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Archive for the ‘Axe Cop’ Category

axe4SOUNDTRACK: ENORMODOME-“I’m Gonna Love You” (Tiny Desk Contest Runner-Up 2015).

enormodomeLast week, a Tiny Desk Contest winner was announced. This week, All Songs Considered posted ten runners up that they especially liked.  And I want to draw extra attention to a couple of them.

I know very little about these bands, so I don’t know if they are on the trend (opposite of yesterday) of two guys playing really loud music.  And man, they rock the office.  Sometimes a gimmick makes you want to watch a video, but the song has to be good for you to watch it more than once.

This video was filmed in the office of the Mayor of Flagstaff–what a good sport!  I love that they have his employees coming around and working as usual while these two guys are making an unholy racket.

I’ve been very impressed with most of the two person bands who really make a very full sound.  And this one is no exception.  I was sure there were more than two guys playing along.  And their voices gel nicely.  The only weak spot is during the solo, when the rest of the  guitars drop out so it’s a little too spare.  But aside from that the song is a great rocker.  I like the simple blues riff, but I really like the way the middle section (before the solo) messes with that riff somewhat–it’s very cool.

[READ: February 22, 2015] Axe Cop Volume 4

axechopLike Volume 2, Axe Cop Volume 4 is a full length story.  This one pushes the idea that came up in a previous book that Axe Cop is President of the World.  For the writing of this book Malachai was 8 years old.  It was at this point that I started to wonder how different the stories of an 8-year-old would be from those of a 5-year-old.  Since my son is nine, I know that he understands the logic of storytelling a bit more and he even understands the internal logic of stories, so I assumed that Malachai’s stories would be more linear and less surreal.

And of course, the nature of a big graphic novel like this is that it must be linear and coherent.

I liked that the book opened with something we hadn’t seen before–Axe Cop is having a recurring nightmare about a talking gorilla.

But then we get down to business.  As president, Axe Cop is going to live in the Gold House in the real Washington (not DC). But his real business comes down to one question–since he got rid of all the bad guys, the people want to know if they will ever come back.  Axe Cop talks to God (!) and is told that they will come back in 1 million years, but until then it is time for peace in the world. (more…)

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axe3SOUNDTRACK: SPIRITS OF THE RED CITY-“Halfway Poem” (Tiny Desk Contest Runner-Up 2015).

spiirtdLast week, a Tiny Desk Contest winner was announced. This week, All Songs Considered posted ten runners up that they especially liked.  And I want to draw extra attention to a couple of them.

I know very little about these bands, but I assume that this folkie collective uses this kind of instrumentation all the time, although I have to suggest that two upright basses and a viola seems excessive.  The beginning of this video shows an early aborted attempt with different instruments (accordion, banjo, flute, drum and ukulele), so that sounds promising–and honestly the overload of large strings doesn’t sound bad at all in the final product.

It’s interesting that bands with lots of members are a kind of trend–it’s so impractical.  And yet when done well, it’s quite lovely.  And when these seven folks starts singing along near the end of the song it’s really pretty.

The story of this video is also interesting.  They had planned to film their video outside.  But on the day of their video shoot it was 33 degrees below zero (in Minnesota).  They have some brief footage at the beginning and then the video switches to them inside a quite cozy cabin.

It’s hard to tell from just this one song what kind of folk collective Spirits of the Red City is, but I enjoyed this song quite a bit.

[READ: February 20, 2015] Axe Cop Volume 3

Axe Cop Volume 3 returns to the format of Volume 1 (the one I liked better) with a mix of shorter comics and the return of Ask Axe Cop!

The first comic we see features the return of Bat Warthog Man and features the practical science of Chemist M (whom Axe Cop buys for ten dollars). It also has a chihuahua who was a soldier that was turned into a chihuahua when the soldier’s dog bit him (Malachai’s understanding of how transformations work makes me hope he never gets bitten by anything).  The dog can turn back into a man “only when I am not ready to fight…which is almost never.”  There’ also a hilarious scene where Axe Cop is inside the imagination of a mouse which is in color and is “full of unicorns and cheese.”

