Anniversary Songs

Written by Gina Conti on . Posted in Arts Our Town, Arts Our Town Downtown, Arts West Side Spirit, Uncategorized

Revisiting a Costello classic 30 years on 1983…Elvis Costello’s Punch the Clock was born to be misunderstood and underestimated.  After all, following the incendiary explosions of his first four albums and his successful “experimentation” into Motown, club, and country western stylings, Costello had released Imperial Bedroom the prior year.  Towering in literary emotional exhaustion, that [&hellip
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Can’t Trust It

Written by Armond White on . Posted in Arts Our Town Downtown

12 Years a Slave uses sadistic art to patronize history Brutality, violence and misery get confused with history in 12 Years a Slave, British director Steve McQueen’s adaptation of the 1853 American slave narrative by Solomon Northup, who claims that in 1841, away from his home in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., he was kidnapped and taken [&hellip
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Shaky-Cam Politics

Written by Armond White on . Posted in Arts Our Town, Arts Our Town Downtown, Arts West Side Spirit

Race and politics sink Captain Phillips Paul (shaky-cam) Greengrass makes another mess of recent political history in Captain Phillips. This time Greengrass fakes a docu-drama about the 2009 incident when the Maersk Alabama ship, piloted by Vermont merchant marine captain Richard Phillips, was seized off Africa’s eastern coast by Somali pirates, then rescued by the [&hellip
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Klezmer in the Ghetto

Written by July Gelman Myers on . Posted in Arts Our Town, Arts Our Town Downtown, Arts West Side Spirit

Krakauer expands the klezmer’s repertoire Growing up in New York City, clarinetist David Krakauer drew his inspiration from classical, jazz, and rock music. Twenty-five years ago, he got hooked on an “identity exploration thing” and began to study klezmer, the music of his Jewish Eastern European forebears. Today he’s known around the world not only [&hellip
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Eye on Auctions

Written by Caroline Birenbaum on . Posted in Arts Our Town, Arts Our Town Downtown, Arts West Side Spirit

Discerning the decorative arts Fine and decorative arts and high-powered single-owner collections predominate in New York auctions in the coming weeks. Here are the most enticing, which you can view during the free public exhibitions that precede each sale (see the websites for details). Browse the catalogs online; you may want to acquire some for [&hellip
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Dee Dee Sharp

Written by Armond White on . Posted in Arts Our Town, Arts Our Town Downtown, Arts West Side Spirit

Bridgewater returns to Broadway in Billie Holliday triumph At first Dee Dee Bridgewater’s impersonation of Billie Holliday in Lady Day at the Little Shubert Theater seems an odd misuse of talent in this Broadway production imported from its London run (where Bridgewater got an Olivier Award nomination). Bridgewater’s strong, tall stage presence and ringing voice [&hellip
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Cinema d’Opie, Part II

Written by Armond White on . Posted in Arts Our Town, Arts Our Town Downtown, Arts West Side Spirit

Ron Howard eats his own dust in Rush After his first career several generations ago as Hollywood’s most adorable child star, Ron Howard’s second career might be even more distinctive, though less loveable: He’s Hollywood’s reigning chameleon director–no appreciable point of view, just morphing through various impersonal styles to fit any given commercial project: from [&hellip
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Armory’s Forces

Written by Valerie Gladstone on . Posted in Arts Our Town, Arts Our Town Downtown, Arts West Side Spirit

Season’s greetings at the Park Avenue Armory  No more thrilling space has opened up for unconventional performances and installations in recent years than the Park Avenue Armory in 2007. Built in 1861 to resemble Grand Central Station and other majestic 19th century railroad stations and designed as a military facility and social club, it became [&hellip
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Standards, Met and Unmet

Written by Jay Nordlinger on . Posted in Arts Our Town, Arts Our Town Downtown, Arts West Side Spirit, Comics

A Tchaikovsky masterpiece at the Met and a classic movie In a fall preview last month, I made a point about Valery Gergiev, the Russian conductor: He is mercurial. Sometimes he’s up, sometimes he’s down. Sometimes he’s electric, sometimes he’s blah. On a recent Thursday night at the Metropolitan Opera, he was alternately electric and blah. He [&hellip
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