Things must have seemed bleak to the thirty-five year old Johann Sebastian Bach in the spring of 1721. He had composed six pieces, delivered for a commission to the Margrave of Brandenburg, Christian Ludwig, each one an exposition of the new and old instruments that were available to the young composer, each one a re-thinking of the concerto form — still relatively young in the early eighteenth century and certainly still very Italian in its conception and tradition. In short, each of these orchestral pieces were a thoughtful exposition of the musical world that Bach inhabited.
Two things to keep in mind before we get into a review of Weezer’s fall “Hootenanny” tour in support of this summer’s Red Album. First, Rivers Cuomo is closer to 40 than he is to 30 — he may actually need to put some Rogaine in his hair. Second, whether genuinely or ironically, Weezer has made YouTube culture the theme of their fall tour.
For the Boston jazz scene, Regattabar is about as classy as it gets. High-rollers in tailored suits like to mix and order $86 bottles of champagne, and mellow out after a day of tapping their blackberries. Its best asset is that it can entertain this crowd without losing sight of jazz’s groovy, down-home feel: those same high-rollers are sitting happily next to Berklee students in hoodies and ripped jeans. There’s no stage — only a wood floor in one corner of the room. Big names in jazz come and stand a yard in front of the audience, and no one pays it any mind. There aren’t any barriers here (save the $86 champagne tab for you and me) — this place is about the music.
Nicholas Hlobo’s exhibit at the ICA (Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston) opens with a sign blaring the words “Momentum 11” and a sculpture that seems to be emerging from a white wall. At first glance, it is as if a hole has been ripped into the wall, and the white peeled away to reveal black charred rubber, tethering off into multi-colored ravines winding their way across the white wall.
Today’s photographer is often faced with the challenge of either maintaining the purity of black and white photography, or embracing the current culture of digital practices. Julio de Matos, in his exhibit entitled <i>Fading Hutongs</i>, at times seems to have inadvertently exempted himself from this rigid classification. While deep inspection of his digital color prints clearly reveals his medium, his subject matter lends a black and white <i>feel</i> to any casual observer.
At the center of Claude Chabrol’s <i>A Girl Cut in Two</i> is the kind of pulpy love triangle that the tabloids dream of: a nymphet-like TV weather-girl is caught between a nationally revered literary figure (decades older) and a volatile, dashing heir to a pharmaceutical company fortune. The conflict ends very, very badly.
How well do you know the local jazz scene in Boston? If you’re under 21, chances are you have some difficulty getting into clubs. Have you ever attended Boston’s national festival of music? Well, given that Boston hosts no such event, I can say that you haven’t. Spending three months in the city of love, Paris, I’ve realized how closely music and culture are linked — and how much we might be missing out in lovely Beantown.
Mike Gordon is weird. He’s best known as the bassist from the now broken-up Phish, but also as the author of Mike’s Corner, a section of the band’s newsletter which served as a sort of psychedelic literary repository. Take for example a story he published in October, 1995 with the beginning: “As far as tikes go, Johnald was a wee bit irregular. For one thing, he had an Amrope coming out of his head. You may be wondering, ‘What is an Amrope?’ I won’t piss on you for wondering that. Actually, it’s like an antenna, but it’s got some mold on it. It’s not something you buy at a store, maybe you do buy it in a store.”
While the age of fairy tales is all but a distant memory for most of us, the lure of the “happily ever-after” lands is all too strong to resist, irrespective of age. Add in some exquisitely crafted music and a few moralizing twists, and there is no wonder why Stephen Sondheim’s highly acclaimed musical “Into the Woods” never fails to deliver unforgettable experiences for audiences of all ages. After spending most of the summer working on this exciting yet challenging musical, MTG is ready bedazzle you with a journey “Into the Woods” that will surely meet all expectations.
Ease the pain of back-to-school bitch work with music and punting, the tried-and-true best medicine for p-setting agony. Check out our picks for September’s best concerts; special interest shows denoted with stars.
M<i>ad Men</i> is a show that thinks very highly of itself. Its creator and writer, Matthew Weiner, was a writer and executive producer of <i>The Sopranos</i>, and <i>Mad Men</i> totes a self-importance that could give some the impression that it’s powerful and innovative HBO drama, like <i>The Sopranos</i> or <i>The Wire</i>. It’s not, but judging by the hype its second season has gotten, a lot of people seem to be convinced it is.
Now that the start of classes draws ever nearer, it sure does feel like summer’s out and school’s back in session. Ah, yes … nothing like the feel of a marble notebook and the sharp taste of Red Bull to make you long for the scent of the ocean, the taste of barbecued patties, and the cool air of a movie theater. Here, we’ll bring you right back to the fresh days of early June with reviews and recaps of this summer’s releases.
Between his unpredictable album content and hush-hush ties to Scientology, it’s hard not to speculate about just what’s going on in Beck Hansen’s brain. His most recent opaque interviews leave out most details of his personal life, and so the truest glimpse we get of his personality comes direct from the records. Alternating between funky nonsense (Mellow Gold, Odelay, Midnite Vultures) and sonically rich emotion (particularly the Nigel Godrich-produced albums Mutations, Sea Change, and The Information), Beck proves adept at showing off his polar-opposite profiles, but never facing the world with his full-on façade.
More than those of probably any other working director, Woody Allen’s films are released with the paralyzing burden of expectation. Woody Allen is supposed to be, without exception, funny. The expectations extend further; his films must carry a sense of humor that fits with the public perception of Allen himself: anal, narcissistic, self-deprecating. When Allen releases films that don’t really fit this mold, people tend to freak out.
In the last few years, musicals have been created by compiling multiple songs from popular artists to tell a story. One of the first, and most successful, of these musicals is <i>Mamma Mia!</i> which uses songs from the palindromic Swedish pop group ABBA. It comes as no surprise that Hollywood has decided to make a movie of this long-running musical.
Much like a music video by Shakira, <i>Wanted</i> is living, breathing proof that entertainment and quality are often wholly uncorrelated phenomena. At approximately three parts Mortal Kombat fatality and one part Maxim cover, you would be hard pressed to find a more perfect summer blockbuster.
Don’t make the same mistake I did; at least wait for the singing to start. It is, after all, a sing-along.
I have to admit, I’m somewhat partial to spam e-mail. Everyone says it’s a pain in the ass and they all spend money on programs to prevent it from entering their precious inboxes. But I say bring the spam on! It’s usually funny, sometimes poetic, and apparently, you can have a pretty good time responding to it. As far as responding to these e-mails goes, I’ve thought about it before and decided I probably have better things to do with my time. Luckily, author Neil Forsyth doesn’t, and he’s written an entire book about scamming the scammers.
Ye Lou’s <i>Summer Palace</i> chronicles the collective rise and fall of a generation of Chinese youth: it lumbers through its nearly two-and-a-half hours on the back of a young woman, Yu Hong (played by Lei Hao), from her dense, passionate college years to the bleak, depleted years of adulthood that follow.
For Pixar, selling their next movie is as easy as putting the phrase “From the makers of __” on a poster with the implicit promise that it’s going to entertain as much as <i>Finding Nemo</i> or <i>The Incredibles</i>. Like clockwork, it invariably does, and it’s hard to stress enough the fact that these people never simply coast by on the reputation of their brand. Since I’m prone to exaggeration, I could compare the firsthand enjoyment of Pixar’s decade-long hit parade to what it must’ve felt like to listen to each of the Beatles’ albums as they were being released. If you think of <i>WALL-E</i> in that context, it’s more Magical Mystery Tour than Sgt. Pepper. It may not hang with the best of its peers, but it’s more than worthy of induction into the Pixar canon.