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1-20 of 60 items from 2013   « Prev | Next »


Yet Another List of Classical Christmas Albums

22 December 2013 6:06 PM, PST | www.culturecatch.com | See recent CultureCatch news »

Working on yesterday's article about recent classical Christmas albums and looking back at my original Christmas album article got me thinking about old favorites I hadn't included in my 2005 article. Here they are. It says something about their popularity that they have all stayed available, in some cases for decades.

Anonymous 4 On Yoolis Night (Harmonia Mundi) This gorgeous collection contains Advent and Christmas music from 13th through 15th century English sources -- with one piece traceable all the way back to the 5th century. The ethereal beauty of these devotional antiphons, motets, carols, etc. is about as far from the usual hackneyed Christmas carols as one could get. Some of the Latin texts are familiar (Hodie Christus natus est, Ave maria, Videntes stellam), but this is largely fresh, relatively unexplored repertoire.   Russian Patriarchate Choir/Anatoly Grindenko Russian Christmas (Opus 111) This is no cheesy Red Army Chorus holiday collection, but insteada »

- SteveHoltje

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Yet Another List of Classical Christmas Albums

22 December 2013 6:06 PM, PST | www.culturecatch.com | See recent CultureCatch news »

Working on yesterday's article about recent classical Christmas albums and looking back at my original Christmas album article got me thinking about old favorites I hadn't included in my 2005 article. Here they are. It says something about their popularity that they have all stayed available, in some cases for decades.

Anonymous 4 On Yoolis Night (Harmonia Mundi) This gorgeous collection contains Advent and Christmas music from 13th through 15th century English sources -- with one piece traceable all the way back to the 5th century. The ethereal beauty of these devotional antiphons, motets, carols, etc. is about as far from the usual hackneyed Christmas carols as one could get. Some of the Latin texts are familiar (Hodie Christus natus est, Ave maria, Videntes stellam), but this is largely fresh, relatively unexplored repertoire.   Russian Patriarchate Choir/Anatoly Grindenko Russian Christmas (Opus 111) This is no cheesy Red Army Chorus holiday collection, but insteada »

- SteveHoltje

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More Classical Christmas Music

21 December 2013 7:13 PM, PST | www.culturecatch.com | See recent CultureCatch news »

It's been eight years since I wrote about my favorite classical Christmas music. So here's a look at some of the finer Christmas releases since then. As before, I try to spotlight some less familiar Christmas music while still including old favorites.

Monica Piccinini/Christina Kuhne/Ursula  Eittinger/Alberto ter Doest/Thilo Dahlmann/Cologne Academy/Michael Alexander Willens Francesco Durante: Neapolitan Music for Christmas II (cpo)

I've got to get my hands on vol. I, because this is wonderful. Durante (1784-1755, an almost exact contemporary of J.S. Bach, was considered one of the greatest church composers in Naples at that time, and also taught such future famous opera composers as Pergolesi and Paisiello (Durante was himself a student, in Rome, of Pasquini).

Even Bach, always interested in the Italian masters, found Durante's work worthy of study. One of the tropes of Italian Christmas music was a pastoral mood celebrating the shepherds, »

- SteveHoltje

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More Classical Christmas Music

21 December 2013 7:13 PM, PST | www.culturecatch.com | See recent CultureCatch news »

It's been eight years since I wrote about my favorite classical Christmas music. So here's a look at some of the finer Christmas releases since then. As before, I try to spotlight some less familiar Christmas music while still including old favorites.

Monica Piccinini/Christina Kuhne/Ursula  Eittinger/Alberto ter Doest/Thilo Dahlmann/Cologne Academy/Michael Alexander Willens Francesco Durante: Neapolitan Music for Christmas II (cpo)

I've got to get my hands on vol. I, because this is wonderful. Durante (1784-1755, an almost exact contemporary of J.S. Bach, was considered one of the greatest church composers in Naples at that time, and also taught such future famous opera composers as Pergolesi and Paisiello (Durante was himself a student, in Rome, of Pasquini).

