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    The Man Who Made Roulette Into New York’s Music Lab

    Jim Staley has led the experimental venue since it began as a concert in his TriBeCa loft. After 45 years, he’s stepping down and looking back.Saturated in sunlight on a recent afternoon, the spacious TriBeCa loft that once housed Roulette somehow feels smaller than it looms in memory. For nearly 25 years, a stellar array of established and emerging composers, improvisers, electronic producers and choreographers held court in the long, tall main room. Visitors had to pass through a kitchen: a reminder that the loft was also the home of Jim Staley, the trombonist and composer who was a founder of Roulette.Unlike many similar experimental arts venues now lost to time, Roulette has thrived and grown, now occupying a 14,000-square-foot space in Downtown Brooklyn. But Staley, 73, who still lives in the TriBeCa loft, has decided that after 45 years of leading Roulette, the time has come to step away. When this season ends in June, he will give up his role as artistic director.It’s another evolution for a vital institution that has seen many. Roulette was established in Chicago in 1978 as a way for five recent University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign graduates, including Staley, to produce their own work. But the collaborative changed course after Staley, a well-traveled Army veteran, moved to New York.Joined by two other Roulette founders, the graphic artist Laurie Szujewska and the composer David Weinstein, Staley hosted a modest five-concert series at his loft in 1980. After that, “We got a lot of proposals,” Staley said. “And we just decided, let’s do ’em all. We ended up doing about 30 concerts in the fall.”Pursuing an aesthetic guided as much by John Coltrane as by John Cage, Roulette became a crucial laboratory for the downtown-music scene, providing artists like John Zorn, Shelley Hirsch, George Lewis, Ikue Mori and many more with space, resources and recorded documentation of their work. Those artists still perform at Roulette, forming an enduring community with newer generations whose development they helped to nurture.Zeena Parkins, the estimable harpist and composer, recalled starting there as a fledgling sound engineer in 1986, soaking up all the sounds on offer.We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    The Techno Pioneer Jeff Mills Blazes a Trail to Space, and Beyond

    At 60, the D.J. and producer is inspiring fresh generations with new work, including an LP that approximates the experience of traveling through a black hole.During a recent performance by Tomorrow Comes the Harvest that had some attendees dancing in the aisles at BAM’s Howard Gilman Opera House, a thrilling rhythmic conversation began between the percussionist Sundiata O.M., who was playing African talking drums, and the Detroit techno pioneer Jeff Mills, who tapped out beats on a Roland TR-909 drum machine. Over a 90-minute set, the musicians boldly blended techno, jazz and modern classical, embodying the Art Ensemble of Chicago’s famous credo “Great Black Music, Ancient to the Future.”Tomorrow Comes the Harvest began in 2018 as a collaboration between Mills and the Afrobeat originator Tony Allen, Fela’s longtime drummer. Despite their stylistic differences, they created a sonic language — based around total improvisation, not typically a techno hallmark — that Mills found so fruitful, he wanted to continue it even after Allen’s 2020 death. “My hope,” Mills said, during an interview backstage, “is that Tomorrow Comes the Harvest becomes an approach to play music — not always the same sound, but the idea of figuring it out while playing.”Mills has blazed a singular trail over the past four decades: from his 1980s roots as the Detroit nightclub and FM radio D.J. the Wizard to his early 1990s period with the politically conscious Motor City techno collective Underground Resistance to his solo work helping define the sleek, stripped-down minimal techno genre. While always known as a dazzling D.J., Mills has continually expanded his horizons beyond the booth, including on high-concept album projects that began with “Discovers the Rings of Saturn” from the group X-102 in 1992, up through his new LP, “The Trip — Enter the Black Hole,” released last week on vinyl via his own Axis label.Mills lifted Tomorrow Comes the Harvest’s name from a phrase coined by the science fiction author Octavia Butler, who was describing the potential power of seeds, properly sown, to influence the future. The metaphor seems apt for Mills’s entire career, which has inspired generations of electronic musicians, like Mali Mase, a 25-year-old D.J. and producer who releases music as Sweater on Polo.“To me, Jeff Mills is someone who exhibits mastery, not only in techno, but all forms of expressions he explores,” said Mase, who spun a set dedicated to Mills during the 2023 edition of Dweller, a Black-centered annual techno festival in New York. “It would be so simple for him to sit back and bask in the spectacle of his own greatness. Instead, he challenges the forms established, reinvents, and still beats it sicker than anyone on a drum machine.”Mills said he hopes that Tomorrow Comes the Harvest “becomes an approach to play music — not always the same sound, but the idea of figuring it out while playing.”Edwina HayWe are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    Luke Newton Steps Cautiously Into the ‘Bridgerton’ Spotlight

