Cake Goes The Distance at Williamsburg Park

first_imgWith promises of thunderstorms looming over Cake’s performance at Brooklyn’s Williamsburg Park, the band managed to pull out a slice of California luck as skies remained clear throughout the two set show. After taking an eight year break from releasing new material, Cake’s 2011 album ‘Showroom of Compassion’ debuted at #1 on the Billboard album chart, making it the band’s highest chart to date.Cake found success in the 90′s alternative rock boom with sarcastic and witty songs about cars and absurdity backed by funky bass riffs and sexy horns. Hits like ‘The Distance’ and ‘Short Skirt, Long Jacket’ have remained in the public consciousness over the years, and albums like ‘Comfort Eagle’ still holds up a decade later. This makes for a relatively hot crowd – most of the fans knew what they were in for, were well versed in the band, and were ready for new grooves and old classics alike.The first set felt like both an introduction and a warm up – it contained mostly songs from the newest album, and managed to get the crowd excited with ample drinking time in the sun. The set closed with lead singer Jon McCrea splitting the audience in half and constructing a sing along to the chorus of the new album’s single, ‘Sick of You’.After the brief intermission, the band returned with their awesome take on Black Sabbath’s ‘War Pig’. The opening vocals elicited a roar of approval to the crowd for what would surely be a set highlight. In what would assure the crowd they were getting a more old school set, McCrea reached way back to 1994 to play the band’s first hit, ‘Rock N’ Roll Lifestyle’ off of their debut album Motorcade of Generosity.In what was either a love it or hate it moment, McCrea busted out what is now a signature of the Cake show – the tree giveaway. McCrea pointed to the tree that had been placed on stage throughout the show, and asked audience members to guess which type of tree this was, one by one. As you could imagine, the crowd was not filled with botanists, and this strung out for quite a while. In what was a pretty unique outcome, the winner was able to take the tree home, on the condition that he plant it and send pictures to the bands website every few years. This whole segment was fun and quirky, but probably would have received a more harsh reaction had McCrea not apologize for the lack of music beforehand.The rest of the set was full of Cake classics like ‘Never There’, and with the sun down provided a more appropriate backdrop for a rock concert. The encore, appropriately, were the band’s two biggest hits in ‘The Distance’ and ‘Short Skirt, Long Jacket’, giving the crowd one more chance to jump around before hitting the exits.For most bands pushing two decades of existence, an evolution is natural and necessary. Some bands are unrecognizable twenty years later, with new members, new instruments, and new sound. Cake has managed to balance staying fresh without ever losing that signature sound that makes them so recognizable and loved. If you liked Cake then, you’ll love Cake now.– Justin Charleslast_img read more

Moby’s New Album Innocents to Ft. Wayne Coyne, Cold Specks, Mark Lanegan and More

