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Archive for the ‘Seth’ Category

SOUNDTRACK: “Grim Grinning Ghosts (The Screaming Song) Disney’s Haunted Mansion ride (1963).

When producer/musicians John Congleton was a guest DJ on NPR, he played some expected and then some very unexpected songs. The most surprising (although it does make sense) was this song from the Disney Haunted Mansion.

Maybe this song is the reason why he likes the dark so much.

It’s a fun bouncy song, like most Disney stuff it’s hard to believe anyone was really afraid of it, and yet as a kid, that voice and those sounds could certainly be frightening.  The song has all kinds of sounds in it–keys, tubular bells, xylophone, hammered percussion marimba, and a lot of backing vocals.  And of course the amazing vocals (and laughs) Thurl Ravencroft and others.  There’s also great effects with analog tape.  He also points out that the chord progression is quite chromatic: A to B flat to B which is jagged and close together and not easy to listen to.

Congleton says (listen around 34:50):

The vocals are done by Thurl Ravenscroft, who was the voice of Tony the Tiger and the Grinch. I mean, This is Tom Waits before Tom Waits. When I was a kid, I was so attracted to this song, but I was scared of it. The record would sit with my other records and I would see it in there, and I would be like, ‘Do I have the bravery to listen to it right now?’ And sometimes I would, and I was mesmerized by it. But the then I grew up, and I went back and listened to it, and was like, ‘This is brilliant. This is really, really well done.’ I never in my entire life heard background vocals that sounded as tight as that. Never in my life. The harmonies are the tightest harmonies I have ever heard ever. And it’s like, this is for a silly kid’s record — but they were committed to making something special. Everything about that song is incredible to me.”

And yes, it is a silly song, but the recording is really impressive.

[READ: April 20, 2017] Why Is This Night Different from All Other Nights?

It has been almost two years since I read Book 3.  The fact that I’ve had book 4 all this time and simply not read it was not a good sign.  And, ultimately, I found this story ending to be strangely annoying, vaguely compelling and ultimately unsatisfying.

This book mostly follows young Snicket on his solo mission.  He awakes in the middle of the night to see his chaperone S. Theodora Markson sneak out of their room.  He follows her to a warehouse where she steals something and then to a train.  She boards but he is unable to.

The train used to make stops in town but it no longer does and Snicket jumps on board at the only place he can think of).  While he’s hanging on the outside of the train, Moxie drags him in through the window.  That’s about the first third of the book.  It was nice to have another character for him to talk to.

Then a murder happens (this is a pretty violent series for kids).  And the blame is laid at the wrong person’s feet. (more…)

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dq25SOUNDTRACK: ARCHER PREWITT-“O, KY” (2005).

wikldernessArcher Prewitt formed The Coctails (a kitschy lounge act) in the early 90s, several years before the lounge revival.  Then he joined The Sea and Cake and has been making amazing music with them.  And he has also released several solo albums.

He has also published some comics (Sof’ Boy) with Drawn & Quarterly.

This song comes from his album Wilderness.  The title of the song is clever, too.

It’s upbeat and folky with a little psychedlia and rock thrown in.  I like Prewitt’s voice quite a bit–it’s simple but really strong.  But the selling point on this song (and others from this album that I have listened to) is the composition and arrangement of these songs.

I like the way this one goes from simple guitar to orchestration (although presumably not a real orchestra) for the chorus.  And how post chorus there are flutes and other instruments to pick up the momentum which adds a vaguely psychedelic feel to it.

At four minutes (the song is five) it changes direction entirely and turns into a nearly new song with big guitars and drums. And it rather rocks.

And just to make Archer the all around dude that he is.  He also drew the cover art.  Jeez.  He’s probably super nice and friendly, too.

[READ: January 3, 2016] Drawn and Quarterly: Twenty Five Years 

I have liked a lot of D+Q books for a long time, although I never really considered a comprehensive look at their publishing house.  This book–about 775 pages long–is about as comprehensive as it gets.

This book contains a few previously published cartoons and excerpts as well as a whole slew of previously unpublished pieces.  There are essays and histories and reminiscences and love love love for the little Montreal graphic novel publisher.

I didn’t know much about the history of D+Q–that Chris Oliveros started the publisher in 1989 out of his house.  That he was the only employee for years.  And that he was essential in getting the term “graphic novel” used by everyone–including the library of congress!

