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Archive for the ‘Carl Kasell’ Category

SOUNDTRACK: OK GO-Tiny Desk Concert #278 (June 3, 2013).

I love OK Go’s music videos.  They are stupendous. I have watched all of them several times.  And yet I can’t remember a single song.  But that doesn’t diminish my appreciation for them.

When NPR was moving offices, they made a “Tiny Desk Concert” of the band proceeding from their old location to the new one.  And in OK Go fashion, they made a great video to go with it.  The music is live (I believe), even though they must have shot the footage hundreds of times.  It’s sort of a stop motion video, except that it’s not single frames but short 2 second clips spliced together.

You can watch as the old office is dismantled, as they walk through the halls to the moving truck.   As they play on the truck in the streets of D.C. and then as they enter the new building.  There are cameos from NPR colleagues: Ari Shapiro, Audie Cornish, David Greene, Guy Raz, Scott Simon, Alix Spiegel, Susan Stamberg and more.  There’s a hilarious moment with Karl Kassel who gives them a dirty look.  And then they march through the offices, the news room and into the new Tiny Desk location where they finish the song.

The song is fun and catchy and even has new lyrics that reference the NPR move.  It has to be seen to be appreciated.

And if you like figures here are some details from the shoot:

  • Number of video takes: 223
  • Number of seconds Carl Kasell spent in the elevator with OK Go: 98
  • Number of times Ari Shapiro played the tubular bells: 15
  • Number of days it took to shoot: 2
  • Number of cameras: 1

Incidentally, NPR and I are out of sync with our counting of Tiny Desk Concerts.  I can’t figure out what happened.  The reason mine is correct is because I have written down every concert and numbered them.  So I feel that for them one doesn’t count?  They say this was number 277.  Someday they’ll read this and we’ll get to the  bottom of everything.

[READ: April 1, 2016] No Mercy Vol. 1

Because of the way books are being handled at my work now, I don’t get to see as many books as I used to. So i was pretty delighted to get this graphic novel on my desk.  Even if I didn’t quite know what it was about, I wanted to read it.  And boy did I enjoy it.

I had no idea that the cast was a group of aspiring Princeton University students on a per-freshman trip to an underprivileged county (I like the t-shirts that say Building Bridges Helping Hands with a kinda Princeton P on the front.

We meet the cast in a cool way–each one steeping forward a bit in the crowd and giving a bit of information about themselves…mostly through text messages. Oh and I loved the way the opening colophon pages looked just like Facebook (or whatever) with a timeline photo and then on the right side–sponsored images with drawings of the author and the illustrators and an ad for an other Image comic by Alex de Campi called Valentine–genius layout idea.

There’s also a comment under the photo which says “OMG how sad, they were also young.”  So you know something bad is going to happen these poor kids. (more…)

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juiceSOUNDTRACK: WRSU 89.7 FM.

wrsuComing straight out of Rutgers University in New Brunswick (my grad school alma mater), this was the first station that I happened upon while I was scanning the lower numbers on the radio station.

The brief set that I heard was amazing.

I heard the end of a song that I didn’t know, but which I found very intriguing. It was followed by Les Claypool’s new track “Mushroom Men” (which was wonderful) and then the 180-Gs doing an a capella rendition of Negativland’s “Christianity is Stupid.” I had heard about this band but never heard one of their recordings.  First, if you’ve never heard Negativland, then you’re missing out.  They are a surreal band of audio collagists, playing with sounds and samples and all kinds of weird things.  To have an a capella rendition of a five minute song, the bulk of which is a spoken loudspeakered voice saying “Christianity is Stupid” goes beyond bizarre into the sublime. I have tuned to this station from time to time and each DJ plays his or her own weird and often wonderful thing. What a great experience.

[READ: May 14, 2009] Alphabet Juice

My mother-in-law gave me this book for Christmas because she heard about it on NPR and thought I’d like it. And boy was she right.

waitI hadn’t heard of this book, although actually I’m sure I had–but I ignored it.  Roy Blount Jr is on Wait Wait… Don’t Tell Me, NPR’s news quiz, almost every week.   We love the show because it is funny and it tests your awareness of what’s going on in the world (both serious and ridiculous).  And we try our best to get our kids to let us listen to it each week.  (more…)

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