“April is the cruellest month,” T.S. Eliot wrote in The Waste Land, but anyone who has endured the present electoral cycle in the United States, or even watched it from afar, might beg to differ. Accordingly, this month on The Log Journal we’re focusing on politics in music, in all of its various forms.
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 email@example.com.
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
The Boston Globe became the epicenter of the arts-journalism world upon announcing Oct. 31 that Zoë Madonna, an award-winning classical music critic who’d been contributing to the Globe as a freelance reviewer and reporter since Sept. 2015, had been engaged to a temporary full-time position that would be funded by a nonprofit consortium.
Composer and Dawn of Midi drummer Qasim Naqvi is set to release a new album of moody, compelling synthesizer music on Nov. 4, but we’re going to let you hear it right now.
Laraaji, the New Age musician and meditation guide who gained worldwide recognition after recording with Brian Eno, talks about his artistic and spiritual paths, the therapeutic power of laughter, and music of the eternal now.
Michael Pisaro, Meshuggah, Graham Lambkin, Carl Stone, Ghédalia Tazartès, and other select sounds playing lately at Night After Night HQ.
The Living Earth Show, the explosive Bay Area new-music duo of electric guitarist Travis Andrews and percussionist Andy Meyerson, is set to unleash its sophomore full-length album, Dance Music, via New Amsterdam Records on Oct. 28, and will celebrate at National Sawdust on Oct. 21. And to get you in the mood to celebrate, we’re going to let you hear the whole thing ahead of time, exclusively.
Van der Graaf Generator, Linda Catlin Smith, Vanessa Rossetto, and other select sounds playing lately at Night After Night HQ.
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.
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….