Musical Building Blocks

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The first thing that comes to mind when you think of the jazz piano are probably smoky late night bars and cool cats in fedoras.

But would you think of quilting?

Jason Moran does. Along with critical acclaim for ...

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World Cup Worries

Monday, June 28, 2010

(Photo by Flickr user Axel Bührmann)

The 2010 World Cup is in full swing. And while the eyes of the world are trained on South Africa, not everyone in the host nation is sold on the event.

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Drink Bitches Brew

Friday, June 25, 2010

Last week, Delaware's Dogfish Head Brewery announced that they'd be commemorating the fortieth anniversary of Miles Davis's singular fusion album Bitches Brew with a beer of the same name. In addition to being ...

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Fred Hersch Whirls Again

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Two years ago, celebrated jazz pianist Fred Hersch was in the throes of a life-threatening, A.I.D.S.-related dementia.  He'd been living with H.I.V. since the mid-'80s, but when the virus spread to his brain, he suffered hallucinations, paranoia, and fell into a coma.

Perhaps the only ...

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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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