Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Blogosphere Report: Tip of the Hat, Wag of the Finger Time

I thought I'd organize this week's blogosphere report by using the "Tip of the Hat, Wag of the Finger" method pioneered on Comedy Central's "Colbert Report" (although I think Stephen's probably not a fan of blogs).

First a tip of the hat to Spring. Spring fever has taken hold of the blogosphere this month.

If you're a gardner, spring is sort of the "Christmas Morning" of the seasons. A tip of the hat earning post that captures some of that "Christmas Morning" vibe is found at the "Bookish Gardner" blog.
I can't see the same new bud or bloom too many times. It's as if I were holding the face of a prodigal, long-lost loved one, and saying, with great melodrama: It's you; It's really you.
Check it out.

But it's not just the gardens. There's the wildlife to think of too. Antonio at "Punctus contra Punctus" has been on to one of the real miracles of Spring in his neck of the woods

"Spring never comes without miracles: Last spring I reported that our Red Slider turtles laid eggs.Well, now they've done it again!!!
The post is complete with video footage of the miracle. Find it here. Unfortunately, I don't like eggs of any kind. So a Wag of the Finger to Antonio.

Equally ecstatic is "Fuller Music" ("I'm relishing this ecstatic feeling that the world is back to spinning as it should.") And who wouldn't be with manuscript of a pulitzer winning piano concerto sitting on their music stand. Details and photo here. That definitely rates a tip of the hat.

Spring is also a good time to visit New York City. It doesn't stink as much. The great city is not yet redolent with the aromatic delights of rotting garbage and worse. Any doubt, just check out the great series of posts titled "Three Days in April" at the "Art Post" blog. Complete with photos. There's something of everything Pollini, Handel, the Whitney, and, yes, gardens. Check it out. Tip of the hat for knowing when to visit.

Both the Musical Monk and Alex Ross have gone on a Spring break of sorts. Earning a wag of the finger. Real bloggers keep on bloggin'.

On the other hand, it's nice to see "The Standing Room" has emerged from hibernation. A poem by Rosario Castellanos ("Se habla de Gabriel") breaks it nicely open. Tip of the hat definitely in order.

A tip of the hat is due Jennifer Higdon. She's writing a piano concerto and I really like her music.

And a wag of the finger is due Jennifer Higdon. She's writing a piano concerto and Lang Lang is getting the honors.

Spring is also a fine time to take a friend to the Symphony. "Musical Perceptions" has some spot-on advice for doing just that: "encourage your friend to listen to a recording of the music before taking them to the concert. Talk to them about multiple listenings, and ask what was different about this performance, both because of the live environment and because of the newer expectations from the previous listening." I'm looking forward to his follow-up post. Give him a visit and be sure you give him a tip of the hat.

A series of Gould-worthy posts appear at the always interesting "La Idea del Norte". These are the unfolding of an ambitious Mozartproject, one that keeps Emejota (and I still feel badly about being so slow in responding to an email from Emejota. Bad Bart. Bad Bart).moving from piano to computer. The posts are complete with photos (check out the shot of his hands on the piano, midpage). Along the way he discovers the truth of apt observeration of Charles Rosen: that in a public performance things more often than not go from bad to better, but that in the recording context it's often the opposite ("..en un concierto con público las cosas tienden a ir de peor a mejor (por aquello de que los nervios se van asentando conforme pasan los momentos iniciales) mientras que en una grabación pasa exactamente al revés). It's really one of the best music blogs around in any language. Big tip of the hat.

Speaking of recordings and technology and what not (pace Hank Hill)...Here's a tip of the hat post on a product that probably deserves a wag of the finger.

The "Roll-up Piano" has intrigued me for some time. And, lo, a fellow blogger actually owns one. A delightful (and helpful) review can be found here at "My Other Life". I wonder how it fares as a bare-bones midi-controller with a laptop. Photo and review are found here.

And I've taken up a reading recommendation from the fine blog "In Which Our Hero" (my one-stop shopping for reviews of books, movies, and more). I'll let you know how I make out with the book.

And blogger-pianist-technophile, Hugh Sung has been rocking the blogosphere with a sortie of videos and podcasts. Not to be missed at any cost are those with Thomas Hampson and the 2 second shoe lace instructional video. Go get you pod on here and tip your hat on the way in.

A tip of the hat to Canadian artists, by way of a post at "Sounds Like Now", for taking a sane position. Check it out here.

Tip of the hat to Tears of a Clownsilly for pre-emptively dissing the piano man, Billy Joel. Tip yourself this way.

Wag of the finger to Billy Joel for this:
Pianist Jeffrey Biegel will perform the Concerto for Piano and Orchestra with the EMF faculty orchestra. Biegel had initially asked Joel to write him a concerto, but due to time constraints the pop star suggested that some of his solo piano pieces be reworked into a concerto.
Oh sure.. Let's just throw a few things together.

Tip of the hat to "Musings of a Middle-Aged Woman" for a alerting us to a cock-and-bull story that merits a big wag of the finger. Find it here.

Surf's up !

Oh and here's some happy springy music from Seattle band "The Midget" (friends of mine who are always up to something good). You find it on my "Stickam" which on the sidebar to the right.


Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for that "tip of the hat"! I'm so excited to hear about Jennifer's upcoming Piano Concerto - i'll ask her about it next time i see her (in about a week or so) - who knows? Maybe she'll be nice enough to let me slog through a piano reduction! Wouldn't that be cool?
Jennifer is such an amazing person, as well as a fantastic composer. I know this will be an incredible work, premiered by an incredible pianist!

x said...

Thanks for the mention! I don't think the roll-up piano has midi output, unfortunately. I think a lot of other reviews I've seen mentions that as definitely one of its weak points. I'm not too into midi so I can't say ...

The Well Tempered Blog said...


Wow! If you get a sneak peek, there is not combination of keystrokes sufficient to convey my envy!

Lang Lang is not my cup of tea by a long shot, but I'm sure he'll send it off in a grand fashion.


Margarita said...


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Best regards,