Arts Desk

Arts Roundup: Consider the Wonk Band Edition

Country Life: The novelist Wendell Berry will give the 41st Jefferson Lecture in the Humanities at the Kennedy Center on April 23, reports The New York Times. Berry, whose many novels, stories, and nonfiction writings center on the American rural South, has in the past criticized certain aspects of modernity, like mountaintop-removal mining (bad!) and computers (oh.). Wonder if this thing will be webcast.

Journopalooza Redux: In The New Republic, Jordan Michael Smith asks—like seriously asks—Why does D.C. have so many "wonk bands?" I would've endorsed a slightly different approach to the topic. Then, Jordan Michael Smith, you might have avoided paragraphs like this one:

At first glance, it might seem strange that so many wonks have gravitated toward the local music scene. After all, the rock n’ roll lifestyle is synonymous with drug-taking, partying and rebelling. None of those activities occur at the Brookings Institution, at least on a regular basis. The only thing dangerous about the State Department has been its low funding levels. Musicians are also known for their sex appeal and attractiveness. Bureaucrats? Less so.

I Did Not Wake Up This Morning Hoping to Be a Media Critic: But Huffington Post D.C., what the shit is this lede? "While the Walter E. Washington Convention Center has been the scene of plenty of protests since it opened in 2003, nobody should be picketing Wednesday night's 'Shaw Art Walk' which starts at the massive 2.3 million square foot complex." Yes, because the overwhelmingly majority of events at the convention center draw uncountable waves of anarcho-punk demonstrators. How lovely we can all rally around this Art Walk!

Aimless Pilgrimage: Like our critic, but with much harsher words, the Post's Philip Kennicott calls bullshit on Annie Leibovitz's photographs of dead people's belongings, currently on view at the National Portrait Gallery.

Notes From the Pink Line: Art Doyenne Philippa Hughes, in her latest blog contribution to HuffPo D.C., says she had a great and inspiring 2011—for reasons including an apology note from a mugger, a case of invasive performance art, trips abroad, and Adrian Parsons. Next stop: LUMEN8.

Our Far-Flung Correspondants: WCP classical critic Mike Paarlberg asks in Slate: "Can Asians Save Classical Music?"

Today on Arts Desk: The best way to record for free this month.

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