I have been hearing about the Unknown Mortal Orchestra for a little while now The name is intriguing and really could indicate so many different styles of music. With the internet, it’s very easy to hear a sample of a band, but I like to happen upon them a bit more organically. So, here was a track from a recent live show that NPR was sampling for us.
UMO is from New Zealand and they have a kind of psychedelic-meets-Black Sabbath feel. The song isn’t really heavy so much as just riff-based and speedy. The song has an appropriate Sabbathesque quick riff at the end of each verse and a boatload of flange and vibrato tossed on, too.
But I don’t really care for the vocalist, who seems kind of pinched and tight–almost exactly the opposite of what this expansive song is crying out for.
So this song is ultimately a mixed bag–I like the vibe of the band, but I don’t feel compelled to hear any more from them.
You can watch the video (and groove on the singer’s shirt) here.
[READ: July 5, 2013] Goliath
I enjoyed Gauld’s You’re All Just Jealous of My Jetpack enough to track down Goliath, his previous book.
Although Jetpack is a collection of strips, Goliath is a telling of the story of David and Goliath (which everyone knows is the great underdog story). The big difference here is that we see the story from Goliath’s point of view (which I believe we do not ever see in the Bible–it’s been years since I’ve actually read it).
In this version, Goliath is a simple man. Despite his size, he would rather do office work than fight. Indeed, when given the opportunity, he jumps at the chance to do administrative paper work rather than practice with weapons. But the Philistines are at war and everyone needs to help.
That’s when one of the soldiers gets an idea. Goliath is to go into the valley and proclaim to all who can hear: “I am Goliath of Gath, Champion of the Philistines. I Challenge you: Choose a Man. Let him come to me that we may fight. If he be able to kill me then we shall be your servants. But if I kill him then you shall be our servants.”
The solider who thought of this was no fool–Goliath is a giant after all. He also tells Goliath that he won’t ever have to fight. It’s psychological–he just shouts that phrase twice a day, every day and the enemy will give up (because Goliath is so confident and so big).
And it seems to work–the only person whom Goliath encounters is a goatherd who doesn’t speak his language (I love the way that was depicted). And so Goliath waits for 40 days, bored out of his mind, perhaps even going a little crazy. And then, one day a boy with a rock comes up and the end is history.
Suddenly rather than the triumph of the underdog, the story becomes quite sad.
The illustrations are wonderful–again, Gauld does so much with so little. This book is basically black white and brown, and that extra color does wonderful things for the shading and setting. I also really enjoy a retelling of a story from a different perspective. In my recollection of this tale, one never gives any thought to Goliath–he’s just a giant, a warrior, so this is an interesting point of view.
The book also reveals that Gauld has released other works: Guardians of the Kingdom, Hunter and Painter and The Gigantic Robot, which I’m going to have to hunt down.