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Bloggingheads 08-01-2010 03:55 PM

Not Some Egghead Exclusive Thing (Alyssa Rosenberg & Seth Colter Walls)
 

nikkibong 08-01-2010 04:33 PM

Re: Not Some Egghead Exclusive Thing (Alyssa Rosenberg & Seth Colter Walls)
 
http://riverdaughter.files.wordpress...he-scream.jpeg

graz 08-01-2010 04:37 PM

Re: Not Some Egghead Exclusive Thing (Alyssa Rosenberg & Seth Colter Walls)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by nikkibong (Post 172869)

I take it that you have posted edvard munch's scream as an editorial complaint, more than as a general signifier of the sort of higher culture that your fave Alyssa alluded to regarding Opera?

AemJeff 08-01-2010 04:38 PM

Re: Not Some Egghead Exclusive Thing (Alyssa Rosenberg & Seth Colter Walls)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by graz (Post 172871)
I take it that you have posted edvard munch's scream as an editorial complaint, more than as a general signifier of the sort of higher culture that your fave Alyssa alluded to regarding Opera?

:)

Freddie 08-01-2010 06:08 PM

Re: Not Some Egghead Exclusive Thing (Alyssa Rosenberg & Seth Colter Walls)
 
People taking notes in books is the weirdest thing to me. I just don't get it. I read a lot, out of both personal love and professional obligation. But I have never, ever taken a note in or about a book I'm reading. Never. The very idea just seems very strange to me, but it also seems that I am very out of keeping with my book-reading peers.

StillmanThomas 08-01-2010 06:35 PM

The Dangling Conversation
 
I invite our guests and viewers to invest three minutes in this song, written over 40 years ago by Paul Simon and performed by Simon and Garfunkel. I'm getting old now, not in great health, could go at any time I suppose. But then I wouldn't get to see what's coming up on the USA Network, or find out if Lady Gaga is. . . . Whatever.

I liked Julia Roberts' take on La Traviata in Pretty Woman: "I almost peed my pants." Right up there with The Marx Brothers, I'd say.

StillmanThomas 08-01-2010 07:07 PM

The Self-Reflexive Scandal
 
I couldn't resist this little gem.

look 08-01-2010 08:06 PM

call me al
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Bokonon (Post 172881)
I invite our guests and viewers to invest three minutes in this song, written over 40 years ago by Paul Simon and performed by Simon and Garfunkel. I'm getting old now, not in great health, could go at any time I suppose. But then I wouldn't get to see what's coming up on the USA Network, or find out if Lady Gaga is. . . . Whatever.

I liked Julia Roberts' take on La Traviata in Pretty Woman: "I almost peed my pants." Right up there with The Marx Brothers, I'd say.

Well, all right, but now you have to listen to this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqrKe...eature=related

StillmanThomas 08-01-2010 08:50 PM

Re: call me al
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by look (Post 172888)
Well, all right, but now you have to listen to this:

Not one of Paul's great songs IMO, but you do get to hear the entirely-too-unsung Ray Phiri playing his Strat. Paul was always amazing at writing up tempo hits, interspersed with deep, sensitive, poetic ruminations on his time and place. Also not sure what that song has to do with this diavlog, but again, whatever.

look 08-01-2010 09:05 PM

Re: call me al
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Bokonon (Post 172889)
Not one of Paul's great songs IMO, but you do get to hear the entirely-too-unsung Ray Phiri playing his Strat. Paul was always amazing at writing up tempo hits, interspersed with deep, sensitive, poetic ruminations on his time and place. Also not sure what that song has to do with this diavlog, but again, whatever.

I loved his Graceland/Call Me Al phase...I thought it would cheer you up a little.

StillmanThomas 08-01-2010 09:15 PM

Re: call me al
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by look (Post 172890)
I loved his Graceland/Call Me Al phase...I thought it would cheer you up a little.

Yeah, Graceland and Rhythm of the Saints were incredible! Thanks for thinking of my well-being, Look. I'm not particularly uncheerful, although I probably come across that way. I laugh all the time, but I'm a pessimist in my genes, I think. The Pessimistic Gene -- somebody should write that book. I'll leave that as an exercise for the interested reader....

look 08-01-2010 09:17 PM

okay
 
How about this. It's my favorite S/G song, and I love this rendition.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2X64xT63R8

look 08-01-2010 09:27 PM

Re: call me al
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Bokonon (Post 172891)
Yeah, Graceland and Rhythm of the Saints were incredible! Thanks for thinking of my well-being, Look. I'm not particularly uncheerful, although I probably come across that way. I laugh all the time, but I'm a pessimist in my genes, I think. The Pessimistic Gene -- somebody should write that book. I'll leave that as an exercise for the interested reader....

