Category Archives: Music

Kirsten Flagstad–still considered the greatest Wagnerian soprano

I’m working on an article about the Ring Cycle, which is coming to Los Angeles this May and June. As I’ve been researching the strange and fascinating world of Wagner’s megalomania, I came across a few videos of Norwegian soprano Kirsten Flagstad.

Considered the greatest Wagnerian soprano of the 20th century (and quite possibly ever), Flagstad was discovered on February 2, 1935 when she replaced a regular cast member in the role of Sieglinde. After one listen, I immediately understood why this woman was was catapulted to instant fame and fortune. Her voice is spectacular: heavy and clear, kind of like how I would imagine a giant bell would ring, cool as river, trembling, and always in control.

Please have a listen. I’ve attached two videos. The second video is kind of funny. I think her arm movements are ridiculous. But that voice!


Playboy Mansion

I’ve received an invite to the Playboy Mansion. What do I do with that? Obviously, I’m a little bit curious. It’s the roadkill factor–I think. Anyway, I’ll keep you posted.

Today I’m cheerful because I’m reminded that there are other people out there in the world who love classical music. My friend Jon is holding a little mini-lecture series where each of our friends get up and lecture about something they know really well. Our first lecture is by our friend Chris who is a composer. He’s going to teach us how to conduct an orchestra. I used to play in an orchestra many years ago. It reminded of me of being inside a gigantic wheezing machine. Each part would moan and groan and come to life. And when it’s bad, it’s really bad.

Ima robot

I just love them. They have this one song about "trickiness" that I can’t seem to find.

The Jane Does

An awesome band that according to one former Music Executive: "Is the best unsigned band in L.A."

At their gig last night at O’Brien’s Irish Pub in Santa Monica, the lead singer’s soulful pipes reminded me of Eddie Vedder and the band’s relentless percussion kept my head in the clouds while my feet moved to the groove. 

I’ve known the percussionist Brad/Bradley/Be-Radly (he has a plethora of monikers now) since childhood. He’s turned into quite a skilled beat man.