Living, Corporate Style "In New York City, glass has long been considered a workplace material - honest, transparent and spare, as befits containers of capitalism. There's rarely much to see: Accounts Payable in one skyscraper looks pretty much like Accounts Payable in another. But in the past few years, as the home and office have merged thanks to portable gadgetry, apartment buildings have come to look like corporate headquarters, with their floor-to-ceiling, column-to-column windows."
Newsday 11/06/06 Posted: 11/06/2006 8:32 am

Roofs Reconsidered "Thanks in part to the surging popularity of Google Earth and other Web-based programs, which give the public a bracingly new, if detached, way to interact with the built environment, rooftops are shedding their reputation as forgotten, wind-swept corners of the urban landscape and moving toward the center of architectural practice."
Los Angeles Times 11/06/06 Posted: 11/06/2006 7:49 am

The West (History W/O The Kitsch?) The Museum of the American West (formerly the Autry Museum of Western Heritage) has reinvented the way it presents history of the West. "In the next few years it has the potential to map out a new form of historical museum in the United States, one that is neither an intoxicated celebration of Western fantasy — turning itself into another stage set in a fictionalized drama."
The New York Times 11/06/06 Posted: 11/06/2006 7:45 am

Architecture - The Next Wave? Architects have been producing flashier and flasier pojects in the past decade. But there are starting to be signs, writes Blair Kamin, that the most interesting architecture on the horizon speaks in a quieter voice.
Chicago Tribune 11/05/06 Posted: 11/05/2006 6:11 pm

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What's So Perfect About Perfect Pitch? "So-called perfect pitch is supposedly innate and only achievable at the youngest stages of life. But while it is advantageous for someone to have developed his or her tonal ear as a child, it by no means precludes one from ever learning to hear music in such a way." NewMusicBox 11/06/06
Posted: 11/06/2006 10:27 am

Ross: How Steve Reich Changed Music Three decades ago, New York’s leading institutions would have nothing to do with Steve Reich. Yet, writes Alex Ross, "Reich changed music, and he also changed how music relates to society. In the face of early incomprehension, he took a do-it-yourself approach to getting his work before the public." The New Yorker 11/06/06
Posted: 11/06/2006 8:54 am

Musicians Get More Control Of Their Careers Getting that record contract with a big label is not so important as it once was. "The do-it-yourself circuit was once a patchwork of live shows and sporadic college-radio exposure, but the Internet has changed that. Now, the most obscure band can put up a page on myspace.com and have its music streamed on any Internet connection, any time." The New York Times 11/06/06
Posted: 11/06/2006 7:37 am

South Korean Pianist Wins "Eccentric" Honens Prize Minsoo Sohn was awarded the Canadian prize, which comes with a cash award of $35,000. The competition is eccentric, perhaps. "But the encores and lack of bloodsport help demonstrate what sort of personalities the musicians have onstage and how they might contribute to the overall audience experience." The Globe & Mail (Canada) 11/06/06
Posted: 11/06/2006 7:05 am

A Boom In Old Time String Bands "In this decade more and more musicians under the age of 30 have picked up banjos and fiddles and hit a burgeoning circuit of festivals, small-town theaters and big-city nightclubs. They don’t want to play their parents’ music, but they do long for a tradition older than themselves, one with memorable melodies, deep stories and a boisterous beat." The New York Times 11/05/05
Posted: 11/05/2006 6:05 pm

A Theatrical Bent On Opera Director Bart Sher doesn't read music, and he doesn't speak Italian. So he's directing Italian opera at the Met. "Plays are harder to stage than operas, because in opera the musical form determines so much. If I were doing a play, I would work with the actors layer by layer, taking it slowly. You know, we’d go through a passage to show how Rosina is being evasive. Then to show how she’s being a bitch. Then we’d look at how the language moves and how it picks up. We wouldn’t get up to speed for three or four rehearsals. We don’t have that kind of time here." The New York Times 11/05/06
Posted: 11/05/2006 6:01 pm

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Arts Issues

Designing The Post-Apocalytic New York "Whatever kind of place New Yorkers will inhabit a century from now, it will probably not look much like the hallucinations that went on display briefly in Grand Central Station on Thursday and will reappear on the History Channel's Web site (history.com) sometime next month. Since incremental change is too difficult to conceive, most designers imagined a post-apocalyptic Manhattan half-drowned by rising oceans." Newsday 11/06/06
Posted: 11/06/2006 8:44 am

Europe's New Three-Year College Standard (And The US?) Forty-five European nations have "pledged to make three years the standard time for their undergraduate degrees by 2010. Under 'the Bologna Process,' named for the Italian city where the agreement for “harmonizing” European higher education was signed in 1999, degrees are supposed to be sufficiently similar that they will be recognized from one country to the next, encouraging student mobility. What happens when some of that mobility involves graduate study in the United States?" InsideHigherEd 11/06/06
Posted: 11/06/2006 7:34 am

Israel A Player On World Arts Scene Israeli artists have been grabbing headlines... Israel21c 11/06/06
Posted: 11/06/2006 7:10 am

