Growth Industry: UK Vinyl Album Sales Increase For 14th Year

More than 5m vinyl albums have been bought in the UK over the past 12 months, up 8% on sales in 2020 and the 14th consecutive year of growth since 2007. By the end of the year, vinyl will have accounted for almost one in four album purchases – the highest proportion since 1990. –
Tags: Art, Music, UK

Why Historians Are Taking Video Games Seriously

 “The attention paid by the game developers and their historical consultants to details of both the actual and social geography of these urban settings produced one of the most authentic depictions of eighteenth-century life in popular culture”—far more historically accurate than Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. – Lapham’s Quarterly
Tags: Art, Featured, Ideas, Lin Manuel Miranda, Hamilton Lapham

Why Obama-Era Pop Culture Seems So Dated Now

As millennials age into the solid middle of the culture here at the end of 2021, they’re getting to experience that disorienting slip with some of the most beloved pop culture of their youths, and most particularly the pop culture that was celebrated during the presidency of Barack Obama. – Vox
Tags: Art, Obama, Issues

What’s The Point Of New Year’s Resolutions If Time Is Already Determined?

If all moments of time exist, does that mean that my staying in bed every morning in 2022 instead of going for a run exists, too? Are future events already “there” without me being able to do anything about them? – The Conversation
Tags: Art, Ideas

Remember Rebuses?

These picture/word puzzles, sort of like charades on paper, were very popular in the mid-20th century and even had a game show (Concentration) based on them. A.J. Jacobs offers an explanation, along with a history of the Great Rebus Craze of 1937. – Mental Floss
Tags: Art, Words, Jacobs

Betty White, 99

A trailblazer and pioneer in media, Betty had the longest running career for any woman in TV prior to her death — starring in multiple shows over the past 8 decades, starting way back in 1939. – TMZ
Tags: Art, People, Betty White, Betty

Has King George III Gotten A Bum Rap?

The unlucky British King is the great villain of the USA’s founding narrative, portrayed as both hapless and tyrannical. That’s not a completely false portrait, but it’s not completely true, either. For instance, George III was a sound constitutionalist and the first British monarch to oppose slavery. – Bloomberg
Tags: Art, Usa, People, George III

A Comprehensive List Of Arts And Entertainment Figures We Lost In 2021

It’s a long list. – BBC
Tags: Art, Featured, People

Big Tech Is Betting This Will Be The Next Big Cultural Thing

After 15 years of riding a boom in mobile computing that has turned tech’s biggest companies into giants worth trillions of dollars, the power brokers of the industry believe that controlling the doors into the metaverse and virtual reality could be the centerpiece of a new business. – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Ideas

How Artificial Intelligence Is Being Used In Making Music

The use of AI in music is here today, and while its contribution is still small, it will likely grow. If you take that to its logical conclusion, the question arises: Could AI create pop stars — and Grammy award winners — completely out of thin air? – CNET
Tags: Art, Music

Yes, Representation On Screens Makes A Difference — And Not Only With Actors

“It’s about more than who you see on screen, she said, but how those characters are written. And who’s doing the writing. And what (if any) studio notes they are required to heed — and what’s motivating those notes.” – Yahoo! (Chicago Tribune)
Tags: Art, Media

The Year in CultureGrrl, 2021 Edition: Searching for Signs of Intelligent Life in a Covid-Clouded Universe

Meet the New Year. Same as the Old Year. My riff on “Meet the New Boss. Same as the
Tags: Art, Ajblogs

Is Susanna Mälkki About To Be Named Music Director At A Big US Orchestra?

The Times’s Joshua Barone says she’s “one of the world’s top conductors.” The LA Phil’s CEO says “Susanna has to be at the top of anyone’s list.” And Mälkki herself? “I think this is a question that will be carefully thought about if it comes up.” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Music, US, Times, LA Phil, Susanna, Susanna Mälkki, Joshua Barone, Malkki

2021’s Jazz Critics’ Poll: The Year’s Best Jazz

In being asked to stand in for clubs, concert halls, and festivals so frequently these last two years, recordings are still being asked to do an awful lot, far too much. Have they succeeded? Probably not, but I wouldn’t advise Sky Masterson and Nathan Detroit to bet against it. – Arts Fuse
Tags: Art, Music, Nathan Detroit, Sky Masterson

After A Painful Hiatus, The Mummers Will Be Strutting Down Philadelphia’s Broad Street This New Year’s Day

Omicron is spreading, sequin prices have gone up, and it may well rain; nevertheless, after last year’s cancellation, the Mummers Parade is going ahead, even if the string bands, brigades, and fancies have to skimp a bit on costumes. – The Philadelphia Inquirer
Tags: Art, Philadelphia, Issues

On Broadway This Year, Design Was Pulling A Lot More Weight Than It Should Have Had To Pull

