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Bob Dylan Has a Lot on His Mind

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A few years ago, sitting beneath shade trees in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., I had a two-hour discussion with Bob Dylan that touched on Malcolm X, the French Revolution, Franklin Roosevelt and World War II. At one juncture, he asked me what I knew about the Sand Creek Massacre of 1864. When I answered, “Not enough,” he got up from his folding chair, climbed into his tour bus, and came back five minutes later with photocopies describing how U.S. troops had butchered hundreds of peaceful Cheyenne and Arapahoe in southeastern Colorado.

Given the nature of our relationship, I felt comfortable reaching out to him in April after, in the midst of the coronavirus crisis, he unexpectedly released his epic, 17-minute song “Murder Most Foul,” about the Kennedy assassination. Even though he hadn’t done a major interview outside of his own website since winning the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2016, he agreed to a phone chat from his Malibu home, which turned out to be his only interview before next Friday’s release of “Rough and Rowdy Ways,” his first album of original songs since “Tempest” in 2012.

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Bob Dylan’s “Rough and Rowdy Ways” is his first album of original songs since 2012.Credit…Kevin Winter/Getty Images

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Click the link below for article:

https://www.nytimes.com

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Bruce Springsteen and the Art of Aging Well

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I recently saw a photo of Lyndon B. Johnson in the first year of his presidency. He looked like a classic old guy—wrinkled, mature, in the late season of life. It was a shock to learn that he was only 55 at the time, roughly the same age as Chris Rock is now. He left the presidency, broken, and beaten, at 60, the same age as, say, Colin Firth is now.

Something has happened to aging. Whether because of better diet or health care or something else, a 73-year-old in 2020 looks like a 53-year-old in 1935. The speaker of the House is 80 and going strong. The presidential candidates are 77 and 74. Even our rock stars are getting up there. Bob Dylan produced a remarkable album this year at 79. Bruce Springsteen released an album today at 71. “Active aging” is now a decades-long phase of life. As the nation becomes a gerontocracy, it’s worth pondering: What do people gain when they age, and what do they lose? What does successful aging look like?

President Donald Trump is a prime example of an unsuccessful older person—one who still lusts for external validation, who doesn’t know who he is, who knows no peace. Nearly two millennia ago, the Roman statesman Cicero offered a more robust vision of what elders should do and be: “It’s not by strength or speed or swiftness of body that great deeds are done,” he wrote, “but by wisdom, character and sober judgment. These qualities are not lacking in old age but in fact grow as time passes.”

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Bruce Springsteen
Bryan Derballa / The New York Ti​mes / Redux

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Click the link below for article:

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/10/bruce-springsteen-and-art-aging-well/616826/

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The United States of Dolly Parton

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Dolly Parton is loved for many reasons—the songwriting, the singing, the industry smarts, the cheeky cracks, the homey manner, the beauty, the verve, the hits. She is also loved for being loved and loved transcendentally. During a red-hot summer marked in part by toppled monuments to slavery and genocide, a petition arose, directed at Tennessee lawmakers, calling for Parton to be pedestalled instead. “Let’s replace the statues of men who sought to tear this country apart with a monument to the woman who has worked her entire life to bring us closer together,” the petition proposed, soon gaining some twenty-three thousand signatories.

The country-music establishment can be about as partisan as they come, a rope line of old-school apple-pie values and unquestioning patriotism. But Parton is a true diplomat. A word like “crossover” scarcely encompasses a singer admired by Vanna White (who says Parton is her role model because she “hasn’t been affected by show business”), Björk (who has called Parton’s twanged crystal timbre “immaculate”), and Nicki Minaj (who nods Parton’s way in a guest verse on Drake’s “Make Me Proud”). A Dolly Parton concert is like a local census, bringing together peoples across lines of race, gender, sexuality, and, miraculously, political affiliation.

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Dolly Parton smiling.

In the partisan world of country music, Parton’s persona defies categorization, at once down to earth and soaring high. Photograph by Irving Penn / © Condé Nast

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Click the link below for the article:

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/10/19/the-united-states-of-dolly-parton

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10 French Movies Set in Paris to Transport You There – The New York Times

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“America is my country, and Paris is my hometown,” wrote Gertrude Stein. Me too; or, well, almost. For the last few years I was shuttling between New York and the French capital, where my now-husband worked, and in that time Paris came to feel like a city where I had history, whose streets I could navigate by muscle memory. Now that trans-Atlantic travel is all but suspended, the closest I can get to Paris is onscreen — but, luckily, the view is fantastic.

