Music + Culture

 

As The Voice returns to NBC this week for its fourth season, viewers are seeing two new, if quite familiar, faces as Shakira and Usher occupy the coaches' seats vacated by Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo Green. Its talent-show rival over on Fox, The X Factor, will also see two new judges when (if? no, "when," surely) it comes back in the fall.

So why does The Voice seem so healthy and The X Factor so wobbly?

Marches Madness: Royal Wedding Edition

Mar 26, 2013

Tonight marks the first night of Passover, the commemoration of the Jews' liberation from slavery. Like millions around the world, I'll be sitting down to Seder to celebrate, in my case with a completely religiously and culturally mixed-up mishpocheh. I'm not Jewish, but Passover is one of my favorite nights of the year. With all of its rituals, this holiday takes eating mindfully to a whole new and incredible level, with every foodstuff, prayer and movement geared towards revisiting and renewing the ancient story of bitterness and then emancipation.

Let's call it the baby sitter's dilemma.

If you go to someone's house and pick up the TV remote, chances are, you won't know how it works. You know the situation's bad when even a tech writer who also majored in physics at an Ivy League school is confused by her own TV remote.

The 'Girl Who Got Away': Dido Gets Free

Mar 24, 2013

Since her 1999 debut hit, "Here With Me," Dido has sold nearly 30 million albums and been nominated for an Oscar — but the British singer-songwriter wasn't always at center stage. She got her start by filling in for other singers on demos for Faithless, a group founded by her brother.

What happens when two very talented women — one, a rising alt-country star; the other, one of classical music's great new talents — meet one another? In the case of singer Tift Merritt and pianist Simone Dinnerstein, a friendship ensues.

Marches Madness: A Dancer's Joy

Mar 22, 2013

Is It Legal To Sell Your Old MP3s?

Mar 20, 2013

Say you buy a textbook in another country, where textbooks are cheap. Then you bring the book back to the U.S. and sell it at a profit. Did you break the law?

No, you didn't. In a ruling that came down yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a student who had his friends and relatives buy textbooks in Thailand which he later re-sold in the U.S. on eBay.

Breaking: Pope Francis I Loves Opera

Mar 13, 2013

Here's a quick side note to today's big news ...

Immediately after the announcement of the papal election result and the name the new pope had chosen, Brian Williams of NBC News asked New York's Cardinal Edward Egan about the new pontiff, Francis.

"Your Eminence?" Williams said.

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