"I'm surprised that some people think that artists shouldn't write criticism," says Phoenix classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz, who last week faced questions about his ethics from the Boston Globe because an orchestra he covers was setting his poetry to music. "I can't believe that there is anything wrong with anyone, let alone a teacher and artist who also happens to be a critic, taking part in a worthy educational enterprise such as this one, a modest effort to further the education of a handful of young classical musicians," says the Pulitzer-winning critic. "It's a sad state of affairs that anyone thinks this service to a new generation of composers and musicians compromises my standing as a critic."

Continue ReadingBoston Phoenix Critic Hits Back on Ethics Question

Phoenix classical music critic Lloyd Schwartz has signed a contract with the Boston Symphony Orchestra to have some of his poems set to music, which he will be paid for. The Globe's Geoff Edgers thinks this crosses an ethical line, since Schwartz covers the orchestra. But Phoenix executive editor Peter Kadzis disagrees, telling the Globe that Schwartz, who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1994, "works in the now waning tradition of artist/critic, not unlike Virgil Thomson. That the Tanglewood fellows would choose to set his poetry to music is a mark of distinction, not a compromise." The Poynter Institute's Al Tompkins tells the Globe that, while the arrangement isn't that egregious, "it presents, if not a conflict, the appearance of conflict of interest. You can avoid this conflict by, at minimum, paying your own way or having the paper pay your way."

Continue ReadingIs Boston Phoenix Music Critic’s Deal with Orchestra Unethical?

Earlier this month, syndicated cartoonist Lloyd Dangle released his latest collection of "Troubletown" comic strips, Troubletown Told You So: Comics That Could've Saved Us From This Mess. With an introduction by the Stranger's Dan Savage, the book "captures the current situation in America, a moment in time that will go down in history as our country's most boneheaded," Dangle says in a statement. "Crude comics full of insults and nasty takedowns are the only fitting way to explain it." First published in the San Francisco Bay Guardian in 1988, "Troubletown" now appears in over a dozen AAN member papers.

Continue ReadingAlt-Weekly Cartoonist Releases New Book