It’s always interesting to see a singer with nothing else to do. Berninger doesn’t really do a lot when he’s singing with the National, so here, he just stands with his hands in his pockets, singing his intensely personal lyrics.
In “No Time To Crank The Sun” Berninger’s voice is higher than usual. It’s quite nice. I especially like the piano melody and the way he created some really unexpected notes in the transition from verse to bridge (or whatever parts they technically are). This song feels a little long at 5 minutes but there are a lot of parts to it.
Berninger’s speaking voice is quite deep, and that’s the way it sounds on the second song, “Careless.” he introduces it as “another sad love song.” Lyrically it’s a little obvious, especially given that there’s not much music to hide behind. But it is a nice ballad.
My favorite of the three songs is the third one, “Need a Friend.” Berninger is a fun performer, commenting, “Happy New Year and thanks for having us.” Then looking at the audience and saying “Could you keep it down back there?” This song is a bit more bouncy in the piano. A little more upbeat, which is nice.
After most shows, the audience claps, and maybe you hear people chatting. At the end of this one, people clap and there’s some silence and you hear Berninger joke, “Awkward,” before the show cuts off.
[READ: December 10, 2015] Cat Burglar Black
I’ve been reading so many graphic novels recently, that I haven’t had time to post about some of the ones I read a while back. But since this is First Second’s #10yearsof01 month, now’s the time.
I wasn’t sure what to make of the title of this book until it was used in context–the girls are wearing “cat burglar black” to sneak around.
K. is a teenager. She is an orphan and had been living in an orphanage until her Aunt learned about her and invited her to the Bellsong Academy. She doesn’t know this Aunt and is a little apprehensive.
When she shows up there, things are mighty weird. There are only four girls in attendance, the headmistress is scary (I hate the drawing style of her, although the other characters are pretty interesting), and there’s a ton of unusual things going on. The most notable thing is that whenever anyone speaks their speech balloons are filled with ellipses, making it seem like they are hiding something….which they are.
The four girls are each distinct because of their hair (otherwise they all wear black). K. has white hair (a family trait). Rory has long black hair. She’s the first to meet K. (she is swinging in a tree). She introduces her to Morrow (long red hair) and Zel (short brown hair). The style of the girls is very simple. They all have red cheeks and look vaguely like fifties pin-up models and are known as The Obtainers.
Then we learn that the K.’s orphanage had been run by the evil Mother Claude who forced all of the girls to be swindlers, burglars and pickpockets. She died when the orphanage burned down, thankfully.
We meet some other really strange characters here, like Dr Kuvac who brings K,. her aunt (her Aunt is in the infirmary bandaged from head to toe), and two creepy faculty members, Mr Dell and Mr Fahr.
Just before the plot starts, a statue in the building says to K., “Be careful, you are being watched.”
The plot is this: there are three old paintings of Anodyne Quinn, founder of the Academy. It is said that there is a riddle held within the paintings that will lead to untold riches. The headmistress of the school has turned the girls into excellent cat burglars intent on stealing these paintings. The fact that K. went to a school for burglars is a major incentive for bringing her in.
The paintings are in three different houses, which means three separate missions.
On each of the missions, one of the girls disappears. The other girls assume the missing girl ran away, but it seems like something much more sinister
The ending felt rather slight after the intensity of the book. It felt like perhaps we were missing something or that there would be more coming later or so. Nevertheless, the story was pretty interspersing, and I enjoyed their adventures (and the reveal of K.’s Aunt).
Although there’s some minor violence, this story is fine for middle school readers.