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Music Post: Soundtrack to the pledge drive

Twice a year, when Hawaii Public Radio is conducting a 10-day pledge drive, a single edition of “Howard’s Day Off” falls within the asking-for-money period. My own goal for that show – tomorrow is such a show – is to play many short, intense tracks, with the dual objectives of…

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Quoth the raven, “Game of Thrones”

This morning on “Sunrise” I read a poem about the long-awaited new season of a certain well-known television series. So you might as well have it: Once upon a cable channel Wearing dirty rags of flannel Grizzled men and girls along with crones Direwolves growling, dogs are howling Maesters clad…

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Music Post: Movie music versus “serious” music

The Hawaii Youth Symphony today has its spring concert at Blaisdell Concert Hall, at which Conrad Tao will solo in George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” and Iggy Jang will solo in Erich Korngold’s Violin Concerto. George Gershwin is far better known than Erich Korngold because Erich Korngold was “just” a…

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Music Post: Living classics

My public radio program “Howard’s Day Off” has as many running themes as its host has musical interests, but one of the strongest ones is the desire to map the tonal territory of modern classical music. I’m old enough to remember when most writings about 20th century music focused on…

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Golf ball radar: Slice of life at DOD

One of the difficulties of modern times is that we’re all busy and we’re all on the Internet, so people make snap judgments based on whatever we read online, without having or taking the time to study an issue. Maybe that isn’t a big deal if the topic is Kim Kardashian’s…

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Mr. Dicus goes to Washington

“Inside Jobs” looks at working on Capitol Hill. After airing this morning on “Sunrise” the reports will be posted on our website. But I thought I would add some comments here. I always figured it would be a cold day in Washington when I returned to Capitol Hill, in a…

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Music Post: Classical genius clusters

The New Grove Dictionary of Music & Musicians is pleased to list the complete works of all the great composers in some semblance of chronological order whenever it can. The quiet perusal of these lists can reveal interesting things about composers, who sometimes lurched between periods of note-spinning versus periods…

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English words that are true Norse

What makes English the language of the world is that it welcomes excellent words from many other languages. If you speak English you speak Hawaiian (aloha, kahuna); you speak Spanish (ranch, canyon); you speak French (indictment, malfeasance, real estate); Dutch (boss, cookie); Hindi (bungalow); Gaelic (hooligan). You also speak Old Norse,…

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The guilty pleasure of fast car movies

The seventh “Fast & Furious” movie, “Furious 7,” was released Wednesday night at star-studded event glistening with tears for Paul Walker, who died a year and a half ago while this film was in production. Completed with two of Walker’s brothers as stand-ins, “Furious 7″ is getting good reviews for…

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What will you do next time?

I’m not blaming the governor or the mayor or the school superintendent… yet. And I’m not averse to the alleged Japanese concept of solving the problem rather than assigning blame. But what went wrong on the H-1 this week is an even bigger problem than first may appear to be…