Streams

John Schaefer

John Schaefer appears in the following:

McCarren Pool's Swan Song

Thursday, August 28, 2008

mccarren-pool.jpg

McCarren Park Pool is closing. Well, not closing forever, but when it reopens, it will be as a pool. For the past 3 summers, McCarren has been one of the hottest music venues in New York – a place to watch the most ...

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Notes on Liner Notes

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Well before I ever started writing liner notes, I was a big fan of them. And by liner notes I mean all of the printed matter that came with an LP or a CD – production credits, lyrics, and occasionally some sort of explanatory or laudatory prose. I always felt ...

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What will be on your iPod this fall?

Friday, August 22, 2008

At the end of next week, all the major league baseball teams will call up their promising minor leaguers for September games. This annual roster expansion gives everyone a chance to see who has the next potential MVP.

Also at the end of next week, the horse racing season ...

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The Vibrato Debate

Thursday, August 21, 2008

When I started listening to classical music, after spending the first 18 years of my life basically immersed in rock, I found that I was really drawn to early music – the earlier the better. And of course to modern music, especially the so-called Minimalists like Philip Glass and Steve ...

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Jimi Hendrix's Death: A Classic Whodunnit

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The world’s most famous guitarist. The girlfriend who wanted to be his wife. The famous rock singer. The rock singer’s wife who wanted to be the guitarist’s girlfriend. The guitarist’s manager, who mysteriously “misplaced” a fair amount of money. The manager’s associates, both of them angling to take over as ...

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Six Ways To Use Music

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Daniel Levitin’s best-seller, This Is Your Brain On Music, contained some provocative stuff. The musician-turned-neuroscientist also displayed a philosophical streak, with answers to questions like “if a tree falls in the forest and there’s no one there to hear it, does it make a sound?” His answer – an ...

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The Voice of an Emergent Nation

Monday, August 18, 2008

So Giacomo Puccini is the biggest opera composer in the States. That’s no surprise. Fred Plotkin reports from Italy, though, that in Puccini’s home country it is Giuseppe Verdi who is considered to be the superior composer, and apparently by quite a large margin. In a sense, that’s not too ...

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Cirque du Soleil, Meet Bob Dylan

Friday, August 15, 2008

Elvis Presley

While my lifelong love affair with horse racing is a poorly-kept secret, I am not in fact into gambling at all. (Thoroughbred racing is different. Don’t ask me how – it just is.) So while work has occasionally taken ...

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Do the Billboard charts matter to you?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I’ve followed the Billboard charts since I was in school, back in the late 70s (and that, kids, is what they mean by “old school”). But it wasn’t the Hot 100 that I was interested in; that was just pop pablum, nothing interesting there. I read the Top 200, the ...

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Taking the Long Cut: Detour Albums

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I think we can all applaud the idea of doing something well, becoming successful at it, and then deciding to try something a bit different instead of just repeating yourself. And if the results aren’t always what one might’ve hoped for, well, it’s like that old line from the Mary ...

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Bass-less Allegations?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

First of all, everybody calm down. We are not really suggesting that the electric bass is expendable. But sometimes you just gotta stir the pot a bit, you know? And it is true that what used to be a novelty (“hey look – the Doors don’t have a bass player”; ...

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Open Mind for the Opening Ceremonies

Monday, August 11, 2008

Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremonies at Bird’s Nest

I am, and have always been, a big sports fan. And therefore, I have always hated the Olympics opening ceremonies. Huge spectacles, garish costumes and even more garish music, and not ...

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Why Lead Belly was more than a blues singer

Friday, August 01, 2008

Musicians generally hate being stuck into one stylistic box. Debussy and Ravel disliked the term “Impressionist.” Steve Reich and Philip Glass still rail against the use of the term “Minimalist” for their music. Miles Davis hated the term “jazz.” Well, you might think that someone like Lead Belly (and that ...

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Soundtracks With Super Powers

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Iron ManIt’s the summer of the superhero. Batman returns in “The Dark Knight,” and we have eponymous films from Hancock, The Incredible Hulk, and Iron Man (wow – just had to type that three times because I kept writing “Iran ...

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Casting a Stone...at the iPhone

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

iPhone 3G

It's tempting to look down on all those people standing in lines around the block at the various Apple stores, waiting to buy yet another Apple gizmo. Tempting to say, 'look at them; they're like addicts. Apple hooks them, and then ...

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Abba - Love em or Hate em, they're back

Monday, July 28, 2008

Abba is on the big screen (Mamma Mia was the #3 movie in the country this past weekend). Abba is on the Billboard charts (the Mamma Mia soundtrack is #3 there too). And Abba is on Broadway (Mamma Mia has been playing to full houses for 7 years). What year ...

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What Makes a Summer Song?

Friday, July 25, 2008

Last year we polled our Soundcheck listeners for their pick of the Summer Song of 2007… now, my recollection was that the listeners correctly picked Rihanna’s “Umbrella,” which of course did go on to become the de facto anthem of last summer. But in checking the actual results, it seems ...

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On the use (and abuse) of music for your baby

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Is anybody REALLY surprised to find that babies respond to music? I don’t mean the so-called “Mozart effect,” which has been pretty well debunked at this point – even though lots of unscrupulous producers continue to market Classical Lite recordings to gullible parents. I mean the recent studies that show, ...

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John Schaefer on Contemporary Music

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

As longtime listeners will know, I am a huge fan of new music. My nightly “New Sounds” program here at WNYC has celebrated many types of new music since (gulp) 1982. So when I read Joe Queenan’s article, “Admit It, You’re As Bored As I Am,” my first inclination was ...

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How Music Can Shape your Worldview

Monday, July 21, 2008

Sarfraz Manzoor’s book, “Greetings From Bury Park,” would seem to be pretty specific at first glance: the surprising story of how a young Pakistani immigrant to Britain deals with his strict Muslim father and the very different society around him – through the intermediary of Bruce Springsteen’s music.

The ...

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