No lover of modern music and/or contemporary art can afford to miss A Feast of Astonishments: Charlotte Moorman and the Avant-Garde, 1960s-1980s, a lively, illuminating, persuasive exhibition on view through Dec. 10 at New York University’s Grey Art Gallery.
About Steve Smith
I've been involved professionally in music and media for close to 30 years, and personally for perhaps a decade longer. Apart from a two-year sojourn in Boston, I've been based in or around New York City since June 1993. After a long string of roles and positions in mass media, I've recently taken up the role of director of publications at National Sawdust, a revolutionary young performing-arts venue and incubator in Wiliamsburg, Brooklyn. You can learn more about that venture at nationalsawdust.org.
My work email address, for press releases, pitches, potential contributions, and whatnot, is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Prior to joining National Sawdust, I spent just over two years as an assistant arts editor at the Boston Globe, where I had the privilege of overseeing that esteemed newspaper's coverage of music and the visual arts. Before that, I served for 13 years as a music editor (first classical music, and then everything) for Time Out New York, and for seven years concurrently as a freelance classical-music reporter and reviewer for The New York Times.
While nearly all of my work is now focused on National Sawdust, I continue to contribute interviews and concert and CD reviews for RollingStone.com. My writing has appeared previously in the Washington Post, Village Voice, Billboard, Musical America, The Wire, Signal to Noise [RIP], Decibel, Jazziz, Jazz Times, Down Beat, Chamber Music, and Symphony magazines.
Before turning to journalism full time, I was a classical radio DJ in Houston, and then worked as a publicist at BMG Classics, the Knitting Factory, Third Floor Media (representing the Columbia Records jazz roster, the Village Vanguard, select projects on Blue Note Records, and more), and other NYC organizations. Artists with whom I worked directly include Tim Berne, Bobby Previte, Dave Douglas, and Ellery Eskelin.
I trained formally as a classical percussionist, and then put those skills to use with jazz and rock bands in Houston and New York. I graduated from Clear Creek High School in League City, TX, in 1984, and from Trinity University in San Antonio, TX, in 1988. I'm married to Dr. Lara Pellegrinelli, an accomplished journalist, critic, and academic. Our daughter, Annina, is a budding singer, dancer, painter, and social-media superstar.
If you want to send something to me via snail mail, please drop me a line via email first to determine the best destination.
Entries by Steve Smith
Hailed by audiences and the press during its premiere run in 2012, the opera Dog Days – created by composer David T. Little and librettist Royce Vavrek – has enjoyed widespread success unusual for contemporary opera. During a recent interview, Little and Vavrek looked back on their creative partnership, the premiere staging, and lessons learned along the way.
As editor in chief of The Creative Independent, Brandon Stosuy is helping to enable artists and innovators to share advice and anecdotes concerning their creative processes. Partisans of outstanding music journalism and cognoscenti of aural extremes have known and relied upon Stosuy for years. In October, Stosuy added a new line to his burgeoning C.V. with his first children’s book, Music Is….
Since we launched The Log Journal last week, we’ve posted a handful of reports from recent performing-arts events: three of them labeled “review,” and two under the heading “response.” What’s the difference? That’s a good question, and one I think we should address openly here for the sake of complete transparency.
Political theater is a challenging balancing act, one that requires a creative team to tread a thin line stretched precariously high. How audacious a creator must be, then, to attempt a feat so risky in the opera house, where comparatively little precedent exists for successful activist art.
Welcome to Night After Night, since October 2005 a blog about conspicuous consumption of music, live and recorded, in New York City and points beyond – now rebooted and refreshed as a place for sharing on-the-fly responses to creative events, timely news items from throughout the musical world, and links to other items of interest on the web.
Back when Paola Prestini was brainstorming what National Sawdust could be and do, she voiced the conviction that journalism and criticism are fundamental to the artistic ecosystem. Now, as our new journalistic initiative takes its first steps out into the world, we want to share the thinking behind this unconventional pursuit.
If you’ve followed the career of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang for any significant amount of time, you might…umm…worry just a bit about a seeming preoccupation with cruelty that extends from early works up to his newest.
I can’t overstate how excited I was to see the graphic icon incorporated into the logo created by the design firm Strick&Williams for The Log Journal, our new journalism initiative at National Sawdust. The symbol – a whorl of tree rings subtly morphing into sound waves that radiate outward – is intrinsically cool, no question. […]