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The Food Of Love

Patches of snow cling to the muddy earth in the city’s picturesque nineteenth-century cemetery just to our north. Down in the gorge immediately to our south the creek builds momentum…

The Bondage of Bad Taste & the Bottom Line

The Bondage of Bad Taste & the Bottom Line

Rather than heading south with the droves of springbreak-bound students fleeing the endless winter of Upstate New York, I spent a couple hours last week in a local venue at…

Bach Was Never This Buff, Never This Bad

Since medieval Germans attached pedals to their organs way back in the 14th Century, the instrument has been as much a gymnastic apparatus as a tool for musical expression. The…

Carpenter’s Gothic

Carpenter’s Gothic

This past weekend at New York’s Lincoln Center the iconoclastic organ virtuoso Cameron Carpenter unswaddled his restive imagination’s latest brainchild, a year-and-a-half in gestation. Midwife was the firm of Marshall…

Hollywood Space Cadets

There is no more oxygen-hungry corner of the cosmos than Hollywood on Academy Awards night. Consumption of the life-sustaining substance reaches dangerously high levels each year on the first Sunday…

The Kitschy Myths Of Mother Russia

The Kitschy Myths Of Mother Russia

There are two approaches to watching the Olympics—and to listening to them. The first is to sail over the contradictions of the Games like you’ve launched from the ninety-meter jump:…

The Shameless Descent Of Bob Dylan

The Shameless Descent Of Bob Dylan

...the unsavory vision of Bob Dylan sliding into Chevrolet’s latest sedan and gurgling patriotic garbage about American pride above ambient guitar chords…

The Field Of Mars

The Field Of Mars

This nimble little falsettist of a Mars turns out not to fit the traditional image of war-loving deity that his stage-name suggests.…

Abbado the Great

Abbado the Great

I first came to Berlin in 2003, just after the great Claudio Abbado, who has died this week in Bologna, had passed the baton to Simon Rattle after more than…

The Other Bach

After last year’s globe-spanning celebrations marking the bicentenaries of the births of Wagner and Verdi, the field of composers-to-be-commemorated may look rather sparse as we survey 2014. To be sure,…

Between The Graveyard & The Gorge

Ithaca, New York — I live between a gorge and a cemetery, a position that often gets me to thinking about the fleeting nature of life. The gorge to our south…

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