Follow Open Culture on Twitter!

This is just a quick note to let you know that you can now fol­low Open Cul­ture on Twit­ter. If you sub­scribe, you’ll know when­ev­er we post some­thing new on the site. To get going, cre­ate a Twit­ter account (if you don’t already have one), access our Twit­ter page here, and then click the word “Fol­low” beneath our logo, and you’ll be all set. If you’re won­der­ing what Twit­ter is all about, you can watch this handy video.

Beethoven Symphony No. 5, Arturo Toscanini, 1952

Here’s a nice vin­tage clip that comes out of a YouTube Chan­nel called The Great Per­form­ers, which we’ve added to our page: Best YouTube Col­lec­tions. The video fea­tures Arturo Toscani­ni con­duct­ing Beethoven’s 5th at Carnegie Hall in 1952. You can find the sec­ond move­ment here.

For more clas­si­cal music see:

Free Beethoven and Mozart Record­ings via Pod­cast

Beethoven’s Sym­pho­ny No. 9 — Kara­jan or Mup­pet Style

The Ten Best Clas­si­cal Music Record­ings of 2008

by | Permalink | Make a Comment ( 1 ) |

The Lincoln Revival

lincolnAbra­ham Lin­coln has nev­er exact­ly gone out of fash­ion. More books have been writ­ten about him than any oth­er Amer­i­can pres­i­dent. But even so, he has recent­ly dom­i­nat­ed our thoughts, our pub­lic dis­course, in a way that we haven’t seen in some time. And that’s because he start­ed some­thing in Amer­i­can his­to­ry that end­ed with the inau­gu­ra­tion of Barack Oba­ma last week.

To mark the occa­sion, I want­ed to high­light an excel­lent series of pod­casts that focus­es on Lin­coln and the Civ­il War. Cre­at­ed by the Gilder Lehrman Insti­tute of Amer­i­can His­to­ry, this series fea­tures talks by some of Amer­i­ca’s lead­ing schol­ars of the Civ­il War peri­od, and at least two Pulitzer Prize win­ners. Among the lec­tures, you’ll find the fol­low­ing:

  • Team of Rivals: The Polit­i­cal Genius of Abra­ham Lin­coln (iTune­sU) — Doris Kearns Good­win
  • Cross­roads of Free­dom: Anti­etam (iTune­sU) — James McPher­son
  • No Par­ty Now: Pol­i­tics in The Civ­il War North (iTune­sU) — Adam I.P. Smith
  • Lin­col­n’s Eman­ci­pa­tion Procla­ma­tion (iTune­sU) — Allen Guel­zo
  • Abra­ham Lin­coln: A Biog­ra­pher’s Notes (iTune­sU) — Richard Car­war­dine
  • Race and Reunion: The Civ­il War in Amer­i­can Mem­o­ry (iTune­sU) — David Blight

For those of you who don’t want to work with iTunes, you can access these pre­sen­ta­tions and more at the Gilder Lehrman web­site here. You can also find here a page entire­ly ded­i­cat­ed Abra­ham Lin­coln and relat­ed con­tent.

P.S. Yet more proof that Lin­coln is now every­where. New York­er writer Adam Gop­nik has just released a new book, Angels and Ages, which exam­ines the unique stamp that Dar­win and Lin­coln placed on our mod­ern times. (Both men, by the way, were born on the same day 200 years ago next month.) You can lis­ten here to an inter­view with Gop­nik that was record­ed yes­ter­day.

