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Episode 228 - High Strung (Live from The Beacon Theatre)

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7 hours ago, gigi-tastic said:

This is Lacey Chabert erasure. 

And Danica McKeller

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11 hours ago, AlmostAGhost said:

Yes, but think of like Good Will Hunting. Harvard students in bars having debates about economics was something the townies tolerated, and I see no difference in New Yorkers seeing ballerinas do line-dancing on the bar like second-rate Coyote Ugly characters.

Isn't this the case for any college town? Especially one where students make up a not insignificant amount of the population. There's a city an hour from me with a population of 80,000. The college has 40,000 students. I sometimes think how awful that must be to be an adult living there.

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OMG! The HDTGM Christmas movie is amazing! I’m so excited! It’s...

MV5BYzcyM2MxNzMtYzEzNi00MjRlLWI2YTItM2U0

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2 minutes ago, Cameron H. said:

OMG! The HDTGM Christmas movie is amazing! I’m so excited! It’s...

 

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MV5BYzcyM2MxNzMtYzEzNi00MjRlLWI2YTItM2U0

 

 

oh hell yes

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Just now, AlmostAGhost said:

oh hell yes

It’s sooooo good!

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Just now, Cameron H. said:

It’s sooooo good!

i guess i have to go to this one!

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12 minutes ago, Cameron H. said:

OMG! The HDTGM Christmas movie is amazing! I’m so excited! It’s...

 

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MV5BYzcyM2MxNzMtYzEzNi00MjRlLWI2YTItM2U0

 

 

Perfect timing for this quote:

10 hours ago, gigi-tastic said:

This is Lacey Chabert erasure. 

 

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4 minutes ago, AlmostAGhost said:

i guess i have to go to this one!

Please do! I’ll never get to see a live show. You have to go to this one for me 🙂

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For those who have seen Ex Machina, we already knew that Jazzy had the moves.

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(Sonoya Mizuno's career does seem to have outstripped her other young co-stars, as she's in this and Crazy Rich Asians and Annihilation and La La Land. No wonder everyone thought this should have been the Jazzy movie.)

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On 12/6/2019 at 7:34 AM, grudlian. said:

Did anyone else think the dancing in this was very badly filmed? Especially the break dance scenes. The camera was very dynamic and the editing kept cutting back to different dancers. I get the desire to highlight a specific dancer, but the way this was filmed detracted from the dancing. The camera would often move with the dancer which made their moves seem less impressive. I think a more static camera would have benefited everyone. 

Amen to that. This is my biggest pet peeve with modern movie musicals. There's too much editing and you can't see the dancing. Just watch West Side Story or Singin' in the Rain or something (hello, Unspooled!). You're not doing better than that, so follow their approach.

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1 hour ago, Cameron H. said:

Please do! I’ll never get to see a live show. You have to go to this one for me 🙂

Ticket obtained! Will be a balcony monster

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3 hours ago, AlmostAGhost said:

Ticket obtained! Will be a balcony monster

The way God intended. We are all Life's Balcony Monsters

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As a professional musician and survivor of a conservatory education, I have to weigh in on High Strung:

1. I can't believe that anyone "playing" an instrument on screen here can be heard on the soundtrack. They did an okay job of trying to match the bowings and fingerings to the music, but it's not entirely believable. The posture and bow holds are also big giveaways.

2. Johnnie says that he got his violin from his grandfather, implying that it's a family heirloom, but there's no way that instrument is more than 10 years old - the patina and fittings look brand new.

3. Gigi-tastic is right - even a student violinist knows not to sword fight with bows because they are rather delicate and expensive. Especially not with an instrument you just borrowed from a section leader.

4. 75% of the violin playing in this movie is cheap special effects that any beginner can figure out. Most notably is a tremolo glissando - rapid bowing while sliding your hand up the fingerboard. It's incredibly easy to do. Another is bariolage - rapid string crossings. It takes a bit of bow control, but it's also really easy. These techniques look and sound flashy but musicians know that they're really not that impressive.

5. June is absolutely right - if a ballet dancer is 19 and hasn't found a place in a company, it's pretty much over. Ballet is rough and dancers usually retire by 35. A 19-year-old should be well into her career.

6. Ruby's teacher says that she'll never be able to market herself without skills in modern dance. Conservatory teachers DO NOT CARE about their students' marketability. Making sure you can get a job is neither their responsibility nor their concern. They only care about getting their students to reach a high artistic standard. Also, ballet dancers tend to specialize and there's hardly any call for them to cross over to other styles.

7. At the final performance, one of the judges turns up her nose at the hip-hop style and another judge counters with "Don't we want to evolve? Don't we want to progress?" This is total bull. The "classical" music world is extremely exclusionary - especially in the halls of higher education - and a conservatory judge would never for a moment consider Ruby's performance artistically valid.

