Berfrois

Saturday-morning cartoons and kung fu…

Saturday-morning cartoons and kung fu…

Released in 1998, Lauryn Hill’s first solo album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, was also a canonical intervention—to both the previously male-dominated sphere of hip-hop as well as the white-dominated upper echelons of the music industry and pop culture.

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Dmitri Tymoczko: Geometric Listening

Dmitri Tymoczko: Geometric Listening

Four note chords by Dmitri Tymoczko Two hundred years ago, there were no CDs or MP3s and the primary way to preserve your music was to write it down. Not surprisingly, notated composition was a culturally central activity: Roughly 20,000 people are said to have attended Beethoven’s funeral, a non-negligible...

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e.g., Ellington

e.g., Ellington

Lucinda Williams by Joe Linker “I am here, and there is nothing to say,” John Cage said, in his “Lecture on Nothing” (Silence, 1961). “If among you are those who wish to get somewhere, let them leave at any moment.” So we boarded Line 15, ancient music now turned...

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JC Rocks!

JC Rocks!

From Guernica: It’s 1994, and Michael Stipe recently lost his religion. It’s before Bieber and bling, before ordering a latte required six qualifying adjectives. In coffeehouses across the country, bored teens slouch on thrift-store couches nodding along to the Cranberries’ “Zombie.” Weezer breaks into the alt-rock scene with the...

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Still Flying by Katrina Gulliver

Still Flying by Katrina Gulliver

by Katrina Gulliver Has it really been twenty years since Thelma and Louise was released? I hadn’t seen it again since it opened, but it was certainly an indelible influence on me at the time, as a protofeminist pre-teen, and it stuck with me more than other films I...

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Sabine Feisst: Lonesome Schoenberg

Sabine Feisst: Lonesome Schoenberg

Portrait of Arnold Schoenburg, Egon Schiele, 1917 by Sabine Feisst Arnold Schoenberg, the famous Viennese-born composer and pioneer of musical modernism, was one of the many refugees from Nazi tyranny who settled in the United States in the 1930s and never again set foot on European soil. Yet despite...

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“Never hit on the model”

“Never hit on the model”

Pepsi Cola, Mel Ramos, 2005 From The Talks: Pablo Picasso once said “the chief enemy of creativity is good taste.” Would you agree with that? (Laughs) Picasso is so full of shit. He was a nasty guy; he really screwed over a lot of his friends. He did some...

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David A. Kirby: Hulk Smash Accurate Science!

David A. Kirby: Hulk Smash Accurate Science!

Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman as Thor and Jane Foster, Thor, Paramount Pictures, 2011 by David A. Kirby For most people, the start of the summer blockbuster season would not be an ideal time to be examining movies for their scientific verisimilitude. Big, silly popcorn flicks are about explosions, muscled...

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Freewheelin’

Freewheelin’

Matt Bors, 2007 by David Hayes The most influential and original musician of the 1960s generation remains a figure of protean creativity half a century on. The wealth of attention devoted to Bob Dylan as he reaches his 70th birthday is testament to a career of astonishing range. It...

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