Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Pregnancy’ Category

SOUNDTRACK: NATALIE PRASS-“Short Court Style” NPR’S SOUTH X LULLABY (March 14, 2018).

I did not enjoy this Lullaby at all.  Prass’ voice is very conventionally poppy and the synth sounds were really cheesy.  I would without question turn this off it was on the radio.

Evidently the original has “a laid-back disco cool and bouncing bassline groove” but then Prass

shows up to her South X Lullaby session with keyboardist Jacob Ungerleider, slows down the tempo just a mood lighting dimmer and turns the song’s breezy funk into the soft murmurs of late-night devotion.

Still doesn’t make me like it.

This version of “Short Court Style” was filmed in an interactive art installation by Caitlin Pickall called FEAST, which is part of the SXSW Art Program and was created as part of the Laboratory Artist Residency program in Spokane, Wash. Prass and Ungerlieder sit at a dinner table set with plates and towers of wine glasses, onto which images and patterns are projected. The projections are triggered by the movements of guests at the table, so the experience changes every time someone sits down.

[READ: March 15, 2018] “No More Maybe”

This story looks at immigrants in the land of trump’s america.  But it also looks at how in-laws can drive us crazy.

The narrator’s in-laws have come to visit them because she is pregnant.

Her mother-in-law has been very busy taking advantage of all that America has to offer (cheaply): blueberries, the clean air, the stars, and English-language classes (which are expensive in China).

She is puzzled by them being free: “America is a capitalist country….  What about so-called ‘invisible hand’s” (She learned about that phrase two days earlier).  The woman is confident (she is a volleyball coach) and is not shy about expressing herself. (more…)

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

815SOUNDTRACK: BORIS -Smile (2008).

Boris followed Pink with a couple of limited edition albums of drone music, collaborations, seven inch singles, live albums and other things.  And then they released Smile.

As Wikipedia explians:

Shortly after [the Japanese] release, the album was released by American label Southern Lord with a slightly different track listing, different artwork (by Stephen O’Malley), and an almost entirely different sound.   The different versions of Smile contain different mixes: the English version was mixed by Souichiro Nakamura, while the Japanese version was handled by You Ishihara.

I have the Southern Lord CD, but I’ve put the listing for the Japanese release (and cover) below

“Flower Sun Rain” (with Michio Kurihara).  This is a cover of the song by Pyg.  There’s quiet guitar and singing with wailing solos.  The song is quite faithful to the catchy original, except that around 6 and a half minutes in Wata puts in a wailing guitar solo as the band gets even heavier.  The American version ends abruptly mid-solo, but is two minutes longer than the Japanese release.

“Buzz-In” opens with static an a baby crying/talking before the song turns into a big pile of catchy heavy metal–pounding drums, chanted lyrics and lots of heavy guitars.  “Laser Beam” (“Hanate!” on Japanese version) opens with wailing guitars and bass solos before the heavy thrash follows.  There’s even a catchy chorus.  There’s a noisy section of feedback in the end.  As the song fades out there a series of cymbal smashes which slowly fade out while a quiet acoustic guitar plays for about a minute.  Just as he starts to sing, the song is cut off by the raw power of  “Statement” (“Messeeji” on Japanese version).

“Statement” is the first song (and video) I’d heard by Boris.  I heard it and was hooked.  It opens with a simple riff, two cowbells and a scorching guitar solo.  The verses and chorus are really catchy (whoo-hoos).  The Japanese version sounds completely different and is about twice as long.  It eschews the guitars almost entirely, leaving just a distorted bass drum as the main musical component. The guitar solos are relegated to the background.  But the vocals are pretty much the same.

“My Neighbor Satan” (with Michio Kurihara) (“Tonari no Sataan” on Japanese version) changes the tempo completely.  The song is quiet and kind of pretty.  There’s some really distant looped clacking drums, but the song is a quiet guitar melody and gentle vocals.  There’s a quiet (but very distorted) guitar solo in one ear.  And then after 2 and half minutes really heavy guitars and drums come in and overpower the melody for about a minute before dropping out again.  The quiet part resumes until the big snare drum fill which leads to a moment of silence before the really heavy rocking one-minute ending.

