Bob Boilen has loved Luluc for a while. I never really appreciated them as much as I do on this Tiny Desk Concert. The duo is from Australia (and now Brooklyn), and I’d always felt that their songs were nice but nothing special. But you can really hear what’s going on in them. Zoë Randell’s voice sounds like a revitalized Nico and Steve Hassett’s accompaniments are really interesting.
“Small Window” starts with Zoë strumming a small acoustic guitar and singing. Steve accompanies on electric guitar. It’s a pretty song with a nice melody. And his solos accentuate the song. But when the song shifts gears to the “crystal waters” section and an unexpected chord change it becomes much more than a simple folk song.
For the second song “Without A Face,” Steve switches to bass. When Zoë talks, her speaking voice is gentle and somewhat high-pitched so when she begins singing she sounds even more shockingly like Nico. And the bass is wonderful on this song. He throws in a lot of little fills that really add a lot to the verses. And the “oh oh” section in the middle is wonderful with some great harmonies from each of them.
Zoë says they used to play with just two guitars and mics and they have added a lot more gear lately, but that they’ve they’ve stripped down for this show. For “Reverie On Norfolk Street” he plays electric guitar (cooly vibrato’d) and his gentle backing vocals on this song are a nice almost bass addition to the song. There’s even a guitar solo which after the song he says is “the quietest guitar solo in existence.”
Luluc really surprised me with this session and I may have to give their studio tracks another listen.
[READ: July 23, 2016] The Lost Colony 3
Book 3 ramps up the excitement quite a bit, and also a had a lot of flashbacks that fill in some story lines.
Like the other two, it also begins with someone lost saying “Dear God where the %$!* am I?” But this time he is a beautiful hunk of a man with gorgeous blond locks. He is Buck Swagger and he is transported to the island on the ferry because of a letter from Olympia Snodgrass (the Mayor’s wife and Birdy’s mom).
This book is different because it has many short chapters. The first few involved Birdy who is really upset about her grandfather’s murder. She keeps having dreams which are colored in pink. She wants nothing to do with anyone until she flees to the mountain and runs into Patricia, the woman who shot her grandfather. She tries to get Birdy to drink nutmeg tea (but she refuses). Patricia tries to convince Birdy that rock bugs were gonna kill her grandy and suck the soul right out of him and that’s why she killed him. But Birdy refuses to believe it.
Louis tries to help her but she is so angry and upset that she is even mean to him (and says some awful things).
Back home the blond hunk is wooing Birdy’s mom. And then we find out that he knows Louis–he’s the one who sold him to the slave auctioneer Artemis Undertow (yipes).
Mayor Snodgrass is suspicious of Buck immediately (justifiably), but Olympia tries to calm him by saying he’s just an old friend. And so the family (and Buck) sets out for a carriage ride. During the trip we learn how Snodgrass discovered the island in the first place (a very funny story). Buck tries to convince Snodgrass to sell all the slaves from the island–he knows just the guy to buy them (that wretched Artemis of course).
Then we learn about what happened to Stewart–he was once a mean bully, but after he got thunked on the head, he was less mean–especially with Dr Wong’s medicine taking the edge off. But the medicine is wearing off and he is reverting again.
Buck reveals that he also knows the island’s preacher Furious Bunyan–they go way back–but Furious is now addicted to nutmeg tea (the tea is powerful but we’re not sure how yet).
As the book draws to a close, Birdy and Louis make up when it turns out that if Louis touches a bone from the rock bugs it glows pink. And then Louis tells Birdy that her Grandy once owned Louis. Grandy treated him great until he had an altercation with Buck. And he injured Louis to see is Buck was as powerful a healer as he claimed (he wasn’t).
But as the book ends, the police have come to round up all of the undesirables on the island.
And the set up for Book 4 Terrible Judgment is very exciting:
Birdy’s mother leaves the island determined to betray its secret. Birdy’s friends conspire to wreak vengeance upon her father. Birdy’s mentor wont speak with her and her minister thinks she’s damned.
So little Birdy runs away from home and drinks the Nutmeg tea. After that everything changes.
Except there is no book 4. It has been about 8 years with no sign of Book 4. Klein has moved on to very different things–illustrating what seem like non-fiction books. Although I also see that he lives in Princeton, perhaps I should go ask him what’s up with the series.