The lure of “new” old art

The lure of “new” old art

In today’s Wall Street Journal “Sightings” column I take note of a group of “rediscovered” works of art from the past, and speculate on their larger cultural significance. Here’s an excerpt. * * * The top story in the fine-art business is the “rediscovery” (if that’s the word—they were never lost) of a pair of […]
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Miley Cyrus mocks "motherly" advice from Sinead O'Connor

LONDON (Reuters) – American pop star Miley Cyrus has snubbed some prim motherly advice about her new bad girl image from Irish singer and sometime rebel Sinead O'Connor. The “We Can't Stop” singer – who has ditched her squeaky clean Hannah Montana Disney image for a solo singing career as a tattooed sex siren – rebuffed an open letter from O'Connor calling on Cyrus to tone down her sexualized persona. “Sinead. I don't have time to write you an open letter cause I'm hosting & performing on SNL (U.S. comedy show Saturday Night Live) this week,” Cyrus tweeted. …
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Rumour has it: Rocker Graham Parker is back

Rumour has it: Rocker Graham Parker is back

By Angus MacSwan LONDON (Reuters) – Decades on from his days as an angry young rocker, a role in a Hollywood movie playing an ageing musician struggling to make a comeback has helped give a new lease of life to Graham Parker. In the movie, Judd Apatow's “This is 40″, the bid fails. In the real world, however, things are going pretty well for the 62-year-old London native. He's brought out a well-received album, a documentary and a concert film with his reunited backing band, the Rumour. In late October they play their first British dates in 31 years. The London show sold out straight away. …
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OneRepublic victorious in closest UK chart battle of 2013

LONDON (Reuters) – U.S. rock band OneRepublic snatched the top spot in the British singles chart on Sunday, edging out The Vamps in the closest race for the number one position seen all year, the Official Charts Company said on Sunday. A late surge for OneRepublic's 'Counting Stars' helped them outsell new entry 'Can We Dance' from British band The Vamps by just 1,150 copies to reach the pinnacle of the charts for the first time. Former number one 'Talk Dirty' by Jason Derulo and featuring rapper 2 Chainz fell to number three, while Katy Perry's 'Roar' dropped into fourth place. …
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Jury clears promoter of liability in Michael Jackson's death

Jury clears promoter of liability in Michael Jackson's death

By Eric Kelsey and Dana Feldman LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A Los Angeles jury cleared concert promoter AEG Live of liability on Wednesday in a wrongful death lawsuit brought by the family of Michael Jackson, in a trial that offered a glimpse into the private life and final days of the so-called King of Pop. The verdict, which concluded that the doctor the company hired to care for the singer was not unfit for his job, capped a sensational five-month trial that was expected to shake up the way entertainment companies treat their most risky talent. …
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Hunger striking Russia's punk band member moved to solitary cell

MOSCOW (Reuters) – A jailed member of Russia's dissident Pussy Riot punk band was moved to a solitary confinement cell on Tuesday after she went on hunger strike to protest against what she called “slave labor” at the penal colony. Nadezhda Tolokonnikova was jailed for two years over a “Punk prayer” protest against Vladimir Putin in a Moscow cathedral in August 2012. Kremlin critics say her sentencing along with other band members is part of a crackdown on dissent since Putin returned to the presidency for a third term in May 2012. …
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Music streaming: free is the key

Music streaming: free is the key

Competing music streaming services are beginning to discover that the best way to get consumers to sign up and to start paying a monthly subscription is to offer a free tier, too. On Wednesday, Google announced that Google Play Music subscribers can now upload and store 50,000 tracks to the cloud free of charge that they can then stream via a smartphone, tablet or even desktop whenever they've got an internet connection. The offer's interesting partly because it recognizes that older consumers already have a record collection that they value and want to listen to — therefore making its streaming and music downloading services more attractive propositions — but also because over at Apple, customers are only currently able to upload 25,000 tracks to iCloud for streaming and they See Original Article

Epic Celebrity Falls: Music Edition

Madonna took a hard tumble at the BRIT Awards (we feel for ya girl) and we couldn’t help but take a look back at some of the best spills, tumbles and trips in music.
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Almanac: T.S. Eliot on self-importance

Almanac: T.S. Eliot on self-importance

“Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don’t mean to do harm; but the harm does not interest them. Or they do not see it, or they justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves.” T.S. […]
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Music industry moves to Friday global album release

