SOUNDTRACK: ISLANDS-Arm’s Way (2008).
I enjoyed Islands’ first album (and, in a weirder way, their earlier band The Unicorns). This album seems to have made a lot of 2008 Top Ten or at least Top Fifty lists. What’s so strange about the whole affair is that I absolutely love the first 8 songs on this disc, and based on those alone, I would put it on my top ten as well.
But after that….
Well, let’s put it this way, the eighth song “In the Rushes” is a wonderfully weird 7 minute song that ends with a direct quote/pseudo-parody of the Who’s “A Quick One, While He’s Away.” The “tribute” comes in all of a sudden after five or so minutes, and ends with the lyrical change from The Who’s “You Are Forgiven” to their own “You Are Forgotten.” But musically it’s spot on. And I’ll tell you, that just feels like the end to me. “A Quick One” ends The Who Sell Out, and so it should end this too.
And those last four songs, which actually totally about half an hour (!), I just can’t really enjoy for some reason. Perhaps if they left them as a separate EP…?
But back to the rest of the disc. The opening salvo of songs is just so fantastic. “The Arm” is catchy and weird with cool breaks and a bitchin’ chorus. “Pieces of You,” not anything to do with Jewel, is another great catchy song. The next three tracks are great little rockers with some thrashy parts and more off-kilter aspects. “Kids Don’t Know Shit” starts mellow but has a cool string-filled chorus. And then of course, you get to “In the Rushes.” So these 8 tracks come in at 37 minutes, and I swear I’m just done with the disc.
Those next four songs are good (In fact, listening to samples of them right now, I do like the songs, and “To a Bond” is an especially good song, too). I guess I just feel like the album is done by then. And when you think an album is done and there’s still 30 minutes to go, well, it’s just daunting. Too bad, really, because it is a good disc.
[READ: March 17, 2009] English as She is Spoke
I bought the hardcover edition of this book many many years ago as soon as I heard of it…anything with a rave by Mark Twain must be worthwhile, right? When I was looking for it again recently I couldn’t find it anywhere. So, I saw that McSweeney’s were having another sale and I picked up the paperback edition. The text is exactly the same; however, the introduction is slightly different and for that reason alone I’m glad I have the new copy too (I did find the hardcover a few days after I received the paperback, of course).
The paperback edition contains an update to the introduction. The hardcover was rather popular and one of its readers–a UCLA linguist–wanted to absolve Fonesca of some of the blame for the book. It appears that Fonesca had written a very good phrase book which Carolino basically used for his own purposes in creating this hilarious enterprise. Rather than just plagiarizing Fonesca, Carolino gave him full credit, thereby giving him a lifetime of undeserved infamy. So, thanks Paul Collins for setting the record straight.
As to the book itself…. (more…)
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