The August Countdown

Though several of our new music pals have hung out the ol’ end-of-August “gone fishing” signs (do send us a postcard, Alex, Jeff, and Greg), The Ramble has delivered a 4,381 word tour of the world’s music information centers to divert us while they’re gone.

Kronos has set up house at Myspace.com and they want to be your friend. Drop on by and offer a welcome to the neighborhood.

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Apparently Lindsay Lohan is the new Beethoven

In response to the release of a doll made in the image of pop princess Lindsay Lohan, Mattel VP of entertainment development Rob Hudnut explains that the company is trying to pick up the intellectual slack in the public schools. “We’re trying to fill a void in the education system in teaching kids about the arts.” As if we needed more proof that America’s cultural Armageddon is nigh…

For the early planners in the crowd, SYMPHONY magazine’s annual roundup of season premieres has been released. Looks like Jennifer Higdon and John Harbison will be having an especially busy orchestral year, though composer Michael Schelle has to come up with five pieces for the Albuquerque Youth Symphony alone. Hope he’s gotten started on that.

And since Copland is like a father to us over here at the AMC, I would be remiss not to direct you to the wrap-up coverage of the 16th Annual Bard Music Festival: “Copland and His World.”
Jeremy Eichler reviews the proceedings. [NYT]
If you weren’t there, you’re not the only one kicking yourself. [IOA]

2 thoughts on “The August Countdown

  1. danielgilliam

    Molly’s link to the Barbie article moved me to look at the actual Newsweek magazine where the article appears. Everyone should be outraged by the September 5, 2005 issue. One feature is “The Arts: Fall’s Best.” I thought, “Surely, they will mention at least one orchestra.” Instead I read about Gretchen Wilson and Madonna. I’m pasting a letter to the editor below. I would encourage anyone to send a similar letter to Newsweek.

    Ramin Setoodeh’s piece “Give Her a Razzie” was supposed to be humorous, right? Surely Rob Hudnut, vice president of entertainment development for Mattel, was being sarcastic when he said, “We’re trying to fill a void in the education system in teaching kids about the arts,” referring to Barbie films. I assume Mr. Hudnut is aware that Barbie is not art, and neither are their films. His very job title tells us that Mattel is in the entertainment business, a different subject than art to the amazement of many. Mr. Hudnut’s misinformed comment is a slap in the face to all us who are serious artists (composers, musicians, painters, writers, etc), and do not receive a fraction of what any Mattel executive receives for their “art.”
    I should not be so surprised, however, that Newsweek would carry such a story. In the very same issue, “The Arts: Fall’s Best,” Lorraine Ali tells us that we should look out for rap artist Kanye West and country singer Gretchen Wilson, among others. When did MTV, the creators of Jackass and The Real World, become a gauge for art in America? I am sure Newsweek really meant to call this piece “Entertainment: Fall’s Best.” Should I expect a news journal to accurately recognize the difference between art and entertainment?
    Hundreds of orchestras and theatres will be starting a new season this fall. Art galleries showcase the latest creations year-round. Not one mentioned. Barbie instead gets all the glory.

    Reply
  2. ian

    response to Daniel Gilliam
    Wow, Daniel, that is outrageous. I’m normally all about blurring the boundaries between art and entertainment, but in this case I think that reinforcing the distinction is absolutely called for. For the mainstream to ignore the arts is one thing, but to appropriate its very name and identity is totally different and seems to me a VERY dangerous trend. Good for you for writing Newsweek, Daniel, and I hope they print your thoughts.

    Reply

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