My daughter used to have a night shirt that said, over and over, “Can’t sleep, clowns might eat me, can’t sleep, clowns might me.” In the great, time-honored tradition of truly scary clowns (including this guy, the opening robbery of The Dark Knight, all of Shakespeare’s jesters, and, of course, that sweaty guy at my fifth birthday party) comes this new commercial. It was made by Stink Digital and director Adam Berg, to advertise Phillips’ new 21:9 Cinema TV. The video, “Carousel,” has become one of the hottest virals on the web. Watch it and see why.
But first ask yourself, what would a clown look like without his mask?
Oh, there’s even a “making of” video.
Wanted to post this earlier, but you know, it’s Monday. But if you’re interested in DISD and the future of quality education in Dallas, really, you’ll find the Schutze link compelling.
Because of the convention center hotel election, relatively little attention is still being paid to the issue of what DISD plans to do with its vanguards, learning centers and magnets (science and engineering, arts, talented-and-gifted, etc.). Briefly, DISD announced that in order to receive more than $100 million in federal Title 1 funding, which is aimed at low-income students, they’d have to ‘equalize’ per-pupil spending across the district. This would mean, more or less, cutting back on the very programs that have made these schools such successes.
But on Friday, the Dallas Observer‘s Jim Schutze does what he does better than most anyone else in the city: got the documents, got the history, got the lawyers and sources. Again, briefly, for six years, these special programs have gotten an exemption because 1) they are such successes in drawing in families from all races, all classes, and 2) they were partly created for that purpose by the desegregation order. And it seems nothing really has changed.
So why is DISD now saying, sorry, we gotta do it, it’s the feds, it’s TEA, it’s not us. Schutze explains in gratifying detail why that doesn’t seem to be the case. He also follows up today with how people like Congresswoman Eddie Berniece Johnson want to find out why this isn’t applying elsewhere, and with how, suddenly, people are starting to re-phrase what’s been said.
We have more tickets this week for the Big Thought benefit at Rosewood Crescent Hotel Thursday. It’s called The Crescent Spring Celebration and sounds like lots of fun, not to mention great food, and interesting artwork.
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org with Big Thought in the subject line to win today’s pair of tickets.
UPDATE: Sorry, should have said this sooner: Today’s tickets are spoken for. But we’ll do it again tomorrow.
Rei Hotoda of the DSO
From the LATimes:
The nation’s most established female music directors are proving successful at their jobs. Over the course of JoAnn Falletta’s 11-year directorship of the Buffalo Philharmonic, the orchestra’s budget has grown from about $7.5 million to $10 million. The orchestra has won two Grammy Awards, made 14 recordings and boasts record subscription levels. Meanwhile, in 2008, the Baltimore Symphony announced its first balanced budget in five years, which observers attribute in part to enthusiasm surrounding the appointment of music director Marin Alsop in 2007.
It couldn’t have been more different only a few decades ago. “It is safe to say that until the past 15 or so years, there simply was no woman with an important international conducting career,” wrote Henry Fogel, the League of American Orchestras’ former president, on his blog in 2007. Despite inroads by such early pioneers as Antonia Brico (1902-89), Sarah Caldwell (1924-2006) and Judith Somogi (1941-88), women rarely appeared on the podiums of major orchestras in the first half of the 20th century.
But the LAT article about about new female conductors — Xian Zhang at the Verdi Orchestra in Milan, Joana Carneiro at the Berkeley Symphony and so on — does not mention the DSO’s own Rei Hotoda, signed as the company’s assistant conductor last October. She officially starts in September but will make her DSO debut June 6 in a Casual Classics concert, featuring pianist Joyce Yang, the 2005 Van Cliburn silver medalist.
Make us look cool and make your momma proud. See your design here.
New adventures in casual wear: As we look back on our first year, Jerome, Stephen, Betsy, David and I realize something’s missing. Art&Seek needs its own T-shirt.
This is an arts Web site. You’re creative. You own 14 different black t-shirts with obscure band names. So it makes sense to ask your help. Spiff us up and help us celebrate our birthday. Design a T-shirt for Art&Seek — and for our many extremely well-dressed readers and supporters.
Here are the guidelines: Artwork should be submitted via jpeg and should not exceed 12 inches in height/width. That’s it!
Here are the rewards: The honor, the pleasure and the glory of seeing all the right people in North Texas wearing your design. That’ll happen after we turn the winning design into an actual T-shirt, and of course, you’ll receive one. We’ll also let the world know, via our blog and airwaves, that you are responsible for our new finery.
We’ll share cool entries as we get them. And we’ll collect entries until May 25. E-mail jpegs to email@example.com with T-shirt in the subject line.
“Track By Track” appears every other week on Art&Seek. During the podcast, Texas musicians play their new albums and discuss what went into making them with KERA “90.1 at Night” host Paul Slavens.
