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Archive for the ‘Veronica Mars’ Category

ktelkSOUNDTRACK: NICK BUZZ-Lula Lounge, Toronto ,ON (Mar 23 2011).

NickBuzz-23Mar2011-1There is only one Nick Buzz concert at Rheostaticslive (although there are a number of videos online from an earlier show (from Dec 9, 2010) which could be turned into an audio download, I’m sure.

Anyhow, this show occurred nearly two years before the release of the (thus far) final Nick Buzz album.  It’s interesting that there are some songs that will appear on that album performed here (and there is no mention of it, of course).

As with many of the Tielli solo shows, the band plays songs from Nick Buzz, from Tielli’s solo albums, and even two Rheostatics albums.  But this is primarily a Nick Buzz performance (with Tielli, Goldsmith, Marsh and Piltch).  What I find interesting is that I believe that Martin is only singing (maybe a guitar here or there?) with Pitch on guitar, Goldsmith on piano and Marsh on violin and effects.  It’s a very different dynamic (no drummer!) and really changes the nature of some of these songs.

“Just Because” is a beautiful ballad.  It’s sightly more raucous than on the record, but still sounds beautiful.  Tielli’s solo song “I’ll Never Tear You Apart” sounds very different from the record–the awesome guitar line has been simplified and there’s a piano now.  In fact, piano is the main instrument for most of these songs, which is quite different.

The band then plays three of the four songs from the Arnold Schoenberg record (Martin says he should put on gloves as this is forensic music that’s over 100 years old).  They also sound great–I love they way they can recreate the weirdness from that short album.

When he introduces “Eliza” he says the music is by Schubert, although I don’t believe that is the case (unless the intro is).

In explaining “Milchig” he says that it’s about a dwarf-like creature who taught him “the relax.”  “The relax” is how they describe it in Italy (he wishes he had learned more Italian as a kid but he was too obstinate).

“Spilling the Wonderful” is not as dramatic as on the record–it’s a bit smoother but still really good.  And for “That’s What You Get for Having Fun,” a song which he has played in almost every solo concert, they really pare it down–it’s nowhere near as raucous.

The band goes for a cigarette break for 15 minutes and then comes back with “Beauty On” and the funny moment where Martin sings the intro, “I hate you all.”  When he gets to the “Are you with me Cincinnati are you ready to rock?” rather than singing it, he slurs it.  It’s a great effect.

The only song not on another album is “Now That I’m a Railroad Boy” which was done by John Southwith.  It’s a pretty ballad that fits in perfectly with the other songs.  “The House with Laughing Windows” and “Uncle Bumbo’s Christmas’ sound fanatic live.  And then they play the fourth Schoenberg song “Galathea” which Martin says is his favorite.

“Farmer in the city” has been my least favorite Tielli recording, but this version is fantastic.  It starts on piano and has melodies provided by the violin. Rather than being elliptical and standoffish, this new arrangement really brings you in with some lovely Marsh melodies.  Then the play “Love Streams.”  Martin says that their take on the record was the first time they played it.  It’s gorgeous!  This version is quite different with more violin up front.

“Sane, So Sane” adds a drum machine which is a surprise but a very welcomed one. It really picks up the tempo of the show and creates wonderful new textures.

For their last song Martin says “we’re going to confound you with this one.”  It’s a Jacques Brel song, “If You Go Away.”  It’s not unlike on the future record–slow and pretty.

When they come back out for the encore, Martin says they have played their entire repertoire.  He seems at a loss for what to play so they play a lovely version of “Take Me in Your Hand,” and a shockingly different version of “Shaved Head.”

Check it out here.

The setlist for that 2010 YouTube show is quite similar: Spilling the Wonderful, That’s What You Get For Having Fun, Just Because, Gigerlette, Persian Kitty, Boom, Hymn to the Situation, Milchig, Eliza, L’astronaut [a hilarious explanation of what the song is about], The House with the Laughing Windows, Sane So Sane, Love Streams, Uncle Bumbo [Martin on bass], If You Go Away

[READ: July 12, 2015] Mr Kiss and Tell

I loved Veronica Mars.  The show was great.  We supported the Kickstarter.  And I was pretty psyched when the first post TV show novel came out.  But I never actually read it.  It is still sitting on my shelf (Sarah really liked it).

