Arts Desk

Arts Roundup: Like Houses in the ’70s Edition

Son of Sam: David Malitz touchingly chronicles the homecoming of a lost Elliott Smith track to University of Maryland's college radio station, WMUC:

Since then Smith’s cult has grown considerably and fans have combed over his discography for unheard material. One song appeared in May of this year when Ben Weisholtz, a former WMUC DJ (and good friend of mine) decided to sell his old MiniDisc player on eBay. Before shipping it off he opened it and discovered a disc inside — “Elliott Smith/Braid” it said. (Braid being a ’90s emo band that also recorded a WMUC session around that same time.)  He immediately mailed it back to WMUC with a written note that said, “I found this in my MiniDisc player when I recently sold it. Looks like I accidentally stole it around 10 years ago. Here it is back.”

WMUC's Tumblr also has a kind of confusing post regarding the attribution of the discovery and asking for donations. Understandable, given that the station's a bit beleaguered. (Disclosure: I'm a former WMUC DJ.)

"Whitney is a terrible show": A smart piece by Emily Nussbaum in this week's New Yorker totally rips Whitney and 2 Broke Girls to shreds; the crux being Whitney's failure to do anything innovative and dependence on immature tropes that, in this day and age, are kind of out of place:

Cummings has none of Ball’s shining charisma or her buzz of anarchy. Yet she does share Lucy’s rictus grin, her toddler-like foot-stamping tantrums, and especially her Hobbesian view of heterosexual relationships as a combat zone of pranks, bets, and manipulation from below. “This is war,” Whitney announces, before declaring yet another crazy scheme to undercut her boyfriend, and it might as well be the series’ catchphrase. In Ball’s era, this was a depressing but subversive perspective: it was exciting simply to see a woman clown, even if she always lost, even if she was literally spanked for her rebellion.

Is This Thing On?: The Promise Ring, those Midwestern darlings of shambling mid-'90s emo songs about sipping cherry Cokes, have a Twitter account. Thus far, its tweets—the number of which fits on one hand—are baffling. (I certainly wouldn't mind if said baffling tweets resulted in a reunion announcement. Is it, as you know, the golden age for such things.)

Art Within Borders: Artist David Suter and gallery owner Victor Gaetan, of Dupont Circle's Gallery A and adjacent Alex Gallery, were detained in Serbia over the weekend. Sixty-eight paintings and sculptures that the pair were carrying were seized by Serbian authorities; Suter and Gaetan hadn't filled out proper documentation to exit the country, though they had been waved into Romania by border guards.

Yesterday on Arts Desk: Occupy D.C. goes indie rock! Fun times with Mannequin Men! Theater excitement metrics, beyond Twitter!

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