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Archive for the ‘Helen DeWitt’ Category

nov2014SOUNDTRACK: CHRIS BATHGATE-Tiny Desk Concert #167 (October 14, 2011).

bathgateI’d never heard of Chris Bathgate before this Tiny Desk Concert.  Bathgate is a singer and guitarist.  For this show he has a band of five—another guitarist, bassist, violinist and drummer.

The first song, “Everything (Overture),” opens with a lovely slow echoing guitar sound.  And then Bathgate and the violinist sing a lovely, slow duet—their voices play off each other very nicely and the lovely repetitive guitar riff is perfect background.  The song picks up a bit for the chorus (which is mostly them singing do do dos) and the rousing chorus is a nice contrast to the quieter verses.  I really like at the end when the second guitarist switches to the floor tom and adds to the intensity of the song.

He says that “No Silver” is “about living in Michigan and being broke.”  The song is faster and a little heavier.  There more good harmonies and a nice play between the loud acoustic guitar and the fiddle (this song is much more bluegrassy sounding).  When the music drops off and its only drums and fiddle—the song booms.

He introduces “Salt Year” with “Think about the first person you ever had a crush on. so maybe not first crushes but…first lustses”

The slide guitarist messes up on the opening of the song and asks if they can do trainwrecks—his mother will never forgive him.  Bathgate says they should leave it in. So they begin again, with that mournful slide guitar and Bathgate’s delicate vocals.

He tells a lengthy story about the final song “Levee.”  He was in Maine (he had lobster ice cream for the first time–don’t try it, it’s terrible) and he was on an all night drive with a crying friend.  She was inconsolable until the turned a corner and saw a gigantic harvest moon the filled the windshield.  What’s odd about the story telling is that he seems to be telling the violinist rather than the audience.  But that doesn’t matter because this song is fantastic.  It begins with some more great harmony vocals (the violinist has a really great, slightly unusual voice.  I loved that after each line, the violinist and the second guitarist play the floor tom with a great pounding rhythm.  And the bass/guitar riff between verses is great too.

As the show ends, they reveal that they band brought pie for everyone!

[READ: February 5, 2016] “Climbers”

This story is about writers and the publishing world.  But it comes from a wholly unusual angle that I liked a lot

The story begins with Gil raving about the world of Peter Dijkstra.  Peter Dijkstra is a Dutch author who spent some time in an asylum.  He wrote five novels in Dutch and recently had a novella and some short stories translated into English.

Gil works in publishing and says he would do anything–anything–to get Dijkstra published in the States. (more…)

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