    Luke Newton has been in the sexy Netflix hit from the start. But a new series, premiering Thursday, will be his first as co-lead — or chief hunk.Luke Newton is yet to experience what it means to be a “Bridgerton” leading man, but he has been trying to prepare himself.He has played Colin Bridgerton on the ornate, sexually charged Netflix show for two seasons, but for the third — which premieres on Thursday — Newton is following in the footsteps of Regé-Jean Page and Jonathan Bailey and stepping into the role of a co-lead — or chief hunk.“I feel slightly overwhelmed,” Newton, 31, said in a recent interview, adding that he was only just starting to appreciate the responsibilities of being a “Bridgerton” lead, rather than a co-star.After watching both Page and Bailey navigate successful seasons and, later, careers in Hollywood, Newton asked both actors for advice. Page just suggested he take a vacation as soon as the season wrapped, Newton said, but Bailey — who continues to play Anthony, Colin’s older brother, in Season 3 — was around to support him throughout. “Whatever stress there was, whatever situation, I could just call him,” Newton said.After the last season aired, Bailey’s status — both as a celebrity and a sex symbol — skyrocketed, leading to an “extraordinary change” in his life, Bailey said. But he wasn’t worried about how his co-star would handle the same shift: He said Newton could deal with the “absurd” nature of a sudden rush of fame.“Bridgerton,” which is based on a series of novels by the author Julia Quinn, follows eight siblings as they pine for love and reckon with relationships in early-19th-century London. The show, produced by Shonda Rhimes, has been praised both for its inclusive casting and raw approach to intimacy onscreen.We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    Emcee Squared: Joel Grey and Eddie Redmayne on ‘Cabaret’

    Eddie Redmayne had never seen “Cabaret” when, as a 15-year-old student at Eton, he was first cast as the Emcee, the indecorous impresario of the bawdy Berlin nightclub where the musical is set. So Redmayne did what anyone wondering about the character would do: He watched the 1972 film, and studied Joel Grey’s performance.Redmayne, 42, has played the Emcee three more times — at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe following high school; in London’s West End, winning an Olivier Award in 2022; and now on Broadway, where he has just picked up a Tony nomination.“Cabaret,” set in 1929 and 1930, is about an American writer who has a relationship with a British singer working at the Kit Kat Club; the queerness of some of that nightclub’s habitués and the Jewishness of some of its neighbors become risk factors as the Nazis gain power.Redmayne had never met Grey, who originated the role on Broadway in 1966 and who went on to win both Tony and Academy Awards as the Emcee. So I asked them to lunch, to talk about a character both have played several times, and about a musical that has continued to move audiences.We met at Le Bernardin — Grey’s choice — and for two hours they shared stories, Redmayne reverential and thoughtful, Grey puckish and supportive. At times, when words seemed insufficient, Grey reached out to clasp Redmayne’s hand.Joel Grey won a Tony Award in 1967 for playing the Emcee in the original Broadway production of “Cabaret.”Bettmann/Getty ImagesWe are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    Carlos Niño, the Spiritual Force Behind L.A.’s Eclectic Music Scene

    During concerts, Carlos Niño may set up a bass drum and a floor tom, but his percussion is far from conventional. Uninterested in maintaining a steady beat, he creates shimmering atmospheres and earthen textures with the many bells, shells, rain sticks or rattles he totes in a big black roller bag. He surrounds himself with cymbals and gongs. He shakes desiccated palm fronds. Wind chimes are involved.A fixture in the Los Angeles music world for nearly 30 years, Niño has become a key practitioner of what he calls “spiritual, improvisational, space collage music.” (The genre it’s probably most related to is spiritual jazz.) He’s a beacon of energy and knowledge who can get in touch with the city’s transformative saxophonists and give you the name of a master acupuncturist. He’s also prolific, with seven releases from various projects arriving over the past eight months alone. His latest, “Placenta,” is due on May 24.On a recent afternoon at Endless Color, a cafe and record store near Niño’s home in Topanga Canyon, Calif., he was effusive and enthusiastic, recommending both menu items and vinyl. A multicolored knit cap sat atop his wavy brown hair. Wisps of gray ran through the bushy beard radiating from his face.Niño began recording music when he was a teenager. Over the decades, as he became more confident in himself as a musician and performer, his circle of collaborators expanded.Adali Schell for The New York TimesAlong with being an instrumentalist and a producer, Niño, 47, has been a beatmaker, a D.J. on both terrestrial and online radio, a record collector and a venue programmer. But most of all, he is a listener. “There’s a lot of times where there’s literally no music playing in my life, but I still feel the current of sound,” he said. “I’m in the stream, essentially. I’m not really ever not in the stream, which is kind of awesome.”Nate Mercereau, a guitarist who has become one of Niño’s frequent collaborators, said listening is a crucial part of their dynamic, but it’s far from a passive experience. “It’s listening to yourself and letting that be part of the communication,” he said. “It’s not just a receiving thing, it’s like waves within waves towards each other and within.”We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    ‘The Bachelor’ Promises True Love. So Why Does It Rarely Work Out?

