Monday, June 06, 2005

What have you been listening to, reading, watching?

Artistry Defined?
The Globe and Mail ponders a central question about an artist's (or anyone's?) life:
Why do some artists remain artistically relevant well into their careers, while others are content to dish out from the stew they cooked 30 or 40 years before? How does creativity wax and wane with age? It's a difficult line to draw.
Musicians I love and respect most of all are ones who continue to develop and try new things, even if it means leaving behind the things that drew me to them to begin with. Miles Davis, Elvis Costello, The Beatles, Beethoven..they all used their early-career success as capital to continue exploring new ways of expressing their artistry. And in each case it worked (admitedly, The Beatles' career was too short to fit this model. Their development was on hyper-speed, but who knows what they would be like now if they were still together.) The article continues:
(T)he Stones been unable to produce a great record since Some Girls almost 30 years ago? The band repackages old material more diligently than it produces new hits (their last record of new material was 1997's Bridges to Babylon, and it's a challenge to name a song off it). This lack of resonant new stuff doesn't affect the success of their live shows, which routinely sell out.

They're a nostalgia act now, just like Paul McCartney, who is also out touring this year (and producing yelps for the cost of his concert tickets, which top out at $275 for his Toronto date). McCartney doesn't even have a new record, which shouldn't disappoint fans as long as they get to hear Hey Jude and Let It Be. So if the Stones and McCartney possessed genius once, as they surely did, where did that creativity go?
Good Question.

From the Left: 10 must harmful books
Kevin Drum has attempted to counter the crazy HumanEvents list of the 10 most harmful books of the 19th and 20th Century with one of his own. I haven't even heard of most of these, so I assume and hope much of their harm has been left in the past.

Six Feet Under
Starts the last season tonight. There is an annoying review in the Times. I didn't read it all (avoiding spoilers as always), but enough to get the idea that it was more base-covering than actual opinion. Shorter version: What a great series! What a terrible series! I'm of one mind on this one: Is every episode and storyline interesting and well-done? Of course not. But, overall--fabulous series. At its best, there's none better that I've seen.

"Spamalot" wins Tony for Best Musical
Link. I haven't seen any of the nominees, obviously. But still, I'm surprised. Is it pandering?

Weekend Box Office
1. Madagascar
2. The Longest Yard
3. Star Wars 3 (a $308 million disappointment?)
4. Cinderella Man
5. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (?)

Pro-Cinderella Man review....Anti-Cinderella Man review
Both from Slate.

No comments: