Hospital Ships is a band created by Jordan Geiger, who was in the band Shearwater, among others. In 2011 he released his second album as Hospital Ships. The blurb describes the album as “packed with poppy folk songs and brash rockers enhanced with instrumental flourishes and bursts of guitar feedback,” but for this recording, they strip everything down to the basics: a guitar, banjo, ukulele and a drum with a towel over it to muffle the sound.
Geiger has a rather high-pitched, delicate, almost talking-singing voice and his songs are rather pretty. The band plays 3 songs in just over ten minutes. The first one, “Phantom Limb,” (once my lover, now my friend, you are my phantom limb) has a recurring motif of them saying/singing “ha ha” which is rather catchy.
“Carry On,” features a four-letter word (technically a seven letter word), which might be one of the first times on a Tiny Desk Concert that such a word is uttered. It’s especially funny given how sweet the band sounds. The sentiment of the song is nice though: “To all the women I’ve loved, When I was with you I would say I was better off…. And when I’m gone, carry on, carry on.” There were harmonies in the first song, but they are more prominent in this one (three part) and are quite nice. The banjo player also does a whistling solo.
“Let Me In” made me laugh because he uses the word baby a lot (which Ben Folds said in his Tiny Desk that he has never said in real life, so why would he put in it a song?). But this song is very gentle and sweet–just Geiger on his guitar singing “baby, let me in.”
Geiger’s voice reminds me of a few different people–Ben Gibbard from Death Cab for Cutie especially on the final track; perhaps the Mountain Goats or the Weakerthans. And his songwriting is very good.
[READ: December 26, 2015] Silent But Deadly
I really enjoyed the first Liō collection, and was pretty excited that i could find the second collection so quickly (my library doesn’t have any more collections for some reason, so I’ll have to track the rest down elsewhere.
Not much has changed from that book to this one, but I think Tatulli’s comic chops have gotten even better.
The strip won me over immediately with the first one in the book. Lio draws a monster and it comes to life. He looks at the marker and it says “magic marker” and he gets a big grin and goes back to work. So simple yet so funny.
It is that big grin–wide open-mouthed just unfettered mischievous delight that occurs in nearly every strip. Continue Reading »