8. I get that June finds the violin shrill and unpleasant but she might enjoy the viola! Violas are played like a violin but are tuned lower and have a rich sound, more like a 'cello. Here's a link to a great piece by Brahms (the soloist comes in at 1:03). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nQZOWpnFB4

9. Paul might have been joking about liking the recorder (probably because it's known as the screechy instrument kids use to play "Hot Crossed Buns") but in the hands of a master it can be gorgeous. Have a listen to Michala Petri playing Vivaldi - skip to 9:09 for some fireworks. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_X6GJWrZDtE

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6 minutes ago, TopMoose said:

9. Paul might have been joking about liking the recorder (probably because it's known as the screechy instrument kids use to play "Hot Crossed Buns") but in the hands of a master it can be gorgeous. Have a listen to Michala Petri playing Vivaldi - skip to 9:09 for some fireworks. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_X6GJWrZDtE

As far as recorders go, there's a very popular song we all know that has a very prominent recorder part:  Stairway To Heaven. In the opening section, the instruments accompanying the guitar are recorders.

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It's time for...

How Did This Get Named?

So again this is a problem we've encountered before. So you've made a movie with unknown actors and you've given it maybe a punny name. I assume the name is a pun or some sort of play on words, again we're all confused on this. It's also word play that doesn't work or have a direct translation. Fun side fact: If you're in Japan you'll hear the phrase "high tension" a lot. However here it means somebody that we would describe as lively or excitable which is quite literally the opposite of what it means in English. So word play is out, banking on stars is out, what are you to do? Well you kinda go with the music and romance angle I suppose. I present to you...

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSKDHHGDzC8KhWj2nw2Nsy

ハートビート (Haatobiito) aka Heartbeat!

Music has beats and your heart beats and beats more when in love. I think it does as good of a job if not a better of a job than High Strung,

B-b-b-b-b-bonus fact-t-t-t-t-t! When we get Western movies here sometimes we get the international versions. This results in sometimes certain scenes missing or extended or slightly altered. Most times its not noticeable at all. Sometimes they even have a different name. For me while the movie is called Heartbeat in Japanese the English title that appears on screen is "Street Dance: New York"

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4 hours ago, TopMoose said:

As a professional musician and survivor of a conservatory education, I have to weigh in on High Strung:

7. At the final performance, one of the judges turns up her nose at the hip-hop style and another judge counters with "Don't we want to evolve? Don't we want to progress?" This is total bull. The "classical" music world is extremely exclusionary - especially in the halls of higher education - and a conservatory judge would never for a moment consider Ruby's performance artistically valid.

 

On 12/7/2019 at 1:51 AM, DrGuts1003 said:

I was surprised the hosts (yup, still calling them hosts) didn’t comment on the conversation the judges have during the middle of Johnny and Ruby’s performance.  The female judge calls it “completely indulgent” and one of the other judges says “I disagree.  Don’t we want to evolve?  Don’t we want to progress?”

My absolutely favorite part of that exchange is when the main guy announces that the winner was decided "after heated debate."  I can't even imagine what that argument must've been like. I've accompanied lots of dancers, pretty much all of them contemporary dancers, and I love them all, but even at they're most "heated" they still all talk like really respectful yoga instructors disagreeing over what kind of weed they just smoked. They communicate unhappiness, and all emotions, through emphatic abstractions, like "It should be more purple rainbow and less sticky-sticky!" Whereas the ballet instructor probably just called her a fucking moron and stormed off.

If somehow they did have both classical and contemporary instructors on the faculty, I can't imagine they ever agree about much of anything. Though I'm not classically trained, I've had lots of opportunity to play with classical musicians, and they just seem to have a completely different relationship to music than I do, which is much more "drop the shoulders," if you get me. To them, it seems less about "emotional expression" and more about "fucking nailing it!" Playing those crazy-difficult lines, written 150 years ago by madmen who will never be topped. It's satisfying in a deeply competitive-with-yourself kinda way, where satisfaction comes from conquering your own body and its own stupid limitations. It's intimidating as hell, and I respect it, but those people never drop the shoulders.

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 I'm glad that the audience member pointed out that Kramrovsky the ballet instructor was Belloc from Raiders of the Lost Ark, because while he was going through the "emotionally moved by what he beholds" B-roll footage ...

1265808835_ScreenShot2019-12-09at9_58_45PM.png.fb93f5fa50a9341a11f3880430aa5b7b.png

... I kept waiting, begging, for him to go for it and say:

2aa.jpg

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2 hours ago, Cam Bert said:

It's time for...

How Did This Get Named?

