I never even knew exactly what they sounded like. And I’m still not entirely sure if this is what they typically sound like. But this set is full of mostly uptempo folk rockers that explore some pretty intense subjects.
The first two songs are sung by Patterson Hood with his gravelly voice.
I am somewhat surprised to see that there were two Tiny Desk Concerts in a row with the word Umpqua in it. But while Blind Pilot’s “Umpqua Rushing” is about a relationship, Drive-By Truckers’ “Guns Of Umpqua” is about the horrific shooting at Umpqua Community College in rural Oregon last year.
There’s apparently always been a serious political current in their music, but it’s been somewhat hidden. But for this album, they started writing songs that address what’s going on right now. For “What It Means,” he explains, “I wrote this song a couple years ago. I’d honestly be really happy if it was just outdated and something we could leave in the past, but that’s certainly not the case right now.” It is about the killing of young black men like Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin.
The final song “Once They Banned Imagine” is sung by Mike Cooley who has a much deeper voice. He says this song is “about things staying the same, and not necessarily in a good way.” This has more of a country feel, but with some pretty piano.
I wouldn’t say I’ve become a fan, but I’m far more open to their music than I was before hearing this Concert.
[READ: March 14, 2016] “Waiting”
This is only the second Amos Oz story I’ve read (this was translated by Jill Sand D’Angelo and Amos Oz).
It is very simple story, in which not a lot happens (hence the title).
Set in the old village of Tel Ilan, this story follows Benny Avni, the head of the District Council. He was a considerate man and was well liked by the people of the village. As is stated any times, “he walked pitched forward, with a stubborn gait, as if he were fighting a strong headwind.”
Benny was sitting in his office in the afternoon when a knock came at his door. A man named Adel brought him a note from his wife. Adel has seen her sitting on a bench in the park. The note cryptically said “Don’t worry about me.”
Adel had nothing else to say so he left.
The rest of story stays inside of Benny’s head as he wonders what his wife could have meant by this.
This is not a very short story, and Oz is great at writing about Benny’s frame of mind as he goes to places where he might find his wife. Benny also reflects back on their life together and her penchant for getting very angry at people. He wonders just what that note could have meant.
It’s a wonderfully written story of nothingness.