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Archive for the ‘Boredom’ Category

SOUNDTRACKRHEOSTATICS-Fall Nationals, Night 6 of 10, The Horseshoe Tavern, Toronto (November 16, 2004).

The Rheostatics, live at the Legendary Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto, November 14, 2004. This was the 6th night of their 10 night Fall Nationals run at the Horseshoe.  It was a free night and they still played for over 2 hours.

Two versions are available – Mark Sloggett’s soundboard recording and 8 track files provided by Steve Clarkson once again the Clarkson download is crisper and louder but with more crowd noise.

Not a lot of unusual stuff happens in this show.  “P.I.N.” is perfect.  On “Mumbletypeg,” Dave plays a new opening with some sliding notes. It’s a nice changeup, but it seems to mess up Tim–although he falls into place pretty easily.  After the song, Martin notes: “one guitar down, four to go.  Good thing we have a reserve.”  Then he introduces “this next song we’re gonna do is called “Marginalized” by Tim Vesely.”  Dave says,”And we have Chris Stringer on keyboards for the duration.”  Mike: “He’s on everything, it just looks like keyboards.  He’s just as equally on Jews harp.”  Dave: “And very close to being on drums tonight.”

Once again, Martin really into “The Tarleks” especially the loud ending part.  Then he says “More songs about invasions,” as they play “Aliens (Christmas 1988).”  In the quiet part Dave starts singing “Artenings Made of Gold” and then Kevin Hearn comes up on stage to sing “Monkeybird.”  There’s some wild noises and guitar nonsense in the middle.  And as “Monkeybird,” ends as Dave is introducing Kevin Hearn, Martin finishes up “Aliens” right where the song left off.

In the second version, you can hear a request–a big shout “Shaved Head” and a smaller shout for “Record Body Count.”

Dave says “Try To Praise This Ordinary World” which “features a poem by Ken Babstock.”  There’s no accordion this night and once again, you can’t hear the poem n version 2.  Then a surprise of “The Midnight Ride Of Red Dog Ray” which features Chris Stringer on the mandolin with a nice solo mid-song.
Time says “Here Comes The Image” is a song from 2067.  The year.” There seems to be a little trouble with the keyboard at first but it comes back and there’s a lovely solo.

Dave says “here’s a plaintive reading of ‘My First Rock Concert.'”  he also ups the line to “Michael Stipe was distant, he was nice (he wouldn’t let me touch his dog).”  Then he commends: “totally a Saturday night crowd on a Tuesday.  That’s was the Argos going to the Grey Cup will do to a Toronto crowd, I tell ya.”

Whether you listen to our new album in the comfort of your own home or a car or … a boat.”  Tim: “the comfort of your own boat.”  “For those of us who have boats.”   This is the first song you’d hear.  Tim says canoes the best boat.  Dave: “I don’t t know if it’s safe to have a portable CD player in a canoe or kayak.  Tim: “I took my canoe to Hot Rod Jimmy’s and had it decked out.  The subs are so… the ripples are just you don’t want to be camping next to me.”  The first song on that album is “Shack In The Cornfields,”  During the middle Dave says, “Stringer, stop stealing my tambourine or Jews harp.”  Mike: “Crank it” (Jews harp solo).  “Little Bird, Little Bird” has some slide guitar on it and “Pornography” is short and sweet.

Dave says “‘Loving Arms’ was sung by Sarah Harmer on the album and then she went on to be a big star.  So we take full credit for her career.  How many people were here for Jessie Harris and Justin Rutledge?  Thanks for donations tonight for Tim’s childrens’ and my son’s school Alpha Alternative Public School.  Mike: “Martin and I’s unborn children get nothing.”

“Saskatchewan” “reprising his starring role in Green Sprouts Music Week 1980 something: Justin Rutledge.” Justin: “It’s my first time playing the Shoe it’s very cool.”  He sings it with a nice drawl although the song is incredibly slow.

“Dope Fiends And Boozehounds” has a middle section of “Alomar” after which Tim says “wow, I think the sun shone for a minute there.”  After Martin sings “dark side of the moon,” the audience does the howling for him.”  Towards the end, Martin starts playing a lovely “Song of Flight.”