So again this is a problem we've encountered before. So you've made a movie with unknown actors and you've given it maybe a punny name. I assume the name is a pun or some sort of play on words, again we're all confused on this. It's also word play that doesn't work or have a direct translation. Fun side fact: If you're in Japan you'll hear the phrase "high tension" a lot. However here it means somebody that we would describe as lively or excitable which is quite literally the opposite of what it means in English. So word play is out, banking on stars is out, what are you to do? Well you kinda go with the music and romance angle I suppose. I present to you...

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSKDHHGDzC8KhWj2nw2Nsy

ハートビート (Haatobiito) aka Heartbeat!

Music has beats and your heart beats and beats more when in love. I think it does as good of a job if not a better of a job than High Strung,

B-b-b-b-b-bonus fact-t-t-t-t-t! When we get Western movies here sometimes we get the international versions. This results in sometimes certain scenes missing or extended or slightly altered. Most times its not noticeable at all. Sometimes they even have a different name. For me while the movie is called Heartbeat in Japanese the English title that appears on screen is "Street Dance: New York"

So, what is the movie Haute Tension called in Japan?

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5 hours ago, grudlian. said:

As far as recorders go, there's a very popular song we all know that has a very prominent recorder part:  Stairway To Heaven. In the opening section, the instruments accompanying the guitar are recorders.

John Paul Jones is and always will be the coolest man in rock.

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55 minutes ago, grudlian. said:

So, what is the movie Haute Tension called in Japan?

HA! Oddly it is just "High Tension" (ハイテンション Hai Tenshon) which I imagine is confusing but the posters are very bloody to sell the horror aspect.

I asked the teachers in the teachers room (6 Japanese women aged 23-35) if they knew the movie. All" no"s so I asked them what kind of movie they thought it would be based on the name. They all agreed comedy/action movie.

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OMISSION: One thing I was surprised was never discussed was the notion that, in spite of the final performance being regarded as terrible by all, the audience in attendance not only disagreed, but managed to collectively and telepathically decide to stay in stunned silence at the end of their performance in an effort to fake out the performers, only to surprise them with thunderous applause. Can you imagine how hard it is for an entire audience to do this spontaneously? There wasn't a single person in the audience who decided to applaud at the end just to be polite. 

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Two thoughts I had about the scene at the bar. The dancers say they are all going to eat a bunch of fried food. I don't want to perpetuate stereotypes, but do ballerinas eat fried food? I figured fried food would be off limits for them. Secondly, the jerky violin guy brought his violin to the bar with him. Does he always bring his expensive violin to bars or do impromptu violin concerts break out so often that he wants to come prepared?

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21 minutes ago, hotironskillet said:

Secondly, the jerky violin guy brought his violin to the bar with him. Does he always bring his expensive violin to bars or do impromptu violin concerts break out so often that he wants to come prepared?

I could be wrong, but I think he bums it from one of the other musicians. Which, in my mind, is still kind of shitty thing to do. “Hey, look how much better I am at this than you using your own instrument!”

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6 hours ago, Cameron H. said:

I could be wrong, but I think he bums it from one of the other musicians. Which, in my mind, is still kind of shitty thing to do. “Hey, look how much better I am at this than you using your own instrument!”

First of all, the guys in the jig band seemed fully competent, and we don't know he couldn't fucking shred that fiddle. In a city where everyone is a top-tier artistic talent, why wouldn't we assume that? Alls we know is Ruby says "I think you could smoke that guy," which, fuck you Ruby. 

Secondly, I rewatched just now and we don't really see where he gets his violin ... he waves the girls on to join in the tabletop clog ballet and then, just ... has it. And the jig band's fiddle player still seen with an instrument, so yeah, I guess he had it with him, just in case he needs to show someone up which, fuck you Kyle.

But having played about a jillion bar gigs in my lifetime, I can confirm that certain types of dude (yes, it's always dudes) absolutely will not hesitate to ask bar musicians at a gig if he can commandeer the guitar and play a song or two. And then get quite shitty about it when you say no, we're working, we've got a thing going on here, and no not even during a set break. That dude tends to show up in the same crowd at the guy who requests "Freebird." 

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I’m wondering how the fake lawyer first met up with Johnnie. He says that he always met him outside the office? Does the lawyer just go cruising around looking for naive guys with accents? Who arranged their first meeting?

Ruby and Johnnie don’t tell each other their names until they’ve been walking around town for at least half an hour. 

The old couple at the fancy event... they’re swingers right? Why else would they grab two people half their age to dance with?

At the final performance, the guy comes out and drums for LITERALLY TEN SECONDS and two impatient men in the audience loudly ask “where is the violinist?” And “where are the dancers?!” 

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