Archive for the ‘Hillary Clinton’ Category

314SOUNDTRACK: ANE BRUN-Tiny Desk Concert #518 (April 1, 2016).

aneAne Brun is a Norwegian singer who is currently based in Sweden.  She plays piano and guitar and has a pretty voice which reaches high notes but maintains a kind of rough rasp.  She says she had a terrible cold and this is her first day of singing.  She doesn’t trust her voice yet and she thanks everyone for being so quiet.

The three songs she sings are slow (a little too slow for my tastes).  The blurb says that these are the three slower songs on the album, so maybe I’d like them a bit more amid the other songs  This is not to say the songs are bad, just a little too mellow.

Having said that, the melody and vocal lines of “Still Waters’ are beautiful.  This is the one song she plays on the piano and it does sound rather different from the other two.

For “All We Want is Love” (which she describes as the ultimate love song, kind of), she plays a pretty, picked melody on the acoustic guitar.  But its clear that her voice is the main instrument here–and she hits some lovely notes in the repeated refrain of “All we want is love.”

“Signing Off” is the last track on the album.  It is a slow guitar song. The melody isn’t as immediate as the previous song, but her voice really does carry the tune nicely.  I wonder if her voice normally sounds like this or if the cold impacted her singing.

[READ: March 14, 2016] “For the Best”

I wasn’t that inspired by the previous story of Beattie’s that I read.  And I didn’t really love this one either.  I found it very slow going.

The story is about a man named Gerald, an older divorced man, who gets invited to a party.  His ex-wife, whom he has not seen in some thirty years will also be invited.

But the way this was revealed was kind of circuitous, I thought.

the Clavells weren’t the sort to play pranks, so the printed invitation to their annual Christmas party arrived after what Gerald and Charlotte’s son, Timothy, would call a “heads-up,” sent by e-mail, letting them know that both were invited to the event, at the Clavells’ apartment, on West Fifty-sixth Street. Gerald hadn’t seen Charlotte since their divorce, thirty-one years before, and this was the first time he’d seen her e-mail address. Whether she was on any social media he wouldn’t know, as he was not.

I enjoyed some of the oddly phrased ways the story was revealed (like that last sentence), but it took me a few tries to puzzle out if Gerald was the recipient or the sender oft he invite.  It’s a long first sentence, I guess.

I also enjoyed this follow-up sentence: “It was a rather jaunty message from the Clavells, who were not jaunty people.”  But I think that reading so much of the story like this is exhausting. (more…)

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julySOUNDTRACK: CHADWICK STOKES-Tiny Desk Concert #432 (April 13, 2015).

chadI had recently been hearing about Chadwick Stokes on WXPN.  But I didn’t really know anything about him.  I just looked him up and found that he has been making music for almost twenty years, with the bands Dispatch and State Radio (under the name Chad Urmston) and now as a solo artist.  He apparently is a big time activist as well, and his accolades ring high.

The three songs he plays her are wonderful.  He has a great voice that reminds me in some ways of Cat Stevens (even though Stokes is from Boston and certainly rocks harder than the Cat).  Although he even mentions Stevens in the third song.

I love the way the first song, “Pine Needle Tea” starts out slowly (with Stokes on the guitar) and a delicate xylophone playing along.  Then half way through, both accompanists start playing floor toms–one with stuff on it to deaden the sound and one (Will’s) with no deadening to really pound away.

I love the faster parts in the second song “Horse Comanche” and also how in the slower parts both guys sing lovely high harmonies.  It makes me laugh that the fellow who plays the melodica solo stands almost ramrod still while waiting for his time.  (He is actually Stoke’s brother, Will).  I have grown to really enjoy the melodica lately.  I love how the end of the song has the repeated refrain with great harmonies and the melodica all playing together.

Chad jokes after the song that “Comanche” has a dropped D E string and he always forgets to retune it live (and his brother says he forgets to remind him to re tune it) so half way through the next song “it goes Wah.”

The final song is called “I Want You Like a Seatbelt” which gets a laugh.  It is a funny title but it proves to be a great simile.  I love the vocal melody of this song.  And when it really gets going it is infectious.  It’s just way too short.

I need to dig into his back catalog.  And here’s a link to this great Tiny Desk.

[READ: April 10, 2015] “Democracy in Batumi”

Sometimes an excerpt from a novel (Waiting for the Electricity) piques my interest. In this case, however, it really didn’t.

In this excerpt, Slims Achmed Makasvili is from Batumi on the Black Sea.  He is writing to Hillary Clinton (we’re not told why to her specifically).  He says that Batumi is not very well-known.  The local dictator is tearing down old buildings, but Slims wants Clinton to know that Batumi is a natural port for petroleum deliveries.  He says that there are great business opportunities available for America here. Then he asks if she knows the movie Jesus Christ Superstar.

The next letter (they are undated so it is unclear how far apart they were written) talks about how Clinton’s version of democracy and his are quite different.  The Batumi Center for Democracy has expanded and even has an air conditioning unit. (more…)

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