Two new books share an important attribute -- an unshakable belief that Bach, Mozart and Schubert elevate the human spirit and have the power to comfort us, to inspire us and to overcome even the greatest challenges.
It's a moment that calls for some music, something that will calm, edify, enthrall, engage, distract and transport the little darlings to sleepy-land, so that the adults might move off to an appropriately distant room and watch Game of Thrones.
The pipe organ has always been an evolving beast, a breathing mechanical thing that has only gotten smarter with time. Once again it emerges as "The King of Instruments," and Christopher Houlihan is its youngest and most promising interpreter.
Many Havanans have found, in these newly reconstructed sites, a place for strolling, taking their children, sitting in the shade of a bougainvillea. What was, a few decades ago, a neighborhood in ruins, today is a true island of comfort and beauty.
Back in 1981, Marshall Crenshaw's single "Something's Gonna Happen" was released on Shake Records, initiating his string of critically acclaimed classic albums and 45s. Now Marshall, celebrating 30 years of music-making, sits down to talk.
I was expecting something unpredictable early in 2007, when I made my way to Gleason's Gym in Brooklyn to watch the iconoclastic classical musicians and composers known as the International Street Cannibals mix it up with some young boxers.
And they said things were bad in the 70's. The dirt, the porno shops, the Disco. All that is now a fond memory for many New Yorkers who gamely braved that bit of Hades to attend a real Broadway musical.