“Ka Re Ha Te Ta Sa Ki—No Ones Grieve” (“Kare Hateta Saki” on Japanese version) opens with loud droning chords.  After about a minute, it takes off with a wailing solo and power from the whole band.  When the vocals come in, the heayy rocking band kind of fades but is still audible over the slow and fairly quiet vocals–it’s a dramatic juxtaposition until the whole song is taken over by the guitar solo.  There’s some whispering in each ear as well (no idea what they’re saying).

“You Were Holding an Umbrella” (with Michio Kurihara) (“Kimi wa Kasa o Sashiteita” on Japanese version).  This is a pretty song, quiet and understated.  It sounds like a fairly traditional melody. There’s a quiet click track and a pretty guitar with whispered vocals.  It lasts for about four minutes before the squealing guitar solo introduces the rest of the band as they crash into the song.  This makes the song heavier but no less pretty.

“[untitled]” (with Stephen O’Malley).   This is a full on epic.  And like a good epic it begins with backwards guitar swirling around and forward guitars playing a simple melody.  At 4 minutes a noisy guitar solo fades in and fades out for about thirty seconds before the quiet vocals begin.  Around 7 minutes in the loud guitars come in with a vengeance.  They play with the melody which makes the whole thing feel much bigger.   The last four minutes or so just play with the droning guitars as they work on harmonies with what sounds like an e-bow, harmonies coming in an out.  The Japanese version is 4 minutes longer.

I’ve been listening to the Japanese mix online and I can’t get over how different it sounds.  Sometimes whole chunks of sound are removed while other sounds come to the forefront.

Diwphalanx CD

  1. “Messeeji” (“メッセージ”, “Message”) 7:06
  2. “Buzz-In” 2:34
  3. “Hanate!” (“放て!”, “Shoot!” (“Laser Beam” on English version)) 5:02
  4. “Hana, Taiyou, Ame” (“花・太陽・雨”, “Flower, Sun, Rain”; cover of the song by Pyg) 5:35
  5. “Tonari No Sataan” (“となりのサターン”, “Next Saturn” (“My Neighbor Satan” on English version)) 5:20
  6. “Kare Hateta Saki” (“枯れ果てた先”, “Dead Destination” (“Ka Re Ha Te Ta Sa Ki -No Ones Grieve-” on English version)) 7:26
  7. “Kimi wa Kasa o Sashiteita” (“君は傘をさしていた”, “You Were Holding an Umbrella”) 9:19
  8. “untitled” 19 20

[READ: July 21, 2015] “Morlocks and Eloi”

This was the 2015 New Yorker fiction issue.  It featured several stories and several one-page essays from writers I like.  The subject this time was “Time Travel.”

I enjoyed the way Curtis started this essay with the amusing (but maybe not) “some months ago I briefly became pregnant with the child of a PhD in quantum physics and for a  few seconds I understood the nature of time.”

She says that time is a like a tennis ball full of rubber bands.  Each strand is a line of time–linear while you are on it but so easy to cross from one to the next with so many places touching. (more…)

Read Full Post »

SOUNDTRACK: RHEOSTATICS-The Rivoli, Toronto, ON (November 11, 1989).

“This is not the best sounding show – it sounds like a 25-year-old soundboard from a small club which is what it is – It is very interesting though as it is from a poorly represented period between Greatest Hits and Melville.”

The notes also say:

It contains early versions of Northern Wish, Aliens, Record Body Count, Christopher, King Of The Past, Horses, Chanson Les Reulles, Queer and When Winter Comes. Horses refers to Ozzy getting caught on the high voltage wire. Queer doesn’t have the ending portion yet, lyrics to Soul Glue are not quite the same etc. Plus a bunch of songs which were not played often such as Seems Like, Uptake, Poor Mouth and As I Was Going Down The Stairs (which sounds like it was a precursor to Triangles On The Walls).

