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View Diary: What Soderburgh's Film About Liberace Says About the Closet (309 comments)

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  •  As a technician, he could be pretty amazing. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Aunt Pat, commonmass, Joieau, libnewsie

    Not nearly as talented nor well trained as you, I would certainly defer to your opinion, and certainly agree about the lack of academic rigor part.  But, I remember as an aspiring young musician with modest ambitions watching his fingers fly and marveling that any human being could hit that many keys so fast for so long with any accuracy whatsoever.

    •  Well, when you hit them as often as he did, (6+ / 0-)

      some of those keys had to be the correct ones.

      I resent that. I demand snark, and overly so -- Markos Moulitsas.

      by commonmass on Sat Jun 01, 2013 at 12:21:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Do I detect just a bit of (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        commonmass, jgilhousen

        professional angst/jealousy here?

        I am not the least bit talented musically, can't even carry a tune. But I do know the basics of string instruments/piano, and can at least follow. I can easily tell the difference between a mediocre musician and a really good or gifted one.

        But... but... I am also a fan of pure showmanship and exuberance and skillful entertainment, musically and in other areas. I accept and am comfortable with the idea that a great showman can best a great musician on what amounts to a popular Vaudeville stage with great ease. Heck, I even like to be thus entertained. I don't judge their musical merits so harshly.

        That said, yes. I do know some great musicians well, and love them for that too.

        •  I'm not at all jealous of his technique. (4+ / 0-)

          In fact, one of my better teachers, a Brazilian pianist named Flavio Varani, used to mock Liberace and show us his "tricks".

          Liberace had technique, but he cheated. I'm not the only person who's ever noticed this.

          That being said, I'm as lazy as the next person who has to get up all the time and do things that other people don't have the time or skill to do for a living, like play keyboard instruments.

          I resent that. I demand snark, and overly so -- Markos Moulitsas.

          by commonmass on Sat Jun 01, 2013 at 01:38:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well, speaking as an entertainer (4+ / 0-)

            who likes to be entertained, I'm just not much into the technical complaints people always have against successful entertainers.

            For instance, hub is a clown (very dumb magic tricks), close-up magician (better and more subtle magic tricks), fire eater, juggler, etc. Our son, once our business partner, was a spectacular juggler. Technically flawless, inventive, extremely talented, he could juggle 7 different size and weight of objects at the same time and make it look easy, some of them on fire...

            That's the kicker. He was so coordinated and graceful that he made it look TOO easy. Nobody tips the performer who makes it look like anybody can do what he does. The partnership with the dufus clown was a match made in heaven. Hub's greatest skill (besides not dropping the torches too much) was making juggling just three objects positively terrifying! The skill was to make it look HARD, and that always gathered a bigger crowd and garnered more tips. People could see the grace and ease of manipulation son brought, but laughed much harder at the clumsiness hub brought. And the jokes to go with, banter being important.

            So enjoying a performance for what it is is quite different from critique of a performance for its technical expertise. See what I mean?

            •  People tell me I look great on stage. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Joieau, PSzymeczek, nellgwen

              They keep paying me to do it, anyway.

              I resent that. I demand snark, and overly so -- Markos Moulitsas.

              by commonmass on Sat Jun 01, 2013 at 02:15:11 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  If I had money I'd pay (6+ / 0-)

                to see you on stage!

                Met some friends in North Florida long ago (nearl 30 years now, sigh), with kids just younger than ours by a few years. Son was a genuine local celebrity, worked all the best venues and appeared in films and on TV - had his own spot on a Saturday kid's cartoon show, did a movie with Brooke Shields and Tim Dalton in '86... for which his 9th grade school flunked him even though I'd cleared his absence (8 days of filming) ahead of time and he did all the assignments. There was a 7-day cut-off, they decided to apply it.

                Our friends were having similar educational issues with their son due to him traveling all over the region and performing late at night, we got together for some home schooling on requisite subjects so they could pass the state tests. Our son died when he was 21, but our friends' eldest is still going strong into his mid-late 30s. His name is Derek Trucks. He sometimes plays with the Allman Brothers. And Eric Clapton. And Bob Dylan. And Carlos Santana. And...

                •  Night gigs are tough for parents with talented (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Joieau, worldlotus, nellgwen

                  teenagers. Ask my parent's they'll tell you.

                  I'm sorry about your son. My cousin Bill died at 21, too.

                  I resent that. I demand snark, and overly so -- Markos Moulitsas.

                  by commonmass on Sat Jun 01, 2013 at 02:44:18 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  My sister was a blues singer, (4+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    commonmass, worldlotus, nellgwen, melo

                    worked with Derek for many years in those struggling years. Derek married Susan Tedeschi, who (to our ears) sounds a lot like sis did in her heyday. When sis died a few years ago, Derek was in Memphis with Clapton, dedicated the whole evening's performance to her (his parents were at the hospital with us). He came in from the cold... er, the road and he and Susan hosted my whole family for a memorial service on his dock. Was really very nice, and Susan makes a really mean peach cobbler. He also played in the New Vaudeville band backing up our daughter on the Riverwalk as torch singer Sally Sapphire (Billie Holliday covers) when he was 15. Our son played horn, called his character that night "Lips Lizardo" (slightly seedy lounge lizard). That was when baby sis's serious musician husband gave me this big shrug (he was in the band too and once a regular prodigy) and said Derek made him want to give up music for lent...

                    They're both still playing music, though. Despite my short stint as keyboardist for the Honky Dreads back in long-ago Tulsa, I just listen and watch and enjoy. Know what I like, on all those levels. I'm sure I'd like your music too.

                  •  Oh... thought you might (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    commonmass, 207wickedgood

                    enjoy this (a favorite of mine)...

                    Midnight In Harlem

          •  you have to understand, some of us are truly (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            commonmass, blueoasis

            tone deaf and can't tell decent from great. I can't sing, can't dance, and was forced to learn exactly three notes on a piano. I begged to join little league instead, even though I am equally bad at sports. i'd rather do algebra than sit in music class, and I suck at algebra too. My musical tastes, limited to pop/rock. only extend to about 1985....

          •  Just curious: What were some of Liberace's (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            "tricks"? Could you explain some of them for us non-professional pianists? (Thanks!)

      •  My dear late Nana, who played excellently well (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        by ear, always used to say about Lib: "He's such a POUNDER." I watched (and loved) his show every day after school in the 1950s. He would say through his huge grin, "And here's my brother George to play violin for you."

        "He went to Harvard, not Hogwarts." ~Wanda Sykes

        Blessinz of teh Ceiling Cat be apwn yu, srsly.

        by OleHippieChick on Sat Jun 01, 2013 at 01:43:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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