Dave says, “we don’t want to keep you out too late.  It’s a Tuesday night.  We all have cartoons to watch in the morning.”  And then they play almost 30 more minutes of music.

“Making Progress” opens with spooky trippy keys to open.  It’s followed by a really harsh and aggressive “Feed Yourself.”  There’s a long solo section with some spooky keyboards and them Mike says “play the big thing, frighten us, make it do scary shit.”  And there’s this huge build up.  “This is gonna be good. Wait for it.”  Martin:  “I hope it doesn’t blow up.”  Someone jokes: “Can you do any Tragically Hip on that thing.”  But there’s no pay off to whatever was happening.

During the encore break you can hear someone enunciate “Sweet.  Rich.  Beautiful.  Mine.”  But instead, Tim comes out to do “First The Wheel” solo.  Tim says, “personally I’d like to hear “Satan is the Whistler,” Dave if you’re listening.  “When he finishes, he says, “I’d like to welcome back the Toronto cast of Rheostatics.”

Dave mentions “the special guest vocalist night tomorrow with 28 different singers.  And Kevin Hearn & Thin Buckle opening.”  Tim: “That’s definitely worth coming for.  Martin: “Rheo-oke.”  Dave says more like we’re the Blues Brothers band backing up these great people.

Thursday night, Danny Michel is here for a double bill and Mike’s brother John Wojewoda and Bluegrass Nightmare.  Friday night The Imponderables and The Buttless Chaps.

They honor Tim’s request and play a Rocking “Satan Is The Whistler.”  They do it justice and the ending really rocks. The night ends with “Soul Glue.”  Martin still has his robotic voice thing and keeps saying “Soul Glue” as an intro and they play a fun, spirited version of it, with Tim really vamping by the end.

[READ: April 22, 2017] The Time Museum

The story opens with a man traveling through time.  He is with a group of people whom he tells to flee when he sets off the machine.  Cut to 8 months later as the crew is looking for evidence of the man’s success or failure.  They don’t see anything.  Until the man (known as The Earl) appears from behind a rock with a glowing object which he declares “is TIME.”

Then we meet the main character, Delia Bean.  Delia loves science and is a nerd.  The other kids don’t love that so much.  But summer is coming so that’s okay.  And the summer means a trip to Uncle Lydon’s place.  He is the coolest because he is curator of the Earth Time Museum–a place outside of normal time where Earth’s wonders are displayed.

When they get to Uncle Lyndon’s house Delia is in heaven (her brother not so much).  He winds up going to the town pool but Delia does some research in the neighborhood.  While walking round she discovers a (quite frankly adorable) kiwi bird.  It licks her and then runs off.  By the time she catches it (and names him Tammany), it has led her right to the Museum.  The museum is amazing with sights and sounds and smells from the history of the Earth.  And that ‘s when Lyndon reveals a secret.  Yes, he is from Hoboken, but he is actually from the year 5079.  He’s a time traveler. (more…)

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SOUNDTRACK: PHISH-Buenaventura (2013).

Buenaventura was a bonus CD with Ventura featuring ten tracks handpicked from Phish’s March 21, 1993 Ventura Theatre show.

So, the same venue just four years earlier. The mix has a lot of bass—its not bass heavy but you can really hear all that Mike is doing.  There’s also a lot of echo on the voice.

“Maze” sounds great with a long keyboard solo followed by a long guitar solo.  “Sparkle” has some pretty piano and ends with some really fast guitar riffing.

“Divided Sky” opens with mostly with piano and bass (a high solo from Mike).  There’s some great solos where you can really hear mike playing along.  “Split Open and Melt” is great–a long ending solo where Trey goes nuts until it all just “falls apart,” ending with just drums and then some very sharp three note progressions.

Then you hear him say “Let’s do ‘Lawn Boy'” which he dedicates to the guy who taught him how to surf yesterday.  They follow it with “Tweezer” which is notable for there being a chorus of them singing “Tweezaaaah.”  After the Ebeneezer section there is noisy chaos and a noisy solo till it all sort of crawls to a halt.  Then they launch into a really fast “Llama” with lots of really fast keys from Page.  “My Sweet One” is also really fast and then segues into a “Big Ball Jam” which is mostly a wild drum solo with other instruments peppering it.  The disc ends with a romping “Cavern.”

