Archive for the ‘Models’ Category

corpseSOUNDTRACK: STEVE KIMOCK-Tiny Desk Concert #532 (May 16, 2016).

kimockI’d never heard of Steve Kimock before.  He is a guitar player, evidently known for his improvisational playing.

Based on that, I was doubly surprised that the first song not only had vocals, but that they were by someone else in the band (the unnamed female pianist).  “Careless Love” sounds incredibly familiar.  Even on the first listen, it sounded like I’d heard it before–the vocal melody and her voice, the bass riff, everything seemed familiar, although I’m still not sure if I actually know it.

Kimock’s guitar is metal (or aluminum).  It’s quite unusual looking–all shiny and silver.  It’s a hollow body but it sounds unlike an acoustic guitar.  He’s joined by Bobby Vega on bass–and his bass is so smooth (even on this acoustic).

For the second song, he switches to a hollow bodied electric guitar.  He says that “Tongue N’ Groove” is an oldie for himself and Vega (for whom it is also very early in the morning).  The singer switches to piano for this instrumental that has a light jazzy feel.  It’s quite a lovely song.

For the final song, “Surely This Day,” he switches to an acoustic guitar which he plays across his lap (and uses a slide).  This is beautiful solo song with some wonderful moments.

[READ: February 15, 2016] Exquisite Corpse

I really enjoyed this First Second comic.  It was translated by Alexis Siegel and it doesn’t feel translated at all.

This is the first book by Bagieu that I have read and I immediately loved her style which has simple lines but also subtle shading.  It feels at time realistic and at times cartoony.

The story focuses on Zoe.  She is working as a kind of model–a pretty girl who stands near things like cars or boats or whatever.  She doesn’t love the job (who would) and on the second day we see a guy honks her ass.   The other models are doing the work part-time to put their way through school, but Zoe is the only one with no other options.  They tell her she should change jobs or stop complaining. (more…)

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SOUNDTRACK: THE FLAMING LIPS-“Smoke on the Water” (2012).

There’s a new Deep Purple tribute album coming out shortly (is this the year of tributes?  what’s going on?).  Anyway, the lineup isn’t all that inspired, but I was curious to see what the Flaming Lips would do with that song

As with their recent reinterpretation of Dark Side of the Moon, this cover is respectful and utterly disrespectful.  Musically the song is pretty accurate. Well, the notes are the same.  But the style is very different, kind of wahwahed delicate chords–no heavy bass or anything.  But it’s the vocals that are the contentious point–he recites the entire song (which kind of works because it is a story) in a stilted, faux British accent.

The second verse has a very computerized voice singing an autotuned melody along with the recitation–sort of a harmony but not.  This voice continues through to the chorus (which the main vocals also simply recite).

I appreciate the Flaming Lips’ approaches to popular songs, but this version renders a big loud song kind of anemic.  Which is so weird because the last few Lips albums were so loud and bass-heavy.  I listened twice, I probably don’t need to listen again.

So, this is yet another tribute I won’t be buying.

[READ: August 22, 2012] Don’t Get Too Comfortable

I’m already making good on my promise to read more David Rakoff.  Indeed, as soon as I heard that he died, I put this book on hold at the library.  The strange thing about this book is that I feel like I read parts of it already.  I don’t feel like I read the whole book because some things were unfamiliar to me, and yet there was a strange feeling of déjà vu throughout the book.  But I looked in the front of the book to see where these essays had appeared and I don’t read any of the magazines where they initially showed up.  And while I like This American Life, I don’t really listen to it very often.  So either I read this book seven years ago or these pieces are inspirations for other pieces I have read (which is possible–two or three articles in here reminded me of things that A.J .Jacobs has since done).

So this collection of essays takes place during the early 2000s, George W. Bush’s first term (not the happiest time to be a gay Canadian living in New York).  But in addition to the first essay which is all about his quest for citizenship, it seems that Rakoff was now gainfully employed as a freelance writer.  Most of these essays seem to have been requested for magazines–like they sought him out to write them.  So his fame was clearly growing.  And, again, like A.J. Jacobs, he seems to have been picked as a guinea pig for certain pieces.   I don’t really know if this is a “genre” per se, I mean lots of un-knowledgeable people have gone into new experiences to write about them (insert inevitable David Foster Wallace reference here–but of course he wasn’t the first either).  But Rakoff’s subjects in the last couple essays seem to be closer to what Wikipedia calls Jacob’s “stunt” journalism. (more…)

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Con Limón was Hellbender’s final CD.  It shows a lot more depth and variation than one would have expected from the debut.  “Fake I.D.” opens really really quietly for two verses so that you have to turn it up loud.  And then the song kicks in and explodes your speakers.  There are more such dynamics on this song, including the verse ending on a high guitar note and pause that adds a bit of quiet punch to the otherwise fast song.  “You Gutted Me with a Switchblade Shaped Like a Telephone” opens with some quietly spoken words (which I have not as yet been able to understand), but the verses and chorus have quite an emo feel.   “Long Distance Phone Bill Runner” has a catchy chugging riff with some screamy vocals.  “Untrusted You” introduces acoustic guitar (and a cool off-key note).  The vocals sound like Bob Mould.  Indeed the whole thing has a kind of Hüsker Dü feel to it.  “I-95 is Tattooed on My Brain” also opens slowly, with dark, quiet lyrics and a cool riff once the guitar kicks in.  The guys clearly have a way with song titles.

