The radio host Howard Stern has lately been critiquing the state of the musical avant-garde, using as a case study the downtown NYC semi-classical band Zs. Listen to day 1, day 2 (John Cage is "horseshit"), and day 3 of Stern's inquisition. Funny that he or one of his cohorts cites the Beatles' "A Day in the Life," with its anarchic orchestral interludes, in the category of real music. The Beatles listened carefully to the 1950s and 60s avant-garde, Cage included. They had curiosity about every kind of music and didn't sit around mocking what they didn't immediately understand. Herr Dr. Stern has threatened to perform his own compositions at Zs' next Knitting Factory date, on Nov. 20. I'm sure the downtown crowd will give him a warm Rite of Spring welcome.