Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Faraway Look of "Getting Down"

It’s a crowd pleaser no doubt.  Acting, peppers a performance when it comes to that faraway look.  That’s a musician’s indication to fans just how much they’re digging themselves.  They send out a vibe for you to tap-in to with hopes you can mainline their coolness.  
For some, not looking stupid comes naturally but others have to work on it.

Some concert pianists need training in this area.  Some of the faces they make -quite honestly- just make me feel uncomfortable.

They start slow, close their eyes and then work themselves into an orgasmic trance as the crescendo rises.  It can be beautiful or indecent. Is it planned or an act?  Let’s really explore this science. 

The Look Of The Pompous Artiste

Concert pianists and rock stars can travel to Never Never Land in their mind while putting their fingers on autopilot.  It’s a mental state that appears to be somewhere between hypnosis and an LSD trip.

Sometimes they pull a “Ray Charles,” sway in their seat and exhale a shudder of ecstacy.  Onlookers can only hope to experience 1/100th of the emotion of a single note.

Sorry to be so blunt man, but that lemon-eating look isn't becoming.  At the very least, practice in front of a mirror. 

Are They Really Into It That Much?

That’s the question you want answered if you’re going to give them some slack.  I mean, how much can Whitney Houston really get into “I Will Always Love You” anymore?  Probably makes her want to puke, but she’s got that sparkle so you buy it.

But concert pianists are different.  Everything seems to send a shiver up and down their spines and their actions are exaggerated.  Imagine a Victor Hugo scene of a classical pianist in a day-labor line.

“What can you do?” The boss asks.

“Man, I can feel music . . . every note.”

“Got just the job . . .  see that bell tower?  Go ring some bells.  You’ll feel every note.”  

Now that's a look you'll be sure to believe.

The Rapper

If you’re rapping, all you have do is bring out the girls to convey your greatness for you.  It’s hard to resist watching five chicks show you how the music makes them hot.  Just hire the most beautiful girls you can to dig it and it’ll be a hit.

The Metal Guitarist

Is there anything more self-ingratiating and embarrassing than the exaggerated moves of rock stars? Lots of metalhead punks took lessons from grandpas Gene and Ozzie to refine and master the art of “selling it.”  Hendrix played guitar behind his back and picked it with his teeth.  That was raw.  Townsend was the first to smash his guitar.  Truth is, most acts today just copy the masters.

At a recent Metal revival tour, a lot of young-budding guitarists got a clinic from an old master shredder.  During one part, the guitarist did his signature move.  He dropped to his knees and fell backwards with eyes rolled-back in bliss . . .

     “No, wait man, false alarm, the dude needs a defibrillator."

     “Yeah, but before he checked out, he was really digging himself.”
     “Yes, a true artiste.  ROCK ON!!!”

Justin Bieber has that faraway look all the girls are reading loud and clear.  Sparkling-eyed teenage sex.

OMG, I think I better stop!


Joseph Pingel is a pianist, teacher and musicologist.  Click here to get the free companion book to this blog.  See his other sites at and