Two Inch Astronaut resuscitate some great dissonant sounds of the 1990s.
This song packs abrasive chords and unusual riffs. But there is also so much going on in these three and a half minutes, that if it weren’t for the recurrent riff it might be several different songs.
This song opens with a brittle guitar playing an odd riff. Then the band jumps in all playing that same fast, odd riff. By thirty seconds, a pounding riff takes over until the verses start–spoken/shouted words (like great punk of the 80s) over a pulsing bass. But then comes the great big melodic chorus–giving you something to latch on to in all the chaos (which comes back right after the chorus with guitars that sound practically unhinged).
The second verse is not spoken, but yelled, changing the song once again. As does the third verse which is primarily bass with guitar accents and a few quiet moments. But the guitar solo is just as fast as might be expected from the band. What’s unexpected is that the guitar solo leads to a closing riff, and no more vocals.
This is challenging, harsh music designed to keep you off-balance. And it’s a welcome sound that I’ve missed over the last few years.
[READ: June 21, 2013] A User’s Guide to Neglectful Parenting
This book came into my pile of new books at work. Since I’ve often wondered if I am a neglectful parent I thought maybe I could learn a trick or two from this User’s Guide.
Well, I read the whole thing in about ten minutes. There are about twelve twenty page cartoons included. Each one is a little saga of bad (and hilarious) parenting.
The first is about the tooth fairy (which in this version is a mouse—Delisle is Canadian…where does the mouse come from?). It, of course has to do with every parent’s tooth fairy woe—when they forget to have the tooth fairy show up. The punch line is quite good on this one.
One of the premises of the strip is that the dad is a Manly Man—and he thinks his son is a wimp. So, when he sees a punching bag he encourages his son to be a man and hit it. No, not like that…really hit it. I know, pretend you’re hitting your sister.
WHAM WHAM WHAM.
Or perhaps the “here son, try out this chainsaw” strip. The son, sensibly doesn’t want to. The dad says he’s ½ Canadian, he’ll have to do it. Then he tries a practical joke. Practical joke with chainsaw. The son freaks out, but the punchline is even better. Very twisted.
There’s also the delightful “pretend to watch you kid take swimming lessons” joke and an inspired twist on “a tree will grow in your stomach if you swallow pits.”
Since the dad is a cartoonist, he proves to be a very valuable (and harsh) critic to his wee daughter’s drawing (again, the ending line is really funny). And holy hell, the “penetration” joke is really really funny.
The final strip, about dealing with a child addicted to a DS and trying to get them interested in anything else, will hit home with anyone with a young child. And really any of these strips should. They’re all very funny. I wonder what else Delisle has done.
Amazingly, I just saw that this book is actually a translation (from French, I believe) by Helge Dascher. That may explain the mouse, bit otherwise the idioms are spot on and the punchlines lost nothing in translation.