I know very little about these bands, but I assume that this folkie collective uses this kind of instrumentation all the time, although I have to suggest that two upright basses and a viola seems excessive. The beginning of this video shows an early aborted attempt with different instruments (accordion, banjo, flute, drum and ukulele), so that sounds promising–and honestly the overload of large strings doesn’t sound bad at all in the final product.
It’s interesting that bands with lots of members are a kind of trend–it’s so impractical. And yet when done well, it’s quite lovely. And when these seven folks starts singing along near the end of the song it’s really pretty.
The story of this video is also interesting. They had planned to film their video outside. But on the day of their video shoot it was 33 degrees below zero (in Minnesota). They have some brief footage at the beginning and then the video switches to them inside a quite cozy cabin.
It’s hard to tell from just this one song what kind of folk collective Spirits of the Red City is, but I enjoyed this song quite a bit.
[READ: February 20, 2015] Axe Cop Volume 3
Axe Cop Volume 3 returns to the format of Volume 1 (the one I liked better) with a mix of shorter comics and the return of Ask Axe Cop!
The first comic we see features the return of Bat Warthog Man and features the practical science of Chemist M (whom Axe Cop buys for ten dollars). It also has a chihuahua who was a soldier that was turned into a chihuahua when the soldier’s dog bit him (Malachai’s understanding of how transformations work makes me hope he never gets bitten by anything). The dog can turn back into a man “only when I am not ready to fight…which is almost never.” There’ also a hilarious scene where Axe Cop is inside the imagination of a mouse which is in color and is “full of unicorns and cheese.”
The Ask Axe Cops are more intense in these later variations, like the one that asks if he ever got in trouble (he got in trouble with his mom when he chopped the head off a rabbit who was not following rabbit rules). We also see the introduction of head trash–a place where all the heads that axe cop has removed are disposed. There’s dating advice (very sound); a jumping competition and a hilarious bit about Halloween (where he gets 1,051 candies to share with his friends, but the bad guys have poisoned 1,040 pieces of it. There is also Axe Cop’s strangely violent generosity on Thanksgiving (yipes).
We learn that Axe Cop would choose to have dinner with Johnny Cash. There’s even an ask Flute Cop! and a Chronicles of Narnia riff.
The rest of the book is full of interesting specials. There’s a team up with McNinja who I didn’t know before. As well as a team up with The Possum, (also unknown to me). There’s a Halloween special (full of orange highlights!) and a Christmas special.
I enjoy a lot of Ethan’s comments about the particular episodes, especially “The Funny episode” which is mostly Axe Cop playing pranks on everyone. The pranks prove to be quite violent and horrible, but Axe Cop thinks they are very funny.
There’ a lot of things here that if a grown up thought of it, he’d be arrested, but since Malachai was only 7, he can be forgiven .So when Axe Cop babysit Uni-baby, there are some pretty horrific things happening to the poor baby (who poops too much for Axe Cop’s liking). Although Uni-baby’s final revenge is (disgusting) and sweet.
There is even one strip in which Malachai does the drawing. But he doesn’t like to draw so he has literally one picture (although it kills off a pretty major character).
The book also a has a few “extras” like Jack & John Zombie Vampire Killers and Secret Agent Brothers I and M. Ethan says they did these as a way to take a break from Axe Cop, although they’re really not much different (bad guys get killed). I enjoyed the guest episodes (only selected ones are included here). Many of them were written by artists’ own children as well! It’s nice to see new ideas from the Axe Cop world, including a light bulb joke and a pitch for the Axe Cop Babies spin off. It turns out that Malachai was also inspired by these new comics and used some of those ideas in later stories.
The end of the book features pin ups gallery from other artists including yet another MST3K alum with a terrible terrible drawing by Mike Nelson!