“Song About Some Girls” is perhaps one of the cheesiest songs I’ve heard in a long time (although as one reviewer points out, it does anticipate radio friendly emo by about a decade).  Coming from Hellbender it is super-cheese.  I’m surprised they allowed it to be released (and I’m surprised it wasn’t a huge hit).  Check out the lyrics (and this coming from a band with two lyricists who are currently published authors): “This is a song that I wrote about some girls/That I met at the beach back when I had the Jeep.”  Really.  And the chorus is a series of staggered “Right” “Right” “Right” “Right.”  It is so insanely catchy–I hate myself for liking it so much.  (The lyrics to their other songs are much better).

“Graveyarded” returns to the more angry type of song, dark with interesting riffs.  It’s a fitting ending to the last release by this under appreciated (they don’t even have an entry in allmusic?) band.  Oh wait, there’s a bonus song on the disc.  After a few seconds of silence, there’s a strange bass-heavy riff (and kind of dancey drums).  The lyrics are all spoken (I won’t say rapped).  It sounds nothing like them, but I’ll bet they had fun making it.

[READ: May 21, 2012] “Fun Won”

Sometimes a title confounds you until you see it in the context of the story.  I couldn’t even figure out how to say the title (which isn’t hard, but looks so peculiar) until I read it from one of the characters.  I also had no way of anticipating what this story might be about.

Imagine my surprise that it was about the 90s, and about a woman who worked for Conde Nast, when money and drugs were plentiful and the fun never stopped.

It’s funny how context is everything.  If I had read this story in the 90s, I would have hated everyone in it for their glamorous life, their quarter pound of weed, their expense accounted fancy dinner and even the fact that they work for a fashion magazine (Gaultier and Naomi Campbell are name-checked).  And yet now that the bubble has burst and the fun has stopped and I never got to be a part of it (not that I would have…but still), I read this story almost wistfully.

This story is set up in a tricky way.   Meaning that it starts out by talking about marriage but then shifts gears.  The marriage discussion is all about how her friends married such squares in the 90s (while now women marry interesting men who have job but are defined by their hobbies).  And it is a nostalgia piece for the 90s (“when you could still dream of being a writer, when writing for magazines and then writing books and all of that added up to a good life.”) [Sigh].

For background we learn that the narrator, her brother and their father were big dopers (their mother abstained–from the dope and the family).  Her brother Ed is visiting from California with a quarter pound of awesome pop (this was before everyone had access to awesome pot).  The bulk of the story concerns this visit.  Ed and the narrator get high, then they share the pot with Marni (who is famous, although whose actual title is unstated–she’s the one who calls Gaultier).  They end up all going for dinner at a fancy restaurant (with shaved truffles).

They also meet the narrator’s boyfriend who is a real estate mogul–he sells building for tons of money (and yes, is likely the reason the bubble burst).  And then they go to a record studio to hear a famous singer make her album and watch it get mixed. (more…)

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SOUNDTRACK: JEFF The Brotherhood “Bummer” (2011).

This song made NPR’s list of 100 Top Songs of the Year.  JEFF The Brotherhood even played a Tiny Desk Concert.  And all the while I had never heard of them.  I’m still not even sure what their story is or what their name means, but that’s okay. 

This is a very simple song (and only 2 and a half minutes long).  It features fuzzy guitars, simple chords and a catchy woah-oo-woah-oo-woah at the end of each line.  The song has a very 90s alt rock feel (Dino Jr guitar sounds, but with no solo).  And the vocals sound kind of like Jesus and Mary Chain.  Indeed, this song might have come off of any number of fuzzy guitar rock albums from the 90s.  Except that there is something thoroughly modern about the track–maybe the infusion of keyboards as effects?

What’s most surprising about the song is that although it seems fast and heavy it’s actually got kind of a slow pace, especially for a song with fuzzy guitars.  My guess is that this song stands out because there’s not a lot of bands who sound like this now.  So good for them.  I could put this song on a mx tape very easily.

[READ: December 30, 2011] “Attack of the Supermodels”

Barry admits on his site that he doesn’t write much short stuff: “I like writing novels, so I don’t write much short stuff. But I’ve done a little.”  This is one of his short stories–the earliest one listed on his site which came out about a year after Syrup, his first novel.

The amusing thing about this story is that it starts out kind of like an essay, like Barry simply describing supermodels: “they were six feet tall and when they walked, their hips transcribed perfect arcs in the air.”  However, you know something is up when the introduction posits, “They got on TV a lot, and that’s how we got used to them….  And then it was too late.”

For all of Barry’s themes of government and corporate repression and such, at heart Barry is really a sci-fi author (a humorous sci-fi author).  And he likes to have fun within the genre. So after that introduction, we get a fairly short story about, well, the attack of the supermodels. (more…)

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