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Culture

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  • Debussy Riot

    Debussy Riot
    A few years ago, I saw Ben Folds perform with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. It wasn’t the first time Folds has played with an orchestra—far from it: He’s been performing with orchestras around the world since 2002, using world-class classical musicians as backup on orchestrations of his hit pop songs like 'Zak and Sara' and 'Brick.' The concert in Pittsburgh was definitely meant more for Folds fans than classical-music fans: Folds' mic allowed his voice and piano to overpower the orchestra, and the orchestrations were often pretty simple. But Folds was charismatic and entertaining and the concert hall was packed. The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is probably hoping for a similarly packed house on Thursday when it performs with Folds at the Meyerhoff. This particular concert will have an addition to his 12-year-old classical-pop routine: They’ll be performing excerpts of Folds’ new piano concerto, his first such composition. Folds described his concerto to Nashville Scene as “proudly and overtly derivative,” and that will certainly be apparent to any fans of Gershwin or Ravel that hear the concerto—but on the bright side, maybe it’ll inspire some Folds fans to check out other classical compositions. (If you're one such fan looking to get into classical music, start with Gershwin's 'Rhapsody in Blue' for another piano concerto with heavy jazz influences, or check out my favorite piano concerto, Edvard Grieg's marvelously dramatic Piano Concerto in A minor.)
  • Source Found

    For those who had been doubting the Mayor O'Malley marriage rumors—like us—but wondering what the source was, wonder no longer. It was Gov. Ehrlich associate Joseph Steffen, director of communications at the Maryland Insurance Administration,...

    News Hole

    Bombs Abay: Pax River Naval Air Systems Command resumes weapons testing on lower Eastern Shore's Bloodsworth Island. Watermen and residents not happy. "This would be devastating to the watermen," Ben Parks, president of the Dorchester County Seafood...

    Beyond the Beltway

    Fast Eddie: In Sunday's St. Petersburg Times, Kelley Benham knocks on doors, finds former Baltimore police chief and state police superintendent/current felon Ed Norris, and writes an excellent, long feature story about him. Thread of Iris Chang: In...

    What a Wonderful World

    The Chinese province of Guangdong has quietly opened a museum dedicated to the decade-long Chinese Cultural Revolution. Built on Tashan Mountain, near the graves of some of the 400 people believed killed in the nearby city of Shantou during the Cultural...