Archive for the ‘Joe Flood’ Category

SOUNDTRACK: RHEOSTATICS-Harbour Station, Saint John, NB (December 08, 1996).

This is the 20th night of the 24 date Canadian Tour opening for The Tragically Hip on their Trouble At The Henhouse Tour.

This show opens with a Stompin’ Tom recording of “Bud the Spud.”  Then there’s some tuning up and some cool noises from Martin as they prepare to soar with “Song of Flight.”

They follow it with “Fat” and after the line, “I drank pop, ate Pez, laid down and played dumb” Dave explains, “I wasn’t really sick.”  They whole song is fun and they tack on a melody of “Artenings Made of Gold” at the end.

“All the Same Eyes” rocks a much faster than usual.  At the end, Tim says, “Get well soon, Willow.”  Wonder who that was.

Dave thanks St. John and describes the show as “a little matinee affair.  It’s like going to see a movie on a Sunday.”  He continues, “We’re from Toronto.  Actually we’re from Etobicoke.  We went to Vancouver, all the way to St John and now we’re crossing back.”

A fun “Motorino” is followed by “Four Little Songs” which Dave promises is “Four songs in One.  Honest.”  Tim: “What a deal.”

After the song Dave asks, “What was that last bit of shouting?  For “Record Body Count?”  We see we have some Green Sprouts in the audience.  They’re standing.  See them over there.  What are your names?  Rob is the leader I can tell because I heard his name.”

Instead of “RBC” they play “Bad Time to Be Poor” which segues into a nice “Self Serve Gas Station” in which Martin asks, “What went wrong with Nimrod?”  The ending has Martin playing a lengthy series of notes that just bumps abruptly into a ripping “RDA.”  Tim says “Bye,” at the end of the song but they jump into “Dope Fiends” instead.  Tim’s backing vocals sound particularly excellent during the end part.

After the roaring ending, the rhythm guitar picks out a lovely melody while Martin soars away.   Its a nifty denouement.

[READ: April 29, 2019 Science Comics: Sharks

Joe Flood has drawn many of the Science Comics books and this time he writes and draws it.  This one is all about sharks.  And what I found fascinating about this book is that there’s a bunch I didn’t know about sharks, but there’s not a lot to know about them overall.

The book opens with an introduction from David Shiffman a marine conservation biologist.  Then Flood gets right into it by talking about how the movie Jaws has unfairly harmed the reputation of sharks.  We must never forget that the sharks were here first (for millions of years–their ancestors go back 420 million years) and we are trespassing on their turf.

Like most of these Science Comics, there’s a narrative.  And the “story” of this book is of a stupid ship’s captain in the hunt for a shark.  He;s an ignorant and rather unpleasant guy but our guide is here to set him and us straight,.

We are also helped by out friend Red Snapper who is justifiably afraid of sharks. (more…)

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orcsSOUNDTRACK: AVEC LE SOLEIL DE SA BOUCHE-Zubberdust! [CST106] (2014).

cst106cover_258x242Avec le soleil sortant de sa bouche (With the sun out of his mouth–no translation for Zubberdust) is the creation of former Fly Pan Am bassist Jean-Sebastien Truchy.  With this album he has created a fascinating hybrid of near Krautrock repetitions with some King Crimson guitar lines and time signatures.  And interesting sung almost operatic male vocals.  Technically the disc has four songs, but songs 1 and 3 are extended suites broken into chapters.

“Face à l’instant” (Face Now parts I-IV) is the first suite.  This disc opens like Ministry–with an aggressive, fast, pounding guitar riff for 8 bars, a sharp pause and continuation of same.  After four measures of that, a quirky quiet instrumental takes over and at about a minute the heavy guitars return. Part 2 of the song starts with a funky, slightly off-kilter sounding guitar line and whistling.   About a minute into this secretion the song shifts to a quiet sequence of overlapping riffs and sounds.  About 5 minutes in, the voices start singing in wordless chants–it’s strangely catchy and slightly militaristic at the same time.  The song builds with voices until it climaxes with a stop.  Then a complex drumming pattern begins Part 3. The guitars lines resume and there are several vocals sections (I assume singing in French) that add a lot of tension to the song.  Midway through this part the song stops and that aggressive introductory guitar pummeling resumes, this time changing keys and not letting up.  New sounds and super heavy drumming are added as this brings part three to a climax.  Part 4 returns to quieter playing (and sounds a bit like Fly Pan Am in the way the guitar line as intersect.  The final section continues with the vocals and rhythms of the other three and then ends with some dramatic keyboard chords playing us out.