Well, Sarah got this one from the library and since it was due back soon I decided to push it to the front.  The good news vis a vis the previous book is that they are unrelated.  The better news is that this book follows up the events of the movie!  And it has a new mystery as well.

The new mystery involves a man who has raped a woman and left her for dead. As with any good mystery there are dozens of twists and turns.  And Veronica is not willing to let go.  Unlike the TV show, this mystery lasts for months.  She is fairly certain she has a suspect and even manages to get some DNA but his “confession” reveals a whole new twist to the story that Veronica was not expecting and which really undermines her case. (more…)

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blueblue SOUNDTRACK: NICK BUZZ-A Quiet Evening at Home (2013).

quietIt seemed like Martin Tielli was done making music after his (so far) final solo album in 2009.  He has been focusing on (gorgeous) visual arts since then.  But then in 2013, Tielli along with Jonathan Goldsmith, Hugh Marsh and Rob Piltch recorded another Nick Buzz album (cover painting by Tielli)–possibly their last as well, but who knows.

This album is almost entirely mellow, with beautiful slow pieces and delicate singing and instrumentation–with some exceptions.  The biggest exception is the first song and single (with video) “The Hens Lay Everyday.”  It is unlike anything else on the album.  It is a weird, electronic fast song with pulsing beats and funny lyrics (and a crazy video).  It’s kind of a shame that it’s on this album because I want more music like that.  But the rest of the album is also wonderful in a very different way.  This song just doesn’t fit.

Beginning with the second song, the album is a beautiful album of wonderful ballads.

“This is Not My World” is a delicate guitar song with simple keyboard washes.  Martin’s voice even sounds different on the song–I almost didn’t recognize him until the last few verses.  “Milchig” opens with a buzzy violin (that sounds almost like a fly).  Tielli did this song with The Art of Time Ensemble (it was called “Moglich”).  It has a gentle guitar and Tielli’s keening voice and spoken word–“he had given me ‘the relax.'”  There’s several sections in this song, and I especially like the slowly lurching middle section.

“Sea Monkeys” opens with some delicate chimes and underwatery sounds.  And once again, Tielli’s voice sounds different.  I love this peculiar song about ordering and “growing” sea monkeys.  He says he only wanted plankton or krill but during that evening, the sea monkeys started building their city, and after 4 and a half minutes, the song turns somewhat more sinister with a section about the Crustacean Monkey Queen.  The delicate music grows harsher and more mechanical sounding.  It’s pretty intense.  And it coincidentally relates to the book below.

“If You Go Away” has a vaguely Spanish guitar feel to it.  It’s a very delicate, slow ballad (I should have realized it was an old song written by Jacques Brel) with strummed guitar and gentle percussion.  It has a lounge feel as well (the romantic lyrics aid in that style).  It was recorded live with audience clapping at the end.

The mood picks up a little with the next song, “The Happy Matador.”  It’s played on acoustic guitar with flamenco-esque runs.  It’s a delightful song even if lyrically it’s a little dark.  “Eliza” is a darkly comic song with a kind of circusy feel.  It opens with accordion, adds a violin and basically makes fun of a woman named Eliza, with the great last line: “The only incredible thing about Eliza is the terrible terrible music she inspires.”

“A Quiet Evening at Home” opens with some strange noises like Circo did, but this is an older, more mellow album and they quickly give way to some pretty, delicate guitar chords.  About two and a half minutes of gentle chords are disrupted by a noisy saxophone and some manipulated spoken words.  This process repeats itself for about six minutes of mellow, slightly weird, but really enjoyable music.