Even Bach, always interested in the Italian masters, found Durante's work worthy of study. One of the tropes of Italian Christmas music was a pastoral mood celebrating the shepherds, »

- SteveHoltje

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Sainkho Namtchylak & Ned Rothenberg Duo at Douglass Street Music Collective 11/20/13

23 November 2013 10:28 AM, PST | www.culturecatch.com | See recent CultureCatch news »

Tuvan avant-garde singer Sainkho Namtchylak is truly unique (you can read her story about halfway down this article). Since she's based in Vienna, she is not a frequent visitor to New York; therefore, I leapt at the opportunity to attend this concert arranged by Rothenberg to take advantage of her presence in the wake of a trip to perform at a Mongolian music conference.

Virtuoso wind player Rothenberg is an attraction himself. Combining their considerable talents, this duo is almost a quartet, since both members are capable of producing two notes at once: Namtchylak with her overtone-singing, Rothenberg with multiphonics on bass clarinet.

The first half of the evening was Namtchylak solo. She kicked it off with a roughly ten-minute tour-de-force display of her unusually broad range of vocal techniques, which seems improbably coming from any one person, much less this elfin woman. Low growls -- I mean really low »

- SteveHoltje

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Donald Sutherland: 'I want Hunger Games to stir up a revolution'

19 November 2013 9:52 AM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

The veteran actor who plays tyrannical president Coriolanus Snow in the blockbuster series talks about films as political activism – plus cinema villains and happy marriages

Donald Sutherland wants to stir revolt. A real revolt. A youth-led uprising against injustice that will overturn the Us as we know it and usher in a kinder, better way. "I hope that they will take action because it's getting drastic in this country." Drone strikes. Corporate tax dodging. Racism. The Keystone oil pipeline. Denying food stamps to "starving Americans". It's all going to pot. "It's not right. It's not right."

Millennials need awakening from slumber. "You know the young people of this society have not moved in the last 30 years." With the exception of Occupy, a minority movement, passivity reigns. "They have been consumed with telephones." The voice hardens. "Tweeting."

We are high up in a Four Seasons hotel overlooking Beverly Hills, sunlight glinting off mansions and boutiques below, »

- Rory Carroll

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Jonathan Meades: 'I find everything fascinating and that is a gift'

9 November 2013 4:08 PM, PST | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Jonathan Meades, author, broadcaster and architecture critic, has three books and a new TV series in the offing, yet the man known for his mordant on-screen presence is beset by worries that his style of film-making is being marginalised

Somewhat predictably, my taxi driver pulls a face as we arrive at the great concrete hive-come-cliff that is Le Corbusier's Cité Radieuse in Marseille. "Unbelievable!" he says, shrugging dementedly. "Who would want to live here? Impossible to imagine." Naturally, I try to tell him, in my best O-level French, that many people consider the Cité Radieuse, the first Unité d'Habitation, to be the apogee of chic modern living. But I'm wasting my breath: he's heard it all before, not least from those peculiar tourists for whom the Cité Radieuse is more beguiling than the pyramids, more beautiful than the Parthenon, more sacred than the cathedral at Chartres. In fact, here come a couple now, »

- Rachel Cooke

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Review Roundup: Rock, Soul, Electronica, Noise

1 November 2013 7:50 PM, PDT | www.culturecatch.com | See recent CultureCatch news »

I've fallen so, so far behind in my reviewing. Here are a few things I've managed to check out.

Melt-Banana: Fetch (A-Zap)

This Japanese noise band celebrates its 20th anniversary with its first studio album since 2007's Bambi's Dilemma. (The demos for Fetch were finished in early 2011, but the Fukushima earthquake and all that resulted from it interrupted them psychically.) Bambi's Dilemma slightly sweetened their attack; Fetch further broadens the duo's range. Not that either is threatening the pop charts; this is still weirder and more sonically aggressive than 99.99% of what gets released, though some old-time M-b fans have complained. In a major change, singer Yasuko Onuki and guitarist Ichirou Agata operate on their own now, letting technology take the place of their ever-changing drummers and just skipping bass. Onuki's blurting vocals remain unique, and while Agata's mastery of guitar tones is less rabidly displayed, he's just expanded his abuse of technology into additional realms, »

- SteveHoltje

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Me and Lou

27 October 2013 8:57 PM, PDT | www.culturecatch.com | See recent CultureCatch news »

Not that Lou Reed would have recognized me (though I was introduced to him once, which I'll get to), but he and his body of work intersected my life in more personal ways than that of any other major rock star. So this isn't an obituary so much as a series of memories. For obituaries, check out Gary Graff in Billboard and Jon Dolan in Rolling Stone.