“Super pastiche fantastique” (Super fantastic pastiche) is the other suite.  It opens with some complex drumming and then several sequences of notes–guitar and synth that meld nicely.  Part 1 is just 3 minutes and by the end some electronic noises start overtaking the melodies.   Part 2 opens with the same melody but the electronics have been replaced by a wah-wahed guitar and more synth lines.  The song is complex and repetitive, with the only non-repeating part being the singer’s voice (no idea what he’s even saying).  The second half of part 2 (which is 7 minutes in total) ends with some sung vocals (not unlike David Byrne).  Part 3 is a 90 second interlude of very quick tinkling strings that are overwhelmed by noise and static and thudding drums.  The end of the track seems to be building up to part 4 which picks up the momentum into a great instrumental motif–intertwining guitars and electronics all with a cool bass line underneath.  After 2 and a half minutes the  song drops to drums and a funky guitar line with all kind of noises and static and voices working as transition to the cool bass line that comes in around 3 minutes.  As the song careens towards the end, the pace picks up and you can hear some intense screaming of vocals way in the distance.  The song cleans up and plays that great fast riff right up until the end when it abruptly ceases.

Tracks 2 and 4 are weird pastiches of sound. “Déja hier…” (Already yesterday…) is a four-minute song.  Interesting music plays very quietly in the background before it gets overwritten by conversation and static.  You can occasionally hear the song being played behind the noise, but it’s mostly just a weird kind of muffled noise.  “À partir de dorénavant” (From now) is similar.  You can hear a distant muddy drum and what sounds like la dinner party–tons of conversations going on at once.  It seems like the disc is going to end with 3 minutes of this, but a keyboard melody begins to slowly overtake the din.

The last minute or so is this interesting sci-f sounding synth line with warbling effects and an interesting, mellow bass.  Although it’s nowhere near as complicated as the rest of the album, it’s a cool way to end and almost feels like a segue into something else.

This album has a whole lot of styles and genres blended together into a (mostly) very cool mix of sounds.  I like it a lot, although I’ll probably skips tracks 2 and 4 most of the time.

[READ: June 15, 2016] Orcs: Forged for War

This book was a little hard to learn about because Stan Nicholls has written several novels in the Orcs series.  So when you look up his books you get a confusing list of the series and other things.  This book is not part of the series, but it is part of the overall Orcs arc. It comes just before the First Blood Trilogy.

In the intro, Nicholls tells us lot more about his whole Orcs oeuvre.  He points out that unlike Tolkien (whom he loved) his Orcs are not mindless brutes. In fact, in his books, the orcs are the heroes and the humans are the ones who have along and messed things up.  He says that anyone unfamiliar with his orcs books should have no trouble following this book.

And that is true to a degree.  One thing that it behooves an author/artist to do is to make sure that everyone understands who all of the characters/races are in his/her book.  He does give a brief summary in the intro, but that doesn’t really help because there’s no visual guide.

Humans are divided into two camps.  The Manifold (Manis) pursue ancient pagan ways.  The Unity (Unis) are monotheistic.  They are both fanatics but the Unis have more bigotry and demagoguery.

This book opens with the Unis fighting the Manis.  And then the Orcs enter the fray but it’s not always clear whose side the Orcs on, if any. Regardless of which side they are on, they are willing to fight and kill whomever (there is much much bloodhsed and a shocking amount of vulgarity in the book). (more…)

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cute girlSOUNDTRACK: DO MAKE SAY THINK-Other Truths [CST062] (2009).

DMST-OtherTruthsCST062Other Truths is (so far) Do Make Say Think’s final album (they have been on hiatus since).  I’ve mentioned this album before, but here it has context with the others.

