Critical Readability

My critical readings of the best and worst of online media

Archive for the category “Music”

Philip Glass and Beck Discuss Collaborating on ‘Rework’ – NYTimes.com

“Anticipating his 75th birthday, Philip Glass approached Beck about finding artists interested in reinventing pieces from the Glass catalog. “Rework: Philip Glass Remixed” features tracks by Amon Tobin, Tyondai Braxton, Beck and others. Glass and Beck met up recently at the Los Angeles home of Elyse and Stanley Grinstein, art collectors and philanthropists who befriended Glass decades ago.”

via Philip Glass and Beck Discuss Collaborating on ‘Rework’ – NYTimes.com.

Duke Graduate Student Unlocks ‘Mystery of the Lost Sonata’ – Percolator – The Chronicle of Higher Education

This is so cool!

“It was an unsolved mystery of classical music. An “Easter” sonata, sometimes attributed to the 19th-century composer Felix Mendelssohn, had largely disappeared from history. Scholars suspected the work was actually by the celebrated composer’s sister, Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel. But the manuscript seemed lost, so how could they prove it?”

via Duke Graduate Student Unlocks ‘Mystery of the Lost Sonata’ – Percolator – The Chronicle of Higher Education.

R.E.M. demand Fox News stop playing ‘Losing My Religion’ | Inside TV | EW.com

Very mature, Fox News (not that we’re surprised). Publicity? If you have the right to appropriate this song with the specific intent of imbuing it with new meaning, do the artists not have the right to take part in the process?

“FOX News Channel’s use of an R.E.M. song during Thursday’s edition of Fox & Friends was in full accordance with its license agreements with all appropriate parties. Nevertheless, we’re always flattered to have this much attention for a song selection and we hope R.E.M. was able to satisfy their publicity fix,” A representative for Fox News responded. via R.E.M. demand Fox News stop playing ‘Losing My Religion’ | Inside TV | EW.com.

The following US orchestras will not start the new season

Orchestras that will not be starting the season, two of which are in my favorite place on earth. Minnesota, not you too?!? So, so sad.

1. Atlanta

2. Minnesota

3. St. Paul Chamber Orchestra

4. Indianapolis

5. San Antonio

The following US orchestras will not start the new season.

Ten-year-old mariachi hopes to make it to America’s Got Talent’s semifinals

Okay, I’m going to “out” myself. I watch America’s Got Talent. Before I started this blog, I would basically critique the performances out loud and annoy my husband. Now that I have this blog, I’ll direct it at you instead of him.

I want to write briefly about Sebastian “el Charro” de la Cruz, a 10 year old Mexican-American mariachi singer. In the article linked below, Sebastian says “I wanna represent my culture and heritage to break the stereotype and show America the beauty of this music(Mariachi),” says De la Cruz.via Ten-year-old mariachi hopes to make it to America’s Got Talent’s semifinals.

Bless his heart (seriously, he’ s adorable). I have no that doubt he wants Read more…

Female Bodies, Dancing Icons: Feministing Blog Competition

As a follow up to my previous post about this great blog post submitted to Feministing.com during their blogging competition, I thought I would also post my reaction to their choose of a competition name and icon: 

The first time I watched So You Think You Can Dance was during a period in my life in which I was conducting ethnographic research with Latin Dance communities in the United States. Like any good cultural critic, I quickly found myself immediately analyzing how troubling the new reality television show really was, particularly with regard to representations of race, gender, and sexuality.

Performances of the tango and salsa on the show, for example, are evocative of over a century worth of highly problematic caricatures of Latin America. Since the early twentieth century, the United States has had a fascination with Latin America in general, and Latin dance more specifically.  From the Latin dance craze of the early 1910s/20s to to the mambo & salsa craze of the 1950s/60s, and from Dirty Dancing to SYTYCD, caricatures of Latin dance emerge from Latin America’s history as a colonized and post-colonial region. It also points to the relationship that we in the U.S. have to formerly colonized regions: we sexualize them, we eroticize them, and we feminize them.

And when we’re talking about Latin dance (as opposed to say, music or art), we’re already dealing with an expressive form that is highly feminized. The primary tool of dance is the human body, and more often than not a queer body or a female body. The creative intellect behind dance (the mind), however, has historically been a male domain. In dance, male choreographers exert their agency on the female body – they exert their control of the female body.  Even into the twenty-first century, dance (and theater) as artistic and academic disciplines  remain highly divided along gender lines. Female and queer dancers = the body. Heterosexual male choreographers = the mind. Read more…

Tom Morello: ‘Paul Ryan Is the Embodiment of the Machine Our Music Rages Against’ | Music News | Rolling Stone

This reminds me of Bruce Springsteen & Reagan, and more recently, the use of Sex Pistol’s “God Save the Queen” in the opening ceremonies at the Olympics.

Tom Morello: ‘Paul Ryan Is the Embodiment of the Machine Our Music Rages Against’ | Music News | Rolling Stone.

 

Measuring the Evolution of Contemporary Western Popular Music : Scientific Reports : Nature Publishing Group

This is a perfect example of Humanities Aren’t A Science. Computer programming is used to show that popular music since the 1950s has declined in variability with regard to “pitch, volume, and timbre,” all what reads as a biased attempt to disregard popular music as “inauthentic” or base.

FYI, musicologists have known there is little harmonic variety in popular music for decades. Also, FYI, you missed the point completely. After you read the article, read an ethnomusicologist’s response.

Measuring the Evolution of Contemporary Western Popular Music : Scientific Reports : Nature Publishing Group.

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