Paris was the site of the first movie screening, back in 1895 (though the Lumière Brothers shot those first pictures in Lyon). It remains the home of Europe’s largest, most vibrant film industry — France exports more movies than any country, bar the United States.

Here I’ve picked 10 movies that transport me back to Paris, from the early days of sound cinema to the age of streaming. I’ve omitted many French movies made in English, some shot on soundstages (“An American in Paris,” “Moulin Rouge!”) and others on location (“Funny Face,” “Midnight in Paris”). Instead I’ve selected films I rely on when I want to escape America for Paris … which is quite often these days.

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The celebrated film, &ldquo;Breathless", is one of the author&rsquo;s 10 picks for movies set in Paris. Jean Seberg, left, and Jean-Paul Belmondo in a scene from the 1960 film.Credit…Films Around The World

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Click the link below for article:

https://www.nytimes.com

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‘A gamechanger for musicians’: app offers library of interactive sheet music

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Classical musicians will have access to a huge library of interactive sheet music via a groundbreaking app that leading cultural figures say has the potential to revolutionize music-making.

Artificial intelligence experts working with musicologists at a Berlin startup have spent years gathering hundreds of thousands of published scores and creating digital editions of each of them.

The Enote app will give musicians the chance to interact with sheet music by instantly transposing it, switching between movements or measures, turning pages, changing the size of scores, and printing them on the go.

Boian Videnoff, the chief conductor of the Mannheim Philharmonic and one of Enote’s founders, said he hatched the idea at his kitchen table with his university friend Josef Tufan after mounting frustrations over sheet music publishers’ failure to make the leap into the digital world. Tufan, an IT management consultant, is a co-CEO.

“I had been complaining to Josef about why digitalization wasn’t happening in the music world, and he was making fun of me having to drag a whole suitcase full of scores with me when I traveled. We decided together to tackle the problem,” he said.

The result, more than five years later, is the world’s first comprehensive library of native digital sheet music.

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ENote in use on a tabletENote in use on a tablet. Musical notation has been ‘semantically reconstructed’ using optical music-recognition technology. Photograph: Daniel Wetze/Enote

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Click the link below for the article:

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2020/nov/20/a-gamechanger-for-musicians-app-offers-library-of-interactive-sheet-music

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Herman Mankiewicz, Pauline Kael, and the Battle Over “Citizen Kane”

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In 1939, Herman J. Mankiewicz was a forty-two-year-old screenwriter, acclaimed in Hollywood not only for the lines of dialogue he wrote for movies but for the ones he delivered in life. In nearly a decade and a half in the business, he’d found success at Paramount working with Josef von Sternberg and with his friends the Marx Brothers, and at M-G-M writing on “Dinner at Eight” and, briefly, “The Wizard of Oz,” where he had the idea of filming Kansas in bleak black-and-white and Oz in Technicolor. But he was best known as one of the great personalities in the film business. He’d migrated to Hollywood from New York City, where he’d been The New Yorker’s first theatre critic and a member of the famed Algonquin Round Table, and he carried that group’s spirit of cynical candor and acerbic bravado to the movie community. In commissaries and at cocktail parties, he was known for his learned insights and his unpredictable politics (he wrote, at great risk, an anti-Hitler script in 1933, yet he was opposed to American involvement in the Second World War, and even called himself an “ultra-Lindbergh”) as well as for the style with which he delivered them. He was also habitually drunk and wildly impolitic, known for the scenes that he made and the insults that he flung. His work habits were notoriously dubious: a compulsive gambler, he spent ample studio time placing bets and listening to horse races; a social whirlwind, he talked the day away in person and by phone. He lampooned and defied his bosses, and got fired from every job he didn’t quit. By the summer of 1939, he was unemployed, which is how he found himself desperately available when a twenty-four-year-old newcomer to Hollywood by the name of Orson Welles offered him a job.

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Orson Welles standing with Herman Mankiewicz laughingWhereas Herman Mankiewicz (right) was a Hollywood insider, Orson Welles was despised by the movie industry in advance.Photograph from Everett

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Click the link below for article:

https://www.newyorker.com/culture/the-front-row/herman-mankiewicz-pauline-kael-and-the-battle-over-citizen-kane

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