From the ashes of communism, a voice for the new century. Jan 24, 2011, Vol. 16, No. 18 • By CATHY YOUNG
One of the most sought-after classical singers in Europe, Magdalena Kozena has very little of the diva about her. The 37-year-old Czech-born, Berlin-based mezzo-soprano is warm and unpretentious, whether in interviews or in conversation with backstage visitors. A mother of two sons, ages five and two, she speaks of family as her first priority and readily turns down engagements that would interfere with it.
1:54 PM, Sep 30, 2010 • By PHILIP TERZIAN
Sometime in the mid-1980s a pop cultural landmark was reached when Baby Boomer journalists started writing columns complaining about the current state of rock music.
The story of Seyed Khalil Alinejad.12:00 AM, Jan 21, 2010 • By STEPHEN SCHWARTZ
On a dark winter’s day in Sweden some eight years ago, one of the most remarkable and beloved figures in modern Iranian culture died on a sidewalk. His name was Seyed Khalil Alinejad. While is largely unknown among non-Iranians, since little is written about him in English, his story continues to provoke controversy and elicit mourning from Iranians living under the tyranny of the Tehran clerical regime. His tale offers a glimpse of the tormented history of the Iranian people, and it may even be seen as similar, in a sense, to current opposition movement in Iran.
The Dixie Chicks have decided that they aren't a country music group any more. What are they thinking?12:00 AM, Sep 24, 2003 • By JONATHAN V. LAST
"I think [the Dixie Chicks] will go down as one of the biggest acts in the format, and by doing so--by staying true to their country roots and to country music--they will be a turning point for the industry.
The Boys make a seriously dumb protest song; David Byrne and Jay Z; Eddie Vedder and Sen. John Kerry.6:00 AM, Apr 4, 2003 • By DAVID SKINNER
COMEDY, performers tell us, is harder than drama. One reason may be that grimness and weight come more naturally than lightness. To achieve the sour gloom of the dramatic performer, one need only take oneself seriously, which is both easy to do and psychologically gratifying. Take yourself seriously and inside you'll be purring with satisfaction.
A Grammy special, Cusack revisited, MTV goes anti-war, and the Boss.11:00 PM, Feb 25, 2003 • By DAVID SKINNER
THE STARDUMB word of the week is "agreeance." We shout out a thanks to Fred Dunce of Limp Bizkit for the contribution, which he ad-libbed on stage at the Grammys, in defiance of the English language and rumors of a gag order handed down from CBS. Without him, we wouldn't have a Stardumb word of the week. So, thanks Fred.
Dunce's full comment was, "I hope we all are in agreeance that this war should go away as soon as possible."
Stardumb Hypothesis 4: Although celebrity is often used to advance an overlooked cause, the dynamic works the other way, too.
Robert Craft and his Stravinsky.Mar 3, 2003, Vol. 8, No. 24 • By JOSEPH EPSTEIN
An Improbable Life
by Robert Craft
Vanderbilt University Press, 560 pp., $39.95
Memories and Commentaries
by Igor Stravinsky and Robert Craft
Faber and Faber, 336 pp., $35
WHEN IGOR STRAVINSKY died on April 6, 1971, the composer George Perle remarked that "this is the first time in six hundred years that the world has been without a great composer." Dimitri Shostakovich was still alive (he died in 1975), but Shostakovich could not compare with Stravinsky for the range, power, and Mozartian multivariousness of the latter's work. Music isn't Wimbledon or the U.S.
What the strange little girl of American agit pop has to say about her mother country. Mo' Moby. And introducing . . . The Barbrometer!11:00 PM, Jan 30, 2003 • By DAVID SKINNER
SHOWDITZ JANEANE GAROFALO told the Washington Post this week that a pro-war corporatist media encourages stars to speak out against war in Iraq in order to marginalize the peace movement.
An unearthed letter from the great guitarist gives some insight into the Woodstock generation.11:00 PM, Jan 2, 2003 • By DAVID BROOKS
LAST SUNDAY, the New York Times magazine published a document so amazing, I assumed that it would set off a world-wide sensation, a great cacophony of breast-beating, disillusion, and internal crisis. It was a letter Jimmy Hendrix wrote to his father in August 1965. The letter describes the marketing strategy Hendrix planned to use to get rich.
In "Movin' Out," Twyla Tharp creates a dance to the music of time.Dec 30, 2002, Vol. 8, No. 16 • By JUDITH GELERNTER
WOULD YOU CONSIDER taking two hours to see a Broadway show filled with music by an aging pop star? Some of those who grew up with Billy Joel's songs, featured in this season's hit "Movin' Out" at the Richard Rodgers Theatre, disdain the show, thinking it little more than MTV outfitted for Broadway. Others, who have greater fondness for Joel, would gladly go to hear his music performed, even if not by Joel himself.
Others focus not on Billy Joel, but on the Broadway tradition, and some reviewers have criticized "Movin' Out" on account of its plot.
The wild life and times of America's latest ubiquitous pop culture presence: Jennifer Lopez.11:00 PM, Dec 16, 2002 • By MATT LABASH
WITH FLU SEASON UPON US, millions of Americans have rushed to their immunologists, hoping to avoid the cruel bite of the Moscow, New Caledonia, or Hong Kong strains of the influenza virus that are prevalent this year. But no matter the precautions, these doctors can do nothing to stave off the most insidious airborne pathogen to take root since the 1968 pandemic that claimed 34,000 American lives. For it is already here. And we have all suffered exposure. It is nothing less than the J. Lo virus.
Whether you call her Jen, Jenny, J, J.
A tour through the worst of Christmas music.Dec 23, 2002, Vol. 8, No. 15 • By MICHAEL LONG
THERE IS ONLY ONE GOOD REASON to hate Christmas music: treacle--the cloying sentimentality, molasses emotionalism, and gooey, faux-compassion. Easter songs are silly: Peter Cottontail comes hoppin' down the bunny trail, and ladies don Easter bonnets. The New Year's song "Auld Lang Syne" has license to be sickly sweet and dumb, as it is intended to be sung drunk.
Christianity may be struggling in the public square, but it's prospering in the public bazaar. Dec 16, 2002, Vol. 8, No. 14 • By STEPHEN BATES
CHRISTIAN MERCHANDISING TODAY has many mansions. Start with faith-on-your-sleeve fashion, such as the T-shirts promoting J.Christ instead of J. Crew, Fruit of the Spirit instead of Fruit of the Loom, Christ Supreme instead of Krispy Kreme. This "witness wear," a manufacturer's rep explains, evokes the familiar logo without quite crossing the line to trademark infringement--"We have lawyers."
A half-dozen companies produce Scripture-clad candy.
"8 Mile" wants to be the great rap movie of our time. No, that's not an oxymoron.11:00 PM, Nov 7, 2002 • By JONATHAN V. LAST
"8 MILE," the movie opening today starring rapper Eminem, is a series of curiosities stacked high: Can Eminem act? Why is acclaimed director Curtis Hanson helming this roman à clef? Why is "8 Mile" being touted as a serious movie?
Let's start with Eminem. It would seem that history is against him. When top 40 stars take to the cineplex, the results are normally disastrous: Mariah Carey, Vanilla Ice, Cyndi Lauper, Mick Jagger, Madonna, Britney Spears, the Spice Girls.