Archive for the ‘Bob Odenkirk’ Category

47_2_(1) SOUNDTRACK: MARY MARGARET O’HARA-Christmas E.P. (1991)

marymarMary Margaret O’Hara is a fascinating recluse.  She released a cool, weird  album in 1988 then did nothing for three years when she released this Christmas EP.  Since then she hasn’t really released anything (except for a soundtrack).

O’Hara’s voice is her most notable feature (she warbles and swoons and is almost otherworldly–sometimes crazily so).  She is the backing shrieker in Morrissey’s “November Spawned a Monster.”  So one expects a pretty weird Christmas album from her.

 But it’s actually fairly conventional and I have to admit a bit dull.  “Blue Christmas” is just too slow for me.  O Hara’s voice doesn’t have any oomph here.  The cheesy violin solo doesn’t help either.  “Silent Night” is, I feel, too pretty of a song for O’Hara’s voice which wobbles in weird ways for this track.  “What Are You Doing New Years Eve?” suffers from the same as everything else on this disc–it’s too slow and languid.  I know this song can be wistful, but I need this to be faster.  “Christmas Evermore” fares the best on this disc because it isn’t familiar (to me).  The music is a bit more uptempo (if still eccentric).  And you don’t have other version to compare it to.

So, overall this proves to be a somewhat disappointing EP.

[READ: December 5, 2014] McSweeney’s 47

I love McSweeney’s issues that come in boxes with lots of little booklets.  It somehow makes it more fun to read the stories when they are in little booklets with individual covers.  In this instance, all of the booklets look basically the same–ten different cool pencil (and red) drawings on the cover done by Carson Murdach and a red back cover.  The outer slipcase art is by Jason Polan.

There are ten booklets.  One has a few letters and the rest are short stories.  There’s even a surprise in here–the very exciting discovery of two lost Shirley Jackson stories.  But there’s also the slightly disappointing realization that two of the books contain excerpts from McSweeney’s books (which I already own).

LETTERS: (more…)


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hooeySOUNDTRACK: Songs for Stuffing: A Thanksgiving Mix (2011).

turkey_wide-5d9e8a59bec66b4815045e86e4267da98ecc9263-s1900-c85There are not too many Thanksgiving songs.  But our friends at NPR created this Thanksgiving mix back in 2011.  It seems to lie dormant for much of the year but they bring it back at a seasonally appropriate time.

I have to admit I have not actually listened to it (at least not yet).  But it includes this rather broad selection of artists (designed to please or alienate everyone on Thanksgiving).

A Band of Bees • Amadou & Mariam • The Andrews Sisters • Louis Armstrong • The B-52’s • The Beatles • Ludwig von Beethoven • William Billings • Willie Bobo • Bow Wow Wow • Greg Brown • Cab Calloway • Cyrus Chestnut • Guy Clark • Nat King Cole • Joe Craven • Joseph Curiale • Guy Davis • Champion Jack Dupree • Bob Dylan • The Flaming Lips • Dave Frishberg • William DeVaughn • Rick Gallagher • Dizzy Gillespie • Johnny Griffin • Patty Griffin • Golden Smog • Benny Goodman • Arlo Guthrie • Herb Alpert’s Tijuana Brass feat. Ozomatli • Herbie Hancock • Bill Heid • David Holt • The JB’s • Jay & The Techniques • Louis Jordan • Lambert, Hendricks & Bavan • Paul Lingle • Lyle Lovett • Eric “Two Scoops” Moore • New England Conservatory Wind Ensemble • Harry Nilsson • Tim O’Brien • Lee “Scratch” Perry • Michelle Shocked • Dmitri Shostakovich • Southern Culture on the Skids • Spearhead • Still on the Hill • Rufus Thomas • Traffic • Bobby Troup • Jay Ungar & Molly Mason • Warrant • Ethel Waters • The Wiyos • “Weird Al” Yankovic

You can hear the mix streaming on NPR.

[READ: November 27, 2014] A Load of Hooey

Just in time for Thanksgiving, McSweeney’s has sent us A Load of Hooey.

Bob Odenkirk has been cropping up a lot lately (not as much as erstwhile partner and financially secure comedian, David Cross, mind you), and that’s a good thing.  There’s something about Odenkirk’s persona (crotchety, uptight, white guy) that is usually really funny.  He often elevates crappy sitcoms just by yelling at one of the characters.

This book is a collection of short pieces (most are 1-3 pages), including “unabridged quotations” and poems.  They cover a variety of subjects, but pretty much all upend expectations.  And, as one might expect from Odenkirk, there’s a lot of religious and political jokes as well.

The “unabridged quotations” allow Odenkirk to append something that removes the pomp from some famous quotations.  The poems are usually funny, twisted barbs at some subject or another.

But the main targets are religions and politicians. (more…)

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