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Archive for the ‘Pamela Druckerman’ Category

augSOUNDTRACK MAREN MORRIS-“I Wish I Was” NPR’S SOUTH X LULLABY (March 18, 2016).

marenMaren Morris was a buzz artist at SXSW.  I listened to about 45 seconds of her single “My Church” and determined it was way too country for me.  So I wasn’t really looking forward to this Lullaby.

However, Morris’s sound strips down nicely.  Although she still sings with a rich country twang, she also adds levels of soul to her singing (particularly after the guitar solo).  There’s two guitars (Morris in rhythm), and her two supporting dudes singing very nice harmonies.

And the setting for this video is quite lovely–the chirping insects would agree.

[READ: February 10, 2016] “Curling Parents and Little Emperors”

The August 2015 Harper’s had a “forum” called How to Be a Parent.  Sometimes these forums are dialogues between unlikely participants and sometimes, like in this case, each author contributes an essay on the topic.  There are ten contributors to this Forum: A. Balkan, Emma Donoghue, Pamela Druckerman, Rivka Galchen, Karl Taro Greenfeld, Ben Lerner, Sarah Manguso, Claire Messud, Ellen Rosenbush and Michelle Tea.  Since I have read pieces from most of these authors I’ll write about each person’s contribution.

Druckerman’s name sounded familiar.  It turns out she wrote the book Bringing Up Bébé in 2012.  The book compares the child-rearing practices of middle class parents in France with those of the United States.  She says that US parents tend to have a more anxious, labor-intensive child-centric style of parenting.  And that today, college educated American mothers spend nine more hours per week on child care than they did in the mid-1990s.  This style has taken hold in most countries.  Except France. (more…)

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augSOUNDTRACK: HOLLY MACVE-“Sycamore Tree” NPR’S SOUTH X LULLABY (March 16, 2016).

macveHolly Macve (pronounced Mac-vee) is a 20-year-old songwriter from County Galway. At the time of SXSW she only had some demos available.

For this Lullaby, it’s just her and her acoustic guitar.  Her low notes seem surprisingly low somehow (I ‘m guessing she plays very cleanly so her notes stand out).

But the thing that stands out most is her voice.  The song’s melody is pretty standard, but she often jumps octaves and nearly creaks her voice while getting there–it’s unsettling and charming at the same time.  She sounds very old school country to me.

Also notable is the length of this song.  It seems like a simple folk song with a pretty standard verse structure.  In good Irish tradition, it also tells a story.  But the slow pace seems to really stretch out the music.  The chorus seems a few lines longer than one might expect (I do love the past and future mixed together in the lyrics).  When she gets to a third part, which takes the song in a rather unexpected direction with very high notes, it’s unclear how long this song might just wind up being.

Macve has a lovely sound, and I enjoyed this song as a lullaby, but I think she’s too far into the country realm for my liking.

[READ: February 10, 2016] “Notes on Some Twentieth-Century Writers”

The August 2015 Harper’s had a “forum” called How to Be a Parent.  Sometimes these forums are dialogues between unlikely participants and sometimes, like in this case, each author contributes an essay on the topic.  There are ten contributors to this Forum: A. Balkan, Emma Donoghue, Pamela Druckerman, Rivka Galchen, Karl Taro Greenfeld, Ben Lerner, Sarah Manguso, Claire Messud, Ellen Rosenbush and Michelle Tea.  Since I have read pieces from most of these authors I’ll write about each person’s contribution.

I have enjoyed Rivka Galchen’s works.  Indeed, I have tried to write about everything she’s written.  One of the things I especially like about her is that she always defies expectations.  So, in this Forum, while everyone else is writing about being a parent, Galchen writes about writers who were or were not parents.

She lists dozens of writers and states their parental status.  I will not go through them all because it would be exhausting (and would basically just duplicate what she wrote). (more…)

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augSOUNDTRACK: LUCIUS-“Dusty Trails” NPR’S SOUTH X LULLABY (March 15, 2016).

luciusI’m kind of mixed on Lucius. I love the vocals of Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig, they are genuinely amazing.  But their music is often a little too poppy, too dancey for me.  So this stripped down version is just perfect.  It’s probably my favorite song of theirs now, (I haven’t even heard the original, yet).

The visuals of this lullaby are pretty awesome too.  The guitar players in the background, Jess and Holly stand on a bridge in electric blue body suits and shocks of red hair.  The image of party and dance is so contrary to the lovely music that they play.

The song starts as a kind of folkie, almost country song. The two guitars play nicely together.  And the women sing kind of gently, but with those harmonies intact.  Once they get to the chorus, though, Jess and Holly start belting out their song with their power and harmony.

And when they get to the middle section of “We’ll be alright,” the vocals are just amazing–powerful and loud and right on key.

The guitars drop out for a near a capella section–just a low drum keeping time–and they keep it up beautifully.  This song is a little too loud and intense to be a lullaby, but it’s great nevertheless.

[READ: February 10, 2016] “The Grand Shattering”

The August 2015 Harper’s had a “forum” called How to Be a Parent.  Sometimes these forums are dialogues between unlikely participants and sometimes, like in this case, each author contributes an essay on the topic.  There are ten contributors to this Forum: A. Balkan, Emma Donoghue, Pamela Druckerman, Rivka Galchen, Karl Taro Greenfeld, Ben Lerner, Sarah Manguso, Claire Messud, Ellen Rosenbush and Michelle Tea.  Since I have read pieces from most of these authors I’ll write about each person’s contribution.

I especially appreciated that the introduction which says “This forum…is not prescriptive but descriptive: not ‘how you should’ but ‘how we have.'”  Which is probably the best kind of advice a mother or father could give.”

I have enjoyed Sarah Manguso’s works.  Her last book talked a lot about her becoming a parent so this essay seemed right up her alley.

She begins by saying she never wanted to be a mother.  To her “mother” was a giving up of your self.  You couldn’t be a writer and a mother. And those writers who were mothers, she was sure that they gave up more of their writer-hood to have more motherhood. She says her fantasy at 23 when her friends were getting married was that she’d move upstate with them and seduce their neighbor’s children. (more…)

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