Streams

John Schaefer

John Schaefer appears in the following:

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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It's Easy Being John

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Well, I certainly don’t want to get in trouble here, but I also don’t want to get anyone else in trouble either, so I’m going to leave my all-purpose assistant, Caryn Havlik, out of this. Let me just say that even with all the music that comes into my office ...

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Call the Young Dudes?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

gustavo-dudamel.jpgThe LA Philharmonic replaces its 40-something conductor, Esa-Pekka Salonen, with a 27-year old phenom named Gustavo Dudamel. The Chicago Symphony then replaces its 65-year old leader, Daniel Barenboim, with the 66-year old Riccardo Muti, a veteran, universally-respected conductor. So, which one would YOU rather ...

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A "Wild Combination" of Genres

Monday, May 12, 2008

arthur_russell.jpgIn 1983, just a year after starting the “New Sounds” series here at WNYC, I started playing a couple of LPs by a composer named Arthur Russell. “Tower of Meaning” was a favorite – a series of majestic, slowly-unfolding, moody instrumentals by a guy ...

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Who's Afraid of Clear Channel

Friday, May 09, 2008

Yeah, yeah, Clear Channel is bad; live, local radio is good. The huge media conglomerate owns and operates a gazillion radio stations and makes them all sound alike. They are a behemoth that crushes the smaller, more interesting stations in each market. But you know what, that wouldn’t happen IF ...

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John Schaefer, Radio Host ... and Guitarist

Thursday, May 08, 2008

I first picked up the guitar when I was 12. Unfortunately, I picked it up left-handed. Unable to figure out how to follow the guitar lessons on public tv (we couldn’t afford real lessons), I had to let the instrument go. But I always wanted to play, and when I ...

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Left, Right, Left, Right ... "Play?"

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Music is such a powerful means of expression that it’s only natural that military leaders learned early on how to use it. Want an army to march in formation? A drum will work like magic – in fact, many ancient cultures though music WAS magical, precisely because it somehow seemed ...

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Upshaw and Inspiration

Monday, May 05, 2008

du_white_jacket_dario_acosta.jpgDawn Upshaw is a great singer. Wow, there’s a bold statement, huh? Everyone who knows her knows she’s a great soprano. Only I didn’t say 'soprano,' I said 'singer.' One of Upshaw’s strengths is how malleable her voice is, and how versatile the persona ...

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Musings on the Material Girl

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

When the first issue of SPIN came out in 1985, I was one of the magazine’s editors. The decision to put Madonna on the first cover was not mine, but I agreed with it – she was already a major player, and threatened to become “important.” Which she did. There’ve ...

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Keeping Pop on the Radar

Monday, April 28, 2008

When Greil Marcus first published his landmark book Mystery Train in 1975, American culture was something you could talk about as a single thing. We all watched the same menu of TV shows, and pop music was truly popular –- it seemed like everyone knew the words to “American Pie,” ...

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TV Themes: What It's All About

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Actually, only one type of TV theme song has really disappeared: The “explainer,” where the lyrics set up the story. Classic example: Gilligan’s Island (“just sit right back and you’ll hear the tale, the tale of a fateful trip…”). Some kids’ shows, like "Hannah Montana," still have something like ...

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Sound Advice for the Candidates

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

If I were running the Clinton or Obama campaigns, and had to pick a song that echoed the image each of them is trying to project, I’d tell Hillary to reclaim Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down” from the Republicans who tried to co-opt it (against Petty’s wishes, apparently). ...

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John ... on Beards

Monday, April 21, 2008

What is going on over in Williamsbeard? I mean Williamsburg. All these indie-rockers with their sudden facial hair… I’ve never seen myself as a bearded type, though I’ve idly wondered what it would be like. But unlike the hair on the top of my head, the hair on the bottom ...

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On Music and Identity

Friday, April 18, 2008

When I started commuting to Manhattan to go to high school, I began to see my Queens neighborhood as sleepy, remote, and boring. That was (I hoped) not me, and not who I wanted to be. When I discovered this new style of music they were starting to call punk ...

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The Life of the SXSW Party

Thursday, March 13, 2008

sixthstreet_031208.jpg

The festival is all about live music, so here are some impressions of the live music I've seen:

Tuesday night. The opening party for the Music Festival is also the closing party for the Film Festival. It's at Stubb's.

Addictive TV is a ...

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