He weathered distribution problems, he weathered the rise and fall of indie comics in the late 90s and he has come through with some of the most beautiful books published.  D+Q has also brought attention to foreign artists as well as out of print artists.

Really, if you have any respect for graphic novels (that aren’t superhero-based) you owe thanks to D+Q. (more…)

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atwq3SOUNDTRACK: YES-Tales from Topographic Oceans (1974).

Tales_from_Topographic_Oceans_(Yes_album)After the huge success of Fragile and Close to the Edge (with its 18 minute suite), what could Yes do next?  Well first they would release a triple live album, which I’ll get to later.  And then?  Why they would release a double album with only 4 songs on it!  That’s right 4 songs each around 20 minutes long!  And it would be ponderous and pretentious and it would be reviled by everyone!

The album shipped gold (because their previous records were so popular) and then sales plummeted.  The album is much maligned and, frankly, deservedly so.  Now, I love me a good prog rock epic.  So, four 20 minutes songs is pretty heavenly for me.  But man, these songs just don’t really have any oomph.

My CD’s recording quality is a little poor, but I don’t know if the original is too.  The whole album feels warm and soft and a little muffled.  You can barely hear Anderson’s vocals (which I believe is a good thing as the lyrics are a bunch of mystical jiggery pokery).  But despite the hatred for the album, it’s not really bad.  It’s just kind of dull.

Overall, there is a Yes vibe…and Yes were good songwriters–it’s not like they suddenly weren’t anymore.  There are plenty of really interesting sections in the various songs.  It just sounds like they have soft gauze between them.  Or more accurately, it sounds like you get to hear some interesting song sections and then the song is overtaken by another song that is mostly just mellow ambient music.

Without suggesting in any way that this album influenced anyone, contemporary artists are no longer afraid to make songs that are super long (see jam bands) or songs that are just swells of keyboards (see ambient musicians).  Yes just happened to put them all in the same song–way before anyone else did.

The album is very warm and soft—rather unlike the last couple of Yes albums which were sharp and harsh.  There are washes of keyboards and guitars and Anderson’s echoing voice. But what you’ll notice is that I haven’t really mentioned Chris Squire.  He’s barely on the album at all, and when he is, it’s usually to provide very simple bass notes–bass notes that anyone could play–it’s such a waste!  And while Alan White is no Bill Bruford (who was off rocking with King Crimson then), he’s also barely there.  In fact, Rick Wakeman himself is barely there–the king of elaborate classical riffs is mostly playing single notes at a time.  According to Wikipedia,

Wakeman took a dislike to the album’s concept and structure from the beginning. He made only minimal musical contributions to the recording, and often spent time drinking at the studio bar and playing darts. [During the recording session] he played the piano and synthesiser on the Black Sabbath track “Sabbra Cadabra”.

Evidently Anderson wanted a pastoral feeling in the studio

According to Squire, Brian Lane, the band’s manager, proceeded to decorate the studio like a farmyard to make Anderson “happy”.  Wakeman described the studio, “There were white picket fences … All the keyboards and amplifiers were placed on stacks of hay.” At the time of recording, heavy metal group Black Sabbath were producing Sabbath Bloody Sabbath in the studio next door.  Ozzy Osbourne recalled that placed in the Yes studio was a model cow with electronic udders and a small barn to give the room an “earthy” feel. Anderson recalled that he expressed a wish to record the album in a forest at night, “When I suggested that, they all said, ‘Jon, get a life!'”

So we have an earthy pastoral album.  But what about the four sides?  Steve Howe describes it:

“Side one was the commercial or easy-listening side of Topographic Oceans, side two was a much lighter, folky side of Yes, side three was electronic mayhem turning into acoustic simplicity, and side four was us trying to drive the whole thing home on a biggie.”

Despite Wakeman’s complaints, he did have some nice thing to say about it.  he said that there are

“very nice musical moments in Topographic Oceans, but because of the […] format of how records used to be we had too much for a single album but not enough for a double […] so we padded it out and the padding is awful […] but there are some beautiful solos like “Nous sommes du soleil” […] one of the most beautiful melodies […] and deserved to be developed even more perhaps.”

And if Rick Wakeman says an album is padded, you can just imagine what the rest of the world thought!

The lyrics (and mood) are based on Jon Anderson’s vision of four classes of Hindu scripture, collectively named the shastras, based on a footnote in Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda.  So if I read this correctly–he wrote 80 minutes of music based ona  footnote!