Last week’s podcast featured Salim Nourallah talking about his latest album, Constellation. Salim worked on the subject of this week’s podcast: Old 97′s frontman Rhett Miller new self-titled solo album, his first since 2006′s The Believer. Rhett talks with Paul about how he decides which songs to use for the band and which songs to keep for himself.
You can download and subscribe to the podcast right here.
PAUL SLOCUM IN DENVER: Last week, we talked with Dallas video artist Paul Slocum about his decision to close And/Or Gallery and focus more on his work. To that end, he’s got a pretty big exhibition about to open at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver. Building on his love of kitsch TV, You’re Not My Father is a collection of re-enactments of a scene from Full House. Fans of the show (you know who you are) might have guessed that the featured scene features D.J. and her Uncle Joey. (D.J. and Uncle Jessy would have also been a good guess.) The show opens tomorrow; you can read more about it over at artdaily.org.
WILL SING FOR CASH: You might remember Denton band Oso Closo from its work as the house band for the Dallas Theater Centers’ production of The Who’s Tommy last year. If you’d like to hear more from them, they could use your help. The band is trying to raise some cash to record its next album, and the more you are willing to help, the better the prize they will bestow on you in return. Mark Lowry over at Theater Jones has the details one some of those prizes, which includes the chance to sing backup on a track. For info on how to donate, head over here.
GIVING BACK: Richardson native Jeff Dunham was back in town over the weekend, performing a sold-out show at the American Airlines Center. Michael Granberry of The Dallas Morning News was at the show, which he says was notable for more than just the comedian and ventriloquist’s act. In addition to cracking up the crowd, Dunham also handed out some pretty sizeable checks to a couple of North Texas organizations, including the Dallas Public Library. It seems he’s feeling a little guilty about a book he checked out way back when and never got around to returning. The story has a happy ending, though.
One of the more excited claims for the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts is that it’s the most important cultural complex to be built since Lincoln Center. In “Mixed Reviews,” his 50-year look-back and current assessment of Lincoln Center, the New York Times’ classical music critic Anthony Tommasini makes you wonder if a comparison to the Upper West Side’s “little white palace on a hill” is one the DCPA wants to encourage:
Nothing can be more energizing to the cultural life of a city than dynamic performing arts institutions. But the danger in grouping them together is that the creative identities of individual institutions … can blur behind the walls of an officious encampment. The promise of arts organizations working in sync can become a daily grind of competing boards and directors stifled by bureaucracy.
These are the fair complaints that have been leveled at Lincoln Center and at cultural complexes that followed in other cities. Still, there is potential for synergy between performing arts institutions that share a common campus and a board of overseers. … So, for good and bad, New York is stuck with the mixed-bag that Lincoln Center has become.
In fact, the Lincoln Center model — a multi-hall, multi-organization complex that’s intended to revitalize a downtown area as much as it’s meant to showcase the artistry of its resident companies — is not one that’s followed much anymore. Tommasini expressly cites the DCPA as the exception.
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Today in the Art&Seek Spotlight, we focus on the African Unity Festival’s Taste of Africa. The event takes place tonight at the African American Museum in Fair Park.
FIND: For complete details on tonight’s event, visit its listing on the Art&Seek calendar.
REACT: Has anyone made it out to any of this spring’s three previous African Unity Festival events? If you have, what can we expect tonight?
DISCUSS: Several visiting dignitaries will be in attendance tonight, including many ambassadors and foreign ministers. If you happen to rub elbows with one of them, what will you ask them about?
CREATE: Want to try your hand at African cooking? Several Web sites offer tips and recipes, including africaguide.com, congocookbook.com and africanfoods.co.uk.
The Fort Worth native began in sports journalism. Along with Dan Jenkins (they went to Paschal High School together), he eventually shaped American sports magazine writing with colorful yarns for Sports Illustrated — after having worked for the Dallas Times Herald and then the Dallas Morning News.
Edwin Shrake, Jr, returned to Texas in 1969 and continued to work for Sports Illustrated until 1979. But he also got into writing novels and screenplays, befriending literary, Hollywood and sports celebs, including Willie Nelson and George Plimpton . Critic and scholar Don Graham considers Strange Peaches, Shrake’s oddball comedy from 1972 of Dallas life in the early ’60s, something of a neglected classic of Lone Star literature.
Shrake’s best film work came in the early ’80s with Songwriter, basically an easy-going Willie Nelson road picture directed by Alan Rudolph, and Tom Horn, Steve McQueen’s last Western, which Shrake co-wrote with novelist Thomas McGuane.
But Shrake’s most unexpected commercial success came from his sideline of ‘as-told-to’ biographies. Harvey Penick’s Little Red Book: Lessons and Teachings from a Lifetime in Golf compiled the golf pro’s homespun wisdom and remained a national bestseller for weeks after its release in 1992, ultimately becoming the bestselling sports book ever.
Shrake died in Austin, where he’d been living for years. The cause was cancer. He was 77.