I remember getting their first album and thinking it was okay. But since then I have re-listened, and bought their other discs and found them to be an interesting side project from one of hard rock’s most enduring bands. It’s also funny that Stone Gossard, by no means the most visible member of the band (surely Eddie Vedder wins for that and even lead guitarist Mike McCready gets more notoriety) should create a side band in which he is, again, not the main figure. Lead singer Shawn Smith steals the show with his impressive voice.
This live set is brief (six songs in half an hour) and features four tracks from their recently released Best Firends? CD (which I haven’t heard). The other two tracks “Buttercup” and “Screen” come from that first album.
The tracks from the new album seem like good classic rock (with “Low” being much harder than the other three and “Believe in Yourself” being a delicate piano ballad). “Buttercup” still sounds good here as a sort of mellow jazzy number. I’m not sure if Smith’s voice is as strong as it was, but he still sounds good.
It’s not a great show, but it’s a good collection of mellow rock songs. You can listen to the set here.
[READ: October 11, 2010] “The Book of the Dead”
Edwidge Danticat is the next writer in the 1999 New Yorker 20 Under 40 issue.
I love the name Edwidge Danticat, although I’ve never heard of her before and (therefore obviously) never read her stuff. Actually I take that back, I had heard of her book Krik? Krak! but didn’t recognize her as the author.
This story is about a young sculptor. Her subject is almost exclusively her father. He was a prisoner in Haiti and had a chance meeting, on the day he was released, with the woman who would later become his wife (and the artists’ mother). They escaped to America and have lived happily ever since.
The first sculpture that the young artist made is one that she has fondness for but one that she never thought was very “strong” as a piece. But one day she is told that a celebrity, a Haitian beauty who now appears on an American television show, wants to buy this sculpture as a gift to her own father. The sculptor is so excited, that she personally travels across the country to deliver the sculpture to the celebrity. She invites her father along since he was the inspiration.
But things go south when they finally arrive at the hotel. And the story gets very interesting as more revelations come forth. In fact, one revelation undermines everything that we thought was the basis of the story. (It’s quite a whopper!).
I was surprised at the direction the story ended up going (which I think is a good thing). I have to admit I was curious for it to go in a different direction–hoping to see how that story would have played out. However, the story that she gave us was quite interesting too, for very different reasons.
The characters were strong and the emotions resonated very well. I’m not sure that I seek out other works by her, but if I see her name on a new story I’ll more than likely check it out.