Monday, December 21, 2009

Suzanne Vega reviews new McCartney bio for New York Times

Suzanne Vega was just here in November, making her Celebrity Series debut at Sanders Theatre. Now she's writing book reviews for the New York Times Book Review. OK, I'm impressed. Check out her review of Peter Ames Carlin's "Paul McCartney, A Life."

LA Times: "The arts see encouraging news in NEA survey"

Wagner and Bud Light 

The NEA's 2008 Survey of Public Participation in the Arts has generated a variety of responses, but has mostly been perceived as yet another version of the "arts in crisis" message. The Los Angeles Times dug a little deeper into the report and found another point worth emphasizing: the arts are not alone...

"The NEA's Survey of Public Participation in the Arts, conducted in May
2008 (before the current economic downturn), reported that 34.6% of
adults had gone at least once in the previous 12 months to an art
museum or seen a play, jazz performance, classical concert, opera or
dance -- the lowest percentage in a quarter century. Those who did
attend went less frequently, averaging about five times a year instead
of six. Only two arts categories -- musical theater and non-ballet
dance performances -- enjoyed attendance growth.

But a surprise in the survey is that, over the course of the last
quarter-century, the arts look like a bastion of stability compared
with other popular leisure activities in which masses of Americans
traditionally have invested time, money and the effort it takes to show
up in person and sit among strangers."

Read all of The arts see encouraging news in NEA survey.

Not exactly a "break open the champagne" kind of message, but it is a little comforting to know that the arts are in the same boat with some pretty big players in the battle to slay the couch-potato-ease-of-use-everything-at-our-fingertips-live-life-from-the-sofa dragon.

On the other hand, football attendees have to sit outside in the wintertime ...

Highlights from the NEA's 2008 Survey of Public Participation in the Arts.

The NEA 2008 Survey of Public Participation in the Arts (the whole magilla).

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Reviews of the Emerson String Quartet

Here is a collection of reviews of the Emerson String Quartet's December 4 recital at Jordan Hall:

The Boston Globe (Jeremy Eichler)

The Arts Fuse (Caldwell Titcomb)

The Boston Phoenix (Lloyd Schwartz)

FYI: These reviews were not late - I'm late in posting them.

Japanese jazz opera (I think)

Though words fail, this works for me. It works as a joke, as a fascinating socio-historical product, and, arguably I suppose, as jazz. Check out Charlie Parker's Donna Lee at 7:31. The guy is really singing a difficult melody. Amazing.

Judging from the comments it is from a Japanese comedy show, though this definitely warrants further research.

Friday, December 11, 2009

ABSU is a "Favorite Place" on Google Maps - um, yay!?


According to the A) viral marketing materials designed by Google to get me to promote Google for Google, or B) nice letter from the good folks at Google, this blog is A) a Favorite Place on Google found by over 14,000 people between July 1 and September 30, with 1186 people requesting driving directions or other info about Aisle Be Seeing You, B) a small business, or C) a good target for Google marketers because, "this guy will post anything, including stickers."

Seriously, I would like to thank all 14,245 of you for checking in. And thanks for the sticker, Google!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Liam Clancy, 1935-2009

Liam Clancy sings Carrickfergus from The Clancy Brothers 1984 reunion tour with Tommy Makem

Folk singer Liam Clancy, the last surviving member of the renowned Irish group The Clancy Brothers, has died at 74 in County Cork.

The Celebrity Series presented Liam Clancy as a member of The Clancy Brothers in 1985, when the group kicked off its reunion tour at Symphony Hall. Liam was quoted by the Boston Herald at the time as saying, "I think it's quite appropriate it starts at Symphony, considering we were banned from there once. The fans were too wild for them, bringing six-packs onto the stage and all. This was back in 1965. They're older and a bit better behaved nowadays."

In the same interview, the youngest Clancy brother also said, "In London and New York we were amazed at the audiences - people were reliving something that we had never realized was that important to them."

According to the Boston Globe, "The loudest ovations [at the 1985 concert] greeted Liam's soulful rendition of the beautiful ballad Carrickfergus."

Associated Press obituary on

Irish Times

Poignant last interview with Liam Clancy in Irish America

BBC News

CBC News

Liam Clancy interviewed on Turbridy Tonight, Part 1 (2008)

Liam Clancy interviewed on Turbridy Tonight, Part 2 (2008)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Charles Ives is on Twitter

The UnTwittered Question

Charles Edward Ives, internationally renowned American modernist composer (and explorer of such musical techniques as polytonality, polyrhythm, tone clusters, aleatoric elements, and quarter tones), and insurance industry innovator (author of Life Insurance with Relation to Inheritance Tax) whose work helped lay the foundation for modern estate planning, has risen from the dead to launch a Twitter account:

Stay tuned for more innovation.

And check out Ives' String Quartet No. 1 tomorrow night with the Emerson String Quartet.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Interview with Mark Morris plus Mozart Dances rehearsal footage

Mark Morris talks about dance, rehearsal, and choreography in this video from 2007. The clip includes footage of Mark Morris Dance Group rehearsing Mozart Dances.

Mozart Dances (oh by the way) makes its Boston (and Celebrity Series of Boston) debut with the Mark Morris Dance Group (naturally), the Orchestra of Emmanuel Music, conductor Jane Glover and piano soloists Russell Sherman and Minsoo Sohn January 29-31 at The Boston Opera House.