Lou was from Long Island and I was from Long Island. At the most basic level, this meant that, growing up listening to Long Island radio stations, I heard lots of Lou even when he was no longer especially fashionable (between about 1976 and 1981). Thus, while most of the world ignored his 1978 album Street Hassle, I heard much of it on Wlir and Wbab, and bought it – my first Lou album. He had started out underground in the Velvet Underground, had managed to claw »

- SteveHoltje

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Anachronisms that aren't – modernity avant la lettre in period literature

15 October 2013 4:35 AM, PDT | The Guardian - TV News | See recent The Guardian - TV News news »

Language that sounds too contemporary to feature in fiction from the past is surprisingly common. What are your favourite examples?

Whether we're reading the Booker prize books or watching Downton Abbey, we all love to catch out an author in an anachronism. Philip Hensher, in a piece on this year's Booker longlist, found problems in several books, and took particular issue with the use of "Hello" in Eleanor Catton's The Luminaries, set in 19th-century New Zealand. It seems that "Hallo!" – meaning "Stop, wait, hang on" or as a surprised or informal greeting (and much used in Dickens) – hadn't yet morphed into "Hello" as a gracious salutation. On the plus side, Hensher gave a date to one novel, Jim Crace's Harvest, because of the use of mauve – the name for the colour was invented in 1856.

At the other end of the literary spectrum, with the new series of Downton Abbey in full flow, »

- Moira Redmond

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Film Review: ‘Grown Ups 2’

11 July 2013 7:32 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

The first scene in “Grown Ups 2” depicts a deer urinating directly onto Adam Sandler’s face. The penultimate scene (spoiler alert) depicts the very same deer apparently castrating Taylor Lautner. These bookends are not only the film’s highlights, they also represent the closest it comes to establishing any sort of narrative throughline. Among the slackest, laziest, least movie-like movies released by a major studio in the last decade, “Grown Ups 2” is perhaps the closest Hollywood has yet come to making “Ow! My Balls!” seem like a plausible future project. It is all but guaranteed a strong opening weekend.

A follow-up to 2010’s critically savaged yet massively lucrative “Grown Ups,” this sequel introduces a few changes. Most obviously, although Dennis Dugan is back in the director’s chair and stars Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock and David Spade all reprise their roles as high-school buddies turned over-the-hill dads, »

- Andrew Barker

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One Child Born, One Star Born

6 July 2013 10:07 PM, PDT | www.culturecatch.com | See recent CultureCatch news »

One Child Born Joe's Pub July 6, 2013

It took me a while, but I finally got to see this one-woman cabaret tribute to the music and inspiration of legendary songstress Laura Nyro. Starring singer/pianist Kate Ferber, who co-wrote it with Louis Greenstein, it premiered in 2009, but at least one detail's changed since then: mention of Nyro's 2012 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has been incorporated into one of the character monologs.

Anyone who nowadays programs Nyro's songs -- a handful of famous hits (those heard this evening included "Save the Country," "Wedding Bell Blues," "And When I Die," and "Eli's Comin'"), and oodles of album tracks beloved by her devoted fans -- has to deal with the shadow of her highly distinctive performances, drenched in vocal virtuosity that includes unique phrasing and a spectacular range. Ferber pulls this difficult task off with aplomb. She seems to have »

- SteveHoltje

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Jazz Review Roundup

1 July 2013 10:19 PM, PDT | www.culturecatch.com | See recent CultureCatch news »

Sex Mob: Cinema, Circus & Spaghetti: Sex Mob Plays Fellini: The Music of Nino Rota (Royal Potato Family)

Call me crazy, but I feel a connection between Rota's themes for Fellini's films and the melodic styles of Albert Ayler and Ornette Coleman. Granted, what each did once past their respective themes became wildly different, with Rota never abandoning harmony, Ornette twisting it in new directions, and Ayler abandoning it altogether, but before that happens, their themes share an effulgent earthiness and overflowing humanity. And who better to bring out the jazz side of that earthy humanity than the great recontextualizer Steve Bernstein and his longstanding quartet with Briggan Krauss (alto and baritone saxes), Tony Scherr (electric bass), and Kenny Wollesen (drums, gongs, log drum, waterphone, vibraphone). 

