Saturday, September 21, 2019 13:49

Archive for the ‘art’ Category

This is what real musical talent looks like.

Saturday, September 14th, 2013

– Wiccapundit

Your Wiccapundit lurves him some classical music, particularly piano music of the Romantic period.  Franz Liszt was possibly the first rockstar musician, what with women screaming and fainting at his concerts and throwing their hankies at him.  (Pace Tom Jones, they probably would have thrown their underwear, but corsets are a bit much… .)  Furthermore, Roger Daltrey played Liszt in Lisztomania, the 1973 Ken Russell-directed psychedelic biopic of the man, with Rick Wakeman appearing in the film as Thor, the Nordic god of thunder.  How cool is that?  To give you an idea of what the film is like, it makes Tommy look normal.

Perhaps Liszt’s most famous composition is the Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2, which I can attest is a beast to play.  I now have a new favorite interpretation of this masterpiece.  Here is the performance by the superb Russian pianist Valentina Lisitsa.   She has immaculate technique, but it is ever in the service of the musicality.  Her dynamic control is extraordinary.  As you watch this, mind you that there was no video trickery used to make her fingers appear to move faster, and that this live performance was the encore.


Take that, Miley Cyrus.




Absolutely mesmerizing

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

– Wiccapundit

Just mind-blowing.

Watch this and see if you don’t find yourself holding your breath during the performance.

It pleases me to see such beauty in the world.


Your daily mohammed

Monday, September 17th, 2012

– Wiccapundit

A dog left this sculpture of mohammed on my lawn:







Maybe he can get a National Endowment for the Arts grant to produce a traveling roadshow version of it.


A word about critics.

Saturday, April 14th, 2012

– Wiccapundit

A “critic” is a man who creates nothing and thereby feels qualified to judge the work of creative men. There is logic in this; he is unbiased — he hates all creative people equally. – Robert Heinlein, Time Enough For Love

Your Wiccapundit was enjoying the following solo piano performance of Gershwin’s Rhapsody In Blue by Jack Gibbons, who is renowned for his note-for-note transcriptions of Gershwin’s piano roll performances.  It’s long, but it is so worth it.

This extraordinary performance (and even more extraordinary musical composition) lead me to think of one critic’s reception to the Rhapsody In Blue that was published the day after its debut performance.

How trite, feeble and conventional the tunes are; how sentimental and vapid the harmonic treatment, under its disguise of fussy and futile counterpoint! … Weep over the lifelessness of the melody and harmony, so derivative, so stale, so inexpressive!

Lawrence Gilman, New York Tribune, February 13, 1924.

Who is Lawrence Gilman, you say?  A music critic and the composer of such musical masterworks as “A Dream of Death,” “The Heart of a Woman,” and “The Curlew,”  all of which are lost in the mists of time, just as the memory of his existence is.  As for Gershwin, his work is regarded as classic American music, and is still frequently played today.

When Gershwin died at the untimely young age of 38, the best-selling author John O’Hara said: “George Gershwin died on July 11, 1937, but I don’t have to believe it if I don’t want to.”

Music critics.  What a waste of space.


Art? Never heard of it.

Sunday, May 22nd, 2011

– Wiccapundit

As the saying goes: “If I can paint it, it ain’t art.”   Which can be restated as: Most modern art looks like a four-year-old painted it.  The reason four-year-olds paint that way is because they haven’t learned how to paint yet.

This comes to mind when I read this 2001 account:

A cleaner (janitor) at a London gallery cleared away an installation by artist Damien Hirst having mistaken it for rubbish. Emanual Asare came across a pile of beer bottles, coffee cups and overflowing ashtrays and cleared them away at the Eyestorm gallery on Wednesday morning.

Oops.  That was art?  Oh, so sorry, I thought it was a pile of shit.

How long before someone actually pinches a loaf, puts a title on it, and submits it to a juried art exhibition?  I haven’t scoured the bowels of the Internet to confirm, but I suspect it’s already happened.