The four songs are

“The Revealing Science of God (Dance of the Dawn)” [which Howe says is the commercial or easy-listening side] builds slowly and eventually adds vocals.  And then come the drums and a decent keyboard riff.  There’s some noodling on the keyboards.  The riff is catchy but not immediate (which might be the subtitle for the album).  At nearly 4 minutes a faster section kicks in and there’s a catchy vocal part, which seems like where Anderson might normally soar but he holds back.  The “must have waited all our lives for this moment moment moment” is catchy, but again I can’t help but feel it would have been much more dramatic sounding on an earlier record.  At 7 minutes there’s a nice jump to something more dramatic—good drums, but the bass is mixed very low (poor Squire).  There’s some good soloing and such but it is short lived and things mellow out again.  It resolves into a new riff at 9 minutes, but resumes that feeling of washes and noodling guitars.  At 11 minutes there’s an elaborate piano section and the song picks up some tempo and drama. Especially when the bass kicks in around 12 minutes.  The most exciting part happens around 17 minutes when the whole band comes to life and adds a full sound, including a good solo from Wakeman.  And while this doesn’t last, it recycles some previous sections which are nice to hear.

Track 2 “The Remembering (High the Memory)” [which Howe described as the much lighter, folky side of Yes] has a slow, pretty guitar opening with more harmony vocals.  The whole first opening section is like this—layers of voices and keys. Then come some keyboard swells and more vocals.  Some bass is added around 6 minutes. And then around 8 minutes the tone shifts and there is a lengthy slow keyboard solo that reminds me of the solo in Rush’ “Jacob’s Ladder” (released 6 years later).  At around 9 minutes there’s a more breezy upbeat section with a cool riff.  At 10:40 a new section comes in with some great bass lines and guitars and an interesting vocal part. It could easily have been the structure for a great Yes song (vocals are singing “relayer” which of course is their next album’s title). But this is all too brief (it thankfully returns again) and then it’s back to the gentle keyboards.  At 12 minutes there’s a new medieval type section with some great guitar work.  When the “relayer” part returns around 13 minutes there’s a whole section that is great fun.  And even though it doesn’t keep up, the song feels rejuvenated. By around 17 minutes there some interesting soloing going on and then the band resumes to bring it to the end (with a reprise of an early section). And the final section is quite lovely.

Track 3 “The Ancient (Giants Under the Sun)” [Howe: electronic mayhem turning into acoustic simplicity] is probably the most interesting.  It opens with some clashing cymbals and then a fairly complex percussion section and mildly dissonant guitar riff.  There’s even some staccato bass line. The vocals come in around 4:30 and the song shifts to a less aggressive sound, but the big bass continues throughout the beginning of the song until a fast riff emerges around 6 minutes. But more unusual Yes-type riffage resume briefly before segueing into the next part with lots of percussion.  While the staccato bass and drums continues, Howe solos away.  Then around 12 :30 the whole things shifts to a pretty, slow acoustic section with a classical guitar and vocals.  This entire end section sounds like it could easily have been its own song and it is quite lovely.  Howe’s acoustic work is great and there’s even a lengthy solo.

Track 4 “Ritual (Nous Sommes du Soleil)” [Howe: us trying to drive the whole thing home on a biggie] is also quite good.  It’s probably the most fully Yes track of the four, with many sections of “full band” material.  There’s a noodly guitar intro switching to an interesting dramatic minor key movement.  There’s a pretty, if simple, riff (done by guitar and voice) that is quite lovely.  Around 4:30 the guitar solo brings in a riff from a previous Yes song. By 7 minutes, the song settles into a fairly conventional sounding Yes song (with actual bass and drums and…sitar!).   Around 11 there’s a bit of Wakeman soloing (he did show up for some of the album after all) and then some wild guitar and bass work.   The crazy percussion resumes and there’s a wild keyboard solo on top of it. The end of the guitar solo even has a bit of “Born Free” in it.

I hadn’t listened to this record in probably 25 years.  And so I listened to it 4 times in the last few days.  And I have to say that I thought it was bloated and awful at first, but it slowly grew on me.  I found some really interesting sections and some very cool riffs.  If these pieces could have been truncated into individual songs they would be quite good.  The biggest problem for me is that so much of it is so slow and mellow–like it’s building up to a big climax which never arrives.  On previous albums, Yes had made quite a show of being insane musicians, and that just isn’t here.

So even though I have come around on these songs, they certainly aren’t my favorites.  But if you’re at all interested in Yes, there’s some gems hidden away in these monstrosities (just don’t think too much about what Anderson is talking about).

