Streams

John Schaefer

John Schaefer appears in the following:

The Soul of Hip-Hop Retreats to the Underground

Friday, July 18, 2008

Mr. LifSo hip-hop is in trouble? Sales are down? The music's lost its edge? Sorry, but weren't we just saying those exact same things about rock a few years ago? And it turned out that rock wasn't dead at all - ...

Read More

Comment

Only the Best at Shea

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

When I was a kid, some of the older kids in my neighborhood in Queens were making noise about a concert they were going to see at Shea Stadium. Part of the excitement was just the fact that Shea was hosting a concert. And part of it was the band ...

Read More

Comment

The Music Festival: Friend or Foe?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I love music. I love live music. I love lots of live music. I just don't love it all at once. To me, that's one of the problems with the big summer music festivals - when the music is coming at you all day and into the evening, it doesn't ...

Read More

Comment

Music: The Oldest Weapon

Monday, July 14, 2008

MetallicaMusic has probably been used as a weapon of war for as long as we’ve waged wars. The Scots marched with their highland pipes and drums because they believed the music would pump up their warriors – and if their enemies got ...

Read More

Comment

The Shape of Things to Come

Friday, July 11, 2008

As Alex Ross points out in his recent article in the New Yorker, we’re being increasingly told that China is the future of classical music. The numbers are staggering – 30 million piano and/or violin students (conservatively – more enthusiastic numbers-crunchers say as many as 100 million); conservatories 10 ...

Read More

Comment

Debating the Appeal of Live Albums

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

So I’m trying to figure out just what I think of live albums. My initial reaction is: not much. At least, not in rock music. If you like an artist or band enough to go see them live, odds are the recording of that very same event just won’t live ...

Read More

Comments [4]

Hot Topic: Coldplay

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Today’s Smackdown is about Coldplay, but for me, you can’t talk about Coldplay without also talking about Radiohead. 40 years ago it was the Beatles or The Stones. Now it’s Coldplay or Radiohead – two British rock bands with big ambitions, grand ideas, and apparently unlimited time to muck around ...

Read More

Comment

The Club Shuffle

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

What’s new? Well, a bunch of music venues are new – Drom, Le Poisson Rouge, the Brooklyn Masonic Temple, the High Line Ballroom. And there are new locations for some old ones – both Galapagos and the Issue Project Room are moving from their Brooklyn neighborhoods (Williamsburg and Gowanus, respectively) ...

Read More

Comment

Classical's Wild Years

Friday, June 27, 2008

Reading accounts of concerts in the days of Beethoven, it’s evident that what we now call Classical Music was in fact the arena rock of its time. Orchestras played almost free-form events, with movements of a symphony played again, immediately, if they went over well the first time, and solo ...

Read More

Comment

Whale Songs: Music or Nature's Noise?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Humpback Whale TailIs THAT music? It’s a question that has often been asked, usually in an incredulous tone, often by parents who greet their teenagers’ choice of music with a mix of confusion and revulsion. But it’s a question that critics asked ...

Read More

Comment

Music Therapy: Science or Art? Or Neither?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Music therapy sounds like such a great idea. And it actually seems plausible too – we’ve all noticed how a favorite song coming on the radio can be a real mood-lifter. So the idea of music having some kind of physical and/or psychological benefit seems quite rational. But it also ...

Read More

Comment

A City Boy Muses on Country Music's Appeal

Monday, June 23, 2008

Dana Jennings’ story of how country music was so important to the lives of the people growing up poor in his New Hampshire hometown got me to thinking. Growing up in New York City, what did I know about country music? Very little, and that was the way I liked ...

Read More

Comment

Art Tatum Lives through technology

Friday, June 20, 2008

The idea of hearing an Art Tatum performance live, half a century after Tatum himself died, is certainly intriguing. You listen to those recordings of his from the 40s, and it’s clear that he was one of the greatest virtuosos of the instrument this country has ever produced. But that’s ...

Read More

Comments [3]

Do you mixtape?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

mixtapePardon me while I date myself, but when I began making cassette mixtapes, in the 80s, I don’t think anyone was using the term “mixtape” yet. But I owned a cheap stereo with a cassette deck, was recently married, and incurable romantic that I ...

Read More

Comments [1]

String Quartets ... to the Break-a-Dawn!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

On the surface, classical music and hip-hop seem like the strangest of musical bedfellows. If you think about it, though, the best hip-hop producers are master orchestrators – but instead of using keeping Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Principles of Orchestration” handy they’ve got ProTools (the industry standard for digital audio programs) loaded on ...

Read More

Comment

John: It's For You

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Ah, the cell phone. What an amazing little gadget: it plays music videos, records brief movies, takes and shares photos, sends and receives instant messages, and I think you can talk into them too. Has any other device connected us so efficiently? Has any other device set concertgoers at each ...

Read More

Comment

Passing "Strange," Picking Familiar

Monday, June 16, 2008

stew.jpgHere's what bugs me about Broadway - well, aside from the ticket prices: you have a somewhat edgy, idiosyncratic musical like 'Passing Strange' (the brainchild of musician Stew, pictured) actually trying to do something different and getting a great amount of critical ...

Read More

Comment

The Color Line in Rock

Friday, June 13, 2008

TV on the Radio

Jim Farber’s column in the Daily News points out the success of a new generation of black rockers in bands like TV On The Radio and Gnarls Barkley. Stew, the singer/guitarist behind the smash rock musical ...

Read More

Comment

Risk and Reward

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Gerard MortierFor an arts organization to survive today, it has to take risks. Gerard Mortier (pictured at right), who takes over the New York City Opera in 2009, knows about taking risks. And he knows that when you roll the dice, you ...

Read More

Comment

Grandmaster Flash: from soundtrack of the 70's to Hall of Famer

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

New York in the '70s was an amazing place to grow up, especially if you were into music. I was heavily into the punk scene, but because I rode the J train every day through Bushwick, East New York, and pre-hipster Williamsburg, I also heard the emerging sounds of rap. ...

Read More

Comment