I don’t know Restorations, although I understand that they usually play pretty big loud guitar rock. For the Tiny Desk they are stripped down (I guess) to the three guitars, but no drums or bass. Lead singer Jon Loudon has a powerful and excellent voice. On “Separate Songs” there are two guitars and a keyboard and wonderful harmonies. The keyboardist sings backing vocals in the beginning of the song, so that when the lead guitarist joins in later, it’s even more impressive.
The guys are very friendly and funny. The joke about the “desk” and about their constant tuning needs.
For “Tiny Prayers” all three play guitars and there some wonderful melodies that they play together. The Future” is the slowest song of the three, but it contains all of the same elements–cool guitar sounds and wonderful harmonies.
The band has a great sense of melody. And yet for all that I liked t his set, there was nothing that really stood out for me about the band. They are simply a good rock band, and that’s not a bad thing.
[READ: November 29, 2015] The Complete Peanuts 1963-1964
The drawing style of Peanuts that I most associate with the strip has been pretty consistent by this point. And most of the characters look “right” (although Snoopy will continue to morph over the years).
Why does Charlie Brown keep going? Despite all of the abuse Charlie gets, this one strip seems to sum up his strengths: “adversity is what makes you mature…the growing soul is watered best by tears of sadness.”
I feel like Schulz was either looking up facts to write about for some of this year. Because we get things like this: Lucy: “You have to have [a note excusing you from school] otherwise the school can’t collect its state-aid money.” Is that true or has Lucy hoodwinked Linus and me? Later Charlie tells Lucy “when cranes and herons stand on one leg they can’t be injured by ground lightning.” Later, Linus tells Sally that birds “have muscles in their feet which automatically contract when they fall asleep (which is how they sleep on a limb without falling off). He then says the same principle applies with Snoopy’s ears. Is this true?
In July 1963, there must have been an eclipse as the strip spends several days telling everyone how to safely watch it.
Linus’ blanket continues to occupy a lot of attention, with Lucy continually yelling at him about it. His blanket hating grandma returns and even takes it away (she gives him a dollar bill which he tries to snuggle with).
Linus is full of ambition in these years. He wants to be a rancher for several weeks in 1963. Although, horror of horrors, he doesn’t make the honor roll in March of 1963. But that doesn’t stop him. And in a big surprise in 1964, he runs for school president (and has but one failing…and it’s not his blanket).
Schroeder continues to dismiss Lucy, this time even saying the chances are a googol to one (and then writing out how many zeros that is) of them getting married. In July 1963 she complains that Beethoven never made it on any bubble gum cards. Later when Lucy asks him why he doesn’t like her, Schroeder gives a very simple answer. She replies, “I hate reasons.”
Rachel Carson returns in Feb 1964 with Lucy saying “we girls need our heroines.” Of course Lucy also gets this quotable moment: “The crabby little girls of today are the crabby old women of tomorrow.”
Attacks on consumerism continue with a shoddy baseball about which Charlie says “this is what is called ‘planned obsolescence.'”
Speaking of baseball, there’s plenty of it. I enjoyed the Sunday strip where Charlie using Snoopy to show how to break up a double play. In 1964, Charlie suffers from Little Leaguer’s Elbow (and the team does great without him). And when Lucy hurts her elbow (and refuses to call it Washerwoman’s elbow) she says she’ll sue Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb and Willard Mullin (Mullin was a sports cartoonist).
In August 1963, we see the first mention of Charlie Brown’s baseball hero Joe Shlabotnik (and the very distressing moment when Lucy won’t give let Charlie have his card).
I got a real kick out of Schulz returning to the McCovey joke from last year (in January!) saying “or why couldn’t McCovey have hit the ball even two feet higher?”
In 1963’s National Library week, Sally gets her library card this time and she is even more excited than Linus was. She even has the line: “Happiness is having your own library card.”
Sally also addresses helicopter parents of 1963: “My mother is watching me out of the window. Mothers feel secure when they see a child of theirs playing in a sandbox. Sigh. She’s secure and I’m bored to death.”
The little red-haired girl is obsessed over from time to time. Especially during Charlie’s lonely lunches.
Frieda has definitely dwindled by now–even if she never really did much. She does abuse Snoopy about chasing rabbits but in one strip, we seem him playing with bunnies and four sleeping on his stomach on top of his doghouse. This seems to set in motion Snoopy’s love of all other animals.
Later, there’s a really funny strip with Snoopy trying to fill his water bowl from a tap. Then it rains on him. The punchline “That’s one I’m going to have to think about for a while” is hilarious.
And…Snoopy goes to the hospital for a couple weeks! (nothing serious). Charlie says he has a private room “he has a health insurance policy that pays forty dollars a day!”
In September of 1963, there’s a joke about ZIP Codes (Snoopy forgets his) and then shortly after a new character named 5 is introduced. He explains, “My dad says we have so many numbers these days we’re all losing our identity. He’s decided that everyone in our family should have a number instead of a name.” His sisters 3 and 4 look like Peppermint Patty (who hasn’t arrived yet). ZIP codes were introduced in 1963.
At Halloween in 1963 Linus slips about the Great Pumpkin and says “if he comes” (like in the TV show). He’s doomed!
In February of 1964 a whole set of strips focuses on the existence of the humane society.
And in May of 1964 we get the classic bit from the movie when Charlie puts a coin in Lucy’s can and she sings “Boy what a sound. How I love to hear that ol’ money plink! That beautiful sound of cold hard cash! Nickels! Nickels! Nickels!”
In June of 1964 there is a very touching Father’s Day strip. (Although it wasn’t officially recognized until 1966 and signed into law as a official day by Nixon in 1972).
I really enjoyed the series of strips where they clean out Snoopy’s house and the dimensions (which we never see) are enormous! There’s stairs, a pool table and all kinds of cool things.
For years now, Peanut has had strips where charters hold up signs–sometimes for Beethoven’s birthday, or national library week. But in Sept 1964 it gets a bit more surreal with a bird holding a sign that has ! on it. Later another bird’s sign says ; and ? A fight breaks out about it. It’s very funny.
And in October 1964 Lucy pulls away the football despite given Charlie a signed document… “it was never notarized.”
And the year ends with something of cliffhanger. Charlie has to do a report on Gulliver’s Travels over his holiday break, but he keeps putting it off… what will happen in 1965?
The foreword was written by Bill Melendez. Melendez first met Schulz when they collaborated on an animated commercial for the Ford Falcon in 1960. In 1963, they worked together on a documentary about Schulz using more animation. Then in 1965 Coca Cola contacted him to see if Schulz would like to make a Christmas special. They had 5 days to write the outline. They used the kids from the Ford commercial as the voices. And they had six months to make the move. It first aired on December 9, 1965.
Melendez raves about their work (rightfully) and then talks about the many other specials the made together–a Veterans’ Day one called What Have We Learned, Charlie Brown, and a show about cancer called Why Charlie Brown, Why? In total they made fifty network specials and 4 feature films. He talks about how great it was that they found Vince Guaraldi for the music and that they used real kids and no laugh track. It’s hard to believe that special is so old!