Glad to hear it. I suffer from that myself to a large extent. For example, if a trip or outing or plan is proposed, I immediately calculate what can go wrong. It's amazing that their are people out there who just jump in with both feet, with nary a care.

StillmanThomas 08-01-2010 09:30 PM

American Tune
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by look (Post 172892)
How about this. It's my favorite S/G song, and I love this rendition.

Brilliant! I haven't seen that performance before. I think it demonstrates what an amazing guitarist / musician Paul is. He's playing live, apparently in 100 degree weather, to a handful of people, for free. But he's duplicating almost note-for-note his studio performance of that rich and complex guitar part from the 60s. You made my day now, Look.

Since we've got a Paul Simon linkfest going, check out this one from the same period. As great as "The Boxer," IMO.

StillmanThomas 08-01-2010 09:34 PM

Re: call me al
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by look (Post 172893)
It's amazing that their are people out there who just jump in with both feet, with nary a care.

I've always been boggled by that, too. My dad was a salesman, door-to-door sometimes. I once asked him how he dealt with the constant rejection. He thought a minute and said, "I just assume that everyone wants to meet me." I was absolutely bowled over by that. The idea would never have occurred to me in a million years. Folks are just wired up differently, I guess.

ragamuffinman 08-01-2010 10:02 PM

Re: Not Some Egghead Exclusive Thing (Alyssa Rosenberg & Seth Colter Walls)
 
I am pretty sure I have matured as a consumer of culture, becoming open-mindedly emotivist and capable of thinking about my likes/dislikes intelligently. My days of teenage rock snobbism and overzealous review-reading are long gone. Despite my growing openmindedness and many listening efforts, the highbrow realms of artistic value that where closed to me when I was younger remain closed. I don't think I'll ever be able to get into jazz, opera, and classical music.

Jazz, for instance, almost always leaves me completely unmoved. I've tried "appreciating" it for years, but it never, ever engages and excites me as much as more popular forms of music. I've tried both the "pay painfully close attention to every note" and the "just sit back and enjoy it" strategies, but neither works, even with recordings widely considered great. Ditto for 95% of the "classical" music I've sampled. It just leaves me dead. Dead.

My lack of appreciation is not for lack of trying.

If many other people are like me, highbrow old stuff has no hope whatsoever of regaining popularity. My preference for short, attention-grabbing music is immovable and boulder-like.

Bloggin' Noggin 08-01-2010 10:07 PM

Opera rah rah
 
Most people who are intimidated by opera are probably not people who would find Mozart too unsophisticated and behind-the-times.
Anyway, it's a little ridiculous to treat Mozart condescendingly as "safe". I defy any composer, atonal or otherwise to produce a more moving aria than this (The recitative leading up to the aria is amazing as well, I think.)

(Youtube or my computer speakers aren't quite up to reproducing it properly, so if you don't like it, the sound quality may be the reason.)

If there's anything wrong with art being accessible, it's just that modern artists have to be afraid of being accessible, because the great artists of the past already used up a lot of the more immediately accessible ideas. Ideally, art should be as accessible as possible.

look 08-01-2010 10:18 PM

Re: American Tune
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Bokonon (Post 172894)
Brilliant! I haven't seen that performance before. I think it demonstrates what an amazing guitarist / musician Paul is. He's playing live, apparently in 100 degree weather, to a handful of people, for free. But he's duplicating almost note-for-note his studio performance of that rich and complex guitar part from the 60s. You made my day now, Look.

Since we've got a Paul Simon linkfest going, check out this one from the same period. As great as "The Boxer," IMO.

Very soulful. Thanks.

I love your dad's attitude. Maybe if we all just jumped in with faith in our fellow humans (or a devil-may-care attitude), we'd be pleasantly surprised by the results.

StillmanThomas 08-01-2010 10:44 PM

Re: American Tune
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by look (Post 172902)
Maybe if we all just jumped in with faith in our fellow humans (or a devil-may-care attitude), we'd be pleasantly surprised by the results.

There's a line from National Velvet that I love. Velvet (Elizabeth Taylor) asks her trainer (Mickey Rooney) how to do the jumps. He says something like, "Throw your heart over and the rest will follow." I love the sentiment and I believe it's true, but I find it terribly difficult to do in life.

