When NPR was moving offices, they made a “Tiny Desk Concert” of the band proceeding from their old location to the new one. And in OK Go fashion, they made a great video to go with it. The music is live (I believe), even though they must have shot the footage hundreds of times. It’s sort of a stop motion video, except that it’s not single frames but short 2 second clips spliced together.
You can watch as the old office is dismantled, as they walk through the halls to the moving truck. As they play on the truck in the streets of D.C. and then as they enter the new building. There are cameos from NPR colleagues: Ari Shapiro, Audie Cornish, David Greene, Guy Raz, Scott Simon, Alix Spiegel, Susan Stamberg and more. There’s a hilarious moment with Karl Kassel who gives them a dirty look. And then they march through the offices, the news room and into the new Tiny Desk location where they finish the song.
The song is fun and catchy and even has new lyrics that reference the NPR move. It has to be seen to be appreciated.
And if you like figures here are some details from the shoot:
- Number of video takes: 223
- Number of seconds Carl Kasell spent in the elevator with OK Go: 98
- Number of times Ari Shapiro played the tubular bells: 15
- Number of days it took to shoot: 2
- Number of cameras: 1
Incidentally, NPR and I are out of sync with our counting of Tiny Desk Concerts. I can’t figure out what happened. The reason mine is correct is because I have written down every concert and numbered them. So I feel that for them one doesn’t count? They say this was number 277. Someday they’ll read this and we’ll get to the bottom of everything.
[READ: April 1, 2016] No Mercy Vol. 1
Because of the way books are being handled at my work now, I don’t get to see as many books as I used to. So i was pretty delighted to get this graphic novel on my desk. Even if I didn’t quite know what it was about, I wanted to read it. And boy did I enjoy it.
I had no idea that the cast was a group of aspiring Princeton University students on a per-freshman trip to an underprivileged county (I like the t-shirts that say Building Bridges Helping Hands with a kinda Princeton P on the front.
We meet the cast in a cool way–each one steeping forward a bit in the crowd and giving a bit of information about themselves…mostly through text messages. Oh and I loved the way the opening colophon pages looked just like Facebook (or whatever) with a timeline photo and then on the right side–sponsored images with drawings of the author and the illustrators and an ad for an other Image comic by Alex de Campi called Valentine–genius layout idea.
There’s also a comment under the photo which says “OMG how sad, they were also young.” So you know something bad is going to happen these poor kids.
The students are greeted by a nun (Sister Inez) who is not quite what she seems. We briefly meet a man who is apparently Inez’s brother and he asks for a ride. She says no way but he insists.
The kids are told to get on a bus, and while the one pretty, rich girl heads for the fancy bus (and is told to get away from it), they turn to see a beaten up, broken down, almost-hippie bus that they are actually going to ride on.
We meet some of the kids on the bus. Charlene is good-hearted girl who speaks Spanish. But when she mentions her brother Chas, he leans forward and is a total dick to her–calling her fat right to her face and threatening her and saying he wished she hadn’t come and even that she was dead. Travis looks a bit like Carrot Top (poor guy), he is a freegan and has the hots for Gina who is the naive beauty.
And then on the next page, the bus goes over a cliff!
At the bottom of the cliff, there is much death and carnage. All of the adults are dead except Sister Inez. Some of the students are dead. It is chaos and horror, obviously. But just to complicate things, while looking for things to keep the coyotes away Charlene discovers a suitcase full of cocaine.
We learn more about some of the students:
Kira is an African-American girl whose leg was badly mangled, Lily is unconscious and her twin sister Tiffani tries to comfort her by singing the theme from Madoka (she also knows Muse’s “Knights of Cydona”).
Anthony also known as Captain Badass is a scary, intense guy, but he is also deaf which accounts for the weird staring that he does.
The near morning during the day, they are able to assess the situation better. And that’s when Kira gives Gina huge tongue-lashing. She is assisted by Troy (who is kinda geeky but is totally on par with Kira).
Sister Inez and Anthony set off to the village for help. Next we see Inez in the hospital and that Anthony had run off.
Then Travis and Gina decide to explore together–he has a guidebook.
And as the book ends, we see Anthony has returned with some really bad news (as if there could be more bad news).
What an intense book. I loved every page of it–the character development, the setting, the hardship, wondering just what I would do if I was in their situation. It was great. I cannot wait for more, but I also have to wonder just how many more issues there can be with so much trouble lurking for the few remaining students. (the story is serialized and the third trade paperback is coming out soon).
The end pages of the book purport to be journal entries from Alex when she was abroad from 1995 to 2002, never going home during that time, apparently. She says she dug them up and is finally willing to show them. But they seem much more like fiction than journal entries with all kinds of fascinating metaphors and ideas thrown around.
The first is set in he Philippines. The second is set in Poland. This was the most interesting, in that it talked about crossing the border and the kinds of alarms they had in place there.
The story set in Cambodia was magical int hat they break into an unused hotel only to find wait staff there who happily serve them.
The final one is set in exotic Maine.
And the final page shows a letter of acceptance to Princeton. I wondered if it was accurate–it has the proper Princeton letterhead and all.
So yes everything about this book was great. Alex’s story, Speed McNeil’s amazing artwork and design and great colors by Jen Mankey Lee