As Usual, Lame Emmys Bypass The Good Stuff

“Inconceivably, not only did great series and worthy actors from across the spectrum get largely ignored by the new fix, Emmy voters put a blindfold over their vision thing and actually regressed. The result, even when factoring in that Emmy voters are traditionally clueless and about a year behind what’s actually happening, quality-wise on your television, is a staggering lameness.”

Record Sales Of Musical Instruments

US courts have refused to ban a knockoff of a Les Paul guitar, opening the way for other copycat instruments. Last year a record $7.8 billion in instruments were sold in the United States, up 6.9 percent from 2004. “Worldwide sales topped $17 billion, according to a soon-to-be-released NAMM report. ‘What we’re witnessing is a shift from passive listening to active playing. Siblings are inspired by music-themed TV shows to come out and play instruments’.”

Theatre Buys Housing For Its Out-Of-Town Artists

Washington DC’s Studio Theatre is getting into the real estate business. The company is buying housing to put up artists who work with it. “At one time, the out-of-town artists could stay in the little hotels and we could rent small apartments. But now the hotels are $200 a night. This problem led us to impose on people. Actors were staying with people in the neighborhood and with board members. There was no end of the difficulty.”

Basic Cable Comes Of Age

A look at Emmy nominations shows that quality programs are just as likely to be found on basic cable these days as on broadcast networks. “One reason for the improvement in quality, he said, is that viewers, especially the young, no longer distinguish among premium cable, network and basic cable. To compete, basic cable has been forced to spend more on quality and promotion, he said, which has paid off in increasing industry recognition.”

Remembering Lorraine Hunt Lieberson

“Transformation was the heart and soul of Hunt Lieberson’s art. She transformed herself from violist to vocalist in her late 20s. She transformed herself from soprano to mezzo soprano. In performance, she abandoned herself to such an astonishing degree that, like a dancer’s, every muscle in her body — not just her exceptional vocal cords — seemed directed toward singular, mesmerizing expression. Her voice too was like no other. Her rich, viola tone filled whatever space she was in, wrapping a listener in her singing. She even created that effect once in the Hollywood Bowl, which is an acoustic impossibility.”

Met Museum Says Painting Is Authentic

The Metropolitan Museum of Art says the Duccio painting it bought last year for $50 million is authentic and denies claims by an art historian that it is a fake. The museum says the painting has been “carefully examined… as a matter of course” and that it had “no reason to doubt” the authenticity of Madonna and Child, attributed to medieval artist Duccio.

Lieberson – Gone Too Soon

The music world was just getting to appreciate the amazing talent of Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, when she died this week at 52. “To be sure, the sheer beauty and agility of her singing made every one of her performances something to marvel at. The bright, airy, richly colored sound of her soprano performances was as remarkable as the earthy splendor that infused her singing after she switched to the mezzo-soprano repertoire.”

Movies? Like Real Estate, It’s Location, Location, Location…

“In the post-‘Star Wars’ and ‘Lord of the Rings’ world of computer-generated universes, it may seem hard to believe that a director still has to wait for Mother Nature. But putting actors in real deserts or on real glaciers is often cheaper and faster than building a set or animating them in a computer.” The global competition to attract Hollywood location shoots is intensifying…