“Uncle Bumbo’s Christmas” continues in that delicate vein, but this time with actual words.  It has gentle echoed guitar and some occasional strings.  It’s not exactly a Christmas song although the lyric “I love everything about Christmas, except Christmas” is decidedly ambiguous.  There’s beautiful overlays of vocals and guitar for the middle two minutes of the song before it resumes with a slightly more uptempo and much more catchy end section.  This song gets better with each listen.

“The House with the Laughing Windows” opens with a tinkling piano melody.  It hovers between ominous and dreamy.  I like the way the song gently, almost imperceptibly, builds over the course of its 4 and a half minutes.  And I love the way the guitars start playing louder as if the song is going to build to something bigger but it never quite does.  John Tielli plays theremin on this track.

“Aluminum Flies” is a slightly louder song which is much more meandering and ends with what I believe is the sound of windshield wipers.  The final song is the lovely “Birds of Lanark County.”  It opens with chickadees chirping and a beautiful delicate acoustic guitar melody from Martin.  Michele Williams sings lovely backing vocals.

It’s amazing how different this album is from Circo–same band members but an entirely different style, and a simply gorgeous collection of songs.

[READ: November 25, 2015] Blue on Blue

I had never heard of Quentin S. Crisp before (he’s not to be confused with Quentin Crisp, the British raconteur who died in 1999).  Except that I knew he contributed lyrics to the most recent Kodagain album.  But I received an advance copy of this book with Brendan Connell’s latest book (its publication date is December 15 (from Snuggly Books)).

This story was fantastic (in both senses of the word).

The story is told in 5 parts.  And what I loved about it was that the central part of the story is a fairly conventional story about love and loss, and yet the other four parts frame the story with an other-worldliness that is almost familiar, but not quite.

The story begins with the statement “I am a citizen of the ASAF, the Alternative State of the American Fifties.”  There’s a footnote attached which explains that the ASAF “ia an artificial history zone ‘reclaimed’ from sunken parallel time.”  This is a potentially worrisome beginning to a book to be sure, and yet the book does not go through any rabbit- or worm- hole, this is simply the set up for the story. (more…)

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soda_logoSOUNDTRACK: 魔法少女になり隊 [MAHOUSYOUJO-NI-NARITAI]-“Re-bi-te-to (floating magic)” (2014).

bandMahousyoujo-ni-naritai (which translates roughly as I Want to be a Magical Girl) are, no surprise, from Japan.  And, since I am talking about them, they must be pretty unconventional.  Their bio explains: “Formed in 2014 as a five-piece commercial and creative team, this genre-less band travels the world to not only to have the vocalist become a magical girl, but also to entertain audiences wherever they go.”

This song begins with some skittery dancey noises.  It quickly (12 seconds) turns into a raging rocker (with the same skittery bits).  By 37 seconds the female singers (auto tuned) begins singing a verse and by 48 seconds, the song turns into thrash metal as a guy with scary growly vocals take a verse.  By 1 minute the chorus enters with a sweetly poppy super fast vocal line by the female singer.  And by 1:15 the whole business repeats.  At around 2 minutes there a new section, a bridge, that is somewhat calmer, and the music even fades out into a kind of pop heavy metal guitar solo, before returning to the chorus.  By 2:30 the growly vocal guy sings backing vocals under the poppy chorus.  And the last 30 seconds is a high energy instrumental version of everything you just heard.

I am exhausted listening to it, and can’t even imagine what it looks like live.

The band have an EP out.  I can’t find this song anywhere online except this NPR site.  But here’s a live video of another song (which isn’t quite as insane, but is still pretty nuts).

Enjoy!

[READ: March 26, 2015] Soda Pop Comics

I deal mostly with books from Latin American countries.  Which means most of the books I see are in Spanish or Portuguese.  And while I’d love to say that I read all of the cool books that come by in those languages, I can’t read either language well enough to enjoy anything.  But once in a while I get some books from these countries in English.  Sadly most of them are about human rights or crop rotation.  But this week I received a pile of comic books from Puerto Rico that were in English!  Better yet, they were published by a small press.  And better better yet their slogan is “Comics made by girls for everyone.”

