The man who was about to interview Salman Rushdie at the Chautauqua Institution last Friday when a would-be murderer ran onstage with a knife is a 73-year-old former telemarketing entrepreneur from Pittsburgh named Henry Reese. He wears bow ties and speaks with a low-key, husky voice and shuns attention. But Reese and his wife, Diane Samuels, are two of the more remarkable ordinary people in America. They’ve transformed a blighted Pittsburgh street into a haven for persecuted writers and artists from around the world. It’s called City of Asylum, and it’s a physical manifestation of the universal value of free expression. This achievement has something to do with what happened on Friday, two and a half hours north of Reese’s home turf. The Chautauqua Institution is an idyllic lakeside community, with an entry gate and streets lined by picturesque Victorians, where paying visitors—a lot of them retirees from the Midwest, more middle class than coastal culture seekers—stay for a summer … [Read more...] about Free Speech Can’t Survive as an Abstraction
Touching spirit bear when will the tide come in
By Mark Savage Published 4 September Share close Share page Copy link About sharing Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl choked back tears as he played the band's first show since the death of drummer Taylor Hawkins in March. The star was singing Times Like These when he paused to collect his emotions on the lyric: "It's times like these you learn to love again." Earlier, Grohl described Hawkins as his "dear friend, bandmate and brother". He said of Hawkins "no-one else could make you smile or laugh or dance or sing like he could". "And for those of you that admired him from afar, I'm sure you've all felt the same thing," Grohl added. "So sing and dance and laugh and cry and scream and make some noise so he can hear us right now." Grohl was speaking as Foo Fighters topped the bill at an all-star concert in honour of Hawkins' life at London's Wembley Stadium. … [Read more...] about Taylor Hawkins Tribute Concert: Foo Fighters give drummer a loving send-off
Published 3 hours ago Share close Share page Copy link About sharing Related Topics Welsh Parliament election 2021 An independent Wales could negotiate a much smaller gap in its public finances than previous estimates suggest, according to new research. A £13.5bn gap between tax receipts and public spending was estimated in 2019. But the new research suggests it could initially be much lower in an independent Wales, depending on the outcome of separation negotiations. Plaid Cymru said it "debunks" claims "Wales is too small and too poor to thrive as an independent nation". But the Welsh Conservatives said the report made some "wild predictions". Welsh independence to be considered by commission Thousands in Welsh independence march The research has been published ahead of a Yes Cymru pro-independence march in Cardiff on Saturday. In 2018-19, … [Read more...] about Welsh independence: Does new research support the idea?
T his release by Keith Jarrett's celebrated Standards Trio in the group's 30th year was recorded live four years ago – so it's safe to say that the fastidious leader must now be happy with this set of improvisations on classics, including the West Side Story title track, Miles Davis's Solar, and two originals. The trio has demonstrated the ambiguities in its name by exploring standards as well as free improv over the years, but song-forms are dominant here – often developed with almost venomous relish by Jarrett and imaginative (if occasionally loosely pitched) regular rejoinders from bassist Gary Peacock, underpinned by drummer Jack DeJohnette's mix of stinging power and subtle support. Deep Space makes a seductively glimmering overture, before Solar comes in almost sleepwalkingly off the pulse – the trio constantly suggesting swing but subverting it, before Jarrett hurtles off into a blistering groove. He arrhythmically juggles the melody of Between the Devil and the Deep Blue … [Read more...] about Keith Jarrett/Standards Trio: Somewhere – review