Streams

John Schaefer

John Schaefer appears in the following:

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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Everything That Happens Will Happen to David Byrne

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

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David Byrne has been one of my very favorite musicians for a long time. One of the reasons he has remained a favorite is because he has never rested on his back catalogue. His career has been full of ...

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Are jam bands toast?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Bands like the Grateful Dead and the Allman Brothers basically set the standard for what we now call "jam bands" - groups that tour a lot, that have extended periods of improvisation in each song (the jam), and that have built up a rabid group of followers who form a ...

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Barack'n'Roll

Monday, March 09, 2009

There are so many ways that Barack Obama has made history that it almost seems silly to point to another one, but just look at how much music and art has been directly inspired by him, both during the campaign and in the wake of his election to the Presidency. ...

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A Title? I Can't Be Bothered...

Friday, March 06, 2009

Every day I write stuff on the Soundcheck blog, usually because I’ve thought a bit about the subject of the show. Today I just didn’t feel like it. It’s not that I’m lazy, or slothful. It’s not because I haven’t thought long and hard about today’s program. I have. Quite ...

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Writers, and musicians - sometimes the same people

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Daniel Handler has sold over 55 million books, mostly under his pen name Lemony Snicket, so it's not the like the guy needs to take on side jobs. But he does.
First, it was the songs written with Stephin Merritt (of the band Magnetic Fields, and others) for ...

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La musique ist der language internazionale

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Making fun of the French has become almost a national pastime. (Saturday Night Live in 1989: this week the Berlin Wall fell and East and West Germany were reunited. In a related story, France offered to surrender.) It's really not fair, but let's face it, sometimes the French just make ...

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A New Line on the Horizon?

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

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Rock needs U2. Rock music has always been about larger than life characters, big sounds, over the top emotion and drama (on stage and off) - everything writ large, on an arena-sized scale. And the iconic rock acts have ...

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Toroidal activation patterns of tonal space. Wait. What?

Monday, March 02, 2009

Last summer, I began working on a documentary film about an Iranian mystic and musician named Ostad Elahi. A number of neuroscientists have taken note of Elahi's music and the way he intended it to act upon a person's state of consciousness, and it seems that this man's mystical ...

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