Since almost every Yes album had different personnel, I’m going to keep a running tally here.  The band stayed together after Close to the Edge, but this was too much for Wakeman who left after the recording:

Chris Squire-bass
John Anderson-vocals
Alan White (#2)-drums
Rick Wakeman (#2)-keyboards
Steve Howe (#2)-guitar

[READ: June 20, 2015] Shouldn’t You Be in School?

I am finding this series to be ever more and more confounding.  And I know that is its intent, but it is still a challenge.  Whenever anyone asks a question someone else replies that it is the wrong question.  But they never say what the right question should be (deliberately confusing!).  There are also so many threads and confusing characters, that if Snicket didn’t make the story funny and strangely compelling, it would be incredibly frustrating.

In this story, Hangfire, having been thwarted in his previous endeavor to capture children (for what end we do not know) is back with a new plan to capture children.  Also, the mysterious (and presumably wicked, but who can be sure) Ellington Feint has returned as well to help or hinder as she sees fit.

The other characters are back too, of course: Moxie is back taking notes, Jake Hix is cooking delicious foods at Hungry’s (in fact there are even some recipes that sound pretty yummy–Snicket himself makes a passable tandoori chicken).  S. Theodora is still his mentor (and the pictures by Seth of her are hilarious).  Late in the book Pip and Squeak show up.  And naturally the policemen and their bratty son Stewie are there too.  And we are still wondering what in the heck is going on with the bombinating beast.

There’s also some new characters, like Kellar Haines, a young boy who when we first meet him is typing up something in the offices of the Department of Education (with posters all over the walls that say Learn! Learning is Fun, etc).  And his mother is also becoming quite chummy with S. Theodora.

The danger in this book is fire.  Building after building is being burnt down.  The Stain’d Secondary School is engulfed.  Even the library is at risk!  And that’s when S. Theodora solves the crime!  She gets the library Dashiell Qwerty arrested for setting the fires.  And even though it is quickly determined that he did not do it (a building was burnt down while he was in custody), that doesn’t stop S. Theodora and her new friend Sharon Haines (in matching yellow nails) from partying.  It also doesn’t stop Qwerty from being taken to prison.

This story is a bit darker than the other ones (which were admittedly pretty dark).  Every kid is being drugged with laudanum which makes you sleepy.  We’re unclear exactly what they are being drugged for, but Snicket has a plan to stop it.  Snicket himself winds up getting beaten up–pretty badly–from Stew and others.

And for the first time, S. Theodora is kind to Snicket (more or less) and apologizes for her behavior (sort of).

By the end of the book a plan is hatched, a bunch of people join the V.F.D. (as seen in A Series of Unfortunate Events) and someone is taken to jail. There’s even a mysterious beast who is living in the fire pond.

As in previous books there is ample definition building–either from people saying they don’t know what a word means so that it can be defined or from Snicket himself simply defining a word.  As in “my brother and I played an inane game” “inane is a word which here means that my brother and I would pretend we couldn’t hear each other very well while we were talking.”  This game actually sounds fun:

What do you think of the weather this morning?
Feather? I’m not wearing a feather this morning.  This is just a hat.
Just a cat? Why would you wear a cat on your head?
A Bat in your bed etc etc.

The artwork by Seth is once again fantastic and noirish.

And the end of the book has a fragmentary plot “a great number of people working together, but they plotted together in such a way that nobody knew exactly what the other people were doing”  And finally we learn what the right question is, but it’s the unsatisfying: “Can we save this town?”  We’ll have to find out in the concluding book 4.

You can also check out the website for some fun.

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13SOUNDTRACK: JACK BLACK-The Goodbye Song (2009).

jbI love that Jack Black is a terribly terribly profane man, and yet he has also made a huge career out of doing kids shows and movies.  True Tenacious D are practically child men anyhow, but to think that the guy who sang some of those really dirty songs is also Kung Fu Panda?  Or the sweet guy saying goodbye to everyone in Yo Gabba Gabba land?

This song is, like most Yo Gabba Gabba songs, incredibly simple and repetitive (it’s mostly chorus singing goodbye) but each verse has one of the characters from the show singing a simple verse and JB saying something in return.

There’s nothing especially great about this song (you want it more for the visuals), it’s just always fun to hear Jack be funny and silly–and to rock out at the end.

