Streams

John Schaefer

John Schaefer appears in the following:

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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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. ...

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Lil' Wayne vs. The World

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Lil Wayne

It’s one thing for Lil Wayne to proclaim himself the world’s best rapper. That sort of bragging, whether serious or in jest, has long been a part of hip-hop. It’s quite another thing for anyone else to agree. I mean, hip-hop ...

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Daydream Nationalists

Monday, June 09, 2008

Lee Ranaldo and Kim Gordon of Sonic YouthIt is possible in a world of blogs, MySpace pages, and instant music or video delivery to be wildly popular in a very small circle. You can have a ...

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The Days of Wine and (Guns 'n') Roses

Friday, June 06, 2008

Wine SculptureI’m more of a beer guy than a wine aficionado. I’m not so sure my feelings about an India Pale Ale will be altered by the music I’m hearing, but on the other hand, I can’t dismiss the idea either. Adrian North’s ...

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A Great Tenor Looks to the Future

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Placido DomingoWhat do you ask someone who’s so famous that he has his own Muppet? Placido Domingo is one of the greatest tenors of our time, and as a conductor and arts administrator he has been a tireless champion of the world of ...

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Movie Stars Who Slum in Pop Music

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

I loved the original Star Trek. But all the juvenile hero-worship in the world couldn’t save Captain Kirk and Mr. Spock from the guffaws that followed when they each released albums of “covers” (a charitable term, in this case) of popular songs in the late 60s. Universal derision hasn’t stopped ...

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The Price of Being Green

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

This week's Soundcheck Smackdown is a curious one, at least to me - because I can see how both sides of the argument could be correct. Maybe you believe in climate change, maybe you don't. (Watch out for the edge of our flat planet, though.) But it is certainly possible ...

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Not If You Were the Last Whiffenpoof on Earth...

Monday, June 02, 2008

I went to a college, Fordham, that didn’t have an a cappella group, at least not as far as I know. This was on the border of the South Bronx in the late 70s, and it wasn’t the sort of place you’d expect to find an a cappella group, unless ...

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Zeroes and Villains

Thursday, May 29, 2008

How did Blender do it? How did they start compiling a list of music’s creepiest, most repulsive, often genuinely criminal people – and stop at just 25? I don’t know what it is about the music biz, but it has long been a magnet for shady characters. I suppose ...

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Tribute Bands: Even better than the real thing?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I’ve never understood the whole tribute band thing. I also never understood the people who reenact Civil War battles, so maybe this is a blind spot of some sort… But to do someone else’s songs night after night, aping the sound of the original band, and sometimes even trying to ...

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John on the In-Store Experience

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Record stores are great. If you already know what you like and what you’re looking for. Otherwise, buying music online has a huge advantage. Old-timers talk about walking into their local record shop and being intrigued by an album cover and asking the guy behind the counter to play a ...

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History in the Making

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Usually you don’t realize you’re witnessing history until time has past and events have become historic. (There are obvious exceptions.) Suze Rotolo couldn’t have known she was witnessing history when her boyfriend, a young folksinger named Bob Dylan, got a good review in the New York Times. And she certainly ...

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Film Composers: Raiders of the Lost Art?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Harrison Ford as Indiana JonesFilm scores and classical music. The question is, can the former also be considered the latter. Sort of depends on your definition of “classical music,” doesn’t it? Fully notated music for an orchestra requires the composer ...

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The Search for Rebel Girls

Monday, May 19, 2008

Cat PowerWhere are the women in rock? I happen to know they’re still out there – I share an office with one, as you may have learned in our posting last Wednesday – but Women Who Rock just don’t seem to be as visible as ...

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Toying With Musical Skill

Friday, May 16, 2008

rock_band_image.jpgWhen the Soundcheck crew went to play the videogame Rock Band, I was struck by how truly sucky I was when, as a lifelong guitarist, I picked the Rock Band guitar controller. I quickly realized, there is no correlation between playing Rock Band ...

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Buy John Some Peanuts and Crackerjack

Thursday, May 15, 2008

You know the song “Heart And Soul”? Sure you do – it’s the one every beginning pianist sits down and bangs out on the keyboard at school assemblies and the like. Or maybe you don’t… what everyone knows is the chorus of “Heart And Soul.” But there are verses, verses ...

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