Jake Bugg is the least charismatic person I’ve ever seen at the Tiny Desk. He doesn’t look up, barely says anything and when he’s not singing, he seems bored out of his mind. It’s amazing he has any energy at all to sing the songs. But he does, and his voice is deceptively strong and his songs, while simple, are really rather fun.
He plays four songs. “Slumville Sunrise” is punky and fast–his voice is very British and a little abrasive, perfect for punk folk. But in the chorus, he can really belt out the lyrics. “Me and You” has a nice melody and is a good change of pace from the first song. “Storm Passes Away” is a more folkie song, mellower than the others and almost upbeat sounding. The final song, “Lightning Bolt” is apparently one of his big singles. It is fast and rollicking and has an unusual and rather catchy deliver style.
I came away from this concert thinking that Bugg was a real jerk, but I was impressed by his voice and his song writing chops.
[READ: July 1, 2014] Eric
Eric is a very simple children’s story done with the great exacting style of Shaun Tan’s best artwork. The narrator explains that Eric is a foreign exchange student. Eric is very curious about so many things; however, since Eric is only a few inches high, most of the things he is curious about are tiny incidental things that we take for granted–buttons, the shapes of drains, plastic wrappers, etc.
The narrator’s mum says it is a cultural thing, and it must be, because Eric doesn’t do things that most normal people do (probably because he is only 3 inches tall). The end of the story is a wonderful surprise.
This short story was originally published in Tan’s Tales from Outer Suburbia. But it really shines on its own here. And the edition is beautiful. A small, pocket-sized hardcover, with slightly indented holes for the eyes and the title of Eric.
It’s especially delightful the way that the majority of the book is in black and white or more specifically, black and tan but that the cover and end papers are alive with color–almost like fireworks.
Happy 4th of July.