I’ve recently become a major fan of Wilco and Jeff Tweedy’s songwriting. This band is Jeff Tweedy and his son Spencer (on drums). They usually perform with a full band, but here it’s just father and son.
The songs sound very much like Wilco (Tweedy’s voice is unmistakable), but there is a different, almost patient feel to these songs that makes them seem not-Wilco. Spencer’s drumming is not flashy (that wouldn’t work here anyway), but it is right on the beat with occasional flourishes.
“Wait for Love” is a sweet ballad. “New Moon” is a bit more upbeat. There are 20 songs on the record. After the second song, Jeff says he doesn’t know how many songs they’re supposed. Bob says they’re supposed to play til 6″ (it appears to be early afternoon).
Jeff says they can stay till six, There’s nothing happening in the world, right? Bob states, “There is no news today.” Jeff smiles and says that later “Spencer and I are going to reveal our strategy for ISIS, so it’s a good thing you’re here.”
“Low Key” is more rocking with some cool chord change progressions in the middle (ans a little drums-only section).
Before the final song, he says he wrote it for Mavis Staples (She didn’t sing it when I saw her…bummer). He says that “Spencer didn’t play on that record… but we know how to play it together.” He pauses and says, “We know how to play all of our songs together.” Pause “I’m such a good front man” (to much applause from everyone).
Jeff laughs and says that Spencer is gonna get a microphone and “you’ll have to talk to people.”
“You’re Not Alone” is a bit more complex and powerful than the others and that repeated refrain of “open up this is a raid” is really great.
The Wilco Tiny Desk Concerts have been raucous and fun. This one is much more low-key and shows off a different side of Tweedy.
There’s a sweet moment at the end of the set where Spencer give his dad a hug.
[READ: April 20, 2016] The Nameless City
Faith Erin Hicks has been consistently excellent with her graphic novels. I was pretty excited to see that she had a new book coming out. And I was even more excited to go to the library and see that Sarah had requested it already.
I dove right in to this story.
It begins with some unnamed people riding down the River of Lives and going into a city. They ask several different people what the name of the city is and they get several different titles. They determine that this is the nameless city.
It turns out that every civilization that has conquered the city (which happens every thirty years or so) renames the city. And, depending on which invaders you like best, that would be the name you would choose to call the place. We later learn that most of the conquerors only conquer the main walled city proper and that the houses and markets on the other side of the wall pretty much just go with the flow. The people who live outside hate everyone who is in charge and just try to keep their heads down to survive.
Then the story proper opens. We see Kaidu flying through the air. This is because he has been thrown by the bodyguard of the son of the General of All Blades. They are training. The general’s son wants to protect the city with the best army he can create. It turns out that his father invaded the city 30 years ago and the general’s son was one of the first people born in the city under this new name. And he intends to keep his city safe.
Unfortunately for him, none of the children in front of him seem in any way competent to join is army.
Especially Kaidu. This is Kaidu’s first day in the city. It is also the first day that he is meeting his own father. Kaidu was born in the villages but his father immediately left to go to the city. Eventually Kaidu decided to leave his mother–a successful leader in the village–to go to the city and meet his father. His father, Andren, has a high position in the city and he’s actually a pretty nice guy.
When Andren finally sees Kaidu, he provides a brief tour of the city and tells him that soon they will go out of the walled part more often, but that he should never go on his own. While they are walking, they see a girl on the roof. Andren tries to speak to the girl but she runs away. Kaidu asks who she is and Andren says he doesn’t know but he sees her every time he goes out.
Later the General’s bodyguard tells Kaidu that everyone should go out into the city by himself at least once just to see what it is like. So the next morning Kaidu sneaks out. And immediately gets lost.
Then he runs into the girl. She tries to intimidate him, but he holds his own, somewhat. She reveals that her name is Rat. And they make a deal: he will bring her good food if she will teach him the ways of the city. There are some great, exciting scenes here.
In the center of the town is a tall pillar. This is where the monks live. Rat more or less lives there too–she is in trouble and the monks never turn anyone away. They are fond of her. And the head monk Joah, especially likes her. When he meets Kaidu he tells him to look after Rat, even though they both know that Rat can look after herself just fine.
A few interesting things happen which I don’t want to spoil, but they let Rat know that the General is not a bad sort at all. In fact, he is trying to get the various warring tribes together to end the wars.
There’s some great action for both Rat and Kaidu as the story draws to a close.
This book closes satisfyingly and then sets us up for the next book (that’s the way to do it, close book one and prepare us for book 2). Hicks says that she has been working on this book for a long time and it is quite apparent with the density of the story, the number of characters and the great artwork. I’m really excited for the next book (whenever that comes out).
This book has been released in the year of #10yearsof01.