Between homoeroticism and kitsch
Opera also provided gay people a shared language for emotional expression, first through its extremity of emotion and frequent depiction of doomed love, and later through the virtuosic argot of camp.
I’ll admit it: I’ve been resisting disliking Robin Thicke. I know a lot of people consider the “I know you want it” chorus of his big hit, “Blurred Lines,” nothing short of a call to rape—and I have to say, the phrase “tried to domesticate you” makes me pretty queasy—but I could never understand what people heard that they thought was so much worse than—nay, even as bad as—the pop music norm. The un-self-serious, frankly goofy music video helped redeem the song for me. Plus, I think it’s fun to dance to—so sue me.
Should children study violin—or rather, be forced to study violin? Or forced to study ballet? Mark Oppenheimer published a piece in The New Republic the other day asking this question in the urgent manner of a dad fretting over his daughter’s education.
Our daughter Rebekah, who is in second grade, takes three after-school classes every week. On Monday there is violin; on Wednesday, Hebrew; and on Thursday, ballet. One of these classes connects her to a religious tradition going back three thousand years. Two of them are pretty well pointless.
How an effort to popularize classical music undermines what makes orchestras great.
Public outreach was supposed to help classical music. It didn't.
After hearing the news that Eydie Gormé died on Saturday, I found myself wondering, not for the first time, how it is that certain female pop singers, whose singing appears not to be sexy, are sexy.
In my article today about political journalists who are fans of the band Phish, I noted that a common practice for Phish fans is to drop bits of lyrics into their tweets, their writings, and their broadcasts, ideally with a deftness that allows other Phish fans to recognize the reference but keeps the prose readable for all the normal people out there. I also noted that I myself am a huge Phish fan.
Political journalists find refuge in a Phish listserv
Financial analyst Dan Greenhaus’s hits on CNBC, couched in jargon, typically attract little more than the bored stares of traders looking up from their monitors. But two seemingly routine appearances of his have been uploaded to YouTube, receiving thousands of views and earning a New York Times blog post.
How Jay-Z lost the hip-hop throne to Kanye
Jay-Z is disconnected from the hip-hop trends that Kanye is pioneering.
A lyrical experimentalist
John Hollenbeck's wildly experimental music matters not for its wild experiments. It matters because it's good.