Category Archives: Popular music & culture

Dogies and tummies

I’m no cowboy. This probably won’t be news to you, but I wanted to state it up front. The first word in the headline may resemble a typo, if you assume I meant “doggies”. No I meant it the way … Continue reading

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What Mom taught me

I’m very lucky that my mother is still alive, an amazing example. My dad passed away when I was very young, so my family is matriarchal, lucky for us. I only have 3 or 4 solid memories of my father. … Continue reading

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American Idolatry

The finale of 2021’s American Idol competition this past weekend is a curious reflection of popular culture, a snapshot of our world. There were three finalists: Grace Kinstler sang covers, sometimes emulating stars such as Whitney Houston with her powerful … Continue reading

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Hermione Lee: Tom Stoppard A Life

I’m humbled reading Hermione Lee’s biography of Tom Stoppard. I was exalted by Alex Ross’s colossal Wagnerism study because I’m a typical grandiose Wagnerian, thinking I know something about the topic. Its 784 pages flew by, the book flattering my … Continue reading

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American Idol and popularity

Do you ever watch American Idol? I’d say it’s the best reality tv that you can find, unless you prefer one of the other performance shows where people sing or dance. There are really two parts to it. At the … Continue reading

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Mr Smith wasn’t Born Yesterday

TV programming sometimes brings us serendipitous discoveries. TCM’s Good Friday offering was Mr Smith Goes to Washington. This morning we watched Born Yesterday. I never noticed how many similarities there are between the two films. An innocent recently come to … Continue reading

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Zappa

2020 ended with a pair of Z’s that could just as easily be seen as the start of 2021. After Fareed Zakaria’s book, it’s Zappa, a documentary released late in 2020. Where Fareed is analyzing historical trends with an eye … Continue reading

Posted in Cinema, video & DVDs, Music and musicology, Personal ruminations & essays, Politics, Popular music & culture, Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Messiah / Complex

There’s nothing simple about Messiah/Complex, a new film that’s currently available for streaming from the Against the Grain Theatre website until January 7th. Complex? It’s an adaptation of Handel’s popular oratorio, a co-production of Against the Grain Theatre and Against … Continue reading

Posted in Cinema, video & DVDs, Dance, theatre & musicals, Music and musicology, Personal ruminations & essays, Politics, Popular music & culture, Reviews, Spirituality & Religion | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Masterful Rituaels film-concert from collectif9

After seeing a preview, I recommend Rituaels, a new film-concert from collectif9 especially to anyone who is missing live performance, wanting the experience of live music in their home setting, and especially to any artists intrigued by the challenges and … Continue reading

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Beethoven 250: which incarnation?

I hope it isn’t a radical idea to suggest that each of us is really several people, depending on context. The people around me, the places I visit, even the time of day might influence how I act. I’m more … Continue reading

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