Archive for the genius Category

Harmonies Poetiques et Religieuses

Posted in classical, genius, rocking with tags , , , , on August 11, 2009 by oldmandub

Before Beatlemania, there was Liztomania. Except instead of playing sappy pop diddies no one likes any more about insipid topics like holding hands, Franz Liszt shredded the shit out of the piano like only a 19th century virtuoso pianist who knew Beethoven can. Women went hysterical, screaming through his sets and fighting each other for his silk handkerchiefs. He became rich from touring, but gave most of his money to charities. It was probably easy for him because he was continuously shacking up with baronesses and princesses so he didn’t have to worry about money any more. Good. One less thing. Unfortunately, the Czar of Russia convinced the Pope not to let him marry Princess Carolyne of Poland, and then his son and daughter died, so he took up a solitary life in a monastery outside Rome and became, among other things, an exorcist. Later in life he was tired, sick, and depressed and his music showed this. But during the days of Lisztomania, when he composed Harmonies Poetiques et Religieuses, he made astounding, beautiful compositions with virtuostic technique that lead him to be considered the “most technically advanced and perhaps greatest pianist of all time.”

Feel The Shred

Don’t believe me about Lisztomania? There is a 1975 movie about it starring Roger Daltry as Liszt, Rick Wakeman as Thor, and Ringo Starr as the Pope.


Lesser Known Politicians #1

Posted in comedy, genius, politics, world history with tags on August 6, 2009 by oldmandub

This is the first in a video series Chris Goodwin and I did on our computers. They’re mostly impressions of lesser-known politicians. We got all of our inspiration for these from a reading circle we had that focused on U.S. History that included lots of really captivating and inciteful biographies. One day, in a heated debate on the imperial intentions¬† of President Filmore when he forced Japan into trade, Chris stood up and recited part of Filmore’s letter as a citation to his point that pure economic aspirations were beyond any sort of future claims to territory. Later, because it was so moving, Chris did his impression again and we filmed it.

More impressions to come so stay tuned.

The Man, The Myth

Posted in comedy, genius, TV with tags , , , , , , on July 22, 2009 by oldmandub

I’ve been saying for years now that I think Conan O’Brien is the smartest and funniest person in the world. Not only is he responsible for some of my favorite of The Simpsons episodes (he presented his idea for the monorail ep his third day on the job) but, his ability to come up with belly crunching hilarious reactions off the top of his head to persons he interviews has always been an indication to me that there is astounding genius inside of that heaving orange dome. Conan recently took over The Tonight Show and I’ve been watching it religiously on Last night I was dicking around on youtube and found a recent Inside The Actors Studio that Conan appeared on and it’s amazing. He talks about his youth, his time at Harvard, then SNL and The Simpsons, and his love for the artistry of improvisation, as well as the seriousness and science of comedy itself. I learned a lot and I was inspired by his acute vision of purpose he had from the beginning. The dude actually went around Harvard tagging little doodles of himself and when asked why he explained that it was a calling card for his show and designer jeans that he was going to have one day (the jeans are set to debut in 2010).

You can watch the entire (sorta) ep on youtube, but here’s a short clip of a prank he pulled while at Harvard. It totally rips.