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Archive for the ‘Lionel Loueke’ Category

unicornSOUNDTRACK: LIONEL LOUEKE-Tiny Desk Concert #56 (April 26, 2010).

louekeI had never heard of Lionel Loueke.   He is a West African jazz player with a wonderfully unique way of playing.  He uses low tuning, nylon strings electric guitars (the particular guitar he uses here is beautiful), and paper in his strings (to create a cool buzzing sound).

He also sings (but that’s not the right word), he makes sounds with his mouth–sometimes singing what he is playing, sometimes just making sounds.  He seems like he is having the best time up there.

According to the blurb, Loueke usually plays with a trio (with the bassist and drummer contributing to songs and shaping the direction of the band).  For this Tiny Desk only Loueke and drummer Ferenc Nemeth play.  Nemeth plays bells, bundle sticks and a little rig set up around a hand drum and a jangly tambourine–it’s a very cool percussive sound that perfectly matches Loueke’s guitar style.

They begin with of “Vi Ma Yon.”  It’s a five-minute traditional song that appears on Loueke’s album Mwaliko.  This is such a fun and interesting song, with Loueke’s voice floating above the interesting guitar styling he lays down (with that paper buzzing away).

The second song, “Merci,” feels more traditional–with what sounds like actual words done in a melody.  Although his guitar playing isn’t as interesting (the paper is gone), his skill is readily apparent as he flies around the neck.

This is yet another interesting Tiny Desk with a performer I’d never heard of who really impressed me.

[READ: May 29, 2015] Always Be Yourself.

The second bad book of the weekend is this one.  I have to admit I love the title of this book.  I don’t know exactly where it comes from (some Tumblr feed no doubt) but I think it’s very funny.  And that’s what attracted me to it.  But the book itself is really rather lame.

It’s always weird when a book tries to capture an online sensation.  Especially one that is completely of a time and basically ephemera.  So here we get this book about Tumblr.  Notice there is no “author” for the book.  Although on the inside we see that the text is by Perille Kok-Jensen and Els Dragt.

My guess is that it is striving to be like a Douglas Coupland book (the font is very similar) with pictures and pithy slogans designed to describe all that is Tumblr.  The blurb says this book is designed to look at today’s Tumblr generation who are “bold, dreamy and unfazed by the grim context in which they’re coming of age.”  And that it is written “to all the unicorns out there: perhaps you could buy the book for your parents so that they will understand that you are in fact not a freak but part of a greater movement.”

Okay, fine, but how is Tumblr (Tumblr? really?) a great movement?  And are people actually defining themselves by using Tumblr?  Because I can tell you that all kinds of stodgy places use Tumblr, too.

Anyhow, it starts with a pithy comment:  “The nineties called, they want their individualism back.”  Which seems like a direct contradiction to page 61: “Blending in is the new standing out.”  Whatever.

And then it quotes Farrell’s “Happy.”  In fact it quotes lots of song lyrics and other famous quotes (with no attribution, actually). (more…)

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