“Art beware, it’s all been done; there’s nothing new under the sun.” – Ambrosia, “Art Beware”

(h/t Samizdata)



Hot new album by a hot new band. NOT.

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

– Wiccapundit

Following LC Aggie Sith’s lead over at Hookers & Booze, try this little exercise: come up with a band name, album title, and cover art using various websites.  Here are the rules:

1 – Go to Wikipedia and hit random. The first random Wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.
2 – Go to and hit random. The last four or five words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album.
3 – Go to Flickr and click on “explore the last seven days”. Third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.
4 – Use Photoshop or similar ( is a free online photo editor) to put it all together.
5 – Post it on your blog along with these instructions, and trackback or link to your post in these comments.

Here’s my entry.  Oddly, I now have a jones to hear what this band sounds like.


Profiles In Cowardice

Monday, October 11th, 2010

– Wiccapundit

The Washington Post has no balls, but your Wiccapundit does (Substantial Ones of Clanging Brass™), so I will post the cartoon that the Washington Post thought was so inflammatory, that Muslims would be upset: a cartoon that doesn’t show an image of Muhammed (Peace Be Upon Him™).

That’s right.  NO IMAGE.  Courtesy of PowerLine via Ace of Spades.

As the cartoonist himself says:

The award-winning cartoonist, who lives in Maine, told me the cartoon was meant to satirize “the insanity of an entire group of people rioting and putting out a hit list over cartoons,” as well as “media cowering in fear of printing any cartoon that contains the word ‘Muhammad.’ ”

“The wonderful irony [is that] great newspapers like The Washington Post, that took on Nixon . . . run in fear of this very tame cartoon, thus validating the accuracy of the satire,” he said by e-mail.

How true.

Here it is, without any semblance of an apology:


Artistry in cards

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

– Wiccapundit

Art can be found just about anyplace, including in digital dexterity.  Here is an spellbinding video of Extreme Card Manipulator Mark Bautista.   Check out the move at 3:11, in particular.


Oh Hubris, Nemesis is holding on Line One

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

– Wiccapundit

I think I’ve figured it out.  When Obama is looking at the teleprompters, he’s not actually reading anything.  They’re really just mirrors, and he’s basking in the glory of his reflected image.

Narcissism, thy name is Barry.

(h/t Ace)


Gallery of the Intrepid: Memorial Day – Thank a veteran

Monday, May 31st, 2010

– Wiccapundit

On this Memorial Day, it’s time to remember that the day is not about taking off from work and grilling a few burgers with friends.  It’s about acknowledging the sacrifices made by countless men and women who have served this nation in the military.  Here at Red State Witch, we have regular commenters who were former military (Sebastian) as well as those who are current military (James S.).  There may be others also whose service we are not aware of.  Elphaba and I express our extreme appreciation to all of you for your service.  We thank you more than we can express.

The painting above is a 75′ x 25′ mural in the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.  It was painted by the noted aviation artist Keith Ferris.  When viewed from the gallery in front of it, it is as if you were hanging in space 60 feet in front of the aircraft – a B-17 called Thunder Bird – during its bombing raid on a Luftwaffe airfield at Wiesbaden, Germany.  It is a extraordinary piece of work, and I never tire of seeing it (or the NASM) whenever I visit Washington.

I post this because I met the pilot of this aircraft.  He lived in my neighborhood, and when I was at his house once, I noticed some WWII memorabilia in his study.  I asked him what he had done in the war, and he said he had flown B-17s.  I mentioned how much I liked the Ferris mural of Thunder Bird, and he casually replied that he had been flying the aircraft on that raid.  He didn’t wear his service overtly or speak about it without prompting; to him it was simply a job he and his crew had to do. The average age of officers flying these aircraft in combat was about 21, and the average crewman’s age was maybe 19.  Simply amazing.

If you want to get a feel for how dangerous and difficult this “job” was, read Martin Caidin’s Flying Forts: The B-17 in World War II.  Some of the combat stories will curl your hair.

No matter what war, what theatre of operation, or what peacetime duty they have performed, anyone who has served our nation in uniform should be remembered this day.