February 16, 2014 |
The 10th birthday of Facebook last week caused me to recall my miserable pre-Facebook existence, when methods of procrastination were sorely limited. As a stay-at-home writer, phone calls were unruly and hard to control. What if the other person wanted to tell a long story? What if she wanted me to really pay attention? I could have a bit of contact with the outside world by scanning the newspaper or listening to the radio. But for me the switch in media was too jarring and tended to trigger frantic snacking, which often led to napping.
January 3, 2014 |
In the new Lifetime original movie "Lizzie Borden Took an Ax," the protagonist's name is uttered in full many times throughout the film's 87 minutes. She isn't called "Lizzie" or "Miss Borden" but "Lizzie Borden. " The notorious name strikes tactical blows on the viewer's psyche, conjuring bits of legend, myth and contested story lines about the accused murderess' storied life. The movie, which airs Jan. 25, stars Christina Ricci, last seen on TV in the short-lived ABC series "Pan Am," a 1960s period piece.
November 13, 2013 |
Amid this season's flurry of massive cookbooks from important chefs such as David Kinch (Manresa), Daniel Patterson (Coi), Daniel Boulud (Daniel) and more, comes this modest entry from former Chez Panisse chef David Tanis, “One Good Dish: The Pleasures of a Simple Meal” (Artisan, 2013, $25.95). I sat down with the book the other day and read his short, but sweet introduction. What he means by one good dish is "tasty, simple and real," i.e., something a home cook could make without devoting the entire weekend to one recipe.
October 30, 2013 |
"When I was in high school and first heard the piece I immediately fell in love with it. It was sexy, naughty and little dangerous. By the time I got to college, I had dismissed it as cheesy trash. Now that I am older, it's all of the above. " That's Grant Gershon, music director of the Los Angeles Master Chorale, summing up the paradox that is Carl Orff's "Carmina Burana. " The choir is performing the work for the 17th time in its 50-year history Saturday and Sunday at Walt Disney Concert Hall, along with the L.A. Children's Chorus and three soloists.
September 30, 2013 |
The good news: According to a new report from the National Endowment for the Arts, more than half of American adults read books for pleasure in 2012. The bad news is that the percentage of adults reading works of literature -- in the NEA's definition, novels, short stories, poetry or plays -- has declined since 2008, returning to 2002 lows. Fifty-seven percent of American adults read one or more books not required for work or school in 2012 -- that's 128 million readers. Some other interesting findings: More women (64%)
August 31, 2013 |
There's one second of sound on John Legend's new album, "Love in the Future," that sums up his current artistic mission. It's on the delicate, gloomy track "Asylum," and the sound is a snare drum. Or rather a blast of raw, percussive white noise that punctuates Legend's future-soul tale of a love "where we both go crazy. " "We were leaning toward progressive, cool samples with space and minimalism," Legend said. "How do you refresh a genre that's so traditional and classic?" Although Legend is an R&B artist indebted to Sam Cooke's pristine phrasing and white-shoe piano ballads, his "Love in the Future" sounds remarkably modern.