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Archive for the ‘Laurence Klavan’ Category

cityspiesSOUNDTRACK: PHOX-Tiny Desk Concert #423 (March 2, 2015).

phoxtinyPhox play pretty, quiet music (quiet for a six piece anyhow). There’s a 12 string guitar, banjo, bass drums and piano al held together by the lead vocals of Monica Martin.  Her dusky voice is quite lovely (as are the high backing vocals of the piano player).

“Kingfisher” is bright and chipper and that little trill at the end of the verses (and the song) is really catchy.

It’s always fun when artists are nervous about being in a small room–closely scrutinized.  Monica notes, “It’s so bright in here.”

“1936” is chock full of great harmonies (both backing vocals and when the whole group sings together).  It has an olde quality, especially when they start doing the “bum bum bum” in lovely harmony.

The final song is also lovely—the harmonies again, and the delightful times when the music drops out and its’ just piano or glockenspiel are really dynamic.  There’s even whistling!  I wonder if this is what the band sounds like live or if they are usually more rollicking.

This was a very (to quote Monica) “dreamy” show.  Watch it here.

[READ: December 24, 2014] City of Spies

I have dozens of posts about books I’ve read over the last few months that have been pushed back because of other things that I wanted to write.  So I’m going to start publishing these older posts–most of which are about comic books!

I had also decided to read all of the First Second Graphic Novels. There are a lot, and I got a whole bunch from the library all at one time.  I kind of burnt out on them so I haven’t read too many lately.  But now its time to see what I’ve been reading.

I had literally no idea what it would be about (spies, obviously).  So imagine my surprise to find out that it was also about the Nazis infiltrating America in the 1940s.  Clark had read it a few days before me, and he said he liked it but after reading it myself, I have to find out just how much he understood.

It’s a clever book in which two kids (who are drawn rather simply–like Sunday funnies kids, which I liked)  try to bring down a secret Nazi spy ring in Manhattan in 1942. (more…)

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brain campSOUNDTRACK: LESLIE HALL-“Tight Pants/Body Roll” (2010).

lesliehallA friend of mine posted this video on Facebook and I had no idea what it was.  Another friend filled me in that the singer is Leslie Hall (check out her site, which is full of wonderfully gaudy design).  I think her band is called Leslie and the LY’s (or some variation) and they are from Ames, Iowa.

There’s something absolutely wonderful about not knowing a thing about them when you watch this video as it is so out there.  She does have a wikipedia page in addition to her website, so if you need to fill in unanswered questions, you can do that there.

In the meantime, just enjoy:

[READ: January 8, 2015] Brain Camp

Camp Fielding is a place for losers–people who can’t get into any other camp.  They often go in because they are stupid and yet after just a few months they come out like geniuses.  It is the perfect place for a couple of misfits like Jenna, a girl who is lost in her own imagination (while her 14 year old sister just got accepted into Harvard.  Heck, even her younger sister is embarrassed by her).  Or like Lucas, a boy who we first see breaking into cars and whose mother has basically given up on him.

Neither one is terribly excited to go and neither one is pleased about the other one (they share a ride together).  But once they get to camp and the boys are bullies, the girls are worse and the food is so disgusting as to be deemed completely inedible, they form a reluctant bond (with a dorky boy who is the butt of everyone’s jokes).

The weirder think about the camp is that they don’t actually teach anything–they just put kids in a classes and talk at them assuming they’ll just pick it up.  And they seem to. (more…)

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