I've been playing guitar and writing and singing songs for almost 50 years, but I still find it nauseatingly awful to perform. It never gets easier, and I never enjoy it. I have absolutely no clue how to get over it and just relax.

look 08-01-2010 10:55 PM

Re: Opera rah rah
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRuYQ9KRJms
Quote:

Originally Posted by Bloggin' Noggin (Post 172898)
Most people who are intimidated by opera are probably not people who would find Mozart too unsophisticated and behind-the-times.
Anyway, it's a little ridiculous to treat Mozart condescendingly as "safe". I defy any composer, atonal or otherwise to produce a more moving aria than this (The recitative leading up to the aria is amazing as well, I think.)

(Youtube or my computer speakers aren't quite up to reproducing it properly, so if you don't like it, the sound quality may be the reason.)

If there's anything wrong with art being accessible, it's just that modern artists have to be afraid of being accessible, because the great artists of the past already used up a lot of the more immediately accessible ideas. Ideally, art should be as accessible as possible.

Hello, good sir. I'm trying to ease myself into opera by listening to CD's of popular arias. I have a double CD of famous ones by various artists, and a CD of Maria Callas. Two of my favorites are:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRuYQ9KRJms

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9piRi...eature=related

Now I just need a little black dress and to go on an adventure to the opera house. Any suggestions as to a good beginning opera?

look 08-01-2010 11:03 PM

Re: American Tune
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Bokonon (Post 172907)
There's a line from National Velvet that I love. Velvet (Elizabeth Taylor) asks her trainer (Mickey Rooney) how to do the jumps. He says something like, "Throw your heart over and the rest will follow." I love the sentiment and I believe it's true, but I find it terribly difficult to do in life.

I've been playing guitar and writing and singing songs for almost 50 years, but I still find it nauseatingly awful to perform. It never gets easier, and I never enjoy it. I have absolutely no clue how to get over it and just relax.

I do not want to be facile here...but you practice zazen don't you? Have you tried the concentration method? Where there's no you, just the guitar? Like Herrigel who became an expert archer, sensing when the bow would release itself.

AemJeff 08-01-2010 11:06 PM

Re: Opera rah rah
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by look (Post 172910)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRuYQ9KRJms Hello, good sir. I'm trying to ease myself into opera by listening to CD's of popular arias. I have a double CD of famous ones by various artists, and a CD of Maria Callas. Two of my favorites are:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRuYQ9KRJms

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9piRi...eature=related

Now I just need a little black dress and to go on an adventure to the opera house. Any suggestions as to a good beginning opera?

I hope BN won't mind if I but in here, but a couple of good places to start are Bizet's Carmen and Puccini's Madama Butterfly. They each have multiple gorgeously beautiful arias, and I think their relative popularity speaks to their accessibility. I'd also suggest watching rather than just listening, especially if you have a TV connected to a sound system you can use. I rather like this version of Carmen:

http://www.amazon.com/Bizet-Blu-ray-...0714745&sr=1-1

look 08-01-2010 11:34 PM

Re: Opera rah rah
 
Thanks, Jeff, I'll check it out!

StillmanThomas 08-01-2010 11:40 PM

Re: American Tune
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by look (Post 172911)
I do not want to be facile here...but you practice zazen don't you? Have you tried the concentration method? Where there's no you, just the guitar? Like Herrigel who became an expert archer, sensing when the bow would release itself.

Hey, Look, that's not facile at all. It's a very good question. The problem I have with zazen is that when there's no me, there's also no guitar. I can't seem to do anything in that state of mind. I've thought of going to a zendo and getting a master, but there isn't one nearby, and I don't do too well as a student, anyway. But that's taking it to the next level, I think. Staying in the "no mind" state while living one's daily life. Maybe I should try again.

look 08-02-2010 12:01 AM

Re: American Tune
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Bokonon (Post 172922)
Hey, Look, that's not facile at all. It's a very good question. The problem I have with zazen is that when there's no me, there's also no guitar. I can't seem to do anything in that state of mind. I've thought of going to a zendo and getting a master, but there isn't one nearby, and I don't do too well as a student, anyway. But that's taking it to the next level, I think. Staying in the "no mind" state while living one's daily life. Maybe I should try again.

