I’d never heard of RDGLDGRN before this show. The colors in the band’s name represent the band members: Red (Marcus Parham), Green (Pierre Desrosiers) and Gold (Andrei Busuioceanu), and they wear their respective colors all the time (although I didn’t realize that Andrei’s shirt was gold until after reading this).
The blurb tells us that “if you go to a RDGLDGRN show, you’ll see a traditional stage set-up with a full complement of instruments… you can hear and feel the excitement of a full-blown band and a full drum set.” However, with “their recent experimentation with Brazilian-style percussion over acoustic versions of their songs, they decided that an all-acoustic set infused with Brazilian vibes would make for the perfect Tiny Desk concert.”
They start with their new single “Karnival” a fun song played on ukulele with lots of percussion. Green does most of the rapping although everyone sings. After this they played unplugged versions of some of their best-known songs (although not known by me, obviously).
Before starting “Chop U Down” they say don’t sing along with this one, you’ll mess us up! Gold plays a scratchy guitar and red plays a simple melody on the high notes while Green raps away. It has a very catchy chorus especially the way the other singers add parts to the song.
When it’s over Gold tells us that the best part of a RDGRNGLD show is when Green forgets a verse (I don’t think he did, but it seemed like he almost did). Green says the last time he forgot words, he freestyled a verse and no one noticed the mistake.
“Doing The Most” is more sung than rapped—they have great voices. I really like the melodies of this song. This is the song where the audience is meant to sing along (to the insanely catchy buh bah bah bah part). All the while, Gold was keeping the beat on the guitar body.
They had only prepared three songs, but they were having so much fun, they decided to do a fourth. For this last song they semi-freestyle something. Green started rapping and they played along. It’s not very long and for some reason is called “No Pixar” (Freestyle) (I didn’t hear them say the word Pixar at all), but it’s a fun song and his freestyling is quite impressive.
I still don’t know much about RDGLDGRN, but it was a fun show.
[READ: March 10, 2016] “The Boy Who Had Never Seen the Sea”
J.M.G. Le Clézio won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2008. Which pretty much means I’d better like this story, right? Well, it turns out that this particular story was written in 1978 (and was translated by Deborah Treisman) so that gives me a pass, I think.
Actually I did enjoy this story, although I found it most unusual.
It didn’t read like a 1970s story, but it certainly had a much less plot-driven feel. It seemed relaxed and like it wanted to just unfold around the reader.
It begins in the first person. The unnamed narrator is talking about a boy called Daniel. Daniel (who had a jaw like a knifeblade–I didn’t like that this specific detail was mentioned twice and then not put to any use) wanted to be called Sinbad. He had read the Adventure of Sindbad many many times. It may have been the only book he ever read and he carried it with him everywhere.
He didn’t speak much and really only ever wanted to talk about the sea. But not if you were just talking about swimming or whatever.
And then one day he disappeared from school. His bed was made and it was obvious he hadn’t slept in it. The boys didn’t think it that odd–they all just assumed he left for the sea. The adults, on the other hand, freaked out, understandably. And they looked and searched and questioned and prodded and then…they stopped looking. They declared that people go missing every year and that was that.
Secretly the boys asked each other “Do you think he’s there now?” without ever specifying where “there” was.
The next section shifts gears. Now, in third person, the story speaks of Daniel’s arrival. He boarded a train, he rode to the sea and for the first time in his life, he was able to appreciate the beauty of what he had only read about. The story is fairly long and nearly 3/4 of it is taken up with Daniel’s appreciation of the sea. It is gorgeous writing. So beautiful, in fact, that it’s not worth me summarizing. Suffice it to say that he enjoys the sea with all of his senses.
He even befriends a sea creature in what is simultaneously unreal and yet possible (I’m not sure where he is and if this creature actually lives there, but the scenes is fantastic).
The sea tries to push him away as the sea will do, but he is intent on staying.
When the reverie is over we return to the original narrator speaking about Daniel again.
So was that all a dream, an imagination of what Daniel might have accomplished? Or the actual events?
As I said, the writing is gorgeous (thanks Deborah Treisman, I guess), and I’d be curious to read more of this prize winner’s work.