After all of these full shows, it’s a little weird to not have excerpts, but it’s a nice sampling of a show from 1993 and it’s a great collection to boot.

The full show consisted of:

SET 1: Maze, Sparkle, The Sloth, Divided Sky, Esther > All Things Reconsidered, Split Open and Melt , Poor Heart, Punch You In the Eye, Lawn Boy > Possum

SET 2: Loving Cup, My Friend, My Friend, Rift > Tweezer > Ya Mar, Llama, You Enjoy Myself, My Sweet One > Big Ball Jam, Hold Your Head Up > Cracklin’ Rosie > Hold Your Head Up, Harry Hood , Cavern

ENCORE: Sleeping Monkey, Sweet Adeline, Tweezer Reprise

 [READ: November 21, 2016] The Human Soul as a Rube Goldberg Device

Madras Press publishes limited-edition short stories and novella-length booklets and distributes the proceeds to a growing list of non-profit organizations chosen by our authors. For this particular book, proceeds to benefit the Arkansas Literary Festival.

This book is a grown up choose your own adventure.  And who doesn’t love a choose your own adventure story?

The one thing that was a mite disappointing is that all of the stories end up in the same place, but I guess that is the point after all.

Your choices are things like: would you say that you’re not wasting your life? [page 33]  Would you say that you are? [page 109]
If you decide to stop for a while at the coffeehouse, go on to page 45 If you head for the McDonald’s across the street, turn to page 113.

If you decide to do a little grocery shopping, turn to page 93; if you decide to clean the bathroom mirror, turn to page 121

And the most realistic one for me: (more…)

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SOUNDTRACK: RHEOSTATICS-The Quilted Bear, Banff, Alberta (February 11, 1997).

I am quite surprised that the Rheostatics Live site doesn’t make a bigger deal about this show, given its unique nature.  This is an acoustic show that sounds like it was played in front of ten people and a lot of beer.

The shows seems to have started with the second song (at least the way Dave introduces it).  But the first track is a romping acoustic “Record Body Count” (sound check? or maybe just put out of place?).  Whatever, it sounds great with some electric guitar squeals but mostly just folk style with lots of backing singers).

The show proper starts with Dave introducing “an Ontario drinking song.”  There’s lots of shushing as people keep talking over him (although those people might be Tim an Martin).  Dave says, “a drinking song, there’s got to be some drunks talking.”.  Dave tells the story behind the sons and then they launch into a spirited rendition of Stompin’ Tom Connor’s “Midnight Ride of Red Dog Ray.”

Next comes “Christopher.”  It’s hard to believe they used this version for Double Live because it is so imperfect.  Martin coughs in the beginning and his voice cracks a bit.  But it sounds great and is a wonderfully unique version, especially for the live record.

It’s followed by a folksy rendition of “Chanson les Ruelles.”  Although Tim is too quiet.  mid song, you can hear someone in the crowd says “is it in French?  Yea!”  The version of “Wendell Clark” that comes next is only the second part.  But it is stompin and rompin (with someone yelling “yeeeha”).  At the end someone shouts Wendell broke his back.  “He didn’t really break it.”  “Well, he hurt it.”

Someone shouts for “Palomar” (or “Alomar” that seems less likely).  But they play “Take Me in Your Hand” instead.  It is also a folkie version and the end features a percussion addition of wood blocks.

Dave shouts “Hey, Mike, you wanna do Noah’s Cage?”  I have to assume this is Mike O’Neill from The Inbreds (the song is an Inbreds song).  They play the song although Mike forgets the second verse so he repeats the first.   He says its been a while since he played it.

Martin introduces “Introducing Happiness: as “this is a song about being happy.”  Dave says, “I hope so.”  It’s followed by a surprising acoustic version of “P.R.O.D.”  Surprising only because the song tends to get noisy and out of control, but it’s not in this version.  Towards the end, Dave shouts “all percussion solo–whatever you got.”

Martin busts into the melody of “Dope Fiends” but instead they play a long funny version of “Desert Island Discs.”