I don’t think it’s a precursor actually, but that’s just me.

Northern Wish has a lot of hiss and a rather disconcerting echo on Martin’s vocals. The hiss comes and goes on a few songs, but is mostly absent.

“Aliens” has some notable lyric changes.  “Woodstuck” gets the CSNY intro (which he says they never do anymore).  In this version they sing in silly falsetto.

Northern Wish, Aliens, Record Body Count and Christopher sounds pretty much the same (and very good), although Christopher has some interesting sounds on guitar strings–maybe from Dave?–during the solo.  Christopher: “That was about Etobicoke, where we’re from.” and this [“King of the Past”] is about our trip to Winnipeg (with the disconcerting lyric change: “I won’t close my eyes–oh nevermind” instead of “I won’t close my eyes to the passage of time.”

As the intro to “Horses,” Dave asks, “Hey Mr lighting guy can you make it look like the hull of a freighter?”  or “can you make me look like thee tar of the band?” “Dave Clark responds: “Yes, just turn around and show your ass.”  The song totally rocks, but it’s really weird not hearing the audience sing along to “Holy Mackinaw, Joe.”  I trust they responded appropriately the awesomeness of the ending of the song.

After the song they have “the ceremonial exchanging of the instruments (that we can’t play).”  Martin says he got a book out of the library about ghosts across Canada.  And he wrote this song about it.  Dave interjects, This is dedicated to Jim Hughes.  Then Martin says, “That’s the first time I’ve ever spoken on stage.”  The lyric is “As I was going up the stairs, I met a man who wasn’t there” played with accordion, by Tim I think! (apparently the poem is called “Antigonish”).  They continue with the accordion on “What’s Going On” (which gets cut off).

You gotta stand up for three minutes and 20 seconds while they play the drum-heavy “Chanson Les Reulles” (which Dave says he can’t understand).  They play “Queer” and mess it all up: Clark says “don’t you hate it when the drummer counts in?”  It has a really lengthy intro and no ending.

“This is a song Martin wrote I have no idea what it’s about.  All you guys and girls at the bar, there’s plenty of room up front.”  Seem Like” is a quiet song with some dark lyrics and a cool effects filled guitar break.  “Poor Mouth” is a slow mournful ballad by Bidini (with some loud growls at the end of each section).

They say “It’s hard to tell if we stink or not.”  Clark asks, “Hey Dave, if you were hiding from a guy with a gun, would you stick your fluorescent yellow flag out or would you hide it under your camouflage jacket?”  Not sure if that is an introduction to “When Winter Comes” or not, but the song sounds great.

Dave then does a poem which is kind of stupid (like usual).  Then they play “Good on the Uptake” they played a lot but never officially recorded.  It’s got a lot of their early new wave style but with Martin’s wild guitars.  It segues into a wildly chaotic “PROD.”  Midway through Bidini wanders into the crowd.  He tries to get the audience to sing.  Some do, but one guy speaks it, “oh no, you have to sing melodiously.  That’s why we came out here.”

For the final song, called “Grant’s Song in G,” Clark shouts, “Grant? Sober enough to play drums?  Come on up.”  It’s all silliness for about a minute and then Clark starts singing an intense anti-drug song: “well you had your chance / and you blew it / up your nose / in your arm / in the car at the end of that…” When he shouts “Take it away Marty,” the tape ends.

[READ: August 28, 2016] “Home”

I hate when the first sentence of a story throws you.  I don’t know if it was the typographical layout, but I had to read this sentence three times before it sank in: “Lee was the daughter of his mother’s hairdresser.”

Once unpacked, it made perfect sense.  The He is the main character of the story.  Jim had heard about Lee for years.  She as in an abusive relationship and finally got out. Jim’s mother told him that Lee was looking for a lawyer (which Jim is).  He initially refused but then agreed to take her out to dinner because “she’s a beautiful girl.”

