Seth Rogovoy | WAMC

Seth Rogovoy

Rogovoy Report 10/23/20

19 hours ago

The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include folk-rock, chamber music, vocal music, organ jazz … plus a whole lot more…

Rogovoy Report 10/16/20

Oct 16, 2020

The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include indie-pop, theater, chamber music, jazz … plus a whole lot more.

Rogovoy Report 10/9/20

Oct 9, 2020

The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include indie-pop, theater, art, chamber music, jazz … plus a whole lot more.

Rogovoy Report 10/2/20

Oct 2, 2020

The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include indie-pop, folk, plywood paintings, sculpture … plus a whole lot more.

Rogovoy Report 9/25/20

Sep 25, 2020

The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include roots-music, folk, Baroque, jazz, classical, and a whole lot more.

Rogovoy Report 9/18/20

Sep 18, 2020

The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include R&B, gospel, roots-music, outdoor dance, art, and a whole lot more.

Rogovoy Report 9/11/20

Sep 18, 2020

The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include chamber music, orchestral music, experimental movement, jazz-funk, choral music, and a whole lot more.

Rogovoy Report 9/4/20

Sep 4, 2020

The cultural highlights in our region this weekend include a Broadway cabaret, roots-music, folk-rock, art openings, literary events, plus a whole lot more.

Rogovoy Report 8/28/20

Aug 28, 2020

The weekend’s cultural highlights in our region include spaced-out funk, 20th century classical, dance, visual artists, show tunes …. plus a whole lot more

Rogovoy Report 8/21/20

Aug 21, 2020

The weekend’s cultural highlights in our region include roots music, folk-rock, contemporary classical, comedy, the songs of Rodgers & Hammerstein, plus a whole lot more.

Rogovoy Report 8/7/20

Aug 7, 2020

This week’s cultural highlights include indie-rock legends, new music, old music, jazz, plus a whole lot more.

Rogovoy Report 7/31/20

Jul 31, 2020

This week’s cultural highlights in our region include avant garde music, chamber music, Americana, contemporary art, plus a whole lot more.

Rogovoy Report 7/24/20

Jul 24, 2020

The cultural highlights of this weekend, streaming and in real life, include string quartets, folk-rock, Beethoven, a singing family, and a whole lot more.

Rogovoy Report 7/17/20

Jul 17, 2020

On Saturday night, MASS MoCA in North Adams will host composer-performer Treya Lam in a re-imagined concert courtyard that takes advantage of an industrial roll-top garage door and adjacent gallery overlooking the brick-lined courtyard to reveal a new stage, dramatically floating 12 feet above the audience. Lam is a classically trained multi-instrumentalist and songwriter whose cinematic songs and ethereal vocals are built on Nina Simone-inspired piano, meditative guitar and lush chamber arrangements. RIYL Norah Jones, Ani DiFranco, Nina Simone, and Kaki King.

Rogovoy Report 7/10/20

Jul 9, 2020

Slowly but surely, things are loosening up, and there are indeed some openings and live cultural events beginning to take form in and around the region. A lot of thought has gone into most of these in terms of staying safe and enforcing social distancing requirements, so be sure to check details on the appropriate websites and, for my sake as well as yours, keep your masks on.

When Bob Dylan finally responded to the Swedish Academy that awarded him the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature with the required lecture, about six months after the fact, he did so with a rambling, recorded monologue that at its best detailed some of his literary and musical influences and at its worst was a parody of an academic lecture, regurgitating Cliff Notes-like commentary about “Moby-Dick,” “All Quiet on the Western Front” and “The Odyssey.” It was, in its own way, a very Dylanesque gesture.

Rogovoy Report 6/19/20: In Praise Of Mixed Nuts

Jun 19, 2020

I like mixed nuts. I don’t know how they do it, but someone has figured out the perfect ratio of different kinds of nuts – the best-tasting proportion of Brazil nuts to filberts, almonds, pecans, walnuts, cashews, and peanuts (technically not a tree nut but a legume). I love blindly reaching into a bowl of mixed nuts and coming up with a delightful, satisfying blend of varying flavors, textures, shapes, and sizes.

Rogovoy Report 6/12/20: The End Of Travel

Jun 12, 2020

You hear it all the time from natives, expats, experts, know-it-alls, and blowhards: that such-and-such a city that you’re thinking of visiting isn’t what it used to be. It’s a mere shell of its former self. While it was once the coolest, hippest place to visit, where everything was a bargain and life was still authentic and you could sit at a café all day nursing your espresso and no one would bother you and you could blend in easily with the locals, now it has become overrun by tourists. It’s been ruined by the commercialism and gentrification that follows in their wake. There’s no more there there. It’s over. It’s so yesterday, so last year. Don’t go there.

Rogovoy Report 6/5/20: Am I Cut Out To Be A Writer?

