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Archive for the ‘Allie Brosh’ Category

  hyperSOUNDTRACK: SHEARWATER-Tiny Desk Concert #9 (November 14, 2008).

shearwaterI didn’t really know Shearwater before this Tiny Desk Concert.  I’d heard of them but wasn’t familiar with their music (I assumed it was more countryish).  I was also really surprised to find that Thor Harris was in the band (he is currently playing with Swans–it doesn’t get too much more different between Swans and Shearwater (even if they are both birds).

Jonathan Meiberg is the singer–he was formerly in Okkervil River for a number of years before Shearwater became too big to be a side project.  The setting is perfect for the band as they get to showcase some really quiet insturments.  Like the Waterphone (designed by Richard Waters, although Thor Harris made the one they are using).  It is based on the calimba and they describe it as the sound you hear when something weird happens on Lost.  Thor also plays the clarinet (!).

Meiberg has a great voice, and it perfectly complements these delicate songs.  “Rooks” has melodies on xylophone and Hammered dulcimer (which also looks homemade).  “Leviathan, Bound” is based on the documentary “Blue Water White Death” about great white sharks and whalers.  They explain that this is a new version of the song with banjo.  And before they start the song they nearly knock something over (it is a Tiny desk after all).

“North Col” is the less commonly use approach to Mt Everest.  And this song is just as spare and pretty.  Before playing the final song, they show the album cover (of Rook) and talk about Kahn & Selesnick, the artists who made it (it’s quite striking).  Then he explains the origins of “I Was a Cloud” which he wrote when he was in the Falkland Islands.  They were birding and found a tiny bird living under the wreckage of a fighter jet.  It’s a beautiful image and a beautiful song.

And I definitely need to hear more Shearwater after this.

[READ: December 29, 2013] Hyperbole and a Half

The whole blogs-into-books thing is weird.  You can read everything in these blogs for free on the internet, so why do they come out in books?  Is the internet insecure when it comes to publishing?  Are these things more legitimate as books?  Is it just a way to make money?  Are they in print just in case the internet explodes?  It certainly undermines the concept that books are dead.  Well, whatever, some blogs translate very well to print.  Like this one.

I have enjoyed Hyperbole and a Half a number of times, but I never thought to check it regularly.  So I had no idea that Allie had taken a year off.  And I had no idea that she suffered from Depression so people were concerned about her.  I always just thought her strips were very very funny and didn’t read anything in them.  Of course, knowing she was Depressed (she admits as much in the book) makes the darker stories seem darker, but the funny ones are still really funny.

I mean, just look at drawings! No really, look at the drawings–they are so weird and creepy and so freaking funny.  It seems like she can’t really draw, because the pictures are crazy.  And yet she is so consistent with her lines and styles that I have to assume she is a masterful artist and has chosen this crazy style to accentuate her crazy stories.  And it is genius. (more…)

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