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Archive for the ‘Dilbert’ Category

1997SOUNDTRACK:LOS HACHEROS-Tiny Desk Concert #546 (July 5, 2016).

hacherosLos Hacheros play “Afro-Caribbean music that provides the source material for modern salsa and all of its permutations.”

This music swings and bounces and with such simple instrumentation: an upright bass and a guitar.  With the main melodies constructed by the trombone and vocal (the trombonist doubles on violin).  But the rest of the band is there for percussion–cowbells, shakers and the conga.

The band plays three songs all sung in Spanish.  It’s fun to watch them get into the groove and begin to sway in unison to the music.

“Baila Con Los Hacheros” features a violin solo that is pretty intense “Papote’s Guajira” features an acoustic guitar solo that is complex and fun to watch. It also has a lengthy flute solo (the violinist also plays the flute!). “Bambulaye” features NPR’s own Felix Contreras on congas–he gets a solo–apparently he has been playing in bands for years.  What a nice surprise.

[READ: November 3, 2016] The Complete Peanuts 1997-1998

This is the second to last book of collected strips from Schulz.  Rerun features quite prominently and Linus has faded somewhat.  Snoopy is no longer playing characters (except for the soldier..always soldiers) and Charlie is still pining for things he won’t get.

1997 opens with Charlie showing Linus his autographed Joe Shlabotnik baseball.  But Linus thinks it’s a forgery.  Cue a week of strips about an autograph forger (who tries to hire Charlie as his accomplice).  I love that Schulz went on strange little tangents like this, but I always feel like he doesn’t follow through with these funny ideas. The whole premise of this just ends never to be heard from again.

And then in a surprise to me, Snoopy starts acting like a Revolutionary War patriot standing guard at Valley Forge.  He seems to have given up on WWI and gone back in time to a far less dramatic role–he mostly just stands around in the cold.  Strips about that occur from time to tome with him talking to General Washington.  The last one is in December 1998 where he realizes he is only guarding snow. (more…)

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hapersSOUNDTRACK: THE REPLACEMENTS-Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash (1981).

sorrymaSince I’ve been talking about The Replacements so much, it made me want to go back and listen to their stuff.  The Replacements are the quintessential band that “grew up” or “matured” and for better or worse sounds utterly different from their first album to their last (a span of only nine years!).  In fact, I don’t imagine that there are too many people who would enjoy all seven of their discs.  One suspects that if the band themselves were given a copy of their All Shook Down disc in 1981, they would have smashed it.

So this was their first release. It has 18 songs in about 30 minutes.  That’s pure hardcore, right?  Well, not exactly.  Even though the songs are short and fast and quite sloppy, there’s something about Paul Westerberg’s voice and delivery that makes these songs seem not quite hardcore.  He enunciates!  And you can understand him most of the time. And, maybe this is a better indicator: there’s parts to these songs, it’s not just breakneck pacing.  They also have song titles that belied how good their song writing would become.  Like: “Shiftless When Idle.”

In fact, “Johnny’s Gonna Die” isn’t fast at all.  It shows what the kind of songs that they would eventually write: literate and moving indie rock.

There must have been something in the water in 1981 in Minnesota.  Hüsker Dü, the other amazing punk outfit out of Minnesota (referenced in the ‘Mats song “Something  to Du”) also put out a blistering live hardcore record in 1981 called Land Speed Record (17 songs in 26 minutes, listed as 2 tracks on CDs because they don’t pause in between songs).  Like the ‘Mats, Hüsker Dü wouldn’t recognize their later incarnations in 1981 either.  And why are The Replacements abbreviated as The ‘Mats?  I don’t know.

But this ‘Mats record is the kind of sneaky record that can get you to enjoy punk even if you don’t think you like it.  There’s something so fun about Sorry Ma, that you don’t really notice that it’s all done so fast.

[READ: May 22, 2009] “My Great Depression”

This essay collection is tough to catalog.  Do I include all of the authors in the title of the post, do I pick selected ones, or just go with none.  Yes, go with none.

Harper’s asked ten authors/artists to send stories from the near future, after the economic collapse of the country. All of the pieces are three columns or less, and some are more enjoyable than others. (more…)

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