Jim’s ex-wife was pretty, sure, but Lee is stunning.  He can’t believe that he is having dinner and then seeing her in his own house later that night. (more…)

Read Full Post »

[ATTENDED: May 23, 2016] S.T.O.P.

stopIf you have a teen or pre-teen and you are concerned about how they will deal with bullying, sex, body issues or, heaven forbid, heroin, this performance is a must-see both for your child and you.  The performers are all high school students.  They wrote the pieces and they are intended for high school students (and middle school).  If you can’t see them yourself, contact your school or community group to arrange for them to do their show.  It is intense and really effective.

When the fifth grade completed the D.A.R.E. program at school, the ceremony included a piece by this group.  The piece was called “Jack & Jill” and it told the story of how an underage party led to the death of two teens.  There were a couple of moments of humor, but the message was intense and the acting was really good (they “rewound” the story and the actors did a great job of going backwards–including one boy who “fell up” the couch (he fell off it earlier).

After they were done, they said that the troupe would be doing their full hour-long show in May and that was open to anyone in 5th grade and older.  I was amazed that Clark wanted to go as it’s not really his thing.  And so we went.  He was bummed that only a couple of kids he knew showed up.  I was bummed at how few people showed up at all.   And so I wanted to post about the show to get the group some recognition because what they did was really powerful and I think should be seen by just about everyone.

When we arrived, the teacher in charge of the group Miranda DeStefano-Meene told us that the show would be uncensored and pretty intense.  The program says that the words on stage “may embarrass, hurt, offend, scare and anger you.  That is intentional.”  The second paragraph spoke of the heroin epidemic in our society which is bigger than any other drug epidemic in recorded history, which I did not know.

And so we sat back and watched this show.  Now, I happen to think that Clark may not have been exposed to a lot of what was going on in this play (which I’m grateful for).  So this show may have been really intense for him (I know I spent the whole show wondering what he thought).  After the show the only thing he said was that it made hm sad.  And we did talk a little about the messages, but he’s a tight-lipped kid, so I can only hope he’ll come back to me with more questions if they arise.

And what questions he must have.  For this show tackled so many problems facing teens.  (more…)

Read Full Post »

nyoct20 SOUNDTRACK: PRIMUS-“South Park” Theme Song (1997).

In 1997, Trey Parker and Matt Stone asked Primus to recsouthparkord a theme song for their new show South Park.  They joked that the show might not even be picked up, but whatevs–it could also be a hit.

Of course, it turns out that this show has probably made Les and the boys more money than anything else they’ve done.

Interestingly, the original song they submitted was 1 minute long (way too long for an intro) and rather slow and creepy.  Rather than have them edit it or re-record it, the South Park team just sped it up (and removed the solos, which they put at the end) and then asked Les to re-sing it.

So here is the original, rather creepy version of the theme song.

And here is the final product

[READ: January 10, 2015] “Ordinary Sins”

This is the story of Crystal.  Crystal works at a local parish as secretary.  She took the job thinking it would be temporary. Then she got pregnant unexpectedly (there’s no father around) and now she is stuck (and grateful that the church is keeping her on).

Her co-worker, Collette, totally disdains her and tries to make things unpleasant for her.  In fairness, Collette tries to make things unpleasant for everyone.

The priest at the Parish, Father Paul, is super nice and quite kind, especially to Crystal.  He seems to give her little bits of encouragement throughout the day.  He is a former alcoholic and from what Crystal can tell, he has more than made up for his sins and (since she knows everything about him, really) he seems pretty devoid of all sin at this point.

He encourages her to go to confession.  Eventually she does.  But during the confession, she confessed a bit more than she meant to, .  And since she knows he knew it was her–how could he not?–she tries to hide from him, believing that things will be weird.  And things do get weird, but they seem to be more weird because of Father Paul not what she said. (more…)

Read Full Post »

onesummSOUNDTRACK: “WEIRD AL” YANKOVIC-”Foil” (2014).

foil;I wasn’t a huge fan of Lorde’s song “Royals.”  I liked it enough but it never really blew me away.  Al’s parody “Foil” seems obvious and yet it is such a wonderfully twisted take on the song that I think it’s just fantastic.