first_imgMoby is one of the most innovative and individual forces in electronic and popular music today. He has sold over 20 million albums, headlined Glastonbury, and is back with arguably one of the best albums of his career, Innocents, available October 1st via Mute.Moby chose to make this record with a stellar cast. For the first time in his career he worked with an outside producer, friend Mark “Spike” Stent, whose resumé includes Madonna, U2, Muse, Björk, and Massive Attack. The list of eminent collaborators on Innocents includes Wayne Coyne (The Flaming Lips), alt-rock legend Mark Lanegan, Cold Specks, Skylar Grey – best known for co-writing and performing on Eminem and Rihanna’s “Love The Way You Lie”; indie-folk singer Damien Jurado, and Inyang Bassey who was the vocalist on “The Right Thing” from Destroyed. He has named them The Innocents.“I spend most of my time alone in my studio, so for Innocents it seemed like a really nice idea to involve other people in the making of the record. Working with all of these collaborators has helped me to make a record that I’m very proud of, and working this way also gave me some semblance of a social life…”-MobyThe Innocents became the inspirational motif for the album, embracing human vulnerability and the desire for human connection, while celebrating imperfection in a world that too often esteems unrealistic and artificial perfection.The thematic vulnerability is also reflected in the production, “Spike” Stent is known for big productions, but given the nature of the songs on Innocents he and Moby committed to a much more analog and lo-fi production approach. To this end they almost exclusively used old (and usually broken..) equipment in the making of the record.Much of Innocents recalls early Moby in the best way. Moby has been retrofitting antiquated styles and archaic sounds to the electronic age since “Natural Blues” – one of many enduring hits off of his 1999, twelve-million-plus selling international smash album Play.The epic, emotional and melodic nature of this album reminds us of Moby’s musical ingenuity and singles him out as one of music’s most creative forces.The first song to be released from the album is the Cold Specks collaboration “A Case For Shame” available from iTunes now.The video for “A Case For Shame” was directed by Moby, and shot at his home, starring the innocents on the album artwork.“The video is about dying and going to a realm populated by the recently deceased. At first glance the recently deceased seem frightening and odd, as they’re wearing conventionally strange and scary masks. But then you realize that the recently deceased aren’t trying to be scary, they’re wearing the masks because they’re ashamed.”The entire concert tour for Innocents will consist of three, and only three, shows in Los Angeles, most likely at a theatre within walking distance from Moby’s home.Details to be announced.Track-listing:1. Everything That Rises2. A Case For Shame (with Cold Specks)3. Almost Home (with Damien Jurado)4. Going Wrong5. The Perfect Life (with Wayne Coyne)6. The Last Day (with Skylar Grey)7. Don’t Love Me (with Inyang Bassey)8. A Long Time9. Saints10. Tell Me (with Cold Specks)11. The Lonely Night (with Mark Lanegan)12. The Dogslast_img read more

Crystal Castles Claims Former Partner Wasn’t Responsible For Their Success; Debuts New Tune

first_imgCrystal Castles have debuted their first song since one half of the duo, lead singer Alice Glass, announced she was quitting the band last year. The new vocalist is someone named Edith, according to Crystal Castles’ Facebook page.Remaining member Ethan Kath released a snide statement against his former partner, which has since been edited.Kath initially wrote, “I wish my former vocalist the best of luck in her future endeavors. I think it can be empowering for her to be in charge of her own project. It should be rewarding for her considering she didn’t appear on Crystal Castles’ best known songs, (she’s not on ‘Untrust Us’. ‘Not In Love’, ‘Vanished’, ‘Crimewave’, ‘Vietnam’, ‘Magic Spells’, ‘Knights’, ‘Air War’, ‘Leni’, ‘Lovers Who Uncover’, ‘Violent Youth’, ‘Reckless’, ‘Year of Silence’, ‘Intimate’, ‘1991’, ‘Good Time’, ‘Violent Dreams’ etc.). People often gave her credit for my lyrics and that was fine, I didn’t care.”His post has since been edited to read: “I wish my former vocalist the best of luck in her future endeavors. I think it can be empowering for her to be in charge of her own project. It should be rewarding for her.”Listen to the new track, “Frail,” here.last_img read more

Primus Transformed NOLA’s Oldest Theatre Into A Chocolate Factory In True Wonka Fashion!

