Meeting the Underdog: A Mingus Epitaph Memoir

On June 3,1989 I spent the better part of three hours onstage at Alice Tully Hall in New York's Lincoln Centre alongside Gunther Schuller, John Handy, Wynton Marsalis, John Abercrombie, George Adams and literally dozens of other legendary jazz musicians in what was called by the New York Times, “the jazz event of the decade.”…Read more Meeting the Underdog: A Mingus Epitaph Memoir

Revolutionary Wachowski Series Sense8 Triggers Media Blackout

As of this writing, a week after the release of the extraordinary Sense8 Christmas special on Netflix, Rotten Tomatoes lists only 5 reviews of the show. Barely enough to trigger the Tomatometer. This is ridiculous and needs explaining. For by rights this mind-expanding, action-packed and shockingly beautiful adrenalin shot of television should be widely celebrated and…Read more Revolutionary Wachowski Series Sense8 Triggers Media Blackout

Nobel Prize for Literature? Come on, Bob Dylan is an Oralist.

In my book Digitopia Blues – Race, Technology and the American Voice, I described Dylan's impact this way: Dylan signaled the triumph of oral poetry for white America, the reconciliation of the word and the body, of the singer and the song, of the poet and the community. From here on in, it was a…Read more Nobel Prize for Literature? Come on, Bob Dylan is an Oralist.

Launching my new book: Friend or Foe

It took only 10 minutes for Sheila Barry of Groundwood Books to tell me she loved my story and wanted to publish it, but it has taken 4 years for the final product to arrive in bookstores! Happily Friend or Foe is now out and it has garnered some sweet reviews. "...a simple and utterly…Read more Launching my new book: Friend or Foe

On Audiences and Meaning in the 21st Century

I read with interest this thoughtful article by Diane Ragsdale about the challenges posed by digital tools to arts audiences, as well as the many excellent comments that followed. I added my own comment, which I will post here as it was fairly substantial: This is a fascinating topic, but I would argue that our…Read more On Audiences and Meaning in the 21st Century

Spider Eggs & Criminality @ The National Gallery of Canada

Yesterday I spent a couple of hours at the National Gallery of Canada, where I have often been before. As I strode up Safdie's long cerebral ramp (a place not to dream but to trip and crack your skull, splashes of sacrificial red blood worth the pain perhaps to bring this mausoleum to life) I…Read more Spider Eggs & Criminality @ The National Gallery of Canada