Bridgers’ “Smoke Signals” is a beautiful haunting song that reminds me a little of Liz Phair in her delivery. I had heard this song before and really liked it–I especially loved the arrangement, which had echoing guitars that reminded me of Twin Peaks.
“For this Tiny Desk, Bridgers and percussionist Marshall Vore came to Bob Boilen’s hotel room just before midnight to play the striking ‘Smoke Signals.'” The music is great with Bridgers’ open chords, and Vore’s suitcase percussion, children’s toy bells and vocal harmony. The cho and vibe are removed in this version which means you must really listen to the words–which are pretty intense.
I like how she talks about musicians in such an interesting way:
Singing ‘Ace of Spades’ when Lemmy died / nothing’s changed LA’s alright
and then later
Its been on my mind since Bowie died/ just checking out to hide from life
The toy bells and harmonies are a really nice touch, but again, it’s those lyrics:
I went with you up to
The place you grew up in
We spent a week in the cold
Just long enough to
“Walden” it with you
Any longer, it would have got old
This song is a little too slow for my preferences, but it’s very beautiful. I’d like to hear more from her.
[READ: February 5, 2016] The Good Neighbors: Kin
This book was on the new shelf at my library. And since I like Black and Naifeh I was grabbed it. Then I saw that it actually came out in 2008. Whatever.
It also turns out that my library has book two of this trilogy but neither had book 3 (which came out in 2010). What gives?
Holly Black is best known (by me anyway) as having written The Spiderwick Chronicles.
This story is actually a YA graphic novel and it definitely skews older. But like Spiderwick, it deals with a normally unseen world coming into contact with out own.
The story focuses on Rue Silver, a teenager who is having a hard time lately. Her mother disappeared a short time ago–her father was actually blamed for her murder, but no body was ever found, so he released. And now there is the murder of a female college student. The last person that she was seen with Rue’s dad (he is a college professor). Did her dad kill two people?
As the story opens (and it is all rendered amazingly in blacks and whites and grayscale), we meet Rue and her friends. But when we see things from Rue’s perspective, people are not what they seem. A homeless woman looks like a goblin and some people at the coffee house have monster heads or bird beaks. Rue needs a moment to figure out what the hell is happening to her
Then we flash back to Rue’s mother ad father. Her mother is saying that she must leave, “rules are rules,” but he refuses to let her go.
When Rue gets home she sees a woman that she knows, Amanda Vai, another professor at her father’s school. Amanda says that her father has been taken in for questioning and she well be there to help Rue out during this time. There is the real possibility that Rue will be sent to live with her grandfather Aubrey, whom she has never met (although she has seen a picture of him and he looks the same age as her–even though he is her mother’s father).
Turns out Amanda knows Aubrey, they met a long time ago. And Aubrey says its time for Rue to meet her real family.
Rue tries to behave like things are normal but the next day at school a fairy is t standing right by her locker. And Rue is the only one who can see her. How on earth can rue see her if she is mortal?
This all sets in motion a backstory in which we learn that Rue’s mother is a fairy and that her father, a mortal, was permitted to marry her after an arduous task. All of this is confirmed when her mother appears out of nowhere near the end of the book. This obviously clears her father of that murder, and it makes things easier for him with the second one.
But if he’s not guilty who is? And what do these fairies have to do with anything? And is Rue really one too? And will she choose to live with the faeries or continue on as she is? So many unanswered question which I assume will be answered in book two.
I enjoyed the premise of this book a lot. And liked the way a lot of it was rendered. However, it felt really long. Like there was a lot of laboring over how much set up there needed to be before the great reveal came. And since there are two more books, I feel like the whole thing could have been more compact.
We’ll see how book two stands up to book 1.