THE VALUE OF NEW BLOOD: The National Symphony in Washington opened its second straight season without a permanent musical director over the weekend. While the city waits for the arrival of Christoph Eschenbach in 2010, the Washington Post is wondering aloud if a new music director will lead to increased ticket sales. And when it looked around the country at recent hires elsewhere, it found some evidence of a ticket buying boost in Pittsburgh, where Manfred Honeck took over the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra last year, and, you guessed it, Dallas. DSO president Doug Adams tells the Post that the symphony set a new record for ticket revenue with the arrival of Jaap van Zweden. What’s interesting is that the paper says some of the credit for the sales bump goes to van Zweden’s involvement in the community – something European maestros are traditionally not too interested in doing.
DOING IT FOR THE KIDS: This summer, we took a trip to the house shared by Camille Cortinas and Eric Neal for a video in our Artist Studio Tour. And I think what we all found pretty intriguing is the couple’s interest in making puppets. Well, one of those furry creations has made it into a new video featuring Camille for the song “Big Yellow Bowl.” Hunter Hauk over at quickdfw.com has unearthed it; you can watch it here. WARNING: the dog puppet in the video has a very high cute factor. Curmudgeons need not watch.
ART COMES ALIVE: If there’s one guy we wouldn’t have guessed would be into video games, it’s Daniel Johnston. But the eccentric Texas singer has lent his artwork (surely you’re familiar with this drawing) to a new video game available for the iPhone. The game was created by a pair of Austin designers, and The New York Times calls it, “a kind of psycho-religious version of Frogger.” That sounds about right. But if you’re worried that Johnston has some how unweirded himself, he tells the paper, “I don’t even know what an iPhone is.”