Archive for the ‘Ariel Dorfman’ Category

SOUNDTRACK: HANNI EL KHATIB-“Save Me” (Field Recordings, August 7, 2013).

I love when Field Recordings like this one [Hanni El Khatib Gets Saved In The Desert] are filmed outside.  For this one Hanni El Khatib and his bandmates head to the Mojave Desert where it is getting cold pretty quickly.

I’ve never heard of Hanni before, and his music is generic enough that I don’t imagine I ever will.  The acoustic guitar plays a simple back and forth chord structure to the rhythm of hand jive.  Hanni plays a series of solos on the electric guitar in between simple verses (although the line about boys in the desert seems apt).

After a misfire with the maraca–it is so loud that Hanni can’t hear himself–the other guitarist suggests he should play it more nonchalantly–like business casual.

There’s nothing bad about the song, it’s just , well, bluesy garage rock, a fairly uninteresting style.  But the setting is sure pretty

The Los Angeles singer-songwriter, on a break from touring in support of his latest album In the Dirt, gamely stripped down his loud, bluesy garage-rock sound and let the stunning backdrop of Joshua Tree National Park provide the drama.

[READ: January 9, 2017] “The Gospel According to García”

This story was short and was packed full of so much.  Especially since Garcia wasn’t even present.

The story is told in second person past as a classroom full of kids watch a man come in.  There are 12 students on the verge of failing.  Seven are seniors.  The man seemed to falter a he walked into the room.

The kids knew this was his first mistake–allowing them to size him up.

He sat down where García used to sit, just like that, as if he had the right to do so.

He tried to get them to speak–maybe we should introduce ourselves–but they said nothing.  He tried to make a joke about breaking the ice, but no one responded. (more…)

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38SOUNDTRACK: SAN FERMIN-“Crueler Kind” (2013).

This was the final song that NPR played in their summer new music collection.  It was a band that Bob didn’t know, but he liked the song and then saw them live and put the song here.

It opens very simply, quietly with beautiful harmonies over a simple synth.  After about 45 seconds, the drums and horns (!) kick in and the backing harmony vocals take on more of a choral sound (AHHHH!) that punctuates rather than accompanies the vocals.

The main riff stems from that horn—a bass saxophone?  And yet during the verses, everything resorts to that pretty, mellow sound.

It’s a very interesting mix of musics, and it reminds me of some of the more experimental bands of the 1990s.  I’ll bet they would be fun to see live.  And I’d like to hear more from this album.

[READ: June 20, 2013] McSweeney’s #38

And with this book, I have now read all of the McSweeney’s issues (except that Mammoth Treasury which I will get to, probably by the end of the year).  This one was a great collection of fiction and non-fiction, it also had an inserted comic.  The book itself was paperback, with a nice, textured cover and a cool design for the numbers. In looking for a picture I learned that it came in two colors (the yellow that I received and a black cover with white lines).

It continues with the later issues’ less frivolous style (in that there’s nothing weird about the book) and throughout, the quality of the work is great.  I really enjoyed this book.  It opens with letters and contains color pictures, too.

Letters (more…)

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