Soda Pop Comics is a small comic book publishing company created by Carla Rodríguez and Rosa Colón.  And on the inside of their first issue they say “We did not make this new ‘Comic Company’ in order to fill the void left by Veronica Mars…”  They created it “in order to motivate more girls into making and publishing their own comics.”

They have a website http://sodapopcomicspr.com, where you can get all of the comics listed below as well as some cute crafts like magnets and plushies with mustaches.

There appear to be 15 comics available at their store.  I was lucky enough to read three of them (and to get 4 of their mini-mini bundles). (more…)

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cacnelAs yet another TV season sort of winds down, and a few more shows get cancelled, I decided to compile a list of shows that I miss. This isn’t going to be one of those lists of the best shows that shouldn’t have been cancelled or killed off too early or some other kind of list (I agree with just about everything on these lists).  So, I’m not including Arrested Development or Freaks and Geeks (which I don’t really miss because I didn’t watch it when it came out so I knew what I was getting when I watched the DVDs, plus every actor from the series is seen in something or other all the time) or even Veronica Mars (now that the movie has come out, all is well).

Of course, there are shows that I miss because they were great, but many had a sense of closure, which is nice. Or shows that were great and then weren’t great anymore so I stopped watching, which is less nice but which doesn’t leave me pining for them. Rather these are shows that were cut down unexpectedly (or expectedly) and didn’t give closure (or generate enough momentum for closure).  In fact, shows that weren’t brilliant and probably deserved to be cancelled soon, but were cancelled a little too early so I have no closure. Or, worse yet, shows that could have improved over the next season or two and become really solid shows.  And so from time to time I wonder what the characters are up to (which isn’t as sad as it sounds).

I’m starting with the most recent cancellation because it is freshest: (more…)

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We’d seen ads for this show (who hasn’t?) but we weren’t that interested.   It’s on Starz for crying out loud, and it’s a summer fill in show.  Then we found out the credentials of the show:  The auteur behind the much missed Veronica Mars (Rob Thomas) is a producer/writer/creator.  (As is Paul Rudd! And Dan Etheridge (who has worked with Kevin Smith quite a lot).

The show stars a number of great actors: Ken Marino, Jane Lynch!, Ryan Hansen (Dick Casablancas from Veronica Mars), Martin Starr (playing a major jerk), and two actors who get pretty high billing that I didn’t know: Adam Scott and Lizzy Caplan. (more…)

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I have concluded that I have personally killed or mortally wounded every TV show that I adore. Sports fans have their rituals that ensure their team will win, and I have a ritual that ensures a show will stay on the air: don’t watch it.

Here is a list of TV shows that I have single-handedly (with some help from my wife) sent to an early grave:

Reaper
Pushing Daisies
Aliens in America
Arrested Development
Wonderfalls
Clerks the series
Greg the Bunny
Firefly
Dead Like Me
Police Squad (although really, how many more episodes could they have made of this nonsense?)

[Notice that there’s a real pattern here of Fox picking up great, weird cutting edge shows and then canceling them after one or two seasons.  It makes me love and hate Fox at the same time].

Freaks and Geeks*
Undeclared*
Futurama*

[although I don’t know how to classify the weird reprieve they’ve gotten in releasing DVDs and a new season]

*Okay, technically I caught these shows on DVD after they were cancelled, and yet, the point remains that I would have loved them if I knew about them. (more…)

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green.jpgSOUNDTRACK: TOM WAITS-Orphans (Bawlers) (2006).

orphans1.jpgThe thought of Tom Waits singing lullabies is a pretty scary one. The strange thing is that his lyrics and melodies are really quite beautiful, I’m just not sure I want that voice in my kid’s head at night.

[READ: May 2007] The Unthinkable Thoughts of Jacob Green.

After the heaviness and length (I’m sure Gaitonde would appreciate THAT beginning) of Sacred Games, it was nice to kick back with a comparatively light, and yet thoroughly enjoyable book like this one. (more…)

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