Saturday, January 26, 2008


Congrats to cousins Ben and Risa, featured at hulahooping webzine! Ben is pictured engaging in the extreme sport known as "night-hoopin'."

Maury Felice, part II!

Going to the New York Review of Books for information on blogs is a little like asking Grandma for sex advice. The basics are going to be mostly correct, but you won't learn what you really want to know, and everyone comes out of it at least a little bit embarrassed. But I think we can safely say that if even the Review recognizes that My Favorite Intermissions is essential reading, then it has to be true. I was also going to say that this also marks the first occasion that the expression "Shit Ass Ho Motherfucker" has made it into the pages of the NYRB, but then I was reminded of Nabokov's response to Edmund Wilson's Eugene Onegin review. I stand corrected.

Beginner's Ear

My preview of Ian Howell's countertenor recital is up at the New Haven Advocate site, here—but if you can't make it tonight, the program will be repeated in Washington, CT tomorrow afternoon at 4 (something I neglected to mention in this article!). More info on tomorrow's performance here, and check out Ian's own web-presence at Ian Howell, Countertenor, Dot Com.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Damn, That Tenor Made My Day

Huh, I have the same birthday as Plácido Domingo! Also Henri Duparc, Chan Marshall, Rick Ross and Jam Master Jay. Good to know.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Regrettin' the Error

This review came out more than a few days ago, but I thought this was still worth mentioning:

Between Ms. Higdon’s works, Yousif Sheronick, a percussionist in the Ethos Percussion Group, played his own transcription of the piano line in 3 of the 11 movements of “John’s Book of Alleged Dances,” by John Adams. Percussion works here: Mr. Sheronick replaced the homogenous piano timbre with the hollow but exotic sound of what looked like a makeshift xylophone, and the quartet brought ample swing to Mr. Adams’s alternately bluesy and mechanistic passages.

I love this mistake because it's that rare instance where a word as seemingly subjective as "homogenous" can be said to have been used in a fashion that is factually incorrect. The "piano line" in the original version of the Adams is actually a tape made from samples of a prepared piano line, so that every note already has a different timbre from every other note. "John," of the title, isn't just John Adams, it's also John Cage, who invented this trick for making an ordinary piano sound "hollow but exotic" (and while I'm picking nits, do we really need that "but"?). My guess: Kozinn hasn't heard or doesn't remember the original version and is just BSin' for our benefit.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

T-Shirt Idea

Okay, actually it was Greg's idea (pictured). Available from Cafepress, natch, where dreams come true.


Remember, everybody, you read this joke here first. Get your own material, Kosman!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Bathroom Ideas

So I decided to give this Google Adsense thing a whirl, just to see what would happen, and...

From the London Times' coverage of the Robert King case:
Ms Whitehouse told jurors that the fourth alleged victim was the subject of “lengthy sexual abuse” which began when he was 12. She added that the child was “abused on a regular basis” over three years. She said that on occasions the defendant would “run a bath for him, undress him, touch him and then towel him dry”.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Dvořák in America

Okay, and I had to say something about this nightmare—great to see Dvořák gettin' good press, but why so snide? Whence this weird superiority towards those benighted fools who failed to recognize the vitality of African-American folktunes back in the 1800s? How many classical music lovers today have any patience for contemporary pop music? Are we really supposed to believe that, after giving this lecture, Joseph Horowitz went straight home and listened to the new Mary J. Blige? (How is that, by the way. Anybody? I thought her last one was kinda brilliant.) And how is it that this entire lecture on Dvořák and African-American music manages to name exactly zero African-American musicians? For all the White composers mentioned who are supposed to have been influenced by jazz music, not one jazz musician merits a name-check? Not to mention Black classical musicians. Where is Scott Joplin? Where, more to the point, is Harry Burleigh (pictured)—Dvořák's copyist on the New World Symphony, one of his chief influences, and a successful artsong composer in his own right? (Fun fact! Apparently he was also the first Black singer at Temple Emanu-El.) Anyways, I'm not buyin' it. Methinks this is a big, empty balloon of generalization, begging for a pinprick.

Life Imitates Wagner

Try not to think too hard about the implications. UPDATE: Gawker calls bullshit, here. Never trust a nobleman.