The production values of this video belie the quality and intensity of the song they play.
The video is set in a dark room with the only light coming from an open window. The vocal is a bit staticy and at times too loud for the mic. But that doesn’t overshadow the fact that this is a beautiful, sad song. And that Gwen Austin has a powerful, somewhat haunting voice in the vein of Sharon Van Etten.
The music is simple Gwen on acoustic guitar and an accompaniment of a very echoey electric guitar Russell Marshall, but she sings with intense aching in her voice. The song comes from Austin’s feminist folk opera about the nativity story, which I’d sure like to hear more about.
[READ: February 10, 2016] “Fever”
The August 2015 Harper’s had a “forum” called How to Be a Parent. Sometimes these forums are dialogues between unlikely participants and sometimes, like in this case, each author contributes an essay on the topic. There are ten contributors to this Forum: A. Balkan, Emma Donoghue, Pamela Druckerman, Rivka Galchen, Karl Taro Greenfeld, Ben Lerner, Sarah Manguso, Claire Messud, Ellen Rosenbush and Michelle Tea. Since I have read pieces from most of these authors I’ll write about each person’s contribution.
I believe that everything I know from Taro Greenfeld I know from Harper’s magazines.
The title of this one had me preparing for something very different. I imagined an article about illnesses and not a basketball team. His daughter played for a team called Fever and he was called upon to be a coach because no one else would (that sounds familiar).
Unlike my own soccer league with many different teams, this basketball league had but two teams, and Fever played Sky every week for 12 weeks. Karl was a first time coach and didn’t know much about how to be a coach. The other coach was pretty good (he had a clipboard) and somehow managed to get all of the tall, talented players compared to Karl’s less experienced ones.
Since the played the same team every week, they lost 12 games in a row. Which is pretty disheartening. Especially when the games were pretty much blowouts. He even lost a few players to disenchantment.
The one hold-out was his daughter who was not very good but who didn’t get upset about losing all the time–she just wanted to have fun. That was in contrast to the parents who all offered advice and suggestions on how to make the team better (without actually volunteering to coach themselves).
Since there were only two teams in the league, this meant that when it came to the playoffs they met again.
This time Karl tried a different strategy–aggressive defense. His offense wasn’t very good and they actually held their own. In fact, it came down to what everyone believes was 2 points given to the wrong team–and much much much crying.
Since I have been coaching for a few years now, and a had a season like that, I can totally relate.