Dave: AC/DC-Back in Black; Ramones-Rocket to Russia; Martha and the Muffins-Danseparc.
Tim: The Inbreds-Hilario; The Inbreds-Kombinator ; The Inbreds-It’s Sydney or the Bush.
Donny: Randy Newman-Creates Something New Under the Sun; Grace Jones-Nightclubbing; Herbet von Karajan conducts Beethoven’s… “Last Waltz?” (Dave: could you believe he said the classical one?)
An audience member: Kiss-Dressed to Kill;  The Beatles White Album, and… someone says Billy Idol-White Wedding.  Dave: Billy idol?  Gigs over.  And a later line: I’m going to get me to an island not with that guy though, he wants to bring Billy Idol. I don’t even think White Wedding’s the name of the album (it’s not)–although the fans argue the point).
One last guy: Pink Floyd-The Wall; Led Zeppelin-IV… how many picks? How many picks!?)  ZZ Top-Degüello.

“The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” is sung my Tim, Dave sings “I wish I was back home in Derry” at the appropriate moments.

They end with a piano-based version of “Jesus was Once a Teenager Too.”  He has to start again (“it’s just that that thing fell over”), but when he does it sounds really good–very different.

What a fun show to have been at.  There’s a lot of interaction with the band and fans–I really wonder how many people were there.

[READ: April 3, 2017] “Girlfriend on Mars” 

This story is probably my favorite Lucky Peach story (even if it had nothing to do with food).  Although the end seemed to maybe spiral out of control a little bit–with a finale that was, possibly, a little trite (although, not exactly).

This plot is simple.  Amber Kevinn, the narrator’s girlfriend is going to Mars.  Well, maybe.  She has (unbeknownst to Kevin) entered a reality show contest in which two winners will be selected to travel to Mars on MarsNow.  They will live on Mars until they die–no hope for returning.  This story intersperses the contest with just how Amber’s boyfriend feels about the whole thing.

Amber and Kevin are drug dealers.  Well, not exactly–they sell drugs, but only to family and friends.  They grow them hydroponically–this skill with plants was one of the reasons she was accepted for Mars in the first place.  But why didn’t she say anything to her boyfriend (of twelve years!) until it got to this point?

She made a video, she sent in an essay she even met with the TV people–all without him knowing.  Of course, Kevin’s a pretty heavy stoner at this point so he doesn’t notice much. (more…)

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SOUNDTRACK: THE REPLACEMENTS-Let It Be (1984).

letitbeI had posted about this record back in 2009.  This is what I write nearly ten years ago, and I’m pretty okay with it.

This is the final album the Replacements made before they moved to the majors.  This disc represents the culmination of their pre-major label sound and is one of my favorite “college albums” of the era.

The disc retains a lot of their sloppy/punk sound of the time, but the songwriting moves forward a little further.  Westerberg wrote some timeless anthems for this disc (“I Will Dare,” “Unsatisfied”).   But, they also sprinkle the disc with silly tracks…not filler exactly…more like balance.  This keeps the disc from being too ponderous.

“I Will Dare” opens the disc. It is bouncy and poppy with an irresistible chorus.   But the bulk of the album is faster and more rocking.  Unlike on their their first two discs, however, the songs run a little bit longer, and they don’t attempt the hardcore feel quite as much.

In fact, there are a few songs that are quite clearly ballads.  “Androgynous” is a piano ballad (!) that could have easily been written by Tom Waits.  “Unsatisfied” is another ballad, although this one has more instrumentation.  Nevertheless, the feeling of yearning is palpable in Westerberg’s voice.  Finally, “Answering Machine” is another flanged-guitar filled song about romance in the age of modern technology (circa 1984).

These relatively light (musically, not emotionally) songs are balanced out quite nicely by the pair of punk/nonsense songs: “Tommy Gets His Tonsils Out” and “Gary’s Got a Boner.”  They add some (more) levity to the disc.  As well as some rocking guitars.

But perhaps the most surprising song is the cover of Kiss’ “Black Diamond.”  It is surprisingly faithful to the original, (at a time when Kiss was not even ironically cool) and it rocks just as hard.

This album showcases the diverse aspects of The Replacements perfectly.  While some people say their next album Tim is their masterpiece, I am more inclined to go with Let It Be.  And, for some reason, I really like the cover.

