Archive for the ‘Michael Bond’ Category

harp marchSOUNDTRACK: RHEOSTATICS-Harbourfront Toronto, Canada Day (July 1, 2000).

harbourThis recording comes from an outdoor venue in honor of Canada Day.

As I understand it, the band was asked to write a new song for the Canada Day celebration and they came up with “When Monkeys Comes.”  It opens with a kind of disco version of “Also Sprach Zarathustra” and then morphs into a jamming Rheos song.  It doesn’t sound awesome on this mix (although the rest of the disc does), so it’s hard to get a real sense of what’s happening.  It feels a little meandering.  And since it doesn’t really appear anywhere else (except for an upcoming show), it’s hard to really parse it.

This show is interesting in that the band doesn’t talk very much–usually they’re very chatty.  Dave Bidini says that since their set is short (barely over an hour), they didn’t want to talk to much, so it’s all about the music.  They play the first seven songs without saying a word in between songs.  Also interesting is that those first seven songs are all new–not yet recorded for the Night of the Shooting Stars album.

There is a drum machine or at least a lot of electronic drumming on a couple of songs, which I believe are supplied by Michael Phillip Wojewoda, erstwhile extra member of the band for years, and official drummer in a few months.

After playing the new songs, the band does play some older songs.

They are still doing songs from Harmelodia (“I Fab Thee” and “Song of the Garden”) and this crowd, which I assume is all ages, is probably a good place for them.  They also play “The Ballad of Wendel Clark” which is super fun (and not played that often).  There’s some great versions of “Stolen Car” and “Self Serve Gas Station.”

It’s a good set (with good sound quality), especially if you like NotSS.

[READ: March 6, 2015] new movies

I rarely talk about movie or movie reviews here.  But since I like Galchen, and I’ve mentioned most of her writings so far, it seemed like a worthwhile inclusion.  And she’s talking about Paddingon, a movie I’d like to see

What I liked about Galchen’s review was that it’s not so much about the movie (which she likes and says is silly and smart and witty and pretty) as it is about the story of Paddington.

I don’t know the plot of the movie (or the books, actually, although I do know the premise of who Paddington is), but it sounds like a fun farce, with Hugh Bonneville (Mr Crawley on Downton Abbey) dressing as a cleaning lady to aid Paddington on “an essential fact-finding mission.”

But Galchen talks about how the movie (like the book by Michael Bond) pays attention to money (the cost of marmalade for instance) and to the African-Caribbean immigration to London in the 1950s.  Paddington is from darkest Peru (evidently Bond was going to have him be from Darkest Africa but there are no bears there).  And its this immigrant story which the movie focuses on.

Galchen also talks about how characters like Paddington (or Curious George or Pinocchio) are stand ins for children. But if they were actual children in the stories we would be repelled by them.

It turns out that Galchen has visited darkest Peru on a research mission.   They were checking fecal samples of the native chickens–looking for antibiotics.  They also conducted a kind of socioeconomic census of the region, which was, of course, ridiculous as none of the natives had much of anything.  Although she notes that the most common name for boys was Israel and the most common among girls was LadyDi.

This article didn’t make me want to see the movie any more than I do (because I am looking forward to it already), but it was certainly an interesting perspective and certainly one I wouldn’t be reading in Entertainment Weekly.

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