Jesse Green: “It seems to me that designers, bringing evermore astonishing prowess to bear, too often outshine the work they are meant to support. As if to compensate, the stories are getting dimmer. … Hyperdesign is a hint that something fundamental is missing.” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Theatre, Jesse Green

After 35 Years, One Of America’s Best Ballet Schools Is Getting A New Director

Peter Stark, a former principal at Washington Ballet, has had students flocking to him as he taught in Maryland, then Orlando, then Boston; he trained future stars and strengthened institutions. Now he’s taking the helm at the Rock School for Dance Education in Philadelphia. – MSN (The Philadelphia Inquirer)
Tags: Art, Maryland, Boston, America, Dance, Philadelphia, Orlando, Washington Ballet, Peter Stark, Rock School for Dance Education

Lincoln Center Was An Enormous Urban Renewal Project. What About The People Who Were Moved Out?

The Lincoln Center complex, which opened in 1962, was a citadel. Critics noted that it was designed to separate itself from the Black and Latino people who still lived in the area, particularly in the New York City Housing Authority’s Amsterdam Houses, which were built in 1948 as part of an earlier eminent domain project. – Gothamist
Tags: Art, Amsterdam, Lincoln Center, Issues, New York City Housing Authority, Lincoln Center Was An Enormous Urban

Here’s One Place Where High-Tech Firms Are Willing To Give To The Arts

For years, aesthetes and directors of development have been frustrated by the lack of interest that software industry execs have shown in directing their charitable donations to the arts. In the Bay Area, that has started to change. – San Francisco Chronicle
Tags: Art, Featured, Issues, Bay Area

Uffizi’s Director Wants Museums To Use Art To Address Social Ills

“Eike Schmidt, the director of Uffizi Galleries since 2015, … says it is now crucial for museums to play a role in highlighting the issues of today and confront the ‘toxic social structures’ of the past rather than simply glorifying its artists.” – The Guardian
Tags: Art, Visual, Eike Schmidt, Uffizi Galleries

This Nightclub Will Get Energy From The Heat Of Customers’ Dancing Bodies

“This month, (Glasgow nightclub) SWG3 and geothermal energy consultancy TownRock Energy will begin installing a new renewable heating and cooling system that harnesses the body heat of dancing clubbers. The plan should eventually reduce SWG3’s total carbon output by 60 to 70 percent.” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Dance, Glasgow, TownRock Energy

Stick men, scrawls and all that jazz: how AR Penck made great art look simple

With his odd symbols and signs, the East German painter created a ‘democratic’ style in defiance of the state. A new exhibition shows how his vision was inspired by the trauma of conflict and the cold warIn 1979, the Stasi entered Ralf Winkler’s Dresden studio and trashed the place. It was the culmination of a harassment campaign against the artist, who found fame under the pseudonym AR Penck, for refusing to make social-realist propaganda.Instead, his paintings featured oft-repeated hieroglyphs...
Tags: Art, Europe, Germany, Painting, Culture, Art and design, Socialism, Sculpture, Stasi, Dresden, Penck, Ralf Winkler

So, What Goodies Are Going Into The Public Domain In 2022?

Among the properties that adapters can now use free of charge are A.A. Milne’s original Winnie-the-Pooh, Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises, the debut poetry collections of Langston Hughes and Dorothy Parker, Garbo’s silent movie The Temptress, and a mother lode of early sound recordings. – Smithsonian Magazine
Tags: Art, Issues, Winnie, Milne, Langston Hughes, Dorothy Parker Garbo

Right around the corner

Hilary and I used to spend two or three weeks each winter on Florida’s Sanibel Island, our favorite place in the world. Alas, her deteriorating health caught up with her at last, and the doctors made her stop going there in 2016. It was always our plan to return as soon as she recovered from her double lung transplant. Instead, I lost Hilary and went straight from her deathbed into lockdown, after which I spent a painful year and a half learning to cope with that which I had most feared....
Tags: Art, Florida, Ajblogs, HILARY, Stephen Schwartz, Ana Gasteyer, Ogden Nash, Cheril, Sanibel Island, Sanibel, Cheril Mulligan

How Fashionable Dutch Women–Like the Girl with a Pearl Earring–Got Dressed in 1665

Remember how it felt to be bundled into tights, socks, jeans, a thick sweater, a snowsuit, mittens, only to realize that you really needed to pee? Back in 1665, the Little Ice Age compelled the well-to-do ladies of Delft to turn themselves out with a similar eye toward keeping warm, but their ensembles had a distinct advantage over the Christmas Story snowsuit approach. Relieving themselves was as easy as hiking their skirts, petticoats, and voluminous, lace-trimmed chemise. No flies for...
Tags: Art, Facebook, Fashion, College, Life, History, Johannes Vermeer, Sally, Delft, Crow, Pearl Earring, Ayun Halliday, Pauline Loven, Kevin Garlick

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