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Archive for the ‘Idles’ Category

SOUNDTRACK: Bob Boilen’s Favorite Tiny Desk Concerts of 2019.

For 2020, I intend to put more albums in my Soundtrack section.  But it’s amazing how time consuming that can be.

Nevertheless, I’ll always be posting about Tiny Desk Concerts because I watch all of them.  So I’ll start 2020 with Bob Boilen’s favorite Tiny Desk Concerts of 2019.

It amuses me that Bob Boilen and I often share very similar tastes in music, but our favorite things are usually quite different.

When we first started filming musicians playing behind the Tiny Desk in April 2008, the beauty was in the intimacy and simplicity of these concerts. Now into our 11th year, after more than 900 Tiny Desks, the other treasure I find in these concerts is the variety. I remember having the cast of Sesame Street here in May, with NPR parents and their children seated on the floor watching the Muppets. The following Monday we had the blood red-faced raging of Idles, climbing all over the desk and singing “I’m Scum.” The scope of music is invigorating, especially considering a world of listening where we can not only get comfortable with what we love, but where the quantity of music from any particular genre could keep us happy all year. Tiny Desk concerts are here to shake up your tastes a little and help you stretch your ears and discover something you never knew existed or convert you to something you never thought you’d like. Here are 10 great examples of that magic from 2019.

I don’t have a list of favoirtes, but I will make some observations about Bob’s.

Bob seems to really like bands who put their names in all caps.  Also bands who have a number (specifically 47) attached to their letters.

Quinn was the Tiny Desk Contest winner.  Sesame Street is pretty iconic.  Taylor Swift is something of a surprise, but was clearly the biggest name they’ve ever had.  And yet, Lizzo’s Tiny Desk has twice as many views as Taylor Swift’s (5 million to 2.5 million!).

Looking forward to their 1,000th show later this year.  I wonder who it will be.

[READ: January 6, 2020] “Playing Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain”

This was a great short story about playing a video game.

For decades, the video game industry has been releasing video games in which a protagonist kills people from other countries.  Since I don’t play these games, I never really thought about what it would be like to be from that country and to play those games.

Surely people from all around the world like to play video games, and they probably want to play the popular ones as well.

In this story an an Afghani-American kid, Zoya, who works at Taco Bell has saved up all of his money (the money that he doesn’t give to his out of work father) to buy the final game in the Metal Gear series.  He has been playing this series which has becomes “so fundamentally a part of your childhood that often, when you hear the Irish Gaelic chorus from “The Best is Yet to Come” you cannot help weeping softly into your keyboard.” (more…)

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[ATTENDED: October 15, 2019] Idles

I learned about Idles through NPR (of course).  I can recall Bob Boilen talking about their live show (I think at SXSW) and how amazing it was.  He said that they were very high on his must-see list.  And since then I have wanted to see them.  When they announced the show at Union Transfer I bought a ticket immediately.

I never really understand how bands become popular over here.  Most people I know have not heard of Idles.  And yet this show sold out very quickly.  I don’t understand why, given how many other bands that I think are bigger don’t sell out.  Maybe Philly just loves punk.

I know that Philly loves a mosh pit.  And boy did they ever get one.  Well, technically it wasn’t so much a mosh pit as a pogoing, bouncing, swarming mass of bodies.  And lots of crowd surfing–including from the band!

I knew a couple of Idles songs pretty well, but I didn’t know a lot of their songs.  However, I knew their basic style: lead vocalist Joe Talbot kind of speak/sings/screams lyrics of disaffection and the band alternates between quiet sections and full-on mayhem. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: October 15, 2019] Preoccupations

I saw Preoccupations open for Protomartyr about a year ago.  At the time I wrote:

Preoccupations is a band from Calgary Alberta Canada.  They were originally called Viet Cong. They put out a stunning album called Viet Cong and then met all kinds of grief for the name (shows cancelled, etc), so they changed it to Preoccupations.  It’s amazing that a band as minor and indie as them would get so much grief, but whatever.

I thought their show was fantastic.  I loved the sound of their music and the energy that the band brought.

This show was similarly good–although perhaps the smaller venue of the Foundry made the band seem more dynamic.

I see that the setlist was largely the same for both shows (they haven’t put out new material since New Material in 2018).  I find it fascinating that much of the setlist comes from their first album Viet Cong.  I wonder why that is.

I also feel like for this show the band was considerably quieter than last time.  I realize that at the last show I was in front of speakers, and this one I was a little further back and therefore muffled.  But it seems like the overall wall of sound was somewhat lessened. (more…)

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