Just wanted to alert readers here (hi, members of my extended family!) of two new features I intend to get going in this space in the coming weeks. The first is a charming little game called Showdown, whereby we arbitrarily fight a mythical battle between two musical figures. They could be composers, conductors, performers, writers, whatever. Not unlike the 10 Best lists, they are subjective, frivolous, and an incredible waste of time. But they are also an incredibly effective way to think about, say, Handel and Mendelssohn, when trying to determine who is better/cooler/more bad-ass. In an ideal world, there would be some feedback, because that’s the entire point of a smackdown in the Oxford dictionary definition. You think I sold Gilels short in his battle with Joshua Bell? Say so.
The second new feature that I want to have here is something I call “5-7 questions with a smart person.” In this scenario, I find someone I consider smart. I e-mail them some questions. They are thought-provoking, powerful, transcendent questions that will reveal stunning revelations into the recipient’s psyche. Or they might be things like “what’s the coolest concert you ever went to?” Whatever. Don’t worry about it. Just keep your fingers crossed that you are (or maybe keep your fingers crossed that you aren’t) one of the smart people I’m targeting. I’m pointing my right index and middle fingers at my eyes. Now I’m pointing that same index finger at my computer screen. You are on the other side of that computer screen. See what I did there?