Hannigan has a really interesting voice–kind of deep and raspy but with splashes of falsetto. It’s really pretty.
And she plays a variety of instruments.
For “Knots” it is just her and her large ukulele (and she gets a remarkably full sound out of that tiny 4 stringed instrument).
It’s between songs that you notice her accent as she welcomes John Smith to accompany her. Lisa switches to guitar as well. It’s interesting that she plays a similar picking style on the guitar which of course just sounds bigger. The two guitars play very nicely off of each other. This song is a bit quieter, with her singing most of it in a whisper that makes you want to lean in to hear more.
Before the third song, “Passenger” Bob asks if she’d like to stay the whole day. She says yes with all of the lovely tea. Bob says there’s plenty and she jokes “Not for long once I get going.”
John needs to tune his guitar, “it was in tune when I bought it,” and Lisa switches to a mandolin. The high notes of the mandolin work perfectly with her deeper voice. She shows off a powerful side with some of the sections of this song and the guitar adds some nice bass notes to the music. For the middle section, Smith sings low harmonies and they both sing louder than before. It’s a great transition in this song. And she hits some lovely high notes as well.
Hannigan came to people’s attention while working with Damien Rice. Then she put out two solo albums. But she hasn’t put out anything since (except one-off songs). That’s a shame, I’d love to hear more.
[READ: July 30, 2015] Stroppy
I don’t know anything about Marc Bell, although his art looks very familiar. The telltale sign is that every character has white eyes which look a bit like capsules. This book is put out by Drawn & Quarterly and while I thought his art looked familiar, it could just be a D&Q aesthetic.
This story is pretty bonkers. Stroppy works for Monsieur Mustache at the remote villager processing plant. In this plant, small villagers who look a bit like Minons (yellow capsules) have their brains removed an a new brain inserted, turning them into security guards and other roles. But then there’s a visitor. A large shirtless man comes through the tiny opening clogging up the works.
His name is Sean and he has come to put up posters for The All-Star Schnauzer band Song Contest (meanwhile, the villagers are piling up in Stroppy’s work area.
Monsieur Mustache arrives, fires Stroppy and then, upon hearing about the song contest, he Hires Sean, in hopes of buying him off. Turns out Monsieur is a pretty evil dude (and his songs are just as bad).
Things get worse for Stroppy–he is beaten up and his clothes are taken away (Stroppy has enormous nipples as do just about every other shirtless man in this book). Stroppy is rescued by Clancy the poet who has a boat and takes him through the canal (where miss Polly is going for a swim).
Clancy the poet recites a poem and Stroppy thinks he should enter it in the Schnauzer Band song contest (although Clancy wants nothing t do with it).
And then things start getting really weirdo. We meet the Schnauzer (who are all really strange robotic type characters). In fact, the characters in this book are all bizarre–some are very cool bizarre but most are just really unusual looking. I rather enjoyed the insanity. Indeed, once we get in the building, there are little trenches that have eyeballs for spies an a guy who looks like a toothpaste tube.
After a series of strange incidents, Miss Polly reveals that most of the Schnauzer band are actually creatures with the little yellow dudes controlling them. As the story nears its end, Stroppy is given the task of rescuing Clancy (through some bizarre plot machinations) which involves trying out the All-Star Schnauzer band’s new greatest hits album which is actually a mini-golf course. (I love this idea). Then we see Mister Putts 11 greatest holes.
And that all leads to a somewhat reasonable (for this book) conclusion.
The art on this book is weird and fun, and as long as you don’t care too much about logic in your stories, you might enjoy this strange book.