Recently Son Lux has become a trio (it was originally the project of singer/instrumentalist Ryan Lott). But in this Tiny Desk, rather than staying small, Son Lux went big, adding off-duty, civilian horn players from the United States Marine Band.
I love the opening of “You Don’t Know Me” with the unexpected stops and starts amid the whole section of horns. And then Lott’s voice comes in, it’s unusual, dramatic and theatrical. While the horns are more powerful than everything else in this song, as it nears the middle, the guitar line comes in and is groovy and simple. And then of course there’s the drummer, Ian Chang. It’s a shame he’s stuck in the back corner because he is incredible. The rhythms and rolls are tight and furious, but never overwhelming, they are like perfect accents. And the accessories he uses–simple and effective—all on such at tiny kit. It’s amazing. All of this goes on for half the song before Lott sits at the piano and plays along. I love how the song drops out and leaves just the horns to play the end.
For “Now I Want” Chang plays piano. He plays a simple set of notes moving the song along until he jumps back to drums and Lott takes over on piano (a much more accomplished melody). There’s great guitar sounds by Rafiq Bhatia (who knew you could get a guitar to do that–he even has a dollar bill under some strings for some of the song) and more amazing drum work. I love the way the song completely slows down for a gentle piano melody in the middle and the builds back up again.
Lott is a fun and charismatic lead, whether he’s clapping for his band mates, or encouraging people to sing along.
For “Your Day Will Come” some of the horns leave, with only a trio remaining. Lott opens on piano, with some guitar sounds played over the top. This song is primarily Lott’s as he sings his heart out (some really loud sections) as the music gently swells.
[READ: July 10, 2015] Stitches
I’m not sure what attracted me to this book, but as soon as I brought it home Sarah said she knew it.
This is a memoir of the young life of David Small. His drawing and painting style is very dark, and the people he draws are pretty creepy–which just makes his upbringing seem all the more horrible.
His drawings of himself as a baby are unflattering. And his mother and father both wear glasses so we never really see their eyes–just white where the glass is (their faces are a little darker, so the white really stands out).
He was born tiny and with bad sinuses and a bad digestive system. His father was a doctor and did all kinds of technological things to him to try to cure him. Which at that time consisted primarily of radiation. His father seemed caring, but he was totally committed to his science and had little time for his family.
This meant that he sent most of his time with his mother. And she didn’t speak very much. She communicated by slamming doors. Unless she was very mad and then the screaming began.
At age six he was a curious kids and loved Alice in Wonderland. He also learned from his older brother what his father’s medical books housed–naked pictures! But also diseases and growths.
He talks of his vacation at his mother’s mother’s house. While his father and brother went to their dad’s parents for vacation–weird huh?
His grandfather was even more stern and cross than his mother. And the scene with the crucifix is pretty heartbreaking.
When David turned 10 he was diagnosed with a growth on his throat. It was determined to be a cyst. But his parents said they couldn’t afford to have it taken care of so it grew bigger and bigger over the years. At 14, he had the operation. But when he came out of the anesthesia he learned they needed to do a second operation. And suddenly even his harsh mother was being nice to him.
The second operation ruined his vocal cords. And now he could barely speak. Which suited him fine.
As the story progresses, things just seem ever more horrible and we realize a shocking secret. It’s amazing David was able to have a successful life after this upbringing.