[READ: May 9, 2014] File Under: 13 Suspicious Incidents

I knew that his book was coming out and I was pretty sure it was Book 3 in the All the Wrong Questions series because, well, because it came out during the series and it was illustrated by Seth.  But it is not part of the series at all.  Well, that’s not true.  It is sort of part of the series.

It is set in Stain’d by the Sea.  Lemony Snicket is there with his mentor S. Theodora and all of the characters we have met so far in the series are here as well.  But this is a series of unfortunate incidents in which Lemony Snicket helps to solve some crimes or, if not crimes, at least possible crimes.  Thing of it as a short story interlude from All the Wrong Questions.  And yet, even though that seems dismissive, it is a great and fun read.

So despite being a little disappointed that this wasn’t the next book in the series (I’m quite hooked) I really enjoyed these short “cases.”  It also turns out that the “bonus” story that came in the Barnes & Noble edition of Book 2 is one of these incidents.  I didn’t enjoy it that much as a “bonus” story, but I found it far more enjoyable this time in the context of Snicket trying to figure things out here. (more…)

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when di dSOUNDTRACK: BECK-Scott Pilgrim vs the World (2010).

220px-Scott_Pilgrim_soundtrackI somehow missed Beck’s next album, Modern Guilt.  Whether I was bummed about not loving The Information or that Iwas just out of the loop, I’m surprised I wasn’t all over this collaboration with Danger Mouse.  But I plan to give it a closer listen soon.

After that, Beck wrote several songs for Sex Bob-Omb, the band in the movie Scott Pilgrim vs the World.

In a confusing annotation, he wrote 4 songs that Sex Bob-Omb play on the soundtrack.  Three of those songs, Beck also performs on the deluxe version of the album.  Beck also recorded two versions of a song that he wrote for the soundtrack.  And, according to Spin, there are four more unreleased tracks that you can listen to on their site.

I’m only going to mention the officially released tracks here.

“We Are Sex Bob-Omb” is a great punky fuzzed out rock song (as all four turn out to be).  It has a very Stooges feel and at only 2 minutes (including the intro) it’s quite the punk anthem.  Beck doesn’t do a version of this one.

“Threshold” is a punk blast (less than 2 minutes).  Beck’s version is fuzzed out with all kinds of interesting noises swirling around.  The chorus is very traditional punk (ie. surprisingly catchy).  The Sex Bob-Omb version is very close to the original.  It’s actually a little cleaner (you can understand most of the lyrics), but I think all of the noises are the same, so maybe its the same music with different vocals?  Well, according to the movie Wiki, the actors played the music, but of the three it’s the closest musically to the original.  There’s also an 8-bit version of the song which sounds like a warped video game playing along to the melody.  It’s created by Brian LeBarton.

“Garbage Truck” is a big dumb slow track.  In Beck’s version, there’s more fuzzed out guitars and it sounds more 70s rock than punk.  There’s big drums and dumb lyrics.  It’s great.  The Sex Bob-Omb version sounds quite different in the recording.  It’s a wee bit slower, and once again the vocals are much cleaner, but the music is wonderfully fuzzed out again.

“Summertime” is the same style of song–fuzzy and simple (Beck must have had fun writing these).  This one is the longest of the songs, at just over 2 minutes. Beck’s voice is once again super distorted.  The Sex Bob-Omb version feels slower, but maybe that’s just because the vocals are so much cleaner.

Although I thought I’d enjoy the Sex Bob-Omb versions more, I side with the Beck versions on all of them.  None of the songs are great, but they’re not supposed to be (Sex Bob-Omb isn’t meant to be a great band).  But they are a lot of fun, especially if you like garage punk.

There are two versions of “Ramona” on the disc.  The acoustic one is just a minute long and is Beck strumming and singing the word “Ramona” a few times.  It sets the stage for the full version which has strings and actual lyrics.  It’s a pretty song, reminiscent of the string style of Sea Change.

So this is an interesting collection of songs for Beck fans.  And, in fact, the entire soundtrack is quite good.

[READ: March 16, 2014] When Did You Last See Her?

I enjoyed Book 2 in this series a lot more than I remember enjoying Book 1.  And it was great to get back into the fun writing style of Lemony Snicket novels.

The first book left us with the quest for the Bombinating Beast sculpture which, as the story ended, was taken by Ellington Feint, a girl who Snicket was just starting to like.  The first book was full of (intentionally) confusing writing in which Snicket knows that the things he did were wrong, and things like the true nature of what happened were written in a weird way.