There's a roshi in Sedona, CA I was once interested in training under. Now, I don't think I have the right stuff (I'm lazy as sin). Can't think of his name now. Maybe walking meditation would be a good place for you to start...like walking and chewing gum at the same time :)

A book I have recommends starting with one day a week devoted to mindfulness. But another book warns against quietism, or meditative withdrawal for it's own sake. As you may gather, I've read a great deal about Zen without putting it to practice, which I believe is called 'to stink of Zen.'

rcocean 08-02-2010 12:02 AM

Re: Not Some Egghead Exclusive Thing (Alyssa Rosenberg & Seth Colter Walls)
 
If want to access Opera start with Beethoven, Mozart, "Carmen" "The Barber of Seville" or as Jeff stated "Madame Butterfly". Listen to some CD's and if you like it -attend. BTW, one reason Europeans like Opera more is because its often written in their language. No doubt Bizet is more accessible when speak you French & the same if true of the "Barber of Seville" and Italians or Wagner in German.

And Seth lost me on Markson. Never heard of him. And after reading his article, It seems I haven't missed much. "Experimental Post-Modernist" Mmmm Okaay;

And he wrote "witty" lines like "Hey Sartre, how can someone so smart be so stupid". Genius indeed.

I got the feeling years ago that fiction has turned into a female/Gay/Left-wing Ghetto - like Broadway. Not that there's anything wrong with that. This was confirmed by a stat from PW stating women buy 90 percent of all fiction.

StillmanThomas 08-02-2010 12:10 AM

Re: American Tune
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by look (Post 172926)
There's a roshi in Sedona, CA I was once interested in training under. Now, I don't think I have the right stuff (I'm lazy as sin).... As you may gather, I've read a great deal about Zen without putting it to practice, which I believe is called 'to stink of Zen.'

Is there really a Sedona in California? I was raised in Phoenix and we spent many happy weekends in Sedona, AZ. That's kind of a new age spiritual place now.

I think a lot of us have read more than practiced Zen. There's something very pristine and beautiful about Zen as a philosophy, which makes no sense at all, really, from the standpoint of Zen Mind. My experience of actually doing Zen meditation is that it is arduous at least, extremely daunting as a way of life. One needs a path that one can make progress on. I found that I wasn't getting anywhere with Zen and moved on to other pursuits. I often fall back on zazen, though, for calmness and clarity, exactly as you suggested.

SkepticDoc 08-02-2010 12:36 AM

Re: Not Some Egghead Exclusive Thing (Alyssa Rosenberg & Seth Colter Walls)
 
What a wonderful change of topic, thank you BhTv!

My simplistic recollection of opera is that they were the "soaps" before TV, sure the melodies are great, but the dialog is meant to be understood by the listener, the story itself is an important part of the work of art.

My personal advice is to start with a short opera like Pagliacci , read the synopsis of the story before listening, when you decide to listen to the work, listen first to the CD/MP3 with the lyrics translation.

Another work worth anyone's time is Carmina Burana

look 08-02-2010 12:55 AM

Re: American Tune
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Bokonon (Post 172929)
Is there really a Sedona in California? I was raised in Phoenix and we spent many happy weekends in Sedona, AZ. That's kind of a new age spiritual place now.

I think a lot of us have read more than practiced Zen. There's something very pristine and beautiful about Zen as a philosophy, which makes no sense at all, really, from the standpoint of Zen Mind. My experience of actually doing Zen meditation is that it is arduous at least, extremely daunting as a way of life. One needs a path that one can make progress on. I found that I wasn't getting anywhere with Zen and moved on to other pursuits. I often fall back on zazen, though, for calmness and clarity, exactly as you suggested.

My bad:

http://www.smzc.net/pages/home.html

I learned of this roshi from reading Zen in America, which followed the paths of five American Zen masters. Very interesting read. Of all of them, I was drawn to Jokusho Kwong-roshi.

Great talking to you. I guess we should seriously try to get our Zen acts together!

An haiku I came across:

A brushwood gate,
and for a lock, this snail.

(perhaps by Basho)

'night

StillmanThomas 08-02-2010 01:28 AM

Re: American Tune
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by look (Post 172941)
An haiku I came across:

A brushwood gate,
and for a lock, this snail.

(perhaps by Basho)

'night

I love Basho, although he's no Paul Simon ;-) Thanks for that, Look. Best wishes.

StillmanThomas 08-02-2010 01:39 AM

Re: American Tune
 
Forgot to include my favorite Zen proverb, not from Basho.

Sitting quietly doing nothing
Spring comes
The grass grows by itself

ohreally 08-02-2010 01:42 AM

Re: Not Some Egghead Exclusive Thing (Alyssa Rosenberg & Seth Colter Walls)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ragamuffinman (Post 172897)
Jazz, for instance, almost always leaves me completely unmoved.


