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Archive for the ‘Cherie Priest’ Category

princessSOUNDTRACK: DAWN OF MIDI-Dysnomia (2013).

domI heard about this disc while listening to The Organist podcast. (Episode 6)  I didn’t know anything about Dawn of Midi, but I understand they were/are a kind of improvisational jazz band (piano, contrabass and drums).  But don’t stop reading yet.  Dysnomia (between this and Method of the W.O.R.M.’s Cicatrix, I am certainly learning a lot of new words) is certainly jazzy.  But it doesn’t feel like jazz exactly.  In fact, I would never have guessed that they were playing real instruments.

The album is 47 minutes with 9 songs.  They are all instrumental and more or less flow into each other.  And as I say, I never would have imagined that it was just three instruments playing the music.  Not because it sounds weird–there’s nothing particularly unusual sounding about the record.  But because it is so precise.

And indeed, the piano doesn’t really sound like a piano (it’s a little muted), but the other two instruments are quite clearly drum and bass.  And yet it’s the rhythms and textures of the songs that are so unusual.  The songs are minimal, true, but they are complex in that minimalism.  So while there’s repeated piano notes, there’s complex drum patterns.  And the songs morph and change over the course of the record.  And not just from track to track but within a song as well.

Without going into great musical detail, there’s not a lot to say about the individual tracks.  As I say, it’s a lot of repetition, but there’s enough morphing that it never gets boring.  Maybe the piano is the emphasis for these few minutes, then a snare drum takes over.  Or the beat shifts or speeds up.  It’s really cool.  And it’s really hard to believe that these three guys are playing this live and not with machines.

I really can’t say enough about this record.  I didn’t expect to like it as much as I do, but I find that I can’t stop listening to it.

Check it out at their bandcamp site.

[READ: July 17, 2015] I am Princess X

Sarah brought this home from the library and said that I would like it and, as usual, she was right.

The story is about May and Libby, two young girls (fifth grade?) who are thrown together (they don’t know each other but are both skipping gym class) and form a cool bond.  Libby is a great artist, and while they are sitting in the Kindergarten playground, the little kids come over and ask her to draw things.  Soon enough, Libby draws a princess (I like that it was suggested by a boy).  She’s wearing red high tops, a crown and cape and has a cool katana sword (I must say this has to be the smoothest playground ever if she could get that much detail out of playground chalk).

The girls name her Princess X and since May can’t draw, she comes up with stories about her.  And soon enough, Libby and May have binders full of the Princess’ adventures.

As with a lot of YA books, there’s a horrific tragedy that follows.  Libby and her mom are in a car and her mom drives them off a bridge where she and Libby die.  (I know!).  May always thought there was something suspicious about the whole thing–Libby had a closed casket–but since May was a little girl no one paid her any mind.  Libby’s dad fled Seattle and that was the end of contact for May.

Meanwhile, May’s parents divorced and may moved back to the South (people in Seattle tease her about her accent).  But she does get to come up to Seattle to visit her dad from time to time.

And this time, when she’s walking around old haunts, she sees a sticker on a window.  It is Princess X and it even says “I am Princess X”  What the heck?  Well, when Libby’s dad sold the house, all of their Princess X stuff was given to goodwill.  So it must be someone who found it and stole their ideas.  But what if it’s something else? (more…)

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