By Emma Teitel - Wednesday, February 13, 2013 - 0 Comments
I heard Fran Lebowitz speak at Massey Hall last week about how much she hates strollers, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg and audiences with low standards. She blames the latter on the Oprah effect—the impulse of the modern American audience to rise in applause of anything and everything. Nowhere in history (besides, perhaps, on the Oprah Winfrey show) was this phenomenon more pervasive than last night during Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address. Except for Ted Nugent or John Boehner, the live audience was perpetually on its feet. Even Paul Ryan couldn’t resist applauding this one liner — that or he really enjoys veiled digs at his own policy proposals:
“I am open to additional reforms from both parties, so long as they don’t violate the guarantee of a secure retirement. Our government shouldn’t make promises we cannot keep – but we must keep the promises we’ve already made.”
Three more observations about the State of the Union: Continue…
By Ian Gormely - Wednesday, December 21, 2011 at 2:40 PM - 0 Comments
In 2011, R&B gave way to Eurodisco. Here’s why it’s coming back.
It should come as some surprise that this year’s biggest R&B star, at least in terms of Internet buzz, wasn’t a flashy major label backed showman, but a self-made, reclusive crooner from Toronto. The Weeknd, aka Abel Tesfaye, spent much of the year in hiding, ditching lucrative gigs in New York for shows in Guelph and London, Ontario. His mixtapes, House of Balloons and Thursday, which he gives awayonline, shirk the genre’s party life tropes. Instead, Tesfaye weaves dark, anxiety-fueled tales built on woozy beats that sample airy indie acts Cocteau Twins and Beach House.
For all the twists and turns music took this year, 2011was the year dance took over. The past twelve months have seen a collective shaking off of the swinging R&B beats that ruled pop for the past decade in favour of the driving, teutonic rhythms of 90s Eurodisco. But while R&B lost its long-held stranglehold on the mainstream, it emerged as the source of the year’s most interesting and progressive music. Continue…