[READ: July 1, 2016] Let It Be

I have often thought I should read this series.  Of course, the last time I thought about it, there were 50-some books in the series and that seemed like way too many.  Well as of June 2017, there are 120 books in the series, which is an insane series to jump into.

But at work, four of the books came across my desk and if that’s not an invitation to read something, I don’t now what is.  So I’ve decided to read these four and we’ll see if that leads to more.

This was an interesting book to start with because it really set the tone for the series, by which I mean, as far as I can tell, anything goes.

Colin Meloy (this was written when The Decemberists were just starting to get a buzz around them.  In fact he references his girlfriend who is now his wife) makes this a very personal account about his childhood and his exposure to this album (and others) from his uncle.  So this book is a lot more about (young) Colin and his friend than the ‘Mats, but it’s obvious that the ‘Mats made Meloy who he is.   There’s very little in the way of production information or “research” (until the end).  Rather, it’s just a good story–from a future storyteller. (more…)

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SOUNDTRACK: RHEOSTATICS-Etobicoke Collegiate Institute Auditorium, Etobicoke, ON (October 24, 2996).

This was a homecoming show for the Rheos performing at their old high school Etobicoke Collegiate Institute about a month before heading on the road to support The Tragically Hip on their 1996 Trouble At The Henhouse tour.

They play 6 songs from the soon to be released (in a week and a half) Blue Hysteria.

The band opens with a quiet, almost whispered version of “Self Serve Gas Station.”  The sound cuts out briefly after the “Is he dumb?” line but it quickly comes back up and then the song really takes off.

There’s some long banter.  After some silence, Martin says “Hi, we’re the Rheostatics, we’re playing in a high school.”  He continues, “That was a song about working in a gas station out in Rexdale at night.  I used to work there and bad stuff used to happen.  Tough guys at night.”

Dave wonders where they go know that the self-serve gas station is closed.  They go to the donut shop across the street.  No that’s gone too.

Martin says, No, it’s still there, it’s a little slicker–they franchised it.

Dave: So it’s a bittersweet return.

Martin: we should have built a little more momentum before the banter.

How about two songs in a row–go for two?

The first of the Hysteria songs, “All the Same Eyes” rocks along until a really bad chord right in the middle–but it doesn’t hinder them.  And then a great version of “Fat.”  Then Dave says, “Oh its says right here in the set list: “banter.””

Don, you’re not actually a native Etobicokian?

Don: No, but I did plenty of gigs down in Mimico high.  Tough crowd down in Southern Etobicoke.  The accent is slightly different.  They’re very crude.  And that currency thing.  And those little skirts the guys wear.  [much laughter].

Dave says the new album is coming out in a week and a half.  It’s named after Martins double neck guitar, The Blue Hysteria.

We don’t expect this one to be included in the record of the month club.  It’s a high o honor because all your aunts and uncles across Canada know you’re alive when they see your album in the record of the month club.

That’s all introduction to the title track form the album that was in the record of the month club.  “Introducing Happiness” starts out quietly but gets really rocking–the drums especially.

Someone shouts “Alien Song 88,” Dave replies, “you must be confusing that with “Aliens Christmas 1988.” From Dolphin Music? (Martin does a cool dolphin sound on his guitar).  Dave: “Who’s your favorite dolphin besides Flipper see you can’t name one can you?”

Another new song in “Four Little Songs” which they never get entirely smooth but which sounds good and gets a great response.

Then back to some old songs with a mellow, meandering “Saskatchewan.”

Dave tells a story: The first band I ever saw out of high school was FM–a progressive rock band, they had four albums.  “Phasers on Stun” was their big song.  But this was later FM, their fourth album.  Cameron Hawkins was no longer in the band. They had a Cameron Hawkins look-alike.  More like a tribute to FM.
Tim: It was late in their career when they were playing high schools.
Don: I saw Goddo at my high school.
Dave: Did he have the tearaway suit?  Martin: What was underneath it?  Dave: His big naked body, so it’s probably best that he didn’t have it.
Martin says “I saw Goddo at my high school BB Gabor”

Gabor Hegedus (1948 – 17 January 1990), known by the stage name BB Gabor, was a Hungarian-born Canadian pop singer. Gabor is best known for his 1980 single “Nyet Nyet Soviet (Soviet Jewellery)”, and had other minor hits with “Metropolitan Life”, “Consumer” and “Jealous Girl”.

