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Archive for the ‘Joanna Walsh’ Category

5dails33bSOUNDTRACK: PUNCH BROTHERS-Tiny Desk Concert #427 (March 16, 2015).

punchtinyIt is Chris Thile’s birthday and Bob and the gang brought him a cake, and Chris seems so genuinely touched, it is adorable.

Bob explains that they usually don’t invite artists back more than once but Chris has been on Tiny Desk four times by having five different “groups.” (Chris Thile And Michael Daves; Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer, Chris Thile And Stuart Duncan; Nickel Creek and now Punch Brothers).

I had heard of Punch Brothers, but didn’t know them.  I instantly became a fan after watching Chris’ great mandolin playing and his familiar but always interesting voice. The rest of the brothers provide great harmonies and lots and lots of strings (violin, bass, banjo and guitar).  They play four songs, “My Oh My,” a great, fun original and a traditional song “Boll Weevil” which is a rollicking fast fun bluegrass song.  “Magnet” is a “fairly debauched song,” which is even more rollick and more fun.  And Chris’ visuals during the song are very funny.

The final song is longer and much slower.  “Julep” is a mellow song with nice harmonies and delicate playing.  This Tiny Desk Concert really showcases how diverse this band is and I’m really interested to hear more.

[READ: April 5, 2015] Five Dials 33 Part II

Five Dials Number 33 Part 1 was dedicated to women and part II, the more substantial of the two, continues that theme.  And it features illustrations by Melanie Amaral.

The issue opens with a Centenary Appreciation of Marguerite Duras, the ultimate writer of euphoria and despair.  I don’t know much about her although I am familiar with her titles The Lover and Hiroshima mon Amour.

There are brief accolades from SUSANA MEDINA; OLIVIA LAING; DEOBRAH LEVY; AGATA PYZIK; JOANNA WALSH; CARI LUNA; ZOE PILGER; SUZANNE JOINSON; MARINA WARNER and EMMA WILSON all of which makes me think I should stop reading Five Dials and read Duras. (more…)

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SOUNDTRACK: AUDIOSLAVE-Audioslave (2002).

Despite the pedigree of this band: Rage Against the Machine + Chris Cornell, I wasn’t all that interested in the band when they came out.  I was over Rage and was bored by Cornell’s solo stuff.  But then recently, someone donated a copy of this album to th elibrary, so I thought I’d see what all of the fuss was about (nine years ago).

There are times when this album is really superb.  The Rage guys get an amazingly full sound out of their instruments (the choruses of “Show Me How to Live” are so full).  And when it works, and Cornell’s amazing voice is in full force, this seems like a genius pairing.

But there’s a lot that feels kind of clunky here (and there’s some really bad choices of guitar solo work by Tom Morello–the weird noises that compriose he solo of “What You Are”–in Rage the noises were weird but exciting and inflammatory, these are just kind of dull.  Worse yet, is the, well, stupid solo in “Like a Stone”–boring and ponderous at the same time).  Although he redeems himself somewhat with the cool solo on the otherwise dull “Intuition”.

The biggest surpise comes in “Like a Stone” which is insanely catchy and mellow–something one assumed Rage didn’t know how to do).  Lyrically the song is pretty stupid (as are most of the songs), but the combination of melody and Cornell’s great vocal lines really raise this song high–shame about the solo).  Also, a song like “Shadow of the Sun” seems to highlight Cornell’s more mellow moments (and shows that the Rage guys can actually play that slow), and they all seem to be in synch.

And there are several songs that rock really hard, sounding at times like Rage and at time like Soundgarden, but working on all cylinders together.  “Cochise” and “Set It Off” are simply great riff rock songs.

But ten or so years later, and twenty years since Badmotorfinger (my favorite Soundgarden album), it’s nice to hear Cornell rocking again.  Although man, the record is too long!

[READ: June 1, 2011] Five Dials Number 8

For Issue Number 8, Five Dials went to Paris.  And so the whole issue is given over to French concerns and ideas.  For a magazine that didn’t need a change of pace, it’s a delightful change of pace.  The feel of the magazine is different, and there’s an air of vacation about it (which is not to suggest that it is slacking off in any way), and it feels really vibrant.

I don’t know a lot about France in general.  I mean, I’ve been there, and I keep up with things, but I am not a Francophile by any means. So a lot of this stuff was simply new to me, which is always fun.  What I especially liked about the issue was that they were not afraid to show some of France’s uglier sides as well–it’s not just a tourism booster.

It even starts out differently than the other issues. (more…)

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