Arts Foretold: A Checklist

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

Local artists bring new visions to various city venues   • Composer James Blachly founded the Sheep Island Ensemble with a single, beautiful goal: bringing people together through great music. Whether playing Bartok in a concert hall or Scottish songs at a loft party, Blachly and his ensemble create a community of music lovers, which [&hellip
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Musical Forecasting

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

Some concert-and-opera recommendations for the coming months  As the second half of the classical-music season begins—a “half” that is longer than the first one—let me forecast some highlights. Occasionally, the highlights turn out to be lowlights, but that is a risk one runs.  “Great Performers” is a conceited name, but this Lincoln Center series does [&hellip
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Evergreen Joy

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

Erasure turns seasonal songs into radical praise At Christmas time we forget that seasonal songs can also be praise songs. This comes clear in Erasure’s new release Snow Globe, a Christmas album built around the tradition vs. modernity tension of the holiday season–and yet an evergreen subject. Praise songs suit singer-lyricist Andy Bell, one of [&hellip
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Best TV Narrative of 2013

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

Why Blue’s webisodes rule Countering hipster perversity, Blue is not the warmest color in Rodrigo Garcia’s series on the women-centered YouTube channel WIGS. “Blue” is the moniker Julia Stiles’ Francine—single-mother accountant by day/escort by night—demands that family, coworkers and clients use to address her. Indeed, the name signifies her detachment in the sex trade and [&hellip
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Best Albums of 2013

Written by Ben Kessler on . Posted in Arts Our Town, Arts Our Town Downtown, Arts West Side Spirit

Inside out, Outside in for year’s Pop music. Honorable mention: Tegan and Sara, Heartthrob; Charli XCX, True Romance; El-P and Killer Mike, Run the Jewels; Jessy Lanza, Pull My Hair Back; Pet Shop Boys, Electric   IMO, the most significant moment in 2013 pop wasn’t a song, album, or music video. It was an unforgettable turn [&hellip
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The Better-Than List for 2013

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

See year’s best films, reject the overrated The false politics of film culture 2013 (films exploiting race, class, sexual politics) paralleled the continued diminishment of cinephilia that has subordinated movies to TV, shifting cinema from a popular art form into political soccer games for media’s power elite. Lots of good film but also lots of [&hellip
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Secret Lives of Walter-Marty

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

Scorsese and Stiller overindulge themselves in two new films The Wolf of Wall Street and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty are the same movie. Both films deal with the ambition of working-class protagonists: Scorsese’s three-hour epic about a kid from The Bronx who becomes a Wall Street titan (Leonardo DiCaprio) charts his aggression through [&hellip
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Dangling Dylan

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

The Coens examine Pop and Self When an apparition of Bob Dylan appears in Inside Llewyn Davis, it underscores the Coen Brothers’ abiding ambivalence about their Jewishness. Dylan, the oracular pop-star-prophet -outsider from Minnesota (like the Coens) represents an advance on mainstream culture and power that troubles the Coen Brothers’ fascination with American character. Inside Llewyn Davis [&hellip
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Lisa Simpson Agonistes

Written by Gregory Solmon on . Posted in Arts Our Town, Arts Our Town Downtown, Arts West Side Spirit

How the Hollywood left is driving The Simpsons to the Dogs In a recent episode of The Simpsons, Lisa grows a vestigial tail, ruffled fur, a cold nose and a cocked hat. She’s evolving into Poochie the Dog, a character inserted in a classic-era Itchy & Scratchy cartoon to lampoon desperate, audience-pandering program adjustments. The [&hellip
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Pynchon Soup for the Postmodern Soul

Written by Ben Kessler on . Posted in Arts Our Town, Arts Our Town Downtown, Arts West Side Spirit

Visionary author takes the modern world to the Bleeding Edge In his new novel Bleeding Edge, Thomas Pynchon uses the word “postmodern” for the first time in his fiction – a notable event in the career of this supposed American postmodern novelist par excellence. The word crops up in a few places, including a description [&hellip
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