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Remembering Critic Dan Cariaga Daniel Cariaga was a music critic for the LA Times for 34 years. "Criticism can be a profession for the insecure. But Danny was more secure than any critic I have ever known. He was not a moth attracted to the flame. For all his years at The Times, he held the No. 2 position and didn't apply for the top slot when it opened. As a musician, he trained as an accompanist. I view this as a result of a higher calling than that of stoking the ego. He put music first. In his early years, he told me, he could only write if he put his typewriter on the piano." Los Angeles Times 11/06/06
Posted: 11/06/2006 7:57 am

Critic Richard Gilman, 83 "Richard Gilman, an eloquent and exacting theater critic who helped sharpen America's definition of modern drama, died at his home in Kusatsu, Japan, Oct. 28." Los Angeles Times 11/05/06
Posted: 11/05/2006 6:30 pm

Music Critic Daniel Cariaga, 71 Cariaga was a longtime classical music critic for the Los Angeles Times. "Danny Cariaga was the quiet, careful and profoundly knowledgeable chronicler of Los Angeles' musical life for more than 40 years. He was a critic's critic. His prose was concise, graceful, understated. And his instinct in finding — and his love of sharing — pleasure in all that he heard and witnessed was unique." Los Angeles Times 11/05/06
Posted: 11/05/2006 6:24 pm

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Taking A Look At Tony Kushner "Kushner is a world-class mensch. He's also one of the most ambitious contemporary playwrights around. But great theater isn't synonymous with great causes, and none of his other plays has come close to eliciting the resounding critical acclaim of 'Angels.' What's more, there are obvious costs to his public availability, exploited by journalists in need of a sound bite as much as by dogged documentary filmmakers. Simply put, if you're constantly holding forth on what you do as a writer, how can you protect the imaginative insularity needed to do it?" Los Angeles Times 11/05/06
Posted: 11/05/2006 6:28 pm

A Samuel Beckett Birthday (So What!) "After the myriad tomes assuring us of his preeminence among postwar writers, it's not exactly clear how the strangely muttering voices filling the voids of his blasted landscapes speak to us today. What was once so radical — tramps on an apocalyptic heath, characters popping out of trash cans, an isolated mouth foaming verbal ooze — has become instantly recognizable, even familiar." Los Angeles Times 11/05/06
Posted: 11/05/2006 6:19 pm

Colorado Stage Smoking Ban Is Dramatically Odd Last week a Colorado judge ruled that smoking onstage was not an "artistic expression." "Must it really be argued that smoking can reveal character or propel a plotline? Can you imagine a 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolff' without Martha blowing smoke in George's face?" Denver Post 11/05/06
Posted: 11/05/2006 6:13 pm

Silicon Valley Looks To Stabilize Its Theaters "The San Jose City Council voted 10-0 Tuesday to approve a $1 million loan to American Musical Theatre of San Jose. Two weeks earlier, on Oct. 17, the City Council voted by the same margin to bail out the more seriously financially troubled San Jose Repertory Theatre with a $2 million line of credit. The timing is not coincidental. The aid extended to the city's two largest theater companies is part of the city's new $4 million Arts Stabilization Fund." San Francisco Chronicle 11/04/06
Posted: 11/05/2006 7:14 am

Avast! Me Show Is Takin' On Water! "The Pirate Queen, a $15 million musical from the creators of Les Miserables and Miss Saigon, is listing badly in Chicago, the first leg of its voyage to Broadway. Local critics fired cannonballs at it - 'ill-ruddered' (Boom!), 'drearily predictable' (Boom!) - and Broadway insiders who trekked west to see it say it needs a massive overhaul. But is the creative team up to the job?" New York Post 11/04/06
Posted: 11/05/2006 7:01 am

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Wanted: A Toronto To Write About Toronto is a compelling big city. Yet it doesn't show up in great fiction. "Is there something about the Toronto landscape, or the Toronto soul, or lack of soul, that discourages writers from fully engaging this city in their fiction?" Toronto Star 11/05/06
Posted: 11/06/2006 8:52 am

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Listening For A Clear Channel Scenario Lost of speculation about what a sale of media behemoth Clear Channel might mean. "Clear Channel is often painted with a broad stroke by critics who decry the entertainment behemoth's lack of programing diversity. If the sale does go through, will its programing become more interesting? It depends on who you ask." Yahoo! (Reuters) 11/05/06
Posted: 11/05/2006 6:40 pm

A Shift In Basic TV Consumption More people are watching TV online. "A growing number of people, particularly males ages 18 to 24, have turned to their personal computer for television shows. Last week, the Conference Board, a research company that tracks consumer Internet habits, reported that 1 in 10 online users now watches television on a computer. With YouTube in the mainstream, and major networks offering shows online free, the subtle shift from the television to the PC is under way, analysts say." San Francisco Chronicle 11/05/06
Posted: 11/05/2006 6:21 pm

Especially If Your Movie Has A Flaming River What's the best city in the U.S. for shooting a film? Not New York: too expensive, too crowded. Seattle? Eh - they had their moment. So what about... Cleveland? No, wait, we're serious. The Plain Dealer (Cleveland) 11/04/06
Posted: 11/05/2006 7:09 am

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What's Wrong With Dance Criticism "We've let movement description dominate our reviews for too long," writes Apollinaire Sher. "You know, 'Miriam Morningflower lifts her leg, whirls, climbs on her partner's back.' We show and show and show, when we ought to mainly tell." Foot in Mouth (AJBlogs) 11/06/06
Posted: 11/06/2006 8:59 am

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