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Friday Miscellanea

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Friday Miscellanea

 Over on the right you will notice a kind of blog "seal of approval" that was awarded this blog several years ago. At the time as I recall, I was number 43 on the list. Just out of curiosity I went over there the other day and it seems I have crept up to number 19. Yahoo! Even though I really don't do nearly as many didactic posts as I used to.

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One blogger that does a lot of educational stuff is Ethan Hein. Here is a post he did recently on one of my favorite Talking Heads songs, "Psychokiller."

“Psycho Killer” may have unusual subject matter for a song, but there’s nothing unusual about it in the broader context of American culture. In addition to Patrick Bateman, there’s the Hannibal Lecter cinematic universe, there’s Dexter, there’s Nicole Wallace on Law and Order: Criminal Intent, and so on. The genre of the first-person shooter has enabled millions of gamers (myself included) the simulated experience of killing people on a whim. The fascination with “psycho killers” is weird, though, because there very few of them in real life. Murderers usually have a close relationship with their victim; woman are most likely to be killed by their husband or boyfriend. So why is Hannibal Lecter such a popular character? You don’t have to agree with Professor Sarat that we are secretly jealous of him, but otherwise it is very difficult to explain why he looms so large in Americans’ imaginative lives.

I think the answer is that evil is inherently fascinating--because it tempts us.

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And speaking of evil characters: THE DEVIL DEFEATS MUNICH

Message from Bayerische Staatsoper:

To our great regret, the second performance of the new festival production THE DEVIL OF LOUDUN on June 30, 2022 has to be cancelled. Due to the current infection, there are several personnel outages in the crew, which cannot be replaced due to the complexity of the show.

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The group of fans of Yuja Wang also includes fans of her fashions. Here is a clip of some of them:

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I'm often talking about the value of tradition in the arts and this newspaper article uncovers one specific example: At the S.F. Symphony, long collaborations are the key to success
At the moment, the San Francisco Symphony is at a sharp inflection point, in ways that are both exciting and potentially worrisome. The arrival of Esa-Pekka Salonen as music director signals a shift for the orchestra, both in the repertoire it tackles and the aesthetic priorities that will guide its performances of that music.

At the same time, the orchestra is facing a comparatively large turnover in personnel, due in part to the number of members who decided that the pandemic shutdown was an opportune time to retire. So even as Salonen gets a chance to stock the orchestra with musicians who share his artistic outlook — something Thomas did before him during his 25-year tenure — there will also be a rupture in some of those deep collegial traditions going back decades.

“This is one of the reasons I feel bad about leaving now, when there are so many openings,” Braunstein said. “Because the culture of how the orchestra plays needs to be nurtured, so that the good things we’ve achieved over the last 30 or 40 years won’t evaporate.”

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And speaking of California: Why new music has come roaring back in L.A.

New music has become a way of life, be it, and in no particular order, at Walt Disney Concert Hall, Broad Stage, Zipper Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, REDCAT, Royce Hall, the Ford, the Wende Museum, the Wallis, First Presbyterian Church in Santa Monica, 2220 Arts + Archives, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Hauser & Wirth and Descanso Gardens. New music pops up in small galleries in alleyways and at the Mount Wilson Observatory. The Monday Evening Concerts, the longest-running new music series in America and possibly anywhere, began in 1939 as Evenings on the Roof in a small studio atop an unpretentious Silver Lake home, where, before long, it attracted the likes of Schoenberg and Stravinsky.

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Here is a definitive performance of "Psychokiller" from the film Stop Making Sense:


Here is a new production of The Soldier's Tale by Stravinsky from the San Francisco Symphony directed by Esa-Pekka Salonen.

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