Andrew Jackson Rules

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Part history lesson, part satire, part blood bath — a lovely night at the theater, no? “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson” (now up at New York’s Public Theater) is a singing, dancing, punk-rocking rollick through the 7th presidency.

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You'll Love This

Monday, June 21, 2010

This weekend saw the opening of 'I am Love,' an Italian film directed by Luca Guadagnino and starring Tilda Swinton (performing in Italian). It's beautiful to watch, but what's really exciting is how beautiful it sounds.

Pulitzer prize-winning composer John Adams is the source for ...

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The Next American Idol

Friday, June 18, 2010

Sometimes we cling tightly to things we deem 'traditional' without realizing they're not as deeply entrenched in our history as we thought. Take Uncle Sam: he hasn't changed much since J. M. Flagg's iconic World War I recruitment poster, in which he appeared as an older white man wearing a snazzy ...

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Hey World, Look At Us, We're The Greatest

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Oh, say can you compose a new anthem?

Well, the jury's still out on that. A few weeks ago we began our listener challenge to create a new national anthem with the hopes that people would write new lyrics and music for song that could take the place of the ...

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BLK JKS: Too Good For Vowels

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

It's hard to imagine a band getting more exposure than by playing at the opening ceremony of the World Cup.  With the eyes of the world on South Africa last Thursday, the nation's own BLK JKS delivered what was arguably the best performance of the night.

At the ...

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360 Staff Pick: Emeralds

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

These days, most synthesizer music feels like some variant of techno, noise, or drone.  Refreshing, then, that Emeralds are using those same sounds to update the more lyrical electronic styles pioneered by German bands like Kraftwerk.  On the new album Does It Look Like ...
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1970s Psychedelia: West African Style

Monday, June 14, 2010

With perfect BBQ weather already here, it's an ideal time to dig out your kaftan and get some world music tunes pumping on your stereo. And there’s no one better at making you want to groove and grill than 'Sir' Victor Uwaifo. The 'Sir' is entirely unofficial, but ...

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A Marriage Made on Stage

Friday, June 11, 2010

Earlier this week, Darci Kistler swung by Studio 360 on her way home from rehearsal. A beloved soloist with the New York City Ballet, Kistler was the last principal chosen by ballet giant George Balanchine, before his death in 1983.  After a laudable 30-year career, she'll ...

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360 Staff Pick: Short Stories that Pack a Punch

Thursday, June 10, 2010

A volume of collected stories by any writer can be daunting, but Lydia Davis’s are all so small and seemingly light that dipping in and out feels easy. Her tone often seems dry or ironic (as with the wonderfully titled 'Samuel Johnson Is Indignant'). But beware: Davis packs a punch. ...

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I Am Sitting in a Video Room

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

In 1969, experimental composer Alvin Lucier designed a simple project with a not-so-simple intention.   He sat in a room and made a short recording of his voice, which he then played back into the same room and re-recorded.  Lucier then re-recorded the re-recording, and repeated this process over ...

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Get Shorty

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Troy Andrews earned his nickname at a jazz funeral.  Only four years old at the time, Andrews was parading with a trombone almost twice his size – his older brother spotted him and shouted "Trombone Shorty!"

A couple feet taller and twenty years older, Shorty still hasn't outgrown ...

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"Painter of Light" Goes Bust

Monday, June 07, 2010

When I came across the work of the painter Thomas Kinkade, almost a decade ago, I was fascinated and appalled. As you know if you listen to the show, I'm really not a snob -- I loved The Hangover, for instance, and don't really get opera.

...
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Will the Real Ben Frost Please Stand Up?

Friday, June 04, 2010

There are a lot of people in the world with the same name. I've heard that “Mohammed” is the most common first name worldwide, and that the most common surname is “Li” (though I've never heard of a Mohammed Li...yet). I'm not sure where “Ben Frost” ranks, but I'm amused ...

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Renée Fleming Goes Pop

Thursday, June 03, 2010

This weekend, Renée Fleming will release her 29th album. But it isn't a new recording of a Romantic opera or a set of lieder: America's favorite soprano has gone pop.

Dark Hope features eleven covers, including songs by the Arcade Fire and Jefferson Airplane.  And Fleming ...

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Waiting for Tolkien

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Guillermo del Toro was an inspired pick to direct the The Hobbit, the prequel to the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  If anybody can keep Bilbo from getting cute – and keep Gollum genuinely creepy -- it’s the director of Pan’s Labyrinth.  When del Toro visited Studio 360 last ...

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Now Playing in an Aspirational Design Catalogue Near You

Friday, May 28, 2010

Earlier this year, we introduced you to an Indian artist named Vijay Singh.  For decades, he painted the bright, larger-than-life murals that showcased current attractions in Delhi’s old Bollywood movie theaters.  Then digital printing put him out of a job.  But he may have found a new market: hipster home decorator CB2.

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Happy Birthday to Two Hip-Hop Greats

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Today is a big day for hip-hop: it’s the birthday of both André 3000 and RJD2. Born just one year apart, they both have had an indelible influence on the genre – and in very different ways.

André 3000 is one half of Outkast, whose 2004 ...

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Daedelus Captures Lightning in a Bottle

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

This Memorial Day weekend kicks off the Lightning in A Bottle festival in Irvine, California.   The four-day event bills itself as 'equal parts music, art and green workshops' — and the name isn't a bad description for the music of one of its headliners.

The musician and producer ...

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Experimenting with Laughing Gas

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Richard Holmes tells the story of chemist Humphrey Davy’s experiments with nitrous oxide (a.k.a. laughing gas). It's a wild tale of how the scientist convinced friends — like the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Mark Roget — to be human guinea pigs. Ironically enough, Roget (the future creator of Roget's Thesaurus) had trouble picking words to describe his experience: "I felt myself totally incapable of speaking."

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360 Staff Pick: Bloody Sunday

Monday, May 24, 2010

Paul Greengrass' recent theatrical release, Green Zone, gets bogged down with heavy-handed story about the search for (nonexistent) WMDs in Iraq. Far more satisfying is his 2002 film, Bloody Sunday. It portrays the Irish civil rights protest and massacre at the hands of British paratroopers in ...

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