12 Pieces of Classical Christmas Music in Case You’re Sick of Mariah Carey

For what it's worth, I actually like that Mariah Carey Christmas song. I know I'll take some heat for that, but whatever, I don't really care. It's a well-crafted pop song (if that's possible), which doesn't sound dated (it's nearly 20 years old) like most pop music does after like two weeks. Side note: Mariah … Continue reading 12 Pieces of Classical Christmas Music in Case You’re Sick of Mariah Carey

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7 Operas that Make the VMAs Seem Chaste

On Sunday evening, millions of Americans tuned in to the MTV Video Music Awards. They were treated to a show that included, among other things, Lady Gaga's butt and Miley Cyrus twerking on Beetlejuice. Freakout ensued. Then came this pseudo-defense of Miley. I was fortunate enough to miss the broadcast--I was at the Hollywood Bowl … Continue reading 7 Operas that Make the VMAs Seem Chaste

Arrested Development & Recapitulation

First of all, credit where credit is due: my puntastic colleague at KUSC, @JamiePaisley, created this, and many other, TV ad posters during our recent pledge drive. As a rabid fan of Arrested Development, this one was my favorite. And it got me thinking: what if the cast of AD were made up of classical … Continue reading Arrested Development & Recapitulation

Wagner, According to His Critics

"One can't judge Wagner's opera 'Lohengrin' after a first hearing, and I certainly don't intend hearing it a second time." -Gioacchino Rossini “Wagner’s music is better than it sounds.” -Edgar Wilson Nye, quoted in Mark Twain's autobiography "[The Prelude to Tristan und Isolde] reminds one of the old Italian painting of a martyr whose intestines … Continue reading Wagner, According to His Critics

Happy 200th, Richard Wagner

"I write music with an exclamation point!" -Richard Wagner There's no middle ground on Richard Wagner. You either love him or hate him. Correction: there is a kind of middle ground that most people, including me, dwell in. To oversimplify, it is this: love the art; hate the artist. Wagner was a despicable man. He … Continue reading Happy 200th, Richard Wagner

Got $86? Want Wagner?

With the Fiscal Cliff™ negotiations behind us and the payroll tax holiday officially over, households making $75,000 a year will see their taxes increase by about $70-$80 per month. As our dollars seem to get us less and less each year, we have to look for better and better bargains. Thankfully, for fans of the … Continue reading Got $86? Want Wagner?

Wrong, Alex

"Achievements, seldom credited to their source, are the result of unspeakable drudgery and worries." -Richard Wagner Yesterday on Jeopardy!, this happened: Wrong, Alex. While the character of Jochanaan IS John the Baptist, the opera in which he appears is most definitely NOT by Richard Wagner. The opera is Salome, which of course is the work … Continue reading Wrong, Alex