by | Permalink | Make a Comment ( 1 ) |

Talking with Steven Soderbergh

Here’s a piece from one of my col­leagues, Scott Hutchins. Take it away Scott…

Steven Soder­bergh was in San Fran­cis­co as part of the roll out for his four-and-a-half-hour, two-part epic Che, about the Argen­tin­ian doc­tor turned rev­o­lu­tion­ary Che Gue­vara.  Gue­vara is no stranger to Amer­i­can screens, espe­cial­ly after the pop­u­lar film, The Motor­cy­cle Diaries. So we won­dered why Soder­bergh want­ed to make anoth­er movie about him.  Soder­bergh is wide­ly con­sid­ered one of the most tal­ent­ed direc­tors at work in Hol­ly­wood today, but even some of his fans are scratch­ing their heads over this most recent film.  In the New York­er, film review­er Antho­ny Lane says, ‘I still have no idea what tru­ly quick­ens his heart.’  In this inter­view, we cer­tain­ly dis­cov­ered what gets his blood pump­ing.  Soder­bergh (who also direct­ed Traf­fic, Erin Brokovich, and Sex, Lies and Video­tape) dis­cuss­es his shak­en faith in the pow­er of film, what he has in com­mon with Fidel Cas­tro, and how noth­ing will ever be solved in the Mid­dle East as long as monothe­ists are involved. You can read the full inter­view at

Bob Dylan Goes a Little Commercial

Stephen in the UK high­light­ed a piece in Guardian that will inter­est Bob Dylan fans. It begins:

Bob Dylan has giv­en rare per­mis­sion for his music to be used in a TV com­mer­cial.

Protest song Blowin’ in the Wind will be used to rein­force a mes­sage of change in a TV cam­paign for eth­i­cal bank­ing and retail firm the Co-oper­a­tive Group.

The song, a 1960s anthem for those dis­af­fect­ed with the estab­lish­ment, is thought to be the first track Dylan has allowed to appear in a UK TV ad.

Blowin’ in the Wind is being used to under­pin a mul­ti­mil­lion-pound relaunch of the Co-oper­a­tive Group’s image.

The TV cam­paign, which breaks next month, aims to show­case the com­pa­ny’s diverse inter­ests from food, funer­als and trav­el to phar­ma­cies and finan­cial ser­vices.

In response to all of this, Stephen adds: “The Co-op is eth­i­cal; The Co-op sup­ports Fair­Trade; The Co-op is still a co-oper­a­tive; They sure ain’t Vic­to­ri­a’s Secret.” Thanks Stephen.

Relat­ed Bob Dylan Con­tent:

When Bob Dylan Went Elec­tric: New­port, 1965

Bob Dylan & John­ny Cash Togeth­er in 1969: Free MP3s

Bob Dylan — Like A Rolling Stone 1966


by | Permalink | Make a Comment ( 1 ) |

The New Design and Your Feedback

open_culture_beigeAs you prob­a­bly know, Open Cul­ture launched a new look last week, and it seemed worth devot­ing a few words to it. With the new design, I was hop­ing to give the site a more invit­ing look and stream­line the over­all nav­i­ga­tion. I was also hop­ing to make it clear that user con­tri­bu­tions are always wel­come. If you have tips on good media, send them our way. And if you ever want to write a guest blog post, please feel free to let me know what you have in mind. The more indi­vid­ual read­ers con­tribute, the more our com­mu­ni­ty of read­ers ben­e­fits.

I def­i­nite­ly want to send a word of thanks to the folks at Rolling Orange, who han­dled all of the design and imple­men­ta­tion. An excel­lent group to work with. Also, I want to thank Eric Ober­le who has been very gen­er­ous with his tech sup­port since the begin­ning.

Last­ly, this is a great time to ask you what you would like to see from Open Cul­ture in the future. What should the site do more of? What should it do less of? What good things haven’t we thought about? Your input would be real­ly appre­ci­at­ed. Feel free to send thoughts from the con­tact page, or add any thoughts in the com­ments sec­tion below. Thanks in advance to all…

by | Permalink | Make a Comment ( 8 ) |

Amazon Serves Up Free Music

An excel­lent find by Kot­tke: “Ama­zon has hun­dreds of free mp3s avail­able for down­load, includ­ing tracks by Bri­an Eno & David Byrne, Ani Difran­co, and Rev­erend Hor­ton Heat.”

Update: A read­er informs us that this is US only. My apolo­gies to any read­ers out­side the US.

by | Permalink | Make a Comment ( 1 ) |

Inaugural Poet Talks with Stephen Colbert

Eliz­a­beth Alexan­der recit­ed one of her own poems at Oba­ma’s inau­gu­ra­tion last week and now talks poet­ry (both high­brow and low­brow) with Stephen Col­bert. All in all, she does a pret­ty good job of hang­ing in there.

by | Permalink | Make a Comment ( 1 ) |

More in this category... »
Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.