I’d published these posts without Soundtracks while I was reading the calendars. But I decided to add Tiny Desk Concerts to them when I realized that I’d love to post about all of the remaining 100 or shows and this was a good way to knock out 25 of them.
I know Kelly Hogan as an amazing back up singer. She sang with The Decemberists when I saw them live (and she was truly amazing). She also often sings with Neko Case.
I was pretty excited to hear her Tiny Desk because her voice is really beautiful.
Around this time 2012 she had released an album of songs written by all kinds of people.
“Haunted” is a catchy, bouncy number and her three musicians play along effortlessly. She encourages everyone to sing along to the “na na na na na” part.
When the song ends she thanks every one “very much for coming to the lunchroom talent show.”
“Plant White Roses” was written by Stephen Merritt and it “is really sad” (and since it was written by Merritt you know it’s really sad). The song is pretty, but it was during this song that the Concert transformed into more of a country show. Hogan even puts an accent on her voice to make it sound more country. It’s pretty fascinating to witness.
The third part of the song really perks things up.
“I Like to Keep Myself in Pain” was written by Robyn Hitchcock. She says it came from one of the many conversations they have had over the years. This song has an even more country feel, especially towards the end.
So all in wall while Hogan’s voice is pretty fantastic and she herself is very charming, I guess I prefer her as an amazing backing vocalist (and sometimes co-lead vocalist) singing music I really like rather than the more country leanings of her own music.
[READ: December 10, 2016] “Two Minutes, Five Minutes, Ten”
Near the end of November, I found out about The Short Story Advent Calendar. Which is what exactly? Well…
The Short Story Advent Calendar returns, not a moment too soon, to spice up your holidays with another collection of 24 stories that readers open one by one on the mornings leading up to Christmas. This year’s stories once again come from some of your favourite writers across the continent—plus a couple of new crushes you haven’t met yet. Most of the stories have never appeared in a book before. Some have never been published, period.
I already had plans for what to post about in December, but since this arrived I’ve decided to post about every story on each day.
Sometimes, putting a story out of sequence is a gimmick. But if it’s written well, the gimmick really brings the story to life.
This story is out of sequence, but beyond that, it is also full of possibility.
It opens with a statement about the future: “In two minutes, give or take, she will be running as fast as she can.”
She is a Lithuanian woman who is fast and good with a knife (although most people who know her don’t know these details).
And we learn that she will run through the kitchen doors out into the alley.
But then we flash back to five minutes ago, when she was thinking that she should do something different with her life. But she doesn’t know what she should do. Before she was recruited, she had many ideas about what she might like to do. Hher reverie is halted when the man she’s siting next to asks if everything is okay.
She says she thinks she forgot to tape her shows again, and he laughs at her to his table mates–it must be such a vacation to be so ditzy.
Between the five minutes ago and the two minutes from now, she makes up her mind and does what she is supposed to do. And the future unravels in a certain way–but can it also end a different way?
I really liked this story. It was terribly exciting and the way the future was presented yet undetermined, was really intriguing.