Thursday , October 17 2019
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Tag Archives: Music

My Conversation with Ben Westhoff

Truly an excellent episode, Ben is an author and journalist.  Here is the audio and transcript, covering most of all the opioid epidemic and rap music, but not only. Here is one excerpt: COWEN: But if so much fentanyl comes from China, and you can just send it through the mail, why doesn’t it spread automatically wherever it’s going to go? Is it some kind of recommender network? It wouldn’t seem that it’s a supply constraint. It’s more like someone told you about a restaurant they ate at...

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What should I ask Ted Gioia?

I will be doing a Conversation with Ted, no associated public event.  He is a musician and most of all a music historian, above all for jazz and blues, with numerous excellent books on those topics. Here is his home page.  Here is Ted on Twitter, one of the very best follows.  Here is his latest book Music: A Subversive History, due out next week.  And there is more: Gioia was raised in a Sicilian-Mexican household in Hawthorne, California, a working class neighborhood in the South-Central...

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My favorite things Pakistan

1. Female singer: Abida Parveen, here is one early song, the later material is often more commercial.  Sufi songs! 2. Qawwali performers: Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, the Sabri Brothers, and try this French collection of Qawwali music. 3. Author/novel: Daniyal Mueenuddin, In Other Rooms, Other Wonders.  I am not sure why this book isn’t better known.  It is better than even the average of the better half of the Booker Prize winners.  Why doesn’t he write more? 4. Dish: Haleem:...

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My Conversation with Samantha Power

Samantha Power has a new and excellent book out, The Education of an Idealist: A Memoir, which I very much enjoyed.  And so a Conversation with Tyler was in order, here is the audio and transcript, here is one bit: COWEN: For a final closing segment, I just have some super simple questions about foreign policy again. Over the course of the last summer, Iran apparently seized two British tankers. There’ve been other incidents in the Strait of Hormuz in some way connected with Iran. From a...

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Is this the very best book ever written?

No, I don’t mean Proust, Cervantes, or the Bible.  I mean Dave Marsh’s The Heart of Rock and Soul: The 1001 Greatest Singles Ever Made. To be sure, it is not the greatest book qua book, or even in the top tier (though it is very good and Marsh is very smart and knowledgeable). It is possible it has become the greatest book of all time because of YouTube.  Scroll through the pithy, one-page or sometimes even one-paragraph reviews of the various songs, and play them on YouTube while...

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My Conversation with Hollis Robbins

Here is the audio and video, here is part of the CWT summary: Now a dean at Sonoma State University, Robbins joined Tyler to discuss 19th-century life and literature and more, including why the 1840s were a turning point in US history, Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Calvinism, whether 12 Years a Slave and Django Unchained are appropriate portraits of slavery, the best argument for reparations, how prepaid postage changed America, the second best Herman Melville book, why Ayn Rand and Margaret...

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What should I ask Ben Westoff?

I will be doing a Conversation with him, no associated public event, here is from his home page: Ben Westhoff is an award-winning investigative journalist who writes about culture, drugs, and poverty. His books are taught around the country and have been translated into languages all over the world. His new book Fentanyl, Inc.: How Rogue Chemists Are Creating the Deadliest Wave of the Opioid Epidemic releases September 3, 2019 in the U.S. (Grove Atlantic) and October 10, 2019 in the UK,...

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My favorite things Venice

1. Favorite playwright: Carlo Goldoni, eighteenth century, best if you can see one rather than try to read it. 2. Play, set in: William Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice.  Read it carefully and repeatedly, it is far subtler on issues of racism and prejudice than you might have been expecting. 3. Opera, set in: Verdi’s Otello (James Levine recording).  Even as a dramatic work I (perhaps oddly) prefer this to Shakespeare’s play. 4. Memoir, set in: Casanova, though I suggest you read...

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