There are only four songs on this disc and it really feels like a culmination of what they have been exploring with their more recent output.  There is still experimentation (the shortest song is 8 minutes after all), but there aren’t the really strange sections like on the previous album (no weird drop outs or deconstructions).  And, in fact, they have embraced more of the catchiness that the last album hinted at.  The first song, “Do” (each song is named after one of the words in the band’s name) is one of the catchiest things they’ve done.  It’s easily my favorite song from them

I love the guitar lick that runs through “Do” a series of two note patterns that are surprisingly catchy.  The drums are wild throughout as the rest of the song chugs along nicely.  It’s 10 minute long though, and the whole thing is not that pattern.  About 2 minutes in the bass takes over, playing a similarly interesting riff before some dissonant guitars ring out and the band resumes with a new section of the song.  Some voices (from Akron/Family and Lullabye Arkestra) enter the song singing gentle ah’s as the song progresses.  The introductory riff resumes with some great additions.  Then the horns blow over the top–making the song soar higher and higher while the rest of the band plays in the background.  Around 7:30 the music all drops away except for some washes of keyboards.  The song continues like that with some quieter washes until the end.

“Make” is a 12 minute song which has tribal drums and simple guitar lines to start with.  The singing comes in around 2:30.  There’s some great moments in this song where the guitars play simple riffs that grow and build and then the horns come in again.  It’s a wonderful song with moments where the whole sounds of the song sounds so big and jubilant yet slightly menacing at the same time.  By about 9 minutes tape manipulation glitches it to a halt with the drums getting slower and slower and deeper and the guitars expanding out as slow as can be.  The last two minutes resurrect some ringing guitars and horns which grow and grow seem to be playing an elegiac coda for this song, It’s really beautiful, and it’s recorded so well it’s like you can hear the air being blown into them).

“Say” is also 12 minutes long.  It opens with what sounds like foghorns, or tubas getting distorted almost by a Doppler effect.  Then comes the rim shot drums and interesting effects sprinkled over the top.  At about 2 minutes another great, simple guitar riff comes in–DMST  has a way with making the simplest riffs sound great.  The whole band kicks in and plays along with the riff.   The song builds and ebbs, with the horns making the song feel huge.  For a brief middle section the song get quiet with a fast-picked guitar section and strings.  The end of this song (the last 2 minutes) also has a coda with horns but this one is mournful and quiet.  The chorus joins in again.  First with ohs and then with words.

“Think” ends the disc at a scant 8 minutes. It’s the quietest and most mellow song on the disc opening with jazzy drums and simple chords.  The slow guitar riff is lovely and there are dark voices humming along behind them.  Then you hear people talking in the distance, (I can’t make anything out) while a series of bass notes move the song forward.  By 4 and a half minutes a new guitar line comes in and the song gets a little bigger but it’s still slow.  The song never builds like the others; it stays quiet and slow, regretful and thoughtful, until it rings to a close.

This is a wonderful album full of all the great sounds of post-rock.

[READ: January 20, 2016] The Cute Girl Network

Imagine if you were a girl who moved to a new town and learned that there was a network of girls, cute girls, who kept tabs on all of the boys in town.  And the network was in place to keep you informed of what a doofus jackass your new boyfriend was.

It’s not a bad idea.  In fact a lot of good could come from it.  But sometimes informed choices have to have some personal experience as well.

And that’s where Jane and Jack come in.

Jane is new to Brookdale  Jane is pretty bad ass–she rides a skateboard and does amazing tricks.  She also works in a skate shop  She meets Jack when she wipes out in front of his soup kiosk.  He helps her out with a bottle of iced tea for her ailing coccyx and then just hopes that he’ll see her again.

Jack lives with Gil and Ruth.  Gil is a lunkhead who has been on a lot of first dates but few second ones.  Ruth hasn’t been on too many dates herself.  They both know that Jack is lazy (his previous wrote a song about him called “Layabout”) and a little dopey but he’s nice and kind-hearted and that’s what matters. (more…)

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