Don: My friend ate french fries with Greg Godovitch once.  Martin: I met him in New York City in the lobby of a hotel and he said I might go far.
Dave: he said if you can make it out of Etobicoke Collegiate, you can make it anywhere.

Then for “Take Me in Your Hand,” Martin starts by playing and singing a half-assed verse of “My Sharona.”  But it resolved into a very pretty version of “Take Me.”

Before “Bad Time to Be Poor,” Martin says, “this is about scented toilet paper.”  Dave brings it back: we put out a CD pro single.  We sent it to CFNY.  They’ve been playing it a lot between Moist and Pure and stuff so we feel like we’re making progress.

It’s a kind of mellow “Bad Time” but you can really hear the powerful words.

There’s a nice acoustic guitar outro which segues into a lengthy “Claire” intro.  “Claire” is all chords to start–no finger picking.  There’s a rocking middle section with some awesome soloing from Martin–a noisy Neil Youngish solo and then a very mellow return. (Tim is singing kind of funny throughout).

Dave: How many people actually go to this school?  (silence, but presumably a bunch).  Thanks for those who actually go to this school.  It’s a tough call.  You’re in school all day and you wanna actually come back to the school?  (Someone shouts: It was worth it!).  Excellent…well it all down hill from here.

“California Dreamline” Dave misses the squealing guitars during the dolphins line, but no one is bothered by that.  It shifts into a rocking “Feed Yourself.”  The middle gets whispery, but a roaring end segues into “Aliens.”  It’s a little sloppy but it’s got a cool little circular riff in the middle of the instrumental section.

Tim says, “This is our last song, we gotta rush home and watch ourselves on TV after this.”  Dave: “We’re on The National tonight. They filmed us at Algonquin Park and our Group of Seven concert in Vancouver.” It’s an 18-minute documentary.

The final song is “Michael Jackson” which sounds kind of different.  They halt before the “it feels good to be alive” part and the Dave says “Lets do the first verse again.”  There’s a lengthy guitar solo jam at the end (and they do play that last part).

After the encore break, they ask “what would you like to hear?” (Lots of shouts.  Many for “Horses” someone shouts for “Torque Torque.”  And then someone else shouts for “Metropolitan Life” [a BB Garbor song].

Martin says, “Get ready for an onslaught.”  Dave: That’s the band that’s coming up after us.

The National‘s not on for an hour so we have time although we did pick our longest songs–lets hear it for epic rock.

Dave tells a story about going to high school classes to talk about what it’s like to be a musician.  It usually goes pretty well.  Although at Lakeview Collegiate it was a dead class–no feedback.  So he pulled out “my famous people I know thing.”

He smoked a joint with Neil Peart at his house.  He played road hockey with Metallica.  He met Michael Stipe.  Nothing registered Then someone asked, have you ever met Kurt Cobain and I had to say, no I hadn’t. Bummer.

Not a very happy story.

They play a great version of “A Midwinter Night’s Dream” (the first time they’ve played it on this site).

Dave asks: “You guys have school tomorrow?”  Cancelled!”  Cancelled on account of unity!”  A nice introduction to “Horses.”  It rocks.  In the middle they throw in a verse of “Another Brick in the Wall Part 2.”

This is a really great show in front o f home town crowd with decent audio.

[READ: April 17, 2017] “My Pleasure”

I did not enjoy Hawley’s previous story in The Walrus, which I felt was needlessly violent.

This story was far more interesting, but whereas I liked the brevity of the previous story, I felt like this one dragged on (and it was pretty short).

I enjoyed the beginning quite a bit.  Jasper is a twenty-five year old guy working at a McDonalds.  But he has a very distinct memory from when he was a child about a commercial for the short-lived McPrawnster sandwich: Arrrr!  A treasure with kick.

He didn’t like the job but he also didn’t mind it because interesting things happened sometimes. (more…)

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[LISTENED TO: August 2017] Half Magic

I grabbed this book at the library not realizing that Tabby had just started reading it on her own.

