Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Guster’ Category

lastman1 SOUNDTRACK: BLACK PRARIE-Tiny Desk Concert #262 (January 14, 2013).

blakcpBlack Prarie is 3/5 of the Decemberists (that seems like a hint directed at Colin Meloy, ha ha).  No actually they are a kind of folk-country band “started by Chris Funk and Nate Query, who wanted an outlet for some of their rootsy, mostly instrumental string-band wanderings.”  Jenny Conlee from the band has also joined on accordion.  That leaves Annalisa Tornfelt’s who sings “sweetly countrified vocals and [plays] violin.” I feel a little bad for the other guys in the band who are not mentioned, but I don’t know their names either.

They play three songs.  “Dirty River Stomp” is a fun instrumental with prominent accordion in the beginning and then a banjo solo and then a violin solo.  It is indeed a big stomping song.   I love the way the song sounds like it has built to an ends but there is a small accordion coda tacked on.

For “Nowhere Massachusetts” there’s a switch from banjo to guitar.  The opening section of the song sounds so much like Guster’s “Careful” that I was sure that’s what song this was.  But indeed, it is not and it goes in a very different direction after that intro.  Coincidentally, Guster also has a song that about Massachusetts (“Homecoming King”).  But this sounds really nothing like Guster once the song starts—there’s accordion and slide guitar and fiddle and of course the vocal melody is very different.

Jenny introduces “Richard Manuel” with “We’re gonna rock this out.  We’re gonna bring it.”  It turns out to be a fairly slow, quiet song.  But with some intense lyrics.  And again there is some great accordion work on this track.

As the show fades out there is much excitement about tote bags, although I’m not sure who is getting what.

[READ: December 15, 2016] LastMan 1

This is the final series of older First Second books that I hadn’t read yet.  I brought home this book 1, some time ago, but when I saw that there were six volumes and that they’d all be released relatively quickly, I figured I’d just wait until they were all out and read them closer together.

This book was originally written in French (and called Lastman there as well).  These editions were translated by Alexis Siegel.

The art is black and white (and grayscale) and the characters are what I can only describe as very French looking. The faces are very minimal, with some of them looking almost bleached out but for eyes and a mouth.  Some of the men are rather grotesque-looking while the one woman is a knockout.  (The book is safe for younger teens, with just a cleavage and an underwear shot, although the whole book is about fighting).

So the story is a little confusing (at least in Book 1).  The main plot is not at all confusing, but the context is never given, so we must try to piece it all together,

Set in an unamed village, the 184th annual Tournament of the Realm is coming up.  We first meet young Adrian who is practicing for his first competition tomorrow.  His teacher is Mr Janesen (with a full head of blond hair and a goatee) and while he is hard on them, he seems fair.  He tries to get Adrian to really harness his powers for the battle. (more…)

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

2016-12-05-21-06-09SOUNDTRACK: RUFUS WAINWRIGHT-Tiny Desk Concert #237 (August 20, 2012).

I’d published these posts without Soundtracks while I was reading the calendars.  But I decided to add Tiny Desk Concerts to them when I realized that I’d love to post about all of the remaining 100 or shows and this was a good way to knock out 25 of them.

rufusPreceding his sister by a few months at the Tiny Desk was Rufus Wainwright.  I love Rufus’ delivery and style.  I really like his voice too.  The problem is I don’t really like his music all that much.  I wish I did, because I love hearing him sing.  But for some reason it doesn’t do anything for me.  We even saw him live (on a bill with Guster and Ben Folds) and left half way through his set because it’s such a different energy than the other two.

But I love this little bit of information about this show:

We’d never tried to squeeze a piano behind the Tiny Desk, but when I saw a chance to have Rufus Wainwright play here, I wouldn’t — and he probably wouldn’t — have had it any other way

That’s particularly funny because now some five years later they have had all kinds of things behind his desk.

He plays three songs on the piano.

“The Art Teacher”is a sad story about, yes an art teacher.  Really listening to the lyrics (full of art references) makes the song come alive.

Before the second song, he says I’m promoting my new album Out of the Game…yes, you may applaud if you wish.  Covers a lot of genres of music, one is, briefly, country.  Today is a lazy hazy day in the South–while we’re near the South.

“Respectable Dive”is a slow song (the country song, but not sounding country here) and again, the lyrics are great.

“Montauk” is about several people.  His daughter Viva Katherine Wainwright Cohen and his fiance.  Viva’s bilogical mother is Lorca Cohen who is Leonard Cohen’s daughter.  The last verse is about “my mother, the great Kate McGarrigle” (Rufus’ father is Loudon Wainwright III).

This song is, as the blurb says:

Wainwright at his best. The piano lines flow with forward motion in a Philip Glass way, and there’s also a hauntingly beautiful story. Wainwright sings to his daughter Viva, [imagining her] grown up and visiting her two fathers in Montauk, a small community on the eastern tip of Long Island.

So I am torn between really liking his voice but feeling that his delivery is a little too slow to fully understand the great lyrics.  There’s so much greatness in his stuff, and yet I can’t find my way in.

[READ: December 20, 2016] “Defamer”

Near the end of November, I found out about The Short Story Advent Calendar.  Which is what exactly?  Well…

The Short Story Advent Calendar returns, not a moment too soon, to spice up your holidays with another collection of 24 stories that readers open one by one on the mornings leading up to Christmas.  This year’s stories once again come from some of your favourite writers across the continent—plus a couple of new crushes you haven’t met yet. Most of the stories have never appeared in a book before. Some have never been published, period.

I already had plans for what to post about in December, but since this arrived I’ve decided to post about every story on each day.