first_imgFor the last several months, they’ve taken their love of irreverence, costumes and video shenanigans to a new height, with an album and a tour based on the songs from the 1971 film Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory. Their stage show has taken on the look of the factory floor, as seen in the film, with giant candy mushrooms and lollipops adorning the drum risers and backdrops, cavorting “Ooompa Loompas” and a special “Fungi Ensemble” featuring percussionist Mike Dillon and saxophonist Skerik this night. The band couldn’t have chosen a better time to bring their phenomenal road show to the Crescent City than Jazz Fest, and getting to put their craziness on at the oldest theater in the city was a perfect blend of the past and present, traditional and post modern. Sadly, all things must end, but before they let us out of their musical clutches, Primus gave us a three song encore, highlighted by a droning and menacing “Here Come The Bastards” before finally ending the night with a truly epic rendition of “Southbound Pachydrm,” complete with crazed solos from Skerik and Dillon, and the songs trademark mixture of explosiveness and menace.  With over fifty shows going on all around the city at the same time, it was nice to know that there was at least one concert where crowd surfing, moshing and feverish head banging was inspired…even if Primus does, in fact still suck. At least they’re still working on it though… Avant-garde band Primus has existed in some form or another for over thirty years, and according to their fans they still suck, though that didn’t seem to deter them from loving every minute of their show at New Orleans historic Civic Theatre. Their sound is nigh unclassifiable, led by the percussive bass playing and oddball vocal style of Les Claypool, with a shrieking, guitar shredding style that Larry “Ler” LaLalonde uses to cut through the rhythm section’s intensity, underscored by the pulsing madness of Tim Alexander. Mixing humor into music is a difficult task, but with songs about the effects of soda on the nations health, the proliferation of puppies and, of course, creating the theme song to South Park, Primus has shown themselves to be the kings of their own genre of comedy metal.center_img The band opened the evening with a set of their material, to thunderous applause from their faithful. Without fail, the “Primus Sucks” chant went up, bringing a smile to Claypool’s face. He took a quick survey of the crowd to test his theory that most of the crowd was from out of town, and seemed pleasantly surprised to find that a majority were, indeed, locals. Citing the sheer number of awesome shows the attendees had to choose from, he offered that everyone stay for the next song, then go ahead and leave so that they could get to another, presumably less sucky show, before launching into “Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver,” a fan favorite. After an hour and fifteen some odd minutes the curtain dropped and a costume change brought them back out, day glo attire and all for their reworking of the movies tunes. From “I’ve Got A Golden Ticket,” to the various “Oompa Loompa” judgment pieces, the band made a soundtrack that would have blown the minds of the film’s original audience. Mike Dillon’s flamboyant and amazing xylophone solos added a punchiness to Primus’s sound, while Skerik’s smokey notes and passionate peels teased what a wonderful orchestra could be made with the pieces assembled.last_img read more

Anastasio and Weir Detail Practice Sessions Leading To Grateful Dead Reunion

first_imgThe practice sessions between Bob Weir and Trey Anastasio have been discussed in past interviews, but as the “Fare Thee Well” dates draw ever nearer, more details about their rehearsals have come to light. The duo recently got together in New York City, comprising their fourth such meeting, and told The New Yorker all about it.Bob Weir Discusses Grateful Dead Reunion Rehearsals With Trey Anastasio Weir talked about the shows, and how they’re beginning to shape up. Speaking about the interplay between him and any lead guitarist, Anastasio, Garcia, or otherwise, Weir said, “We’re going to take as many tunes for a stroll as we can… I know basically what I’m up to, but whatever I’m playing is going to be subtly altered by what Trey plays. If Jerry was developing a solo, I could intuit where he was headed, and as long as I played coy and like I didn’t really get what he was getting at, then, when he arrived at that place, I could be there with a strong leading tone that would necessarily take where he was going somewhere else. Most often, it delighted him. Sometimes it enraged him.”The two mentioned that they hired Jeff Tanski, “a wunderkind of the Broadway world,” to map out sheet music for a number of the Dead’s songs in preparation. Anastasio believes he needs the extra practice, because he doesn’t want to be the one holding the group back.“I’m doing this because I don’t want to be the problem. Bob and I joked that the first song I sing ought to be ‘Dire Wolf,’ which has the chorus ‘Don’t murder me.’”Weir also gave some insight into his interpretations of the Dead’s music, saying, “We all inhabited the stories. If we weren’t singing, then we were telling the story with our hands. If I was singing, then I wasn’t even there. I stepped out of my body and let the character own it. There’s a lot of playing being done, but it was the drama of the event, the parade of characters that came out and told their stories, that held people’s attention.”Weir and Anastasio will join up with Phil Lesh, Bill Kreutzmann, Mickey Hart, Jeff Chimenti, and Bruce Hornsby for five shows, two at Levis Stadium in Santa Clara, CA (June 27-28) and three at Soldier Field in Chicago, IL (July 3-5).[Via The New Yorker]last_img read more

