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.
July 31, 2013 |
It is the face of Eileen Brennan that will stay with me as much as any one of the performances the quintessential character actress packed into her very long career. Not a classic beauty, her face was arresting for its very distinct abilities. The eyes alone were scene-stealers, so often carrying the weight of the world. Whether they were being called on to condemn or forgive, Brennan somehow left you feeling that she was handling the petty frustrations of life for the rest of us. Her voice is what got her a start in the business -- singing on stage -- though what lingers is the sound of a gravelly alto that seemed stained by whiskey and cigarettes whether she smoked or drank a day in her life.
July 27, 2013 |
Peaches and nectarines are kissing cousins. In fact, maybe closer. Plant a bunch of peach pits and a few of them will actually sprout nectarine trees, and vice versa. It used to be said that the difference was that peaches had fuzz while nectarines didn't. But in supermarkets today, that's hard to determine since many of the peaches have been mechanically de-fuzzed. Generally, the flavor of nectarines is lighter and a little more acidic, almost lemony, while peaches are richer and muskier.