Streams

John Schaefer

John Schaefer appears in the following:

Haydn Trio Eisenstadt Play Live on Soundcheck

Monday, November 23, 2009

Austria's Haydn Trio Eisenstadt perform two of their namesake's works on WNYC's Soundcheck.

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The Pacifica Quartet Plays "Intimate Letters" Live on Soundcheck

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Pacifica Quartet joins WNYC's John Schaefer for a live performance on Soundcheck.

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Wu Man on the Chinese Lute: Live on WNYC's Soundcheck

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Pipa virtuoso Wu Man along with qin player Zhao Jiazhen perform live on WNYC's Soundcheck with John Schaefer, sharing the traditional music of her native China.

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Pianist Jenny Lin Performs on WNYC's Soundcheck

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The enterprising pianist Jenny Lin joins WNYC's John Schaefer to perform live on Soundcheck.

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Vive le Iggster!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Iggy Pop, who defined the role of the crazed rock frontman as far back as 1969, has now recorded an album that features French and Brazilian standards, some ballads, a tune lovingly ripped off from Louis Armstrong's early years, and only one real rocker. People are surprised

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Music and emotion

Monday, June 22, 2009

The idea that musicians might be somehow more attuned to the emotions of others really isn't all that surprising. Ever have that feeling where a piece of music strikes you in a way you can't articulate but can certainly feel? So you know that a musician can, at times at least, reach you on an emotional level.

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Summer songs 2009

Friday, June 19, 2009

I've been listening to the songs at the top of the charts, trying to see if I can figure out which one will be the song we can't escape this summer - assuming the rain stops and summer does in fact come at some point. Unlike prior years, where I thought there were standout tracks (Rihanna's "Umbrella" and Katy Perry's "I Kissed A Girl"), this summer's entries seem to be a middling bunch.

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Hail to the chiefs

Thursday, June 18, 2009

President Obama's Arts & Humanities team is now complete, as Iowa Republican Jim Leach joins the previously announced Rocco Landesman; Leach will run the NEH and Landesman the NEA. Of the two, the NEA is the one that's had the bigger bullseye on its back, a lingering aftershock of the culture wars of the early 90s, when the NEA funded a series of controversial art projects (the Robert Mapplethorpe photos, for example) that had conservatives in Congress threatening to kill the agency entirely.

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[insert provocative title here]

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Elijah Wald is a good writer. And like most good writers, he knows a good title when he sees one; a good title will grab you and make you eager to open the book and start finding out where that title came from. So when he titled his new book How The Beatles Destroyed Rock'n'Roll, he knew just what he was doing

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The kids are alright

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I guess you can find someone to argue about virtually anything. On the face of it, who would have any problem with opera houses and orchestras trying to lure in young listeners, or with parents taking their kids to the opera or the concert hall? Worst case scenario, the kids hate it, fidget, whine that they're bored, and complain bitterly if you ever try to do that again. Best case scenario, you find kids who really respond to great music, beautifully played, and who will be the next generation of classical music players and listeners.

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With this tune, I thee wed

Monday, June 15, 2009

'Baby baby don't get hooked on me/'cause I'll just use you then I'll set you free...' Doesn't exactly sound the right romantic note for a newly-married couple, does it? And yet that was the first dance at a wedding I went to some years ago. I remember wondering, who thought that was a good idea? It was probably the strangest choice for a first dance I've ever heard, both because of its inappropriate lyrical imagery and the incontrovertible fact that the song, by any objective measure, sucks.

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'the human brain is like an enormous fish'

Friday, June 12, 2009

Far from being the Province of the Eggheads, neuroscience has turned into a wild frontier of discovery - and music plays a surprisingly large role in the neuroscientific discussion. Prior to around 1980, the field was still in its infancy. Monty Python, as far back as their Matching Tie And Handkerchief album in the mid 70s, explained that "the human brain is like an enormous fish: it's fat and slimy, and has gills through which it can see." Recent advances in neuroscience show that at least parts of that statement are inaccurate, and as our knowledge of the brain increases, so do the questions about music, and how it might come to have its undeniable, demonstrable, but still inexplicable effect on our minds.

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Gateway Albums

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The idea of the "Gateway" album - the album that turns you on to an artist or even a whole genre that you didn't expect to like - is a little misleading. At some point, almost every album you listen to is a gateway, if only to more albums by those artists. Still, most of us can identify a couple of albums that led us down some paths we might not have otherwise gone.

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How comfy is TOO comfy?

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Theater critics and audience members alike are complaining about a rise in boorish behavi...

Sorry. Bored myself to sleep for a moment there. Yeah, yeah, people are ignorant, rude, loud, and uncouth. I'm afraid that's not the theater, people. That's just people. We've covered the same complaints on past shows from opera houses, concert halls, jazz clubs, even movie theaters and rock venues, where a certain amount of noise is expected, and sometimes even encouraged.

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"I'm a Highway Star"

Monday, June 08, 2009

I wonder when the first song about cars was written. I'm guessing about half an hour after Henry Ford's pre-dawn test of his horseless carriage on the streets of Detroit in 1896. I mean, cars have become such a symbol of America - a complex symbol involving freedom of movement, exploration, masculinity, status, sex - that it was inevitable that we'd end up writing and singing about them.

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When Prince Was King

Friday, June 05, 2009

Prince's global hit, Purple Rain, turns 25 this summer. There will be the usual gushing about the album's impact on pop culture - and really, how can you argue the point, since almost every song on it became a single, and the album came with a movie that did quite well even if critics weren't as kind to it as they were to the album.

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Recession-proof on Broadway?

Thursday, June 04, 2009

I have to admit that I have not seen a single one of the Tony-nominated musicals in our listener poll - so I'm really relying on you folks to steer me in the right direction there. But I'm told this was a really good year for musicals, if you happen to like that sort of thing.

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Welcome back, Moby.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

There's a striking moment in Entertainment Weekly's interview with Moby when Moby says that not only did he like the unexpected success of his global hit record Play in 1999, but he actually wanted more, and found himself chasing after that kind of success again in his subsequent records. It's a telling quote, because it says a lot about the nature of pop success. You can study the formula, perfect the techniques, combine all the right ingredients - and discover you've just reinvented the wheel, to a collective shrug and yawn.

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His Back Pages

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Douglas Brinkley, professor of history at Rice University and the author of the recent Rolling Stone cover story on Bob Dylan and John Schaefer, host of WNYC's Soundcheck and New Sounds discuss the latest Bob Dylan album and what it means ...

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Who ARE these (famous) people?

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Susan Boyle and Adam Lambert might just be the two biggest names on television this year, the former in the UK, the latter here. Both are losers. In two apparently stunning upsets (the media in both countries had already anointed both the winners of their respective reality TV shows), Adam Lambert was NOT named our new American Idol, and Susan Boyle did not win in the final of Britain's Got Talent.

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