The Ask Axe Cops are more intense in these later variations, like the one that asks if he ever got in trouble (he got in trouble with his mom when he chopped the head off a rabbit who was not following rabbit rules).  We also see the introduction of head trash–a place where all the heads that axe cop has removed are disposed.  There’s dating advice (very sound); a jumping competition and a hilarious bit about Halloween (where he gets 1,051 candies to share with his friends, but the bad guys have poisoned 1,040 pieces of it.  There is also Axe Cop’s strangely violent generosity on Thanksgiving (yipes).  (more…)

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axe2SOUNDTRACK: REINA DEL CID-“The Cooling” (Tiny Desk Contest Runner-Up 2015).

coolingLast week, a Tiny Desk Contest winner was announced. This week, All Songs Considered posted ten runners up that they especially liked.  And I want to draw extra attention to a couple of them.

I know very little about these bands, so I don’t know if this is Reina del Cid’s normal band or what.  But I love the sound of this orchestral chamber pop.  There are plenty of chamber pop bands, but there’s something about the melody of this song that works so perfectly with the strings.

There are seven people in the video (Reina is the singer).  I love the way the song starts out with some pizzicato guitar and slowly building violin strings.  I also love the starts and stops that the song has–very dramatic.  And it all works so well with Reina’s voice which doesn’t soar or hit super high notes, rather it is just powerful and strong and very pretty (even when she does an occasional mmm mmm).

When the song builds to its climax, the violins switch to pizzicato and the drums grow louder.  It’s quite lovely and I’d like to hear more from her (them).  I gather that the new album is coming out in May!

[READ: February 19, 2015] Axe Cop Volume 2

I enjoyed Axe Cop Volume 1 so much I couldn’t wait to jump into Volume 2.  But something was different.

This book was made for Dark Horse as a three issue arc.  It’s in color and it’s all one long story.  Ethan is super proud of it, and I think he should be, it’s pretty impressive that he and his brother (now aged 6) were able to come up with such a huge story.

But I found that like the longer stories in volume 1, I got a little bored by the end of this book.  Indeed, I let Clark read the first book (it was placed in the YA book section, but I figured if it was written by a  5-year-old, my nine-year old could read it).  He liked the first book but only gave this one a few pages before he gave up.  He likes Ask Axe Cop best too. (more…)

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axw1SOUNDTRACK: COLD BLUE MOUNTAIN-“White North” (Tiny Desk Contest Runner-Up 2015).

cbm Last week, a Tiny Desk Contest winner was announced. This week, All Songs Considered posted ten runners up that they especially liked.  And I want to draw extra attention to a couple of them.

I know very little about these bands, and I seriously hope that the guys from Cold Blue Mountain look like this when they play all the time.

This may be the best set up and reveal of a joke that actually contains an awesome song.  The video is 4 and a half minutes long, but the music doesn’t start for nearly a minute and a half as the set up proceeds.

When the music starts it is heavy, like really heavy, but beyond heavy there’s a great riff mixed into the music on the second guitar–it’s a great sound.

But the “joke” isn’t over, since at 2 minutes the music stops for 20 seconds until the next reveal comes in.  It’s pretty awesome.

My only gripe is that I don’t like the vocals (growly cookie monster type)–they work pretty well with the music, but it’s not something I want to listen to, which is shame since the song really really rocks.

And the video is awesome.

[READ: February 15, 2015] Axe Cop Vol. 1

After watching Archer on FX the other week I saw a few minutes of an animated show called Axe Cop which looked weird and silly and starred Nick Offerman as Axe Cop.  I only watched a few minutes of it and then went to bed.  A few days later I was in the library and saw four volumes of Axe Cop books.  Well, I had to check that out right away.

And here’s what I learned.  Axe Cop is a web comic that was drawn by Ethan Nicolle.  But the best part is that Axe Cop was written by Ethan’s younger brother who was 5 at the time.  That’s right, five.  So Axe Cop comes from the delightfully twisted imagination of a (rather precocious in my opinion) five year old.

This book collects the beginning web comics, including the first slew of Ask Axe Cop, perhaps my favorite feature of the comic.  It also has a forward by Mystery Science Theater 3000’s Kevin Murphy!

In the beginning, there was Axe Cop.  No, in the beginning Ethan tells about how he was visiting his younger brother over a Christmas break and they started playing with action figures and what not.  And one of the guys was a firefighter with an axe.  Malachai didn’t want to play fireman, so he called this guy Axe cop.  Ethan decided to make a comic out of it and it all started from there. (more…)

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