SOUNDTRACK: OKKERVIL RIVER-“All You Little Suckers” from Score! 20 Years of Merge Records: The Covers (2009).
This is another cover of an East River Pipe song. (I get the feeling that Merge has signed maybe six bands in total). I didn’t mind this cover so much when I listened to it the first few times—it’s weirdly high-pitched towards the end and kind of melodramatic all through, but I didn’t find it awful.
But once I heard the original, I decided that I didn’t like the cover much. The original is simple and understated, highlighting the melody. Plus it’s nearly half as long as the cover. Why the cover is as ponderous as it is, I don’t know. Score one for the original.
[READ: April 29, 2012] “My Mother, Myself”
Another article from The New York Times and another article that changes what we think of Rivka Galchen. In this one, we meet Rivka’s mother, the driving force behind her life choices. In other words, she insisted that Rivka would keep being a doctor.
As we know from other articles, Rivka no longer wanted to be a doctor (again, I still haven’t read if she finished school or not). And she was hoping to use the experiment that comprises this article as a test. She would be going to Guatemala for three weeks of immersion learning of Spanish. She would also be participating in a trial study for a vaccine for traveler’s diarrhea (for the cost of room and board and study). (more…)
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Posted in Adventure, Colum McCann, East River Pipe, History, Jack Alcock, New Yorker, Short Story, Teddy Brown, The Mountain Goats, War on April 26, 2012 |
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SOUNDTRACK: THE MOUNTAIN GOATS-”Drug Life” from Score! 20 Years of Merge Records: The Covers (2009).
I could tell this was a Mountain Goats song right from the start–it’s lo fi and yet it sounds clear (especially the vocals). Normally with The Mountain Goats you talk about the lyrics, but since he didn’t write the song, there’s not much to say about them (in this paragraph anyhow).
The original, by East River Pipe is also very lo-fi. It’s a very catchy song and it’s all about drugs: (“If it comes down to the drugs or you…baby we’re through.”). The original is guitar and keyboards and Cornog’s straightforward singing. The cover is simply acoustic guitar. It’s a little faster (and a little shorter) and because I like The Mountain Goats, I prefer the cover.
Although really, they’re not very different.
[READ: April 16, 2012] “Transatlantic”
This story was out of my comfort zone–it’s about army men and airplanes, that’s not my scene, man. And after reading the first few paragraphs, I wondered if I should keep reading it. But McCann wrote a compelling story and I’m really glad I finished it.
The story is basically an account of two men, Teddy Brown and Jack Alcock, as they attempt the first transatlantic flight in their modified bomber called The Vickers Vimy. Anyone with a working knowledge of the flight, or post WWI history knows that these are two real historical people. I do not have such a working knowledge, so I had no idea that this was based on a true story. If you know anything about them (and I swear, Google either of them and you will find all the details that you need) then you know how the story turns out.
I didn’t know how the story turned out and I found it thrilling. In part that’s because it’s an exceptionally exciting moment in history–two former army men modify a bomber and try to fly from Newfoundland, Canada to Ireland. And really, there’s no way it should work–bombers don’t have enough fuel, they have no radar. It could take days. Hell the planes don’t even have a windshield that covers them. But the excitement is also because of the way that McCann tells the story. (more…)
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