Recently by Thomas Conner

Sign outside the Beerland venue in Austin during SXSW last week ...

I find it both hilarious and sort of sad to think that this was written out and taped up because, once upon a dark Texas night, some poor wanna-be or possibly struggling writer pleaded for admission to Beerland's smorgasbord-o'-the-arts by actually flashing his Analytics numbers under this bouncer's nose.

But really: if necessary, how should an aspiring, blogging critic achieve the "respect" of a toady such as the author of this sign?

March 23, 2010 3:28 PM | | Comments (0)

I found much to love in this column in the UK Guardian, an abridged version of a lecture New Yorker critic Alex Ross delivered to the Royal Philharmonic Society last week. Ross discusses the troubling solemnity of contemporary classical music and offers a lively anecdotal survey of the genre's troubling history of applause.

He outlines exactly why I have always felt so uncomfortable in the concert hall. Granted, I'm a pop-rock guy. I'm used to clapping (cheering, whistling, passing out) when the music stops or when the solo rocks. Not knowing most symphonies by heart, I'm never certain whether this is the end of the whole thing (OK, clap here) or just the end of the second part (hands in your lap, young man). Nor am I entirely comfortable with such strict rules on my behavior. The people on stage are making a racket wresting angels and demons from their souls -- I'm supposed to tell mine to shush?

March 15, 2010 1:49 PM | | Comments (3)


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