Blog Posts on Arts and Culture
This Spring, there will be Congressional meetings and hearings about how the arts and music benefit the economy and education. What do you think Congress can do to bolster the arts? Or conversely, should they do anything?
By the time our current Membership Campaign is over, I will have worked for three and a half pledge drives at WXXI. Every time we finish a pledge drive, I find myself thinking the same thought: doing this should be mandatory for any college student trying to make a living in the arts.
One Saturday morning Rex Fowler came in early to WRUR on the day of an Aztec Two Step show. They were playing at 8 pm. The previous year he and Neal Shulman, the other half of the duo, came in. Great to hear them together doing some new songs and older ones I remember from college.
This time Rex was exposed as a solo artist. It felt like a secret we weren't supposed to talk about in public...
"When popular duos go solo."
I like to abide by Duke Ellington's mantra that "There are two kinds of music: good music and bad music." But what defines good music? Let's consider some pieces of "new" music--are they good or not?
Mozart turned 250, and you couldn't turn around without banging your shins on another recording of Eine Kleine Nachtmusik. Mendelssohn turns 200 and...not so much.
Aaron Copland's book "What to Listen for in Music" invites music fans of all types to consider listening to music on multiple levels and multiple planes. Last weekend at a concert, I caught myself listening on just one level, and it got me thinking how others listen.
A big, big day in DC means some primo exposure for a select few musicians. Most of it worked, and somemissed the mark.
I have an addiction: The Detroit Tigers. But that's not what I'm writing about today, rather I shall write about another addiction I have: I peruse musician info pages on orchestra websites. I mostly want to find out what else orchestra musicians do besides play in orchestra. Sometimes I'm dissappointed ("I like to go to chamber music concerts" really? That's all?). Sometimes it's enlightening ("I compete in triathalons" way to go!).
Back again, with the top five cds from 2008.
Looking over what was left off, quite a few could have been easily selected, and almost were. Sometimes it's just what strikes you at that moment. Next entry I'll visit some of the recordings that nearly made it into the top ten, and deserve mention.
Even with the strong competition, I'll stick with my top five as being deserving of mention of best of 2008. They were the ones that had great staying power throughout the year, all for different reasons.
Let's count down to number one beginning with...
2008 was a rich year for songs. In my last-day-of-the-year retrospective radio show, there was barely time for a third of the music chosen. New groups, seasoned writers, quirky styles and twists of imagination. A select number of these songs were found on albums that were strong all the way through.
What else separated the top ten from the pack...
• Clarity and depth of emotion in the writing and performance of a song(s).
• The obscure fun factor.