I really liked yesterday’s story and I really liked this one as well, even though it is very different.

This is a the sad story of a woman named Birdie.  Boy oh boy everything goes wrong in her life.  She works at an office.

Big boss takes a four-hour lunch.  He has suffered no major disasters in his life.  [He and his wife plan] their vacation to Maine a year in advance.  This is one way to live.

Birdie works in a corner cubicle near Bog Boss’ office… [She] makes $20,000 a year forwarding emails to people who make $15,000 a year.

Birdie assumes that her boss is having an affair on his four-hour lunches.  But one day she see him during his lunch break working at a deli, frantically making sandwiches for customers.  Nothing makes sense. (more…)

Read Full Post »

[ATTENDED: October 4, 2016] Kishi Bashi

2016-10-04-22-03-10This is our third time seeing Kishi Bashi, and our second time seeing him with our friends Liz and Eleanor.  We all saw him together the first time when he opened for Rodrigo y Gabriela.  And they were hooked just like we were.  They have since seen him with his string quartet, which we didn’t.  I’ve liked him so much solo that I didn’t know if I wanted to see others playing with him.  Well, Tuesday’s show was a full band and it was phenomenal.

He is an amazing solo performer with his loops and improv and his fantastic stage presence.  But when he has other people to play off of, he completely soars.  And, since he was the headliner, he added a great light show (and confetti!).  And it also mean that even though we had heard these songs live before, in this setting they were completely reworked and different.

Kishi Bashi’s newest album is the disco-infused Sonderlust in which he more or less switches from his signature violin to keyboards.  But the music, while quite different from his earlier records is still very Kishi Bashi–that voice and those melodies are unmistakable. (more…)

Read Full Post »

[ATTENDED: July 14, 2016] Ben Folds with yMusic

2016-07-14 22.42.16This was the third time that Sarah and I have seen Ben Folds and he never fails to put on a great show.

Both of the previous times had been as an opening act (and both times were with Guster, interestingly).  So it was great to see him headlining.  I didn’t know a lot about yMusic before the show, but I enjoyed his disc with them So There.  It promised to be a great show.

And since, as I mentioned with Gracie Folds, we were literally three people from the stage, we knew the show would be special. (more…)

Read Full Post »

[ATTENDED: June 18, 2016] OMD

2016-06-18 20.15.58Sarah and I calculated that this was our fourth time seeing Barenaked Ladies (I’ve seen them at least two more times than that).  What I enjoy about tehir summer tours is how they have such diverse opening acts.  Two years ago it was Guster and Ben Folds.  Last year it was Violent Femmes and Colin Hay and this year it is Howard Jones and Orchestral Manoeuvers in the Dark.  I was never really a fan of Howard Jones (I didn’t know most of his songs), but I love OMD’s greatest hits (which I know isn’t saying a lot since they have about a  dozen albums out, but it’s a great collection).

Because of circumstances beyond our control, we wound up missing the entirety of Howard Jones’s set.  A friend who saw the concert in New York last week said that HoJo was phoning it in.  But the two people n front of us at Philly said he was really good.  Bummed to miss him, especially the keytar.

We arrived just as the opening notes of “Enola Gay” were playing through the crowd.  Perfect timing. (more…)

Read Full Post »

[ATTENDED: June 16, 2016] Guster        

2016-06-16 21.10.07For the third time in 14 months Sarah and I went to a Guster show.  This was a show that was originally scheduled for January (which we couldn’t go to), but a freak snowstorm kept them away.  So they rescheduled to June and we were free to indulge in one of our favorite live bands.

Guster never fails to put on a supremely fun show.   Between favorite songs, unexpected rarities, frontman Ryan Miller’s banter and general sense of good will and each guy’s ability to play just about anything, each show is a blast.  This venue was much bigger than the previous two and we were actually a little further back but we managed to get close enough to really enjoy the fun.  And the sound was amazing.

The Shelters ended and the stage was set.  It always seems to take so long for a band to come out.  And just as Sarah said they should be out by now, there they were.  They opened with “What You Wish For” a song they hadn’t played to us before–a great start!

Over the three shows we saw in the past 14 months, Guster played 40 different songs (not including two covers and an improv jam) out of 73 songs played. (more…)

Read Full Post »

[ATTENDED: June 16, 2016] The Shelters

2016-06-16 20.11.09The Shelters opened for Guster.  I hadn’t heard of them before going to the show, so I really didn’t know what to expect from the band.  Sarah and I arrived as they were going on, so by the time we got situated we probably missed two or three songs.

The band paints an interesting visual picture.  On the left side is guitarist Chase Simpson.  He’s got long hair and plays interestingly shaped guitars.  In the middle is guitarist Josh Jove who has slicked back hair and tends to walk to the front of the stage to solo.  On the bass is Jacob Pillot (also slicked back hair) who sort of hangs back but keeps a great rhythm.  And then in the back is drummer Sebastian Harris with long hair (looking a bit like Kurt Cobain) who pounds the hell out of the drums.

Walking into the venue, I’m not sure what song they were playing but it struck me as sounding very L.A. rock (I don’t really know what that means, but I guessed it reminded me of some of the hard rock/metal bands from the 89s/90s).  The song was good and the band was solid, it just didn’t blow me away.  They played another song (both of these were sung by Jove, I believe) that was similarly rocking and enjoyable.

Then they played “Fortune Teller.”  Simpson sang this one and the whole tenor of the band changed.  The song was a bit trippier (whereas Jove has a rocker voice, Simpson has an almost folkie voice).  I loved the song immediately.  And every song after that was really great too. (more…)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: