Daily Archives: May 14, 2009

Help Paste magazine survive

paste_block_logo_magazine_color_poster-p228812652481052447az3ws_210Paste magazine, like so many specialty publications, is struggling to survive. The music-and-culture magazine is suffering from decreased advertising revenue, so it’s reaching out directly to readers (and prospective readers) to help support the magazine with cold, hard cash donations.

In return for your contribution, you’ll get access to a growing vault of rare and unreleased digital downloads (more than 70 so far) from artists that Paste often writes about — including The Decemberists, Neko Case, Bob Mould, Over the Rhine, Cowboy Junkies, Indigo Girls, Jayhawks, Brandi Carlile, John Roderick of The Long Winters, Patterson Hood, Avett Brothers, Robyn Hitchcock and The Venus 3, and Josh Ritter.

The Decemberists are featured in the current issue of Paste.

The Decemberists are featured in the current issue of Paste.

Lots of these artists are taking this very seriously. Paste is one of the few publications around that tries to spotlight new, emerging and lesser-known artists, as well as good music (and film, books and other media) of all sorts.

For instance, Karin Bergquist of Over the Rhine, one of my favorites, has this to say about Paste:

Paste magazine has been a much-needed gift to all who care about the future of American songwriting and creativity. While many other music magazines became increasingly celebrity-obsessed, Paste reminded all of us that the conversation could be redirected in imaginative ways: Who are the artists and writers, known or unknown, old or young, mainstream or indy, who can still delight and surprise, who deserve to be discovered or rediscovered? If we lost Paste’s voice in the overall conversation, we would lose more than we can imagine, or afford.”

For the average reader, Paste gives a good tastemaker. Like most print-based media focusing on the fast-moving world of popular music, Paste is constantly struggling to stay ahead of the curve. And it sometimes seems a bit dated to the best-informed, most voracious consumers of music and popular culture. However, a host of solid features and ever-improving web site continue to make it must reading. The loss of Paste‘s voice would make our cultural life poorer by far.

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Neil Patrick Harris to host the Tony Awards — plus an interactive Tony ballot

Neil Patrick Harris (center) starred in the Tony Award-wining revival of Stephen Sondheims Assassins.

Neil Patrick Harris (center) starred in the Tony Award-wining revival of Stephen Sondheim's Assassins.

Neil Patrick Harris will host the 63rd Annual Tony Awards ceremony, which will be telecast live on CBS from NYC’s Radio City Music Hall from 8-11 p.m. on Sunday, June 7, The American Theatre Wing has announced.

NPH CROP

Neil Patrick Harris

Although Harris may be best known to many for his TV roles (Doogie Howser, MD and How I Met Your Mother), he’s no stranger to Broadway, starring in Proof in 2002, taking a turn as the Emcee in Cabaret in 2003 and tackling the dual role of The Balladeer/Lee Harvey Oswald in the Roundabout Theater Company’s revival of Stephen Sondheim‘s Assassins.

He’s no stranger to the Tony Awards telecast either, having appeared as a performer in 2004 and a presenter in 2006 and 2007.

While you’re waiting for the real Tony Awards to be announced, you can see how your views line up with those of other theatergoers by casting your votes on The New York Times’ interactive Tony Awards ballot.

Free summer music in Stuyvesant Town

Music on the Oval in Stuyvesant Town on Manhattan’s East Side is one of NYC’s best-kept music secrets.

The series, from 6-9 p.m. on Wednesdays from June 10 to July 15. Each family-friendly show kicks off with an hourlong DJ set before the night’s headliner takes the outdoor stage on the Stuyvesant Town Oval, which is between 16th and 18th streets and Avenues A and B (entrance at First Avenue and 16th Street).

The Budos Band and Kaki King are just two of the amazing acts paying visits to the Oval stage this season.

The full schedule is after the jump. Continue reading