Everyone's a Critic

Side dishes at San Diego Symphony

Four fantastic pieces on the program, but no Thanksgiving turkey

This Thanksgiving I’m going to have four of the most delicious, elegant, colorful, and refined side dishes you can ever imagine. However, if one of those side dishes is sweet potatoes there will be marshmallows. ...

Big can't go small

A new French opera album from Jonas Kaufmann

Jonas Kaufmann is one of my favorite tenors on the current world stage when it comes to the dramatic tenor repertoire. He has just released a new album of French opera arias. Some of it ...

Time to eat crow

A touch of magic tingles in the air when Hadelich plays

Every now and again it is important to eat some crow and I had an appetite for it after the Mainly Mozart concert on Thursday, June 22. Previously I had said I could go the ...

The Tao of Mozart

Conrad Tao brings the ancient nature of the cosmos to the Mainly Mozart Festival

Taoism, with its principles of effortless action, naturalness, humility, simplicity, spontaneity, compassion, and frugality, was a perfect fit for the evening. Which evening? The opening evening of The 2017 Mainly Mozart Festival on Saturday, June ...

Emotional finale for Maestro Ling

Sibelius was great at makeup sex

Saturday, May 27 was the second of three final concerts at the San Diego Symphony. These concerts conclude the Jacobs Masterworks Series and Maestro Jahja Ling’s tenure as music director of the orchestra. The concert ...

San Diego Symphony on Saturday night — the best concert ever

Yes. I’m going to go with that.

Well, I guess the May 20th concert by the San Diego Symphony was the best one I’ve heard them perform. Yes. I’m going to go with that. Charles Dutoit conducted the living fire out of ...

One-sided conversation at San Diego Symphony

Schumann’s themes tend to stick in the ear

Every concert is a conversation between the performers and the audience regarding a particular composer. This conversation isn’t quite fair, because the audience always has the last word. The audience’s response is the final verdict ...

Point Loma Opera Theatre's radio operetta

Menotti's The Old Maid and the Thief is cheeky, clever, and sometimes funny

Having gone on an unscheduled rant about opera and higher education let us return to the performance of Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Old Maid and the Thief by Point Loma Opera Theatre. Director, Jordan Miller, ...

Depeche Mode — bleeding black hearts upon their sleeves

English alt-rock band gets in the Spirit of the times

In a world that seems to be crumbling, where the bad guys have won and are beginning to remake the planet to fit their greedy agendas, art has become more valuable than ever. With their ...

Umphrey's McGee hypnotizes Observatory

Reeling in the years with the progressive jam band

As far as concert performances go, Umphrey’s McGee can run hot and cold. Sunday night, they were on fire. Normally reminiscent of a free-form rock group like Phish, Umphrey’s McGee brought their sound down to ...

A deep performance at the La Jolla Symphony

Verdi Requiem has the power to move us

As the text “libera me” hung in the air no one applauded. The tone evaporated and still no one applauded. I was sitting on my hands because I was caught up in the sacred feminine ...

Fanclub lets the flannel fly

Scottish alt-rockers Teenage Fanclub deliver the hits and Here to Belly Up

Touring in support of their 2016 album, Here, the Scottish alt-rock band Teenage Fanclub marched into the Belly Up and delivered a set composed of fan favorites. Fittingly, the band started with “Start Again” off ...

Minus the Bear, minus the freshness

Seattle indie act's Voids is void a new formula

Let’s make this clear: “indie rock” is a sterile phrase. And whether you want to use it to refer to lo-fi Sonic Youth-offshoot noise bands, ’80s revival — “Hey, look we use synths!” — bands, ...

Shins return to sound if not form

Indie rockers' Heartworms better than the band on this night

The Shins’ return to San Diego after a five-year hiatus — for two nights at the Observatory — was special for more reasons than just the long absence and mini residency. To start, for many ...

Return of the Gold Dust Woman

Stevie Nicks and Pretenders pack the house at Viejas

Stevie Nicks fans waited in anticipation for months after an extension of Nicks's 2016 tour was announced last fall. When her show arrived in San Diego at SDSU’s Viejas Arena on March 2, the performers ...

H.P. Lovecraft churned out fiends

Fungi From Yuggoth and Other Poems read by William E. Hart

Howard Phillips Lovecraft (1890-1937) lived whenever possible in Providence, Rhode Island (although a short-lived marriage dragged him scraping and screeching to NYC for a jaunt). He grated through poverty, obscurity, frustration, nursing his personal obsessions ...

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