His music is pretty and rather mellow. What makes this Tiny Desk so enjoyable is the objects he uses to makes sounds with.
He loops a lot of noises (something that I love) as they build to really add textures to the song. But the things he uses for sounds are awesome. In the first song (“Blue and Gray” about 4 minutes), he crinkles a water bottle to make a percussion sound.
Before the second song “Can’t Taste” (which is about 8 minutes), he asks the audience to bring up random objects for him to play with. So he gets a set of keys that he uses as a chime sound. He opens a can of seltzer for percussion. He plays a metal water bottle. And then he also takes things from the shelves behind him, like the shelves themselves and even a Paul McCartney bobble head.
The music itself is almost an afterthought, as the melody is pretty but he doesn’t really do a lot to lot–he just has a ton of fun playing with the items around (he gets a big smile with the bobble head).
This is a show that works much better visually than audibly, so watch it here.
[READ: April 10, 2015] Peanuts Every Sunday 1956-1960
Fantagraphics has been releasing volumes of Peanuts daily comic strips. They are looking to do 50 years of strips in 25 books! (they are up to 1990). And now they have begun releasing the Sunday color strips in their own volumes.
This book picks up where the last one left off. And of course, Snoopy is still the star. There’s some very funny jokes with snoopy–like the one where he tries to fly—there’s something wonderful about Snoopy being insecure (and clumsy).
Linus can’t let go of his blanket (July 1956). And in an early baseball one, the blanket actually causes him trouble (instead of later ones where it is a benefit).
Pigpen gets a strip devoted to himself in July 1956 and then there’s a very funny one about sand in his shoe in 1958.
Lucy yells to make the kites fall out of the tree. And the first full acknowledgment of her pulling football away comes in December of 1956.
I also enjoy how violent the cartoons were. Like this exchange between Linus and Lucy:
Linus: Give it to me or I’ll slug ya.
Lucy: Mom, Linus says he’s gonna slug me.
Mom: Linus that’s no way to talk.
Linus: Well, that’s the way they talk on TV if they can talk that what, why can’t I?
Mom: That’s just one of those things I can’t explain.
Lucy: Listen dope. If you slug me I’ll slug you right back.
Linus: Never mind Mom, it’s just been explained to me in language that I understand.
There’s some really great one liners coming in now too. Lucy: I feel torn between the desire to create and the desire to destroy.
There almost isn’t as much Charlie Brown in this book. Although he is certainly there. In June 1957 he realizes that he won’t ever be president.
And the gang all starts to look pretty much as we know them at this point (except Snoopy still).
There’s lots of funny strips (visual mostly) of Snoopy chasing Linus to try to get his blanket (a joke that recurred for years).
And there’s a very meta joke of Lucy wearing one of CB’s shirts
Sally Brown, CB’s sister is born around August 1959 and CB gains a pencil pal. The following week Aug 16 1959 is a great sibling rivalry with Lucy and Linus. And there’s a wonderful strip where Sally and Snoopy gang up on Linus Oct 25 1959.
The Snoopy jokes are very funny with him (still) walking on all fours and wishing to be a bird or pretending to be a mountain lion.
The 1960 new years strip in which Lucy gives Linus the resolutions he should work on is hilarious.
Later Linus gets so mad at Lucy that “she hath caused me to rend my garment” is one of the funnier punch lines I’ve seen.
The great pumpkin makes its first mention on October 23 1960.
The Snoopy/Linus rivalry is really wonderful throughout with Snoopy trying to steal Linus’ blanket and then later getting into boxing matches—this is the classic Peanuts. Some of these jokes have now been around for ages (the boxing glove on the nose). And Snoopy is starting to look a lot more like his familiar self (although not exactly the same yet).
It’s a great collection, once again. And it looks amazing.