Bernstein's slide trumpet in particular has the microtonal relationship with pitch that Ayler and Coleman each cherished to varying degrees, including a wide »

- SteveHoltje

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Poetry of Perception and Power

23 June 2013 6:09 PM, PDT | www.culturecatch.com | See recent CultureCatch news »

Victoria Sullivan & Barbara Milman When I Wasn't Looking (Red Parrot Press)

This is a slim, beautiful chapbook of twenty poems by Victoria Sullivan of one or two pages each, accompanied by photos by Barbara Milman. Though the photos and the poems are not specifically related or aligned, they share a Zen-like artistic sensibility that makes them work well together.

Sullivan (an occasional CultureCatch contributor) maintains homes in both New York City and Saugerties; it is the latter location, where she is in constant contact with nature, that most informs the tone of this book. She is a poet of a certain age; she has lived, and loved, and lost, and learned. In the latter category, she has acquired the wisdom -- partly thanks to Buddhism, one guesses based on direct references, not least the brilliant poem titled "Zen" that closes the volume -- of acceptance and non-attachment without overdoing either. »

- SteveHoltje

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Rilling's Classic Oratorio Recordings Reissued

20 June 2013 12:51 AM, PDT | www.culturecatch.com | See recent CultureCatch news »

Christine Schäfer/Michael Schade/Andreas Schmidt/Gachinger Kantorei Stuttgart/Bach-Collegium Stuttgart/Helmuth Rilling Haydn: Die Schöpfung (The Creation)   Juliane Banse/Ingeborg Danz/Michael Schade/Andreas Schmidt/Gachinger Kantorei Stuttgart/Prague Chamber Choir/Czech Philharmonic Orchestra/Helmuth Rilling Mendelssohn: Paulus (St. Paul Oratorio)   Christine Schäfer/Cornelia Kallisch/Michael Schade/Wolfgang Schöne/Gachinger Kantorei Stuttgart/Bach-Collegium Stuttgart/Helmuth Rilling Mendelssohn: Elias (Elijah)

(all on Hänssler Classic)

These two-disc sets, reissued from now-classic mid-'90s recordings led by legendary choral conductor Helmuth Rilling, boast similar virtues. Primarily, Rilling -- who celebrated his 80th birthday at the end of May -- understands as well as any conductor alive that the key to an oratorio performance that will stand up to repeated straight-through listening is to keep things moving. This might seem obvious when dealing with works clocking in upwards of two hours, yet the recording catalogs are littered with renditions that drag because their »

- SteveHoltje

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Morning Brew - Wed. June 19: Portia and Ellen sell another home, Jane Lynch judges on "MasterChef" tonight

19 June 2013 7:39 AM, PDT | AfterEllen.com | See recent AfterEllen.com news »

Tags: Morning BrewThe FostersAmber HeardKatee SackhoffChristine QuinnEllen DeGeneresPortia de RossiJenna LyonsMulholland DriveSally RideMartina NavratilovaBillie Jean KingGay and Lesbian Sports Hall of FameIMDbKim Stolz

Good morning!

Both Martina Navratilova and Billie Jean King will be among the first inductees into the Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame. As they should be!

The Village Voice thinks lesbians don't date online. Tell that to all the women I know on OkCupid.

Tomboy was nice enough to release this behind-the-scenes video of their Spring/Summer campaign starring Harmony Boucher.

The Rumpus talked with partners Wendy MacNaughton and Caroline Paul about collaborating on Lost Cat.