The selling point for me on this was that it was described as being “set in Ohio in the 1920s, yet fresh and funny now as the day it was written.”  And that was totally true.  This book was very very funny and the location and time was pretty much irrelevant.

This is the story of four (very precocious) children: Jane, Mark, Katharine and Martha. The beginning of the book has a great time creating and addressing their characters:

Jane was the oldest and Mark was the only boy, and between them they ran everything.

Katharine was the middle girl, of docile disposition and a comfort to her mother. She knew she was a comfort, and docile, because she’d heard her mother say so. And the others knew she was, too, by now, because ever since that day Katharine would keep boasting about what a comfort she was, and how docile, until Jane declared she would utter a piercing shriek and fall over dead if she heard another word about it. This will give you some idea of what Jane and Katharine were like.

Martha was the youngest, and very difficult.

The children’s’ father was dead and their mother worked full-time.  They were looked after by Miss Bick:

Miss Bick came in every day to care for the children, but she couldn’t seem to care for them very much, nor they for her.

(more…)

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SOUNDTRACK: PINEGROVE-Live at the Newport Folk Festival (July 30, 2017).

Every year, NPR goes to the Newport Folk Festival so we don’t have to.  A little while afterwards, they post some streams of the shows (you used to be able to download them, but now it’s just a stream).  Here’s a link to the Pinegrove set; stream it while it’s still active.

I was pretty excited to hear what Pinegrove did at a big venue like this.  And, true to form, they sound great and are kind and generous to the people helping them out as well as all the fans who are there: “thanks for taking a chance on us.”

What’s particularly fun about Pinegrove is that their songs are mostly pretty short–but they feel fully complete.  But that means you can get 11 songs in a 45 minute set.

The band is in the process of writing and recording new music but this set is all older stuff (1/2 from Cardinal and the rest older).  But this is such a clear recording (with occasionally pops from the bass), that it’s great to be able to hear these songs live and to hear what they do differently with them.

The first song, “Old Friends,” Evan Stephens Hall seems a little less voice-cracking than usual (as if he’s trying to sing pretty for the Festival), but when he gets into the middle of “Aphasia” he sings “But if I don’t have you by me then I’ll go underground” with reckless abandon and the crowd goes nuts.

To me the most notable difference in these songs is the louder harmony vocals of Nandi Rose Plunkett.  And they sound terrific (Plunkett has her own band Half Waif who I’ve been interested in seeing, although i hope it doesn’t distract her from Pinegrove).

They run through several of the songs and they all sound great–the band really transcends when they play live. (and the rabid fans certainly help).

He introduces the band and has a problem getting Plunkett’s name out (I’ve got an avocado in my mouth).  Then he runs through everyone else: Samuel Skinner on guitar, Joshua Fairbanks Marre on the guitar and vocals, Adan Carlo on the bass guitar, Zachary Levine on the drum kit and vocals (he gets a big response).  And then they introduce Lincoln their newly acquired trusty stuffed sloth.

They dedicate “Angelina” to Lincoln, (he ends by saying “just a tiny little song”)

Okay we’re gonna quickly play two more songs.  After a quick “The Metronome” Hall introduces the final song by saying

Most of these songs are about love whether it be romantic, platonic, or familial and when they began they were about how to love the people we knew the best we could, but a more important initiative is loving the people we don’t know as well as we can.  It’s a localized sentiment but also a very public sentiment.

This works as a wonderful introduction to “New Friends” which sounds tremendous with all of the harmony vocals firing on all cylinders.

[READ: June 20, 2017] “Brush Clearing with the Teen-Age Boys in Arkansas”

This issue has a section of essays called “On the Job,” with essays about working written by several different authors.

Richard Ford writes of working in the summer of 1967.  He worked for the Neighborhood Youth Corps in Little Rock.  It was not a job he wanted, just one he could get.  He had always had jobs and wasn’t about to not have one during the summer while living with his mother.

So he enrolled in this program which “summons images of clean cut boys standing at attention, but was really about low income (black) kids getting work experience.”  And he realizes now it was designed to keep them in school and out of the State’s hair. (more…)

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