CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 27, 2014 |
Pete Seeger was a teenager in the 1930s when he heard an Appalachian balladeer perform on an old-fashioned, five-string banjo and fell in love with the instrument, the timeless melodies and, most of all, the words. "Compared to the trivialities of most popular songs," he said later, "the words of these songs had all the meat of human life in them.... They seemed frank, straightforward, honest. " In time, Seeger would arm himself with a banjo, a guitar and the transformative power of music to battle injustice in America and become the folk legend behind numbers such as "We Shall Overcome," "Where Have All the Flowers Gone" and "Turn!
January 16, 2014 |
So that's what the Wallis sounds like. It's been more than two months since Beverly Hills opened its swank Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. But until Wednesday night the multipurpose Bram Goldsmith Theater in the transformed historic post office building had yet to be purposed for unamplified music (with the exception of a few minutes of a tony gala). The St. Lawrence String Quartet did the honors by inaugurating the Wallis' classical music series. A hall with many uses - music of all sorts, theater, dance, opera and children's shows - can be an acoustician's riskiest assignment.
January 16, 2014 |
Could it be 2014's freakishly warm weather that has caused string quartets to mushroom throughout the Southland? They are, it seems, popping up everywhere. The year began, for instance, with a Monday Evening Concerts event devoted to the oddball outlier Chris Newman, who stood in his dirty socks and sang distracted, emotive songs. But for no apparent reason, the program also included an arresting performance of Beethoven's “Serioso” Quartet taken at the composer's insanely fast and rarely attained tempos, played by three members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the violinist Movses Pogossian. The month has continued with more Beethoven from the Emerson String Quartet in Costa Mesa, four L.A. Phil strings taking on Bartók's Fourth Quartet for the orchestra's chamber music series (as well as an unusual bass quartet for a deliriously deep, as in low notes, new piece by Veronika Krausas)
January 13, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court's refusal Monday to revive an Arizona law that largely banned abortions after 20 weeks put off for at least another year a clear constitutional ruling on whether conservative states may adopt new restrictions on women seeking to end their pregnancies. The decision, marking the third time this term that justices have declined to take up an abortion case, suggested the closely split court is not anxious to jump into the divide between red states and blue states over abortion rights.
January 12, 2014 |
"Tomorrow they will wear another face," is how Ralph Waldo Emerson began the closing couplet of his poem "Experience. " And now, the Emerson String Quartet wears, for the first time in 34 years, another face. Founded in 1976, the year of America's bicentennial, this commandingly all-American string quartet, a national symbol of sorts, welcomes a new nationality. British cellist Paul Watkins recently replaced David Finckel. "Succession swift," the Transcendentalist poet and essayist also wrote in "Experience.
December 28, 2013
Re "'Duck' and a free society," Opinion, Dec. 24 Like many conservatives chiming in on the "Duck Dynasty" controversy, Jonah Goldberg appears to hold a fundamental misunderstanding of free speech: It is the freedom to say what you want without fear of government persecution, which is different from freedom from criticism. "Duck Dynasty" patriarch Phil Robertson exercised his free-speech rights when he uttered offensive comments about gay men and women. His critics then used their free-speech rights.