Behind Bob Boilen’s desk at the NPR Music offices, Mize — a multi-talented singer, instrumentalist and music therapist — reduces her band to a duo for three songs from Among the Grey. Naturally, this entailed showcasing some of the album’s quieter, moodier moments (the slinky “Raymaker,” the dreamy “Whole Heart”) before closing with the more forceful “Wait for It.” But along the way, Mize’s voice rings out assertively in every style and setting.
As it turns out, her voice was the problem for me and I can’t really place why. I like her voice and I like her music I just feel like they don’t go together somehow.
For “Raymaker,” it’s just her on a 4 string guitar and her partner on a box drum. I really love the sound she gets out of that little four string guitar and he gets some great sounds out of the box drum. I can’t decide if maybe with a fuller musical sound I’d like her singing more.
For “Whole Heart” she plays a hollow-bodied electric guitar and the drummer plays an electric guitar. The song is quieter (presumably because of no drums). I like this song a bit more–the chorus is especially nice–and I feel like her voice works a bit better here. The guitar interplay in the middle is really delightful as well.
For the final song, “Wait for It,” she switches to violin. She says it’s both a blessing and a curse I’ve never been able to decide which instrument to play. “Sometimes it’s helpful and sometimes it just means I have to carry a lot of instruments around.” She gets a great raw scratchy sound out of the violin. The drummer stays on the same guitar and adds little background notes. This song has a great rocking vibe. And again, the chorus is a neat chord change. And yes I think her voice works good here too, so it must have been that first song.
And yet for all that I really like the sounds her instruments make more than anything else .
[READ: April 27, 2016] A True Story Based on Lies!
I was unfamiliar with the artists McDermott & McGough. But I really liked the cover and title of this piece. I have since learned from Wikipedia that
David McDermott and Peter McGough are best known for using alternative historical processes in their photography, particularly the 19th century techniques of cyanotype, gum bichromate, platinum and palladium. Among the subjects they approach are popular art and culture, religion, medicine, advertising, fashion and sexual behavior.
This particular collection plays around with time–they create works that seems like they are older than they actually are. And in fact, this is something the artists did in their daily life as well:
From 1980 through 1995, McDermott & McGough dressed, lived, and worked as artists and “men about town”, circa 1900-1928: they wore top hats and detachable collars, and converted a townhouse on Avenue C in New York City’s East Village, which was lit only by candlelight, to its authentic mid-19th century ideal. “We were experimenting in time,” says McDermott, “trying to build an environment and a fantasy we could live and work in.”
This collection looks at advertising from the 1950s and updates it with contemporary additions. I assume that they are actually painting and re-creating the earlier ads and not simply using the originals. In their titles they indicate the date that the painting could have been created and then the date that it was created. (more…)