Watch The Disco Biscuits’ Final Set From Camp Bisco

first_imgCamp Bisco was jam-packed with Disco Biscuits performances, and, now, it seems the band is eager to share the love. The jamtronica outfit posted their first full set from the festival, set three from the final night of Bisco!Top 20 Photos From Camp Bisco 2015Starting off with a fiery “Mindless Dribble”, the set flows continuously for an hour and a half of straight Biscuits lovin’ and even includes an LCD Soundsystem cover. Check out the footage, completel with soundboard audio, below:The Biscuits have promised more full sets from Bisco, so stay tuned as we continue to share their music. Don’t miss the group in Chicago this weekend, playing at the North Coast Music Festival and again at the Concord Music Hall this Saturday for a late-night throwdown. More info here.Setlist: The Disco Biscuits at Camp Bisco, Montage Mountain, PA – 7/18/15Set III: Mindless Dribble– Spacebirdmatingcall– Crickets– Cyclone– Crickets– Home (LCD Soundsystem)– Spacebirdmatingcall[Photo via Dave Vann]last_img read more

Bust-Outs, Big Jams, And All-Original moe. Music Highlights Two-Night Boston Run

first_imgLoad remaining images moe. brought their 25th anniversary tour out to Boston last weekend for a two-night stand at the House of Blues venue. The place was electric as moe. fired hits from their expansive career, bookending the first night with “Rebubula” and mixing in all sorts of hits like “Happy Hour Hero”, “Time Ed”, “Billy Goat” and more throughout the two nights of music.In-Depth Jimterview With moe. Percussionist Jim LoughlinThe first night also included a set-closing bust out of “In A Big Country”, which made its first setlist appearance since 2013. Check out the setlists, and full gallery coverage by Dave DeCrescente, below:Setlist: moe. at the House of Blues, Boston, MA – 10/9/15Set I: Rebubula > Rise, Faker > Bullet, Happy Hour Hero, Do Or Die > In A Big Country#Set II: She > Waiting For The Punchline, Big World > Ricky Marten > Time Ed > RebubulaEnc: Spine Of A Dog{# LTP > 5/25/13}Setlist: moe. at the House of Blues, Boston, MA – 10/10/15Set I: Lazarus > George, Tailspin, Bearsong >(nh) Water > Dr. GraffenbergSet II: Haze > Wicked Awesome, Shoot First > Billy Goat, Okayalright, Plane CrashEnc: Akimbo Full gallery, courtesy of Dave DeCrescente, below:last_img read more

Watch STS9’s Full Show From The National In Richmond

first_imgAs a rule of thumb, Sunday shows are not to be missed. This has been proven time and time over again. STS9 kept on with that theme Sunday, November 8th when they blazed through The National in Richmond, VA on their Fall Tour. Set one included all kinds of goodness with versions of “Four Year Puma,” “Gobnugget,” and a combo of “Frequencies Peace DnB > Frequencies Peace 2 > 3,” while the second stanza featured hard-hitters like “ReEmergence,” “Inspire Strikes Back,” and “Moon Socket.”Dominican Holidaze Releases Schedule, Options For Activities And ExcursionsTake a look at the complete set list and video below:Setlist: STS9 at The National, Richmond, VA – 11/8/15Set One: Scheme Reprise, Four Year Puma > Gobnugget, By The Morning Sun > Kaya, Kabuki, Frequencies Peace DnB > Frequencies Peace 2 > 3, Click Lang EchoSet Two: Forest Hu > Really What?, Vibyl, ReEmergence, Inspire Strikes Back, Luma Daylight, New Dawn New Day, Tap-In, Moon Socket Encore: Be Nicelast_img read more

