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Fluid Improvisation

There is a certain kind of music that not only takes the listener to new places, but also produces a night of intense and lucid dreaming. That’s the kind of music one hears at the Stone,  John Zorn’s intimate Lower East Side avant-garde house of aural thaumaturgy.

Boulevards of Broken Dreams

It’s easy to forget that popular music has the capacity to subvert. Thankfully, I’ve been reminded of the fact lately by a trio of insightful books, which, by chance (or unconscious design) all point to two particular flash points: Central Avenue and the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles.

Driving Lonely, Across the State

The night doesn’t have to end, even if it’s 4 a.m. and all roads lead to breakfast. New York nightlife has kept spots like Veselka in the East Village, or the late Empire Diner in Chelsea, hopping at all hours.

Fast-Forwarding Through Classic Arts Showcase

To my culturally critical mind, the single richest program on television these past 16 years has been a scarcely noticed, austere anthology called Classic Arts Showcase.


It’s been said that Bernstein was music and Karajan made music. And to quote Johnny Depp as the Libertine, “That any experiment of interest in life will be carried out at your own expense.” To both ends I add the ideas that crystallized through my recent experiences in Paris.


The Brooklyn Rail

FEB 2011

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