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Archive for the ‘Shudder to Think’ Category

yitaSOUNDTRACK: WXPN (88.5 Philadelphia) xpnand wxpn.org online-Prog rock Marathon (2012-??).

Every January, Dan Reed plays a prog rock marathon on WXPN.  This year I was able to enjoy portions of it.  I rather wish the playlist was still available (you can search, but only by artist), because I’d love to rave about the tracks they played (like the live “Supper’s Ready.”)

I was delighted by the great mix of songs they played and (as I learned from reading this book) I was surprised by how many prog artists I didn’t even know.

In 2014 I’ll be listening again and maybe this time I’ll copy the playlist to document what I’ve missed.

[READ: July 7, 2013] Yes is the Answer

This book was sitting on a cart outside of my cube.  I was intrigued by the title (it didn’t have that trippy cover, so I didn’t know what it was).  But “Yes is the Answer” was calling me.  Especially when I looked at the cover and saw that the cover had an excerpt from a William Vollmann story in which the protagonist plays In the Court of the Crimson King (track 5) for Reepah and watches her face as they band went Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!.

Quoting Vollmann (from The Rifles), playing King Crimson?  What could this book be?   Then I saw the subtitle and I knew I had to read it all.

I’m not going to review these essays because that would be like making a radio edit of a side long track, but I’ll mention the band the author focuses on and any other relevant details. (more…)

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SOUNDTRACK: A CAMP-Colonia (2009).

This is the second album from the side project of The Cardigan’s Nina Persson.  This disc was created with her husband Nathan Larson from Shudder to Think.  Their first album had a country flair to it, but this one eschews that entirely for a pop feel that is entirely different from The Cardigans’ two main styles: the “cheesy” happy pop of “Lovefool” and the bitter guitar pop of their later discs.

Although like the Cardigans, Nina uses her beautiful, almost angelic voice to mask the critical, often bitter lyrics that fuel this disc.  The music is kind of sparse, which really allows for Nina’s voice to shine through. “Stronger Than Jesus” is a wonderful song about, of all things, love.  While “Bear on the Beach” opens with a delicate twinkling piano. And “Love Has Left the Room” has soaring vocals and a wonderfully catchy melody line.

The best track is probably “Golden Teeth and Silver Medals” a cool duet with a tongue-twisting chorus.

They also have a bit of fun with genres, so “Here Are Many Wild Animals” opens like a doo-wop song, but swerves into a cool minor key masterpiece.  Even the album closer, the slow, meandering “The Weed Had Got There First” works nicely with Nina’s voice (although I wouldn’t want a whole album like this).

Anyone who misses the Cardigans would do well to track down this disc; or, if you find the Cardigans too treacly, this is a great representation of the true side of Nina’s character.  I just can’t decide if the A in the band name is the indefinite article or the letter A.

[READ: March 3, 2010] “By Song, Not Album”

My friend and coworker Anna loaned me this issue of The Sun saying that she thought I would enjoy it.  I’d never heard of it before, but I’m always up for new things, so I decided to check it out.  I really enjoyed the Photo Essay “With Eyes Shut.”  And I read two of the longer pieces as well.

This first one, is, I believe non-fiction.  And if it is non-fiction, it is the least believable non-fiction piece I may have ever read.  I was interested to read it because of the title, which seemed an interesting conceit for a story.  And while that does come into play, the story is really about a young woman who is studying abroad in France who is suffering from a severe depression.

The only one who can pull her through is her father, who is similarly afflicted with depression.  He flies over to assist her and they wind up spending several days together.

What I found unbelievable, was the way her father behaves.   (more…)

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