Program on U.S.-Japan Relations announces 16 program associates, fellows

first_imgThe Program on U.S.-Japan Relations has announced this year’s class of program associates, which includes scholars, professors, government officials, businesspeople, and journalists from Japan, the United States, and elsewhere. While at Harvard, the associates will conduct independent research that will be presented publicly as part of the program’s Tuesday seminar series, and will complete a paper that will be published as part of the program’s “Occasional Papers” series. The 2007-08 class of Program on U.S.-Japan Relations associates and advanced research fellows are as follows:Arichika Eguchi, National Police Agency (NPA): After earning an A.B. in law from the University of Tokyo, Eguchi entered Japan’s NPA. There, he has served as the deputy director of the 2nd Organized Crime Division in Tokyo and the deputy director of the International Affairs Division in the commissioner-general’s secretariat. Most recently, Eguchi held the position of deputy counselor for national security and crisis management in the secretariat of the Cabinet. While at Harvard, Eguchi will examine the causes of and countermeasures against extremist and terrorist movements.Eiichiro Fujii, Tokyo Gas Company: Fujii earned his A.B. in sociology from Meiji Gakuin University before joining the Tokyo Gas Company. His first assignment at Tokyo Gas was in the sales and marketing section of the air-conditioning and commercial consumer development and service department. Most recently, he worked in the regional marketing division, where he served as the assistant manager and manager. At Harvard, Fujii will conduct research on “Corporate Alliances and Firm Restructuring in the Energy Industry.”Sayuri Inoue, World Bank: Inuoe earned her B.A. in British studies from the University of Tokyo and an M.P. P. from the Kennedy School of Government, where she focused on the study of international development. In the Japanese government, she has served as an auditor in the Ministry of Construction and Housing Audit Division in the Japanese National Board of Audit. Most recently, she has been the senior operations officer of the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency at the World Bank. At Harvard, Inoue will examine the lessons developing economies can learn from corporate governance and ethics in the United States and Japan.Kozo Ishimura, Ministry of Finance: Ishimura earned an A.B. in economics and political science from Waseda University, an M.S. in public policy from the University of London, and a master’s of philosophy degree in development studies from the University of Cambridge. At the Ministry of Finance, he has served as director of the Economic Research Division, and most recently, as director of the Credit Cooperative Supervision Division in the Kanto District Finance Bureau. At Harvard, he will investigate the impact of the Basel II Accord on U.S. and Japanese financial systems.Naoki Kobayashi, Tokyo Electric Power Company: After earning his B.S. in electrical engineering from Waseda University, Kobayashi joined the power company where he worked as an engineer in the distribution network operations group. Most recently, he served in the distribution engineering group in the power network division. Kobayashi has written on topics related to energy and electricity. At Harvard, he will compare American and Japanese electric power companies’ strategies for coping with global harmonization of technical standards.Taro Koyano, Yomiuri Shimbun: After earning his A.B. in economics from Keio University, Koyano joined the Yomiuri Shimbun. His first assignment for the paper was in the Tohoku branch in Sendai from where he reported on city news and local government. He then moved to the economic news department, where he wrote a number of articles related to the Tokyo Stock Exchange and the electric equipment industry. At Harvard, he will examine the latest trends in private equity funds in the United States, and compare mergers and acquisitions in the United States and Japan.Mark Manger, McGill University: Manger earned his M.Sc. in political science from the University of Hamburg and his Ph.D. in political science from the University of British Columbia. He is currently an assistant professor of political science at McGill University. His research interests focus on international political economy, international relations of East Asia, and Japanese political economy. While at Harvard, Manger plans to complete his book manuscript titled “Competitive Liberalization: North-South Free Trade Areas Around the Pacific Rim.”Sherry Martin, Cornell University: Martin earned her A.B. in politics from Princeton University and her Ph.D. in political science from the University of Michigan. She is currently an assistant professor in the Department of Government and the Program in Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Cornell University. At Harvard, Martin plans to complete her book manuscript, “Engendering Strategic Voting: Women Voters in Contemporary Japan.”Ichiro Motozawa, Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK): Motozawa earned his A.B. in French language and literature from the University of Tokyo. He has been a nationwide news presenter on NHK’s broadcast satellite service, where he presented 15-minute morning news programs four times per day. Among the major news he has reported include the Great Hanshin earthquake, North Korea’s abduction of Japanese citizens, and U.S.