Listen to this Count Basie number 10 times. If at the 11th time Lester Young's entry at 0:42 doesn't move you to tears, then yes perhaps something's wrong with you.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ooUUhsBsvU8

bjkeefe 08-02-2010 01:50 AM

Re: Not Some Egghead Exclusive Thing (Alyssa Rosenberg & Seth Colter Walls)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by graz (Post 172871)
I take it that you have posted edvard munch's scream as an editorial complaint, more than as a general signifier of the sort of higher culture that your fave Alyssa alluded to regarding Opera?

I think nikkibong was just bragging about his new coffee cup.

bjkeefe 08-02-2010 01:57 AM

Re: call me al
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by look (Post 172890)
I loved his Graceland/Call Me Al phase...I thought it would cheer you up a little.

Totally, completely, 100% agreed. I don't care what anyone says about Art or The Deeper Meaning or Significance or anything else -- that chunk of music is plain uplifting to me. Always has been. Always will be. There aren't many things that leave me as filled with hope as that music.

In this song in particular, the punctuation by the drums at the end of key sentences in the verses: buhhhh ....... bum ... buh-bump. That's my heartbeat.

And the horns, going Dah nah-nah-nah, dah nah-nah-NAH? That is the sound of children laughing.

[Added] If you ever get the chance, check Banco de Gaia's "No Rain." For me at least, the exact same strings are tugged.

[Added2] Sometimes the whole thing shows up here.

ohreally 08-02-2010 02:00 AM

Re: Not Some Egghead Exclusive Thing (Alyssa Rosenberg & Seth Colter Walls)
 
Paul Simon is a great songwriter. Graceland is gorgeous. American tune, ah, American tune... a lovely Bach piece. I am not sure about NB's comment though. Mozart is history's best songwriter... after Bach. In fact, I can easily name half a dozen Bach arias that are miles ahead of anything Mozart ever wrote. (And I bet Mozart would agree with me. "Ah, finally, a man I can learn something from," as he pored over Bach's motets in Leipzig's St Thomas Church.)

Rock is dead. Hip hop might be dead, too (so Nas told us) but for my money it's still by far the best music around these days.

Opera: Don't you love this?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_zmwRitYO3w

StillmanThomas 08-02-2010 02:08 AM

Re: Not Some Egghead Exclusive Thing (Alyssa Rosenberg & Seth Colter Walls)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ohreally (Post 172956)
Listen to this Count Basie number 10 times. If at the 11th time Lester Young's entry at 0:42 doesn't move you to tears, then yes perhaps something's wrong with you.

Oh man, this thread just gets better and better.

Ken Davis 08-02-2010 02:15 AM

Re: Tom, Denzel and Maria Callas
 
One of the greatest scenes in movies revolving around one of the greatest arias in opera.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LtClj...eature=related

Starwatcher162536 08-02-2010 02:16 AM

Re: Not Some Egghead Exclusive Thing (Alyssa Rosenberg & Seth Colter Walls)
 
Perhaps easing you into classic by listening to a little "classic lite" may help. I've sometimes heard music like this called "Neo-Classical Rock/Metal" or "Progressive Rock"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Ezp9...eature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZhFFBAEuKMo


...and just because; http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...0460724266855#

Edit:
..More (teckno?) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-BwZ3obaRKU&NR=1

harkin 08-02-2010 02:26 AM

Re: Not Some Egghead Exclusive Thing (Alyssa Rosenberg & Seth Colter Walls)
 
Wilhelmenia Wiggins Fernandez - "Ebben? Ne andr˛ lontana" - La Wally - Catalani - From the film Diva.

Barbara Bonney - Ave Maria - Franz Schubert

Luciano Pavarotti - La Donna e Mobile from Rigoletto

Jussi Bj÷rling - O Sole Mio - di Capua

Dimitri Hvorostovsky & Renee Fleming - La ci darem la mano - Don Giovanni - WA Mozart

and a record I searched two years for when I was a teenager:

Billie Holliday - Getting Some Fun Out Of Life

Starwatcher162536 08-02-2010 02:32 AM

Re: Not Some Egghead Exclusive Thing (Alyssa Rosenberg & Seth Colter Walls)
 
Or maybe something like the Classic Meets Cuba stuff may work a little better for you.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0CKS...ext=1&index=11

...this slow stuff puts me to sleep...


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