There was some of that in this book, but the focus was more on the story than the weirdness of Snicket’s situation (which I’m still not entirely clear on).  Without dwelling on book 1 too much, suffice it to say that Lemony Snicket is an apprentice to the terrible mentor S. Theodora (we still don’t know what the S. stands for).  We also don’t even exactly know what they do, in other words what his he apprentice-ing in?  He claims it’s not detective work.

Despite the disappointment of losing the Beast statue, there is a new problem in Stain’d by the Sea, which Snicket and S. have not left yet.  It turns out a girl, heir to the Knight fortune, has gone missing.  Cleo Knight, budding chemist, and girl with a plan to save the dying town of Stain’d by the Sea was last seen leaving town in her indestructible car, the famous Dilemma.  And yet, she was also seen (by the proprietor of Partial Foods (ha!)) leaving in a taxicab.  When Snicket and S. Theodora investigate the house, they find that the Knight parents are being sedated by a Dr. Flammarion–who seems very suspicious.

(more…)

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snicketSOUNDTRACK: HEYWOOD BANKS-“Toast” (1995).

toastI found this song when I was reading an article about Chris Christie.  Someone said he’s toast after his recent scandal.  And someone else posted this video.  Evidently it is taken from a morning radio show (ew), but the song is funny despite the morning nimrods laughing along.

I prefer the audio quality of the radio version, but I like this live version better (the dark toast intolerant joke is very funny (it’s new to this version)–as is the punchline to the Eifel Tower verse).

The excitement that he brings to this nonsense is wonderful.

[READ: September 20, 2013] Who Could That Be at This Hour?

I have a few books lingering around from last year that I have yet to write about.  This is one of them.  I’m not sure how a book gets neglected in my writing.  Usually I feel like I need to devote some time to it and I feel like I don’t have enough time at the moment.  And then it gets pushed back and back until months have gone by and then I wind up writing a half-assed review anyhow.

Alas.

So this begins a new series from Lemony Snicket.  It is a prequel to A Series of Unfortunate Events, but it is a very early prequel.  The main character is a thirteen year old Lemony Snicket who has just finished school and is on his way to a certain destination when all of his plans are thwarted.  And the way the opening is written is confusing and funny at the same time.  Like, “You’ll see her soon enough in any case, I thought, incorrectly.”  Or that he is given a note from a stranger which says to go out the bathroom window.  When he gets into the bathroom he finds a small package: “It was a folding ladder.  I knew it was there.  I’d put it there myself.”  Young Snicket is sitting with his parents–they insist he drink his tea while he waits for the train.  But while he is waiting, a woman breezes into the station and drops a note in his lap.

The mysterious letter writer turns out to be S. Theodora Markson.  She is to be Snicket’s chaperone.  Snicket uses the “a word which here means…” trick from the Unfortunate books but there’s a funny twist

“I’m contrite, I said, a word which here means–”
“You already said you were sorry,” S. Theodora Markson said.  “Don’t repeat yourself.  It’s not only repetitive, it’s redundant and people have heard it before.” (more…)

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SOUNDTRACK: RAH RAH-“Arrows” (2010).

This issue of The Walrus features the Summer Reading Issue, which nine short fictions about Canada.  In concert with that I decided to listen to CBC Radio 3 online and review the first songs that I hear in their entirety.

The first band up is Rah Rah.  I’d never heard of them before.  This track arrows is from their just released 2nd CD.  They sound kind of like they are Regina, Sask’s answer to the Arcade Fire.  Rah Rah have 7 members in the band, and they play a sort of energetic poppy punk with lots of backing vocals. (Some of them are screamed, but from a long way away…a very cool effect). The song is catchy and is only punk in the tempo of the track (and the somewhat shambolic nature of the vocals–which is meant as a complement).

I liked the song enough that I had to listen to it again. The riff is super catchy, and the vocals complement it nicely. I liked it enough to check out more of their stuff.  “Fuck NAFTA” is a wonderful song that is surprisingly delicate and catchy for such a belligerent sentiment. Great stuff.

I suspect that I’ll be picking up their album, if I can find it for sale anywhere.

[READ: June 14, 2010] Walrus Summer Reading, featuring Seth

The Walrus’ July/August issue features a summer reading collection.  Nine authors all answering the call “to write the most Canadian story they could think of.”  Over the next week or so I’ll review them all.  But as an introduction, I wanted to mention the artwork of Seth.

Seth is rapidly becoming my favorite artist whom I know very little about.  (more…)

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