-Japan trade disputes. While at Harvard, he will examine the role of public broadcasting organizations in postindustrial democracies, and analyze the contemporary developments in NHK, PBS, and BBC. Reiko Nakamura, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS): Nakamura earned her LL.B. from the University of Tokyo, an M.P.P. from the Kennedy School of Government, and a Ph.D. in business economics from Columbia University. Since 1991 she has served as associate professor and, most recently, as professor at Japan’s GRIPS. While at Harvard, Nakamura will examine the regional market-based approach for controlling greenhouse gas emissions in the United States and its implications for regional policy cooperation in the Asia-Pacific Region. Shigeki Ohnuki, Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI): Ohnuki earned his A.B. in policy management from Keio University. Prior to joining METI, he ran an IT company called Asian Information Plaza. At METI, he has served as deputy director of the policy planning and coordination division of the minister’s secretariat, and most recently as deputy director of the finance division in the small and medium enterprise agency. At Harvard, he will examine financial policy toward small and medium enterprises in Japan and the United States.Tomoko Okagaki, National Institute for Defense Studies (NIDS): Okagaki earned an LL.B. in international legal studies and an M.A. in international studies from Sophia University, an M.A. in political science from the University of British Columbia, and a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Michigan. She has been a senior research fellow at Japan’s NIDS since 1997, and has also taught at Meiji University. At Harvard, she will investigate the changing sources of stability in the U.S.-Japan alliance.Kazuhisa Oki, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries (MAFF): After earning his A.B. in law from the University of Tokyo, Oki joined MAFF. As a deputy director at the environment agency and MAFF, he has been engaged in lawmaking related to waste management, fisheries management, and farmland regulations. Most recently, Oki was deputy director, National Land Survey Division of the Land and Water Bureau, at the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MLIT). At Harvard, he will analyze the effects of U.S. agricultural and trade policies on Japan.Mizue Oyama, Japan Business Federation (Nippon Keidanren): After earning her A.B. and M.A. in economics from Keio University, Oyama joined Nippon Keidanren. She has served in the social affairs and economic policy bureaus, and has been an author or co-author of numerous papers and proposals relating to Japan’s anti-monopoly law, corporate governance, consumer legislation, and human resource training. At Harvard, Oyama will compare economic policymaking processes in Japan and the United States.Mikio Sugisaki, Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation (MUTB): After earning his B.S. in engineering from Tokyo Institute of Technology, Sugisaki joined Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and MUTB where he began in the pension fund management division. Most recently, he has served as a senior manager, MUTB’s Investment Research and Planning Division, and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group’s (MUFG) asset management and administration planning division. At Harvard, he will investigate changes in the American asset management business and its implications for Japan’s financial markets.Keizo Takemi, Tokai University, and former member, House of Councillors: Takemi received his undergraduate and graduate law degrees from Keio University and has been a visiting scholar at Harvard’s Fairbank Center for East Asian Research. As a two-term member of the House of Councillors (Liberal Democratic Party, 1995-2007), he has served in the Japanese Cabinet as senior vice-minister of health, labor, and welfare, and state secretary for foreign affairs. At the House of Councillors, he has been chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defense, executive member for the Committee on Health, Welfare, and Labor, and executive member for the Research Commission on the Constitution. In 2006, he played a leading role in restructuring Japanese Official Development Assistance (ODA) and integrating Japan’s aid implementation functions (technical assistance, grant aid, and yen loan) into the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in 2008. At Harvard (he is also affiliated with the Harvard School of Public Health), his research will focus on Official Development Assistance, human security, and health systems reform.last_img read more

