Streams

John Schaefer

John Schaefer appears in the following:

Why not boo?

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Say what you will about people, the fact is that they seem to become quite nice once you put them in a theater or concert hall. People will apparently applaud anything, and concerts routinely end in standing ovations. In fact, it's all become "routine." We applaud politely between songs when ...

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Back to the Fusion

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

You know that Biblical tale of Abraham and the city of Sodom? God says, I've had it with Sodom. All that sin and corruption and stuff. (I might be paraphrasing a bit here.) Abraham says, well wait a minute, are you going to destroy the good with the bad? What ...

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Change we can believe in

Monday, April 06, 2009

Why would musicians who've successfully built a sound and a fan base and a career suddenly jeopardize all that by switching gears? Why would the Yeah Yeah Yeahs leave behind the jangly guitar rock that got them a gold record and go all 80s-synth on us? Why would Chris Cornell, ...

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The Return of Son of Grunge II: the Re-Grunging

Friday, April 03, 2009

So "Grunge" is back, they tell us. The early 1990s movement that, like its stepfather, punk, came to be associated with both music and fashion, is back in the record stores (where such things can still be found) and on the runways.

The fashion part of this revival strikes ...

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To Be, or Not To Be... Topical

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Late last year, a reporter from one of the big UK newspapers called and asked if I thought that tough times produced darker moments in pop music. I told him that I thought it was the reverse - when you look at the popular music of the Great Depression, the ...

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Music and Emotion

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Today we're looking at a German study that shows that a remote Cameroonian group known as the Mafa were correctly able to identify Western music as being happy, sad, or fearful, even though they'd not heard any Western music before.

This study is quite provocative because it suggests that ...

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rock band, or Rock Band?

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I'm a big believer in the idea that anything that gets kids interested in playing music is worth supporting. Supporters of the interactive music video-games, Guitar Hero and Rock Band, have been claiming that the games will lead the kids who play them to try real instruments - in other ...

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Rock on, for the end is near!

Monday, March 30, 2009

On Friday, we finished our seven-part weekly series, Seven Sins: The Deadly Medley. The so-called Seven Deadly Sins certainly turned out to be fertile ground for music of all types... I think we all knew going in that Lust was going to be an easy one to focus on, ...

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Ain't too proud to blog...

Friday, March 27, 2009

There's a reason why we've done our series "Seven Sins: The Deadly Medley" in the order we did: the Church Fathers, who came up with the whole idea of the "seven deadly sins," had them in this order. Apparently the list starts closest to the human heart (Lust) and ...

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Ben Folds goes back to school

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Ben Folds, the pop pianist/songwriter and leader of the Ben Folds Five, has a new album. Ben Folds Presents: University A Capella just cries out for you to make fun of it. A whole album of university a capella groups doing versions of Folds's songs? Are you kidding?

Apparently ...

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Sticker shock

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I am one very lucky guy. Because of the job I have, I am actually expected to go to concerts... but not actually expected to pay for them. And as the producer of our "New Sounds Live" concert series, I've spent 10 years presenting live music at the World Financial ...

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The Lord Of The Ring Cycle

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

In all of classical music, there is perhaps no thornier persona than Richard Wagner, the German composer whose linked operas, universally referred to as the "Ring cycle," blended high art, ancient Nordic/Teutonic epics and myths, and all-encompassing ambition. I suppose it is possible to listen to Wagner's music and not ...

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Give the Producer Some Love.

Monday, March 23, 2009

On February 5, we did a segment called 'The Album That Changed My Life.' My contribution to the discussion was the David Bowie album Low - the first of the so-called Berlin Trilogy (along with 'Heroes' and Lodger) that he did with composer Brian Eno. On that day's ...

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Envy: this is a deadly sin???

Friday, March 20, 2009

OK, let me just say right off the bat that I'm down with the whole deadly sin idea. Lust, greed, pride, gluttony - even wrath and sloth have things to recommend them. Not that I'm condoning any of this, of course. But you have to admit, 6 weeks into our ...

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West Side Story Lays An Egg - A Golden Egg

Thursday, March 19, 2009

I happened to be watching the movie version of West Side Story a few weeks ago, marveling yet again at the music (everyone has their own favorite moments - mine are "America" and "Tonight") and the timeless nature of its Romeo And Juliet story. That timeless aspect makes ...

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Mentors & Proteges

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I'm afraid that words like "mentor" and "protege" have been ruined for me by the film All About Eve. I know on a purely objective level that mentors and proteges are supposed to have a purely professional relationship that is mutually beneficial, but the cynic in me is always ...

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Is Twitter the new crack... berry?

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I really felt for Barack Obama when he became president, and found that he was not going to be allowed to use his BlackBerry handheld device because of security concerns. While it's turned out that he can actually use the gadget for some communications, his initial distress was something I ...

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Music and Politics, an uneasy marriage

Monday, March 16, 2009

Music can reach us emotionally in ways that we don't fully understand but can definitely feel; so, it has often been used to deliver a message. In America in the 60s, one song might essentially say, "get us out of Vietnam now," while another might carry the message, "my country, ...

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Anger Management

Friday, March 13, 2009

So our weekly series of music inspired by the Seven Deadly Sins now brings us to wrath. One of the great things about this series has been to show that art can be art even when its intentions are not to express humanity's noblest aspirations and emotions. Some great ...

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Louis Armstrong, we hardly knew ya

Thursday, March 12, 2009

As a kid, I thought Louis Armstrong was hopelessly old-fashioned. Because of course all I knew were songs like "Hello Dolly," which were hopelessly old-fashioned. I knew nothing of the critical role he played in the development of jazz, or his complex and sometimes dark relationships with women, racism, and ...

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