    Of the 40 combined seasons of “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette,” only eight couples have stayed together. We spoke to former contestants and leads about roadblocks to a happy ending.The season premiere of any installment in “The Bachelor” franchise always starts the same: with the host talking directly to camera about the lead’s almost-certain path to finding lasting love. Unlike other popular reality dating shows, the franchise markets itself as a genuine chance to find love without any other incentives like cash prizes.But it’s actually not all that probable: Of the 40 combined seasons of “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelorette,” only eight couples have stayed together — not great betting odds.Morale in the franchise was low going into 2023, with no recently minted couples still together, until ABC announced a hopeful new twist. “The Golden Bachelor” pledged to aid then-72 year-old Gerry Turner make the most of a second chance at love following the death of his wife. At season’s end, he proposed to Theresa Nist in a teary finale. In January their wedding was televised on ABC. By April, they’d announced plans to divorce.That breakup felt like the last straw in believing this franchise could foster lasting love, so to look into why “The Bachelor” rarely makes good on its premise, we spoke to the former Bachelorettes Kaitlyn Bristowe and Tayshia Adams, as well as the former contestants Tyler Cameron and Melissa Rycroft about the flaws that doom the reality franchises’ lovebirds.“When you’re in that ‘Bachelor’ bubble, all you do is focus on and be brainwashed toward that person,” said Tyler Cameron, the runner-up on Hannah Brown’s “Bachelorette” season.Mark Bourdillon/ABC, via Getty ImagesThe main prize might not be the catch you thought.Many love-related reality television shows that are on the air today — think “Love Island,” “Are You the One?” or even “Bachelor in Paradise” — allow for participants to intermingle in environments specifically designed to mimic some version of real life.We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    Sarah Paulson Dares to Play the People You Love to Hate

    Sarah Paulson still doesn’t fully understand why fans call her “mother.”At first, when she started seeing the word used online to describe her, she was bewildered and a bit irritated. She was in her 40s and childless. Did these people really think she looked like their mother?Once she began to understand it as an age-neutral compliment — a term Gen Z likes to use for famous women they adore — she leaned into the meme, appearing on “Saturday Night Live” last year, alongside Pedro Pascal, in a sketch in which he was “father” and she “mother” to a group of enamored high schoolers.“How did this happen to us?” Paulson wondered about her and Pascal, a longtime friend. “We were two 18-year-old kids who used to go to Sheep Meadow and smoke pot and go see Peter Weir movies. How did we become the mother and father of children on the internet?”For Paulson, the answer is a 30-year career that has wound its way from television bit parts to meaty lead roles as fraught real-life people. It is animated by an eclectic cast of characters orchestrated by the television producer Ryan Murphy, including conjoined twins, a Craigslist psychic, a ghost with a past as a heroin addict, an evil nurse and two of the most ridiculed and obsessed-over women of the 1990s.Paulson has long dared to play characters that viewers are liable to dislike — or downright loathe — and the role that has led to her first Tony nomination is one of her most provocative yet.In Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’s family drama “Appropriate,” her character is often the one audience members are rooting against: a sharp-tongued elder sister who lashes out against mounting suspicions that her recently deceased father harbored racist convictions.We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More

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    Arooj Aftab Knows You Love Her Sad Music. But She’s Ready for More.

    The genre-crossing songwriter’s introspective “Vulture Prince” was a pandemic hit. Now she is returning with “Night Reign,” an LP that reveals her many dimensions.In a remote studio in North Brooklyn, the actress Tessa Thompson stood behind a camera and instructed a young model how to project a precise but elusive expression of longing: “Almost like you can’t help it,” she suggested from beneath a black beret. Thompson was making her debut behind the camera, directing a music video by the Pakistani composer and vocalist Arooj Aftab.“This is a dream come true,” Thompson said between takes on an afternoon in March. “A dream I didn’t know I had.”The clip was for Aftab’s latest song, the dusky “Raat Ki Rani,” from her fourth solo album, “Night Reign,” due May 31. Drawing inspiration from Ingmar Bergman’s 1966 thriller, “Persona,” the treatment weaves an imagistic love story between two women into a trippy meta-narrative that takes place on the set of a perfume commercial. Accordingly, the room was filled with fragrant bouquets as Aftab, 39, observed quietly from the sidelines.If you didn’t know she was the star of the show — not to mention, the beautiful, Auto-Tuned voice pouring from the speakers all day — you might have assumed she was one of the crew members assessing the scenery, keeping the mood light, checking if anyone needed bottled water. As the team reset for a complex shot accompanied by a relentlessly looped fragment from her track, Aftab whispered offhandedly to a cameraperson, “Thank God the song is good!”“Raat Ki Rani” is Aftab’s first official music video and a rare instance of the musician outsourcing her distinctive vision. Many listeners first encountered her hypnotic and immersive style via her 2021 breakthrough, “Vulture Prince”: a minimalist blend of jazz, folk and ghazals, a form of Urdu poetry that incorporates themes of longing and loss.The album became a rare pandemic-era success for an independent artist, partly because its quiet, introspective music aligned with the times. It was forged in grief as a tribute to Aftab’s younger brother, who died in 2018, and the emotional intensity often came through her stunning vocals.We are having trouble retrieving the article content.Please enable JavaScript in your browser settings.Thank you for your patience while we verify access. If you are in Reader mode please exit and log into your Times account, or subscribe for all of The Times.Thank you for your patience while we verify access.Already a subscriber? Log in.Want all of The Times? Subscribe. More