Encore! More of my conversation with John Adams

The three remaining segments of my interview with Pulitzer-prize winning composer John Adams are online at the Pittsburgh Symphony website. Part 4: John describes the feeling of releasing a book in the current market, how he came to write the book Hallelujah Junction, and why he wrote a book like this. Part 5: John talks […]

How technology is changing classical music — part 3 of my conversation with the composer John Adams

The third part of my interview with John Adams, the PSO’s Conductor of the Year, is available on the PSO blogs. In this segment, John discusses how new technology has affected the way music is made, music itself, and the business of classical music. Read part 3 here. I’m posting this interview over several days, […]

Lamenting the lexicon of musical invective — part 2 of John Adams interview

The second part of my interview with John Adams, the PSO’s Conductor of the Year, is available on the PSO blogs. In this segment, John talks about blogging and history, not being recognized, and what it’s like to sit in the audience when his works are performed. Read part 2 here. I’m posting this interview […]

Interview with John Adams, part 1

In November, I had the chance to interview John Adams, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s Conductor of the Year. John shared his thoughts on contemporary and classical music, audiences, writing his autobiography, Pittsburgh, the PSO and Heinz Hall, and more. I’ll be posting this interview over several days over at the PSO blogs, in anticipation of […]

Kooky Christmas Countdown: #22 and #21

Continuing our Kooky Christmas Countdown of strange and wonderful holiday songs. Number 22: "Five Pound Box of Money" by Pearl Bailey Here’s a heartfelt plea from a practical woman. Hey, Santa Claus! You want to make me happy this year? Listen to me honey. Give Pearl something that’ll be of some use to me, Like […]

Kooky Christmas Music Countdown: #23

Our next sound in the Kooky Christmas Countdown is a late punk classic. Number 23: “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to Fight)” by The Ramones Some background from Mistletunes.com: The Ramones were actually pretty slow to jump on the punk rock Christmas bandwagon; this is from 1989’s Brain Drain album and also appeared on the […]

Kooky Christmas Countdown: #25 and #24

It’s past time to start the My Brilliant Mistakes version of an advent calendar, our annual music countdown. This year the theme is "Kooky Christmas," and we’ll be highlighting strange and wonderful music of the season. Number 25: "Santa’s Beard" by They Might Be Giants What could be more appropriate to the season than a […]

A typical case of American blind justice

There are many Christmas songs but few Thanksgiving songs. In fact the only one I know is "Alice’s Restaurant Massacre" by Arlo Guthrie. It’s 18 minutes long, so I think that makes it count for five songs. (A big Thanksgiving thank you to Uncle Crappy for reminding me about the song, which seems to slip […]

Love, love is a verb / Love is a doing word

Massive Attack – New Music – More Music Videos I enjoy the TV show House, largely because I like watching Hugh Laurie. One of the small but pure joys of watching the show is watching the opening credits — or rather, listening to them. The music used in the credits comes from the song “Teardrop” […]