Arts Briefs

Beyonce: prophet for our times

Recently, Phil Maymin, a professor of finance and risk engineering at New York University, noted that songs with a higher beat variance (i.e. an irregular beat) find a greater following when we experience economic stability.

On the other hand, “some of history’s steadiest pop songs were released before a market crash.” Of course, we all turn to the comfort of a popular song when times are tough, but Maymin has observed that “the more regular the beat on Billboard’s top singles, the more volatile the American markets.”

The song in question right now is Beyonce’s mega-hit, “Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It),” which is firmly lodged at the top of the charts. I suppose in times of financial tumult, Americans finds ways to stay regular.

I wonder what sales of bran and prune juice are like these days.

Metallica, Run DMC honoured in hall of fame

Welcome to the canon boys. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame has just announced its Class of 2009, and heavy metal giants Metallica are set to join Run DMC, Jeff Beck, Little Anthony & the Imperials and Bobby Womack for an “historic” party in Cleveland Rock City (home of the Hall of Fame museum).

Jeff Beck will become part of a select group of artists who have been inducted twice, as he inducted in 1992 as a member of The Yardbirds. Run DMC is only the second rap group to be canonized by the Hall, while Metallica is among a small number of metal bands that have received the honour.

Still no sight of The Stooges (whose guitarist, Ron Asheton, recently passed away), but the Michigan rock quartet is just one of the many bands that have been overlooked time and again.

Does anyone actually care about the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame besides Rolling Stone and their aging readership? I have a hunch that “Hall of Fames” are not long for this world.

A light goes out in Vegas

According to, “Folies Bergere,” one of the classiest full-scale showgirl revues in Las Vegas, will shut down after 49 years at the Tropicana Hotel-Casino.

The famed revue came from Paris in 1959 under the direction of Lou Walters, the father of notable newswoman Barbara Walters. Furthermore, “casino executives announced that the show will close March 28 to make way for an undisclosed new production.”

More like “undis-clothed”. Sorry, that was in poor taste.

What’s not in poor taste, however, is the fact that Vegas has been taken over by Cirque du Soleil, which has led people to bypass showgirl productions like “Folies”. Hmm—a classy gentleman’s club, or Cirque du Soleil, which is quite possibly the most amazing performance spectacle in the world. Such a tough choice.

Published in Volume 63, Number 17 of The Uniter (January 22, 2009)

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