Craig Hugh Smyth

first_imgAt a Meeting of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences May 6, 2008, the following Minute was placed upon the records.Craig Hugh Smyth, scholar, connoisseur of art and jazz, teacher, promoter of the study and practice of art conservation and inspired administrator, died at the age of 91 on December 22, 2006. On the fifth of June of 1945, Navy Lieutenant Smyth, then 29, and on leave from his graduate studies in the history of art at Princeton, arrived in Munich with orders to establish a collection-point to house works of art that had been stolen by the Nazis or hidden by their proprietors for safety, and to arrange for their protection and return to their rightful venues. Munich was in ruins; the only structures sufficiently stable and weatherproof were two huge former Nazi party headquarters on the Königsplatz, which he promptly commandeered on orders from General Eisenhower. But there were problems: first, General Patton of the Third Army was intending to billet there with his staff. Craig’s distinguished career of persuasion and diplomacy began at that moment, when he convinced the deputy of the fiery warrior to relinquish his claim; it turned out that Patton was actually a lot more civilized than his reputation implied. The buildings had to be weatherproofed rapidly and security established. Soon after, Craig successfully resisted an order from Washington to ship the art collected there back to the United States. He was aided in the innumerable administrative and policy decisions by two principals of the Fogg Museum, Associate Director Paul Sachs, to whom the Army turned for advice on finding qualified art historians, and George Stout, the Head of the Conservation Department, who had foreseen the necessity for the repatriation of art at the beginning of the War.In 1950, Craig was appointed assistant professor and a year later director at the Institute of Fine Arts of New York University, which was for many years the preeminent graduate department of the history of art. He oversaw the redesign of and transition to the mansion donated to the university in 1957 by Doris Duke on 78th Street & 5th Avenue. He established there the first degree-granting center for the study and practice of art conservation in the country. Before his appointment as director of I Tatti, he persuaded Harold Acton to donate his Florentine villa, close to I Tatti, to New York University with a plan to use it as a research center for Institute graduate students.When he arrived at I Tatti as director in 1973, the Harvard Center for Italian Renaissance Studies, originally willed to Harvard by the art historian Bernard Berenson, was a little over a decade old, and had gained a respected scholarly reputation during the tenure of Craig’s predecessor, Harvard historian Myron Gilmore. But the finances were so shaky that the university administration wondered whether the Center would survive. Craig eventually tripled the endowment. He made influential friends, established the I Tatti Council, and helped the Center to meet a challenge grant from the Mellon Foundation, which, over time, was to become its principal institutional supporter. Under his directorship, Lila Acheson Wallace made a large grant toward the upkeep of the garden and grounds that now is the largest single component of the endowment. He initiated the series I Tatti Studies: Essays in the Renaissance, and convinced Gabriele Geier to transform a rustic farmhouse into a library in memory of her husband Paul. Craig brought about the transfer of I Tatti’s tenant farmers from the burden of labor on the medieval mezzadria contract—requiring rendering half of their production to the Center—to employees with suitable benefits, and increased the availability of housing for the fellows. His success as a mentor of the scholarly community and support of the large staff was greatly enhanced by Barbara, his wife of 65 years. His responsibilities, however, prevented him from taking advantage of Derek Bok’s expectation that he would teach at Harvard in alternate semesters.Princeton mentor Rensselaer Lee observed that “with the passage of time, and again in large measure under Craig’s wise and powerful direction, I Tatti had grown into an archetype of what a humane association of research scholars turned loose upon their books and upon each other should be, and what it should pursue.”Smyth’s Princeton dissertation on Bronzino (1955) established a reliable catalogue raisonné and rediscovered one of the most outstanding draughtsman of the Florentine Renaissance. This monograph was followed by a general re-assessment of the historiographical and methodological problems provided by the term “Mannerism”. In his book on “Manner and Maniera” (1963), Smyth created one of the most thought-provoking and influential—though astonishingly small—texts on the Italian Renaissance. Smyth confronted the terminology of ‘maniera’ in the Cinquecento with a set of lucid formal observations, a strategy that became a model for many subsequent publications. In the last part of this book, he rejected the cliché of Cinquecento “anti-classicism” and linked its apparent idiosyncrasies, instead, to major features of antique sculpture.It was probably Craig’s interest in Mannerism that led him, starting in the late ‘sixties, to a collaboration with the architectural historian Henry Millon on the publication of a group of meticulous documentary investigations of Michelangelo’s studies for the Basilica of St. Peter and related late works.On Craig’s retirement from I Tatti, he was appointed Kress Professor at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery in Washington for the academic year 1987–88, and used the National Archives to prepare a book on the history of the rescue and protection of works of art and archives during the Second World War, and another on the early history of the discipline of art history in America.In all of his administrative roles, Craig shunned center stage but displayed a quiet commanding presence coupled with a decisiveness that held institutions together and let creative individuals interact productively. Students at the New York Institute and Fellows at I Tatti recall how his administrative responsibilities never interfered with his warm concern for the progress of their work and the tenor of their lives.Respectfully submitted,Joseph ConnorsFrank FehrenbachAlina PayneJames Ackerman, Chairlast_img read more