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Posts Tagged: music

A “Ridiculous, Potent Musical Minefield”

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As part of McSweeney’s long-running series “Open Letters to People or Entities Who Are Unlikely to Respond,” Summer Brennan wrote “An Open Letter to the Mix Tape Made for Me by My College Boyfriend, Now Deceased.”

It’s exactly as poignant and sadly funny as the title makes it sound, and in Brennan’s able hands, it becomes downright transcendent.

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The dark side of criticism

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“At eleven, I felt that I might actually play anything on this violin,” writes Catherine Tice, the daughter of two musicians. Her essay in Granta, “A Brief History of Musical Failure,” raises the question of what it means to have “the makings of a prodigy,” and whether, in order to succeed, one must be immune “to the dark side of self-criticism.”

Still, Tice believes that she almost “gave [herself] over to the violin completely.”

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Albums of Our Lives: Linda Ronstadt’s Heart Like a Wheel

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The cover was a black and white close-up of a woman, her hair windswept, her name scrawled above her in a font usually reserved for truck stops: Linda Ronstadt. I’d retrieved the album and its torn shell of Columbia Record Club packaging from a stack of unwanted mail on the credenza, and I stood now in the doorway of my older brothers’ room.

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Rumpus Video Premiere & Interview with Golden Suits

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Department of Eagles’ Fred Nicolaus is obsessed with John Cheever. “I read John Cheever’s collected short stories when I was twenty, and I’ve been obsessed with them ever since,” he states. So obsessed that his brand new solo project, Golden Suits, takes its name from a Cheever reference, and this brand new video was an experiment inspired by Cheever’s story “The Swimmer.”

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Yeah Yeah Yeahs Release Surprisingly Literary Music Video

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Regardless of your level of enamoration with indie-rock mainstays the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, if you’re a Rumpus reader, you’ll probably dig the video for their new single “Sacrilege.”

It unfolds like a short story, with a perfectly deployed reverse timeline and undertones of dark classics like Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery.”

Watch it—watch it twice!

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Making Gertrude Stein and Opera Cool Again

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“It would be my dream if people were just, like, rapping Gertrude Stein in New York,” says director Michelle Sutherland in the Kickstarter video for her genre-busting show Gertrude Stein SAINTS!

The opera—if that term even still applies to such a unique performance—takes Stein’s librettos for Four Saints in Three Acts and Saints and Singing and sets them to original music from a variety of distinctly American genres, including hip-hop, bluegrass, and Motown.

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