Monday, January 04, 2010
It's a great day for jazz: Henry Threadgill's first major release since 2001. Saxophonist, composer, bandleader Threadgill is one of the most important and underknown figures in American music. He made his mark in the 1970s with the trio Air, arranging and improvising on Scott Joplin and Jelly Roll Morton songs; unlike many modernists, Threadgill never lost that sense of connection to jazz's earthy, vernacular roots. His dense, knotty, polyrhythmic music may tease your brain, but you'll feel it in the gut – from his Zooid quintet, he builds a visceral propulsion like a symphony. If you're hip to Coltrane or the late Miles, you should acquaint yourself with this living master.
Friday, January 01, 2010
Thursday, December 31, 2009
This weekend, Studio 360 broadcasts its special time travel show, recorded in front of a live audience at WNYC's Jerome L. Greene Performance Space. And with this decade coming to an end, it seems like a good opportunity to revisit some of the events and trends from the 2000's that we'll always remember.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
As the New Year closes in and we all take a little time for reflection, I can’t help but wonder what I’ll be doing at the close of the next decade -- and the next, and the next... I get solace and inspiration from a 'Studio 360' episode from last February which featured several older folks who are still productive, or had even started something new later in life.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
With the new decade fast-approaching, I can't help but think about reinvention. Studio 360 has done several segments that take dusty old ideas and wipe them clean with poetry. Recycling them into verse can reveal surprises. Here are some of my favorites.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Composer Andrew Byrne spends most of his time in the U.S., but White Bone Country is about the ferocious, almost abstract deserts of his native Australia. The instrumentation of piano and percussion sounds austere, but -- played by crack musicians Stephen Gosling and David Shively -- the ...
Thursday, December 24, 2009
This week, Studio 360 follows the ever-evolving Sherlock Holmes, who jumps off the pages of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle into the modern world as children's lit's Encyclopedia Brown and TV's Dr. House.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
At this point, just two days before Christmas, you're probably waking up at odd hours with 'O Little Town of Bethlehem' playing on that radio station inside your head. Some songs never seem to go away. And then there are those that really don’t.
Friday, December 18, 2009
When I first talked to Phil Kline about his boombox Christmas carol “Unsilent Night” (for a Village Voice article in 2002), I went in assuming that Kline was Jewish. Nothing weird about that, I figured; “White Christmas” is by Irving Berlin. Wrong. Kline was raised by devout Christians in Pennsylvania. Still, he rejected the idea that his piece was religious music.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
With yesterday’s announcement of the Golden Globe nominees, it’s officially awards season. Before you watch them work the red carpet (and, perhaps, get tipsy during the broadcast), hear how they got there in the first place. Listen to Kurt Andersen's conversations with nominees including Kathryn Bigelow, Jason Reitman, and Marvin Hamlisch.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
The Muppets have a proud tradition of taking the hit songs and making them their own: muppet-izing them, shall we say. The Sesame Street gang had a string of successes with “Letter B” (ala the Beatles’s “Let Her Be”), “Born to Add” (ala the Boss’s “Born to Run”) and “U Really Got a Hold On Me” featuring Smokey Robinson and a rather clingy Letter U.
Monday, December 14, 2009
We’ve about reached the halfway point in Copenhagen’s two-week long negotiating bonanza known as the UN Conference of the Parties. One hot topic (no pun intended) is the practice of carbon offsetting. Yes, offsetting is an economically efficient solution, but does it ultimately fail us?
Friday, December 11, 2009
This week on Studio 360, Kurt unpacks the songwriting inspirations of Rickie Lee Jones, the reigning 'Duchess of Coolsville.' In this gem from the cutting room floor, she discusses the songwriter who makes her think 'we're made from the same part of God's clay.' (Plus, don’t miss Kurt’s five-second debut as a back-up singer.)
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
This week, 15,000 delegates and 110 heads of state from 192 nations are in Copenhagen to (we hope) negotiate a treaty to address the causes of climate change. It turns out that a number of artists have also arrived in the Danish capital, intent on delivering their own messages about what is at stake.
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
On December 3, the United Nations named Stevie Wonder a Messenger of Peace. 'We all know Stevie Wonder is a musical genius whose songs have given pleasure and hope to millions of people around the world,” U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stated. “He is also a great humanitarian who has campaigned against apartheid, for children in need and for persons with disabilities.'