Radio Talkers Debate FCC Crackdown

More than 300 talk radio hosts gathered in New York over the weekend “for the annual New Media Seminar, sponsored by Talkers magazine, to debate how much the FCC’s new vigilance threatens their First Amendment rights. Michael Harrison, the conference organizer, argued that there is no clear line between the sexual innuendo of a Howard Stern and the political speech of a Rush Limbaugh. The legally reckless FCC crackdown poses a deadly threat to the entire radio broadcasting industry.”

The Final Word (Yeah, Right) On Shostakovich

“Deep in the silos of the American midwest, a Cold War missile is being readied for launch. From the University of Indiana Press at Bloomington, advance copies are being mailed out this week of what is academically warranted to be ‘the definitive statement on the Shostakovich controversy’.” Norman Lebrecht is sick to death of this whole debate, and in particular, has had just about enough of the “counter-revisionist academics” who persist in their delusion that Shostakovich was nothing more than a cowed stooge for Stalin and the Communist Party. “Evidence of his moral courage and political disgust is so overwhelming that it is hard to imagine how even an ivory-towered musicologist could pretend otherwise.”

Artist Paints Iceberg Red

A Danish artist has painted an iceberg bright red. “Chilean-born artist Marco Evaristti mixed 3,000 litres of the red dye with sea water and used three firehoses, two icebreakers and a 20-person crew to spray a floating, 900-metre-square chunk of ice, located off the coast of western Greenland.”

Bombay Dreams On Hiatus For A Year

After a two-year run in London’s West End, the musical Bombay Dreams is closing… for a year. Producer Andrew Lloyd Webber wants to retool the show to bring it into line with the updating a new New York production is getting. “By the time the UK production closes, it will have been seen by more than 1.5 million theatregoers. It is due to embark on a national tour early next year, before returning to the West End some months later.”

The New Coke… But Then What?

“Coca-Cola is perhaps the most successful American brand ever. Each day, about 1.2 billion servings of Coca-Cola products are consumed around the globe. Coca-Cola is remarkably well-established in the world’s wealthiest consumer market. The company’s 2002 annual report noted that the average consumer in North America ‘enjoys at least one serving of our products every day.’ But once you have the entire population of the world’s richest nation using your product at least once a day, what do you do for an encore?”

The Lomax Legacy

“The lifework of the late legendary American folklorist Alan Lomax has been acquired by the American Folklife Center in the Library of Congress… Lomax, who took his first folkloric steps at the library in the 1930s, recorded and collected indigenous music, dances and stories from this country and others. He was especially fascinated by the idea that a culture’s music or way of dancing speaks to its very core. He marveled at the relationship of one people’s music to another’s and he tried to break down musical expression into what he called ‘cantometrics,’ a quantifiable set of attributes such as tones, beats, phrasings.”