For this Tiny Desk Concert, which is more or less in support of their 2010 album Phosphene Dream, the band strips down to almost a folk band.
There is an acoustic guitar, and hollow-bodied electric which I think is not plugged in (one guitar plays the bass lines and other one plays the solo notes), there’s a harmonium (the second one in a few weeks on the Tiny Desk), there’s a drummer (with basically a floor tom) and the lead singer with a tambourine.
No one is amplified except the singer–whose voice is processed to sound extra trippy (note especially the first lines of the second song, where he sounds like he’s singing from outer space). His singing is very gentle (especially since they are basically unplugged, which makes the effects seem even more powerful).
The band plays four songs, “Bad Vibrations” which is a great way to start off. “Haunting At 1300 McKinley” showcases that echoing voice very well. One of the guitarist sings nice harmony vocals as well. The harmonium has that vibrato sound that also makes the song seem trippy.
“Entrance Song” has the other guitarist singing harmony (deeper voice compared to the singer’s rather high voice).
For the final song, “Too Much Hate,” the singer plays the guitar (leaving the former guitar player with nothing to do). The sentiment of the song is excellent, really showing off a hippy vibe.
I really like The Black Angels a lot, and this makes me think I need to check out their earlier stuff too.
[READ: February 3, 2016] Astronaut Academy: Re-Entry
I enjoyed Book 1 a lot but I enjoyed this sequel so much more. I’m glad that I put off reading this one until after the first because even though there were no mysterious things that I wouldn’t have gotten, the whole experience is definitely greater if you read these in order.
This book opens with a similar style–brief episodes about each person–and what they have been up to over the summer. I enjoyed that Hakata Soy has been spending his time on earth (such a novel idea). But that’s when he gets the devastating news that Princess Boots, the girl he gave his second heart to in the backstory, actually gave it away and is now dating his arch-nemesis Rick Raven.
Scab Wellington was released from prison (which makes Maribelle Mellonbelly happy). And Thalia Thistle still hasn’t told her dad that she plays Fireball.
But things go awry quickly when Thali approaches teammate Tak Offsky and acts rather flirty with him (this has never happened before as they are both totally info Fireball and nothing else). But as soon as he gives her his heart, she devours it. And then burps in his face. This is bad enough, but the fact that he no longer has two hearts means that he is ineligible to play with the Chibi Sesame Seeds Fireball team going forward!
So Tak starts teaching Hakata how to play, and he is actually pretty good (much to Tak’s dismay).
Meanwhile, the new cool thing to do is Mochichimon Cards and the best player of the game is Munchi Ng. But there is a contender for the crown.
Also, Doug Hiro is back (still in his astronaut suit) and he has just discovered the library! Calico Hopps is back and she has done some serious martial arts study over the summer. Oh and Billy Lee has sprouted a flower out of his bald head.
Meanwhile Tak isn’t the only one to have his heart destroyed. It seems to be happening with regularity all of a sudden so the principal has declared love off-limits on campus. Is that fair? Is that even possible?
Near the end of the story there’s a huge Fireball championship match (which is thankfully easy to follow because of Roman’s artistic style), with surprising results. And then we find out what’s behind all of the heart munching.
If book one had a kind of video game feel to it, book 2 expands on that with the students able to regenerate hearts (like in all video games) and even wearing a bracelet that shows their heart strength.
I’m not sure if there are plans for a third book. I’ll certainly read it if there is, but I feel totally satisfied after this book.