The music industry has announced an agreement to release albums globally on Fridays, ending divergences among regions that have fueled piracy in an age of instant music. Thursday's decision, after nine months of consultation, is expected to go into effect by summer in the Northern Hemisphere, said Frances Moore, chief executive officer of the music industry's global body IFPI. “What is absolutely clear is that there is nearly unanimous agreement that a global release date is a good thing,” Moore told AFP. Under longstanding traditions, albums are generally released on Monday in Britain and France, Tuesday in the United States, Wednesday in Japan and Friday in Australia and Germany.
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Leaks and surprise albums: new ways of releasing music

Leaks and surprise albums: new ways of releasing music

Earlier this month, Canadian rapper Drake set the internet abuzz with the release of an unexpected new album via SoundClound, complete with free unlimited streaming. The move echoes the surprise release of Beyoncé's self-titled record in 2013. The latest victims are of course Björk and Madonna, whose respective albums were recently leaked to the internet ahead of their official release dates. For her part, Björk decided to advance the release date of “Vulnicura,” sharing the album in its entirety on iTunes.
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Tweets in search of a context: The Grand Budapest Hotel

Mrs. T and I just watched The Grand Budapest Hotel for the second time. When I first saw it last year, I’d read nothing by Stefan Zweig. Now I’ve read the standard biography of Zweig and several of his books—including Beware of Pity and The World of Yesterday, on which Wes Anderson specifically drew in […]
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Thalassa Space Grows Up with Craft Beer, Live Music

Thalassa Space Grows Up with Craft Beer, Live Music

The former pool hall will become a full bar, restaurant and live music venue by the end of the year. Berkeley's nightlife scene continues to evolve (and possibly mature), with the reconfiguration of the former Thalassa space as a music venue and craft beer garden. As a result, the 12,000 square-foot space, will transform from a pool hall into a full bar and full-service restaurant, with a large stage for live music and an outdoor beer garden with separate entrances for the restaurant and music venue. Berkeleyside reports that Alex Popov of Liquid Entertainment (the company in charge of the live venue) wants to create a “flexible space” for bands, DJs and special events, similar to setup at The Chapel in San Francisco.
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Ed Sheeran wins best British record at top UK music awards

By Liisa Tuhkanen LONDON (Reuters) – The top British music awards went to young men on Wednesday as Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith bagged the most important trophies in a star-studded Brit Awards show in London. English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran was the biggest winner of the night, walking away with two of the four Brit Awards he was nominated for. “I didn't expect it… It's been a very good year for British music”, he said. Soul singer Sam Smith, who was nominated for five Brits and competed with Sheeran for the best album, topped off his recent four Grammy wins with a Global Success award and British Breakthrough trophy.
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Sam Smith aims for victory at British music's Brit Awards

Sam Smith aims for victory at British music's Brit Awards

LONDON (AP) — Sam Smith could follow victory at the Grammys with triumph on home soil at Britain's most prestigious music awards.
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Tweets in search of a context: the postmodern sitcom

The endless-loop Irony Lite of today’s sitcoms wears me out. It’s mostly nothing more than fast talking heavily sauced with needless-to-say-we-all-agree-about-everything attitude. And it’s not funny. Attitude is not humor. References are not humor. Sniggering is not humor. Above all, clubbishness is not humor. True humor doesn’t exclude—it includes. It reminds us, ever and always, […]
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'Blurred Lines' Trial Opens With Jurors Discussing Racy Music Video

'Blurred Lines' Trial Opens With Jurors Discussing Racy Music Video

Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams and members of the Marvin Gaye family were on hand at a Los Angeles federal courtroom for the start of the copyright infringement trial.
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Despite free album furor, U2 tops iTunes listening

U2 faced such a backlash over its free album that the band apologized, but the Irish superstars claimed vindication Tuesday as research showed its music dominated iTunes listening. U2's “Songs of Innocence” was automatically sent to the world's half billion iTunes customers as a promotion for the new iPhone 6, leading to so many complaints that Apple set up a special webpage on how to delete the album.
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Almanac: Raymond Chandler on the writer’s objective

Almanac: Raymond Chandler on the writer’s objective

“A writer who is afraid to overreach himself is as useless as a general who is afraid to be wrong.” Raymond Chandler, “The Simple Art of Murder”
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Snapshot: Marni Nixon appears on To Tell the Truth

Marni Nixon, who dubbed the singing voices of Audrey Hepburn, Deborah Kerr, and Natalie Wood in the film versions of My Fair Lady, The King and I, and West Side Story, appears on To Tell the Truth in 1964: (This is the latest in a series of arts-related videos that appear in this space each […]
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