Brothels & Blossoms: Travel In Japan

From mystical mountains to snowy passes, from samurai swordsmen to sex workers in shop windows, two woodblock artists in the 1830s depicted the astonishing sights on the ancient route from Edo to Kyoto. Pictured is Eisen’s “Fukaya Station,” showing a typical Edo-period brothel with a wooden latticed display window.

Judge Judy Lets The Dog Loose

TV magistrate Judith Sheindlin presided over a canine ownership dispute in a recent episode of Judge Judy, and her no-nonsense solution is going viral.

Stolen De Kooning Returned To University

A New Mexico couple had a stolen De Kooning painting hanging in their bedroom, the local newspaper Silver City Daily Press reports. Woman-Ochre, which was taken from the University of Arizona Museum of Art 30 years ago, resurfaced this month when a New Mexico antiques dealer acquired it as part of an estate sale. When the “good Samaritan” realized what it was, the painting was swiftly returned to the university. Details.

Why Did Pop-Music Tempos Get So Slow?

That’s the question Elias Leight asks, explaining: ‘Part of the slowing is due to the continuing dominance of hip-hop, which now permeates every branch of music, even longtime holdouts like rock and country. “Hip-hop culture is the new pop culture, and our tempo ranges aren’t too fast,” says Sevn Thomas, who helped produce Rihanna‘s Number One smash “Work.” “Rappers can really swag out on slower beats.”

Danish String Quartet Wows At Mostly Mozart

Since making their debut in 2002 at the Copenhagen Festival, the members of the Danish String Quartet — Frederik Øland (Violin); Rune Tonsgaard Sørensen (Violin);
Asbjørn Nørgaard (Viola); Fredrik Schøyen Sjölin (Cello) — have demonstrated a passion for Scandinavian composers, who they frequently incorporate into Read more »

Mackie To Help “Pigs” Fly Again

Bob Mackie, who was the design genius behind the TV variety shows of Carol Burnett and of Cher, among many others, is going off-Broadway. He will design new costumes for Howard Crabtree’s “When Pigs Fly,” the 1996 musical created by late costume designer-playwright Crabtree and Mark Waldrop. Those “Pigs” will fly again beginning October 6 at Stage 42. The revue, which features music by the late Dick Gallagher, was praised for its wit and irreverent humor as it skewered gay culture and American politics in the late 1990s—including references to Newt Gingrich and legislation that proposed curtailing gay rights. The humor carried over into Crabtree’s outlandish and dazzling costume designs, who was called a “mad genius” in a rave review in the New York Times. Crabtree died of AIDS days after completing work on the original designs for When Pigs Fly. Mackie will create the all-new designs for the Off-Broadway revival that will officially open October 30.

Pantone Has New Shade: Prince Purple

Pantone has announced it has developed an official hue of purple in honor of the late Prince. Collaborating with the Purple One’s estate, the institute has unveiled “Love Symbol #2,” named in honor of the trademark emblem that served as his stage name in the late 1990s. The purple shade was “inspired by his custom-made Yamaha purple piano,” according to a press release, and “will be the official color across the brand [Prince] left behind.” Check out the shade here. Prince’s archive of music videos recently began making their way to YouTube.