Jun 5, 2020

I stumbled upon a Medium post the other day entitled “The Top 10 Signs You’re Really Cut Out to Be a Writer.” It caught my eye and I thought, sure, why not? So what if I’ve been at this thing for 40 years or so. So what if I’ve written and published literally thousands of articles, essays and reviews. So what if I’ve had two books published with a few more on the way. Isn’t it time, I thought to myself, to find out if I am really cut out for this work? How can I be sure I’ve made the right decision? Why not read the article and find out?

Back when I worked relatively full time as a rock critic, I used to joke that I wished I could just set up a live video feed from the nightclubs and concert halls that I frequently attended to review concerts so that I wouldn’t actually have to leave my house. So I wouldn’t actually have to be there.

There is an emerging consensus that life after the COVID-19 pandemic – if there ever will be such a thing – will not look exactly like life before the COVID-19 pandemic. Nor should it. And I’m not only referring to changes that will be made in direct response to the spreading of disease, or an enhanced awareness of viral and bacterial transmission and efforts that can, and will, be taken to minimize the spread of disease.

There are two kinds of people during a pandemic: Those who take the opportunity to read “The Plague” by Albert Camus, and those who don’t. I, like thousands if not millions of others, am in the first category. I’ve always been a fan of Camus, but I had never read “The Plague,” which, for those who don’t know, is a novel about how a handful of residents in the French Algerian city of Oran respond to the bubonic plague. Published in 1947, and wholly a work of imagination – there was neither a plague in Oran in the 20th century nor did Camus ever live through a plague or pandemic -- it garnered Camus the Nobel Prize for Literature ten years later.

Rogovoy Report 5/8/20

May 8, 2020

SO here we are, almost two months into the shutdown. It’s actually been over two months for me, because I like to get a head start on things. I’m perpetually and chronically early to a fault. So when in early March it began to seem that we were heading in this direction, I pretty much shut down my life before the order to do so came. I even cancelled my own 60th birthday party at a time when people were still traveling and getting together for social gatherings. Within a week of that, the order came down to stay home, so in retrospect I didn’t feel like such an alarmist.

Rogovoy Report 5/1/20

May 1, 2020

I’ve always believed in the wisdom and power of positive pessimism. Over the years, I have adopted it as something of a creed, a belief system, a world view, and a healthy approach to life. Plan for the worst and you will never be disappointed. If all hell breaks loose, you have the satisfaction of having been proven right, of having had the foresight and wisdom to correctly predict the outcome. If things go better than you expect, you will be relieved at the very least, or even possibly made happy that the disaster for which you had planned was averted.

Rogovoy Report 4/24/20

Apr 24, 2020

There’s a great new documentary available for streaming about the greatest music group ever to emerge from the Hudson Valley. And I don’t mean Steely Dan, who are probably the second greatest. I mean the roots-rock group The Band, who emerged in Woodstock in 1968 with their landmark debut album, “Music from Big Pink,” and who are the topic of the new film, “Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band.”

Rogovoy Report 4/17/20

Apr 17, 2020

Throughout history, whenever there has been a plague, one of the casualties has always been a group of people defined as “the other” who get blamed for it. I don’t know of any case where a group of people has actually caused a plague or pandemic – other than when Europeans brought infectious diseases to the Americas, thereby killing millions of the continents’ inhabitants in a kind of proto-biological warfare --  but that never stopped anyone from blaming Jews, Gypsies, Mexicans, or name-that-tribe. We are witnessing it right now whenever the occupant of the White House or one of his henchmen refers to COVID-19 as “the Chinese virus.” Often in history, the people who get blamed wind up being ostracized or fall victim to violence, expulsion, pogroms, massacres, etc.

Rogovoy Report 4/10/20

Apr 10, 2020

This week I report on a typical day in life under quarantine.

I wake up. Should I have tea or coffee? I can’t make up my mind. Should I have a shower first? I can’t make up my mind. Such are the existential dilemmas brought about by life in quarantine. I skip the shower and have tea.

Rogovoy Report4/3/20

Apr 3, 2020

Last Friday, Bob Dylan recently released a new song, “Murder Most Foul.” It’s Dylan’s first new song in eight years, and clocking in at 17 minutes, it’s also his longest song ever. You can hear it on all the major streaming services, and what you’ll hear is a spoken-word surreal fever dream about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. It’s not only a work of epic genius – formally, structurally, and otherwise – but it veritably demands a close reading in order to comprehend fully what the Nobel Prize-winner hath wrought.

Rogovoy Report 3/27/20

Mar 27, 2020

Today I want to tell you about my visit to the pharmacy this past Wednesday. It was in several ways the highlight of my week. Wednesday was the day I had long feared and dreaded – when I would have to break down and walk into a pharmacy to get my prescription for, of all things, my anti-anxiety medication.

Rogovoy Report 3/20/20

Mar 20, 2020

As you probably know by now, concerts have all been cancelled. Movie theaters are closed. Performing arts venues of all kinds are shuttered. So what’s a culture vulture to do?