Katee Sackhoff may not be playing gay in Riddick, but she's playing straight pretending to be gay, so that counts for something, right? She tells Collider of her character, Dahl:

Well, the fun little tidbit of Dahl is that she just pretends that she’s a lesbian so [the men she's around] don’t do anything. »

- trishbendix

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Trying to Be Evenhanded About the New Kanye West Album

18 June 2013 7:25 AM, PDT | www.culturecatch.com | See recent CultureCatch news »

Kanye West: Yeezus (Def Jam)

Has an early leak ever seemed more intentional and manufactured? Whoops, shouldn't have gone there -- I've vowed to review Yeezus without bringing into the discussion anything that isn't on the album. I don't care about how much of an ass somebody is as long as s/he makes good music. True, Mr. West plays off his public image in his lyrics, and true, I do have a strong distaste for the selfish whining of rich people, such as when they bitch about not getting their croissant fast enough (yes, that happens on Yeezus). (Hey, speaking of "bitch," I haven't counted, but I suspect that it's the most-spoken word on Yeezus.) But the fact that Elvis Costello made racist comments in 1979, though disappointing on a personal level, doesn't influence my enjoyment of his next album, Get Happy!; their membership in the Nazi party hasn't »

- SteveHoltje

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Movies This Week: June 7-13, 2013

7 June 2013 12:00 PM, PDT | Slackerwood | See recent Slackerwood news »

As part of their Marilyn Monroe celebration this summer, Austin Film Society will show Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (pictured above) 7 pm Tuesday at Alamo Drafthouse Village. Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell on a boat! In addition, tonight and Sunday Afs hosts Cecil B. DeMille's Cleopatra at the Marchesa (free, but you should RSVP). And In Bed with Ulysses, a documentary about James Joyce and his work Ulysses, plays 7 pm Wednesday at the Marchesa.

The Paramount continues the summer classic film series with a focus on musicals this weekend (Singin' in the Rain and The Sound of Music on Saturday and Sunday). Then it's film noir at both Paramount and Stateside on Tuesday and Wednesday, with Double Indemnity, Out of the Past, Sunset Boulevard and The Maltese Falcon all on the schedule.

For something completely different, the Alamo Kids Club at the Slaughter Lane location is screening The Muppets Take Manhattan this month. »

- Elizabeth Stoddard

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Anniversaries: Prince Born 55 Years Ago

7 June 2013 7:53 AM, PDT | www.culturecatch.com | See recent CultureCatch news »

The child of musicians (his mother was a singer, his father a bandleader), Prince (born June 7, 1958) was a precocious talent who had his first band at age 12 and, according to the notes to his second album, had learned to play 26 instruments before he was out of his teens. In fact, he made his first album as a teenager. He'd signed to Warner Brothers, which he picked because it was the only label that contractually agreed to let him self-produce. That's a pretty ballsy demand for a teenager to make; by comparison, the great Stevie Wonder only achieved that degree of production control after over a decade of being micromanaged by Motown. On that debut, For You, Prince plays and sings every note).

Until he began feuding with Warner Brothers in the '90s over how frequently he would be allowed to release albums, Prince was achieving Top 10 hits with regularity »

- SteveHoltje

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Samuel Beckett manuscript offers 'intimate' look into his mind

4 June 2013 4:53 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Initial drafts of Murphy, up for auction next month, include extensive revisions as well as drawings of himself and James Joyce

In pictures: The Murphy manuscript

The "extraordinarily rich" manuscript of Samuel Beckett's first major novel Murphy, which has been glimpsed by only a very few individuals over the last half-century, is expected to fetch more than £1m when it goes up for auction next month.

Filling six notebooks, the Murphy manuscript – originally entitled Sasha Murphy – is packed with doodles and extensive corrections, including Beckett's lively sketches of his friend and mentor James Joyce, of himself, and of Charlie Chaplin, who went on to be an influence on the tramps in Waiting for Godot. The first 11 pages of text are entirely crossed out, and an insight into the workings of the Nobel prize-winning author's mind is provided by the eight cancelled versions of the novel's famous opening sentence. Beckett tried out "The sun shone, »

- Alison Flood

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