NYC Notes, Part 4: A Night with the NY Phil at Lincoln Center

Blowhard, Esq. writes:


While in NYC last month I was lucky enough to attend one night of the New York Philharmonic’s inaugural biennial. Hosted and conducted by Alan Gilbert, the program was about 90 minutes long and consisted of three separate works.

The first piece was the world premiere of a short piano concerto by Julia Adolphe called “Dark Sand, Sifting Light” which began colorful and poetic but turns dark and tense. It felt like a piece of a film score for a thriller or horror movie. I wouldn’t be the first to point out that the joys of traditional classical music can be found more in Hollywood film scores than in contemporary concert performances.

The second piece was a violin concerto by Peter Eötvös written specifically for soloist Midori called (punning on her name) “DoReMi”. It was atonal piece that I found difficult to enjoy — anxious, jerky, insistent, punctuated by arbitrary percussive slaps. A soundtrack for your consciousness fracturing or the sound of dishes crashing to the floor while cats screech in the living room. My attention started flagging after about 10 minutes, so I surveyed the crowed and noticed a number of people nodding off (old and young), while others stared into their phones. Ms. Midori certainly enjoyed the piece as her enthusiastic playing caused her to break a bow string. Apparently she has a penchant for that sort of thing.

While all this is going on, I’m scribbling notes on a small pad. During an intermission, the gentleman sitting next to me said, “Excuse me, are you a music critic?” LOLOL, only in my fevered imagination, dude. He and his wife were in from Phoenix to visit the grandchildren.

The final work was the world premiere of Christopher Rouse‘s Fourth Symphony, specifically commissioned for this event. After Eötvös’s petulant work, the first movement of Rouse’s symphony perked up the audience with its ascending strings and horns. There were no memorable melodies during this section, nothing to send you whistling into the night, but the cheeriness was appreciated. The second movement, though, took a somber turn with mournful woodwinds, until the piece slowly and pitifully winds down into silence. Of this work Rouse said, “there’s got to be some kind of expressive message in a piece of music. My caveat is that the message may not necessarily be a happy one, and you have to be open to that.”


The most affecting part of the program, though, wasn’t any of the performances, it was when Gilbert announced that a number of musicians — some of them who had played with the NY Phil for decades — were retiring at the end of the season. A few gave warm speeches of appreciation to the institution and their gratitude was reciprocated by the audience.

Have you been to a classical concert lately? How was it?


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Art Du Jour

Eddie Pensier writes:

Fortitude l

“Strength” from the Visconti-Sforza tarot, c.1442-1447.

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The Mike Tyson Mysteries

Eddie Pensier writes:

From our good friend Raymond Padilla of RPAD.TV, comes this epic trailer of the upcoming Adult Swim series.

Your reaction will probably fall into one of two general categories:

a) This is a harbinger of the downfall of civilization as we know it.
b) Gottawatchitgottawatchitgottawatchit.

I’m in camp b). Mysteries, chupacabras, and Norm McDonald as a sex-crazed pigeon. What more do you need from your entertainment, I ask?

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Creepshot Or Not? Sanitary-Napkin Girl Edition

Paleo Retiree writes:


For the “No, it’s not a Creepshot” side, I can see the following arguments:

  • The taking and the publishing of the photo obviously weren’t motivated by lust but by amazement at what a clueless and low-class place America often is. If we can’t make and share humorous observations about the life around us, what’s the point of getting out of bed in the morning?
  • The woman’s face can’t be seen, so who cares if her undies and more are being put on public display?

And for the “Yes, it’s a Creepshot” side:

  • Yoga pants! Transparency! Thong! Bra! And the pic was obviously sneaked! Permission was almost certainly not requested! If those aren’t markers of an authentic Creepshot, what is?
  • How can we know for sure that the person who snapped and published the pic wasn’t motivated by lust? Weirder things have been heard of than someone who gets off on sanitary napkins. Perhaps we’d be better off condemning him/her right off the bat, because these prissy days it’s best not to take any chances.

Are there additional factors I’m overlooking? And where do you come down on the crucial “Is it a Creepshot or not?” question in this case? FWIW, my own deep thoughts don’t go a lot further than, “Hey, when life presents you with something like this, how can you not sneak and share a shot of it?”


  • Previous installments in our ongoing “Creepshot or Not?” series: here, here, here, here, here and here. OK, so the theme has become a bit of an obsession in these parts.
  • Bras in public.
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Wimmin Singin Wednesdays

Fenster writes:

Hey Sailor!  Detroit Cobras.



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Blowhard, Esq. writes:


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Movie Still Du Jour

Tierney, Gene (Laura)

Dana Andrews, Gene Tierney, and Clifton Webb in Otto Preminger’s LAURA (1944). I was reminded of this shot while browsing The Noir Style by Alain Silver and James Ursini.

Click on the image to enlarge. 

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