The video is set up like an infomercial (with Patton Oswalt as the director).  And it begins simply enough with all of the useful things you can do with aluminum foil (foy-ul).

What makes this better than a simple jokey song about using foil for your leftovers is that midway through the song, he tackles the more sinister uses of foil–keeping aliens out of your head.  The way the video switches from bright infomercial to sinister Illuminati conspiracy show is great.  And, amazingly enough he is able to keep the same bright Lorde-isms all the way through.

[READ: June 30, 2014] This One Summer

This One Summer is the second collaboration between Mariko and Jillian Tamaki.  In Skim, Jillian’s drawings reflected a very Japanese style of artistry, while in this book, the drawings are far more American/conventional.  This isn’t a bad thing at all, as they complement the story very nicely.

This is a fairly simple story (despite its length) about a family that goes to Awago beach “where beer grows on trees and everyone can sleep until eleven” each summer.  The protagonist is a young girl, Rose.  She is an only child and she looks forward to seeing her friend Windy there–they only see each other on these summer vacations.  Windy is a year younger, although she acts older and braver.  The girls are thrilled to swim, to watch horror movies and eat all the junk that they can.

But in this one summer things are not idyllic.  What I really liked about this story was that although nothing really happens to Rose or Windy, stuff happens all around them, and of course it impacts them as well.

The first thing is that Rose is finally interested in boys, specifically the boy who works at the convenience store in town, Duncan.  But Duncan is older–probably 17 and is dating a girl named Jenny. He teases with Rose and Windy but in a dismissive older brother sort of way–exactly the way that makes a crazy crush develop for Rose.  Windy and Rose are young, but are not that young–so they are full of misinformation.  And when they hear the older girls–Jenny’s friends–in town talking about things–abortions, oral sex–they learn more without learning everything . (more…)

Read Full Post »

pharm SOUNDTRACK: BLACK OX ORKESTAR-Ver Tanzt? [CST029] (2004).

cst029webBlack Ox Orkestar play traditional Yiddish music in a somewhat untraditional manner.

There are half instrumentals and half songs with vocals sung in Yiddish (which means I don’t know what they mean).  According to the Constellation website they are a: blend of originals and new arrangements for pieces pulled from various Eastern European songbooks.  And since the members come from “punk-rock, free-jazz, and other liberation musics,” it’s an approach to this music that may interest people who don’t normally like traditional music (and may turn off those who do).

.  I can’t really speak to the music, as I’m quite unfamiliar with it.  I prefer the instrumentals because I like the way the music tends to interweave.  Like “Cretan Song” which is a rollicking fun song like the Yiddish equivalent of an Irish seisún.  And yet. some of the vocals songs are really enjoyable too, like “Toyte Goyes in Shineln” which has a great melody and feels very familiar to me.  While “Ver Tantz?” begins as a slow melancholy song and turns rambunctious–almost chaotic.

Enjoyment depends on an appreciation for tradition Yiddish music, of course.

[READ: May 5, 2014] The Pharmacist’s Mate

I read this book a few years ago.  I read it again because McSweeney’s reissued it with Fusselman’s other book 8 on the flip side.  I wanted to read 8 and decided that since Pharmacist was so short I would read it as well.

And I’m glad I did because while they are not related exactly, they both work as a form of non-fiction and 8 is a nice postscript to what she talks about in Pharmacist.

As with most genre defying books, this is more or less a memoir, although it is written in a somewhat strange format–each small section is numbered (and eventually all the numbers turn into 1s because she realizes that she is starting anew with each section.

The Pharmacist’s mate of the title is her father, now deceased.  She includes notes from his time in the war as a sort of parallel to what’s going on with her own life. She very much wants a baby.  And through the book we see her engage in multiple ways of conceiving from natural to in vitro.  And then we read her angst about becoming a parent  And losing a parent. (more…)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »