Archive for the ‘Gahan Wilson’ Category

reject2SOUNDTRACK: ODDISEE–Tiny Desk Concert #451 (June 26, 2015).

oddisee Oddisee is a positive rapper.  That photo of him smiling really conveys the tone of his songs–well, that and the fact that the first song is called “That’s Love.”  He raps really quickly.  He also gets a wonderful call and response going on “That’s Love” where he has the NPR staff sing along to his chorus.  (The opening scene shows him practicing with the audience).  And he really gets everyone going.

I don’t know what his recorded output sounds like, but in this Tiny Desk, he’s with only a keyboardist and a drummer.  The live drummer is a great addition.

“Contradiction’s Maze” has a few sung choruses (he has a good singing voice too).  They don’t really modify the keyboard sound for the songs, which isn’t all that interesting.  It sets a nice background for all the songs, but it does make things sound a little samey.  “Belong To The World” is similarly uplifting, but I honestly had a hard time distinguishing it from the previous song.

Despite that, his positive attitude and generally upbeat personality were quite infectious.

[READ: July 24, 2015] The Rejection Collection 2

The Rejection Collection is back!  Presumably the first collection was successful enough that Diffee was prepared to do another one.  He gathers many of the same cartoonists (although at least a half a dozen did not return) and he gathered some new folks as well (for a total of 38 this time).

Returning: Leo Cullum, Pat Byrnes, Sam Gross, Mike Twohy, C. Covert Darbyshire, Drew Dernavich, Christopher Weyant, Kim Warp, John O’Brien, Marisa Acocella Marchetto, Danny Shanahan, Mick Stevens, Mort Gerberg, Michael Crawford, P.C. Vey, Gahan Wilson, Glen LeLievre, Alex Gregory, J.C. Duffy, Carolita Johnson, Ariel Molvig, Michael Shaw, Eric Lewis, P.S. Mueller, David Sipress, Jack Ziegler.

New additions include:  Paul Noth, Roz Chast, Marshall Hopkins, Nick Downes, Robert Leighton, Julia Suits, Zachary Kanin, Harry Bliss, Jason Patterson, J.B. Handelsman, Sidney Harris, Jack Ziegler, Robert Weber. (more…)

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reject1SOUNDTRACK: HOP ALONG–Tiny Desk Concert #450 (June 22, 2015).

hopNot too long ago a friend asked if there were bands that we wanted to like but didn’t.  Some people just said no, of course not, you either like a band or you don’t.  But I knew what he meant.  There are a lot of bands that I’d like to like.  And Hop Along is one of them.

Lead singer Frances Quinlan has the kind of raspy voice that is practically iconic (think Janis Joplin after a rough day).  And their music, which is kind of folky, also has a rawness that should combine with her voice to make me listen all the time.

And yet, for all of that, I really don’t like her voice.  It should be right up my alley but it, well, isn’t.  And that goes a long way to me not really liking the band.

They play three songs and although the blurb about the band talks about the music being more than her voice, I really can’t get past it.

None of the songs is bad, although they all sound a bit the same to me (her voice again).  “Horseshoe Crabs” has a folky feel and some soft/loud sections.

“Well_Dressed” has some unusual dissonant chords thrown into the mix. It’s especially interesting given the pleasant acoustic guitar that accompanies this song.

“Sister Cities” has some lyrics about shooting your dog which is a bit of a turn off.

So yes, I would like to like Hop Along more, but I just don’t.

[READ: July 20, 2015] The Rejection Collection

I heard about this book because it was listed under Matthew Diffee’s books in his bibliography.  I enjoyed his Hand Drawn Jokes for Smart Attractive People so much that I wanted to see what else he’d done.  Well, I didn’t quite understand the premise of the book.  Instead of it begin a collection of his rejected cartoons, he had edited a collection of cartoons that were rejected by thirty of the New Yorker’s regular contributors.

Which means there’s a lot more variety and a lot of funny stuff in here.

He gives us some context: each issue of the New Yorker has about 15-20 cartoons.  There are some 50 cartoonist vying for these spots.  Each of these 50 artists brings 10 cartoons each week and the editor pick the few that will make it (and those that are chosen are the only ones who get paid).

So that means that there are dozens of really good cartoons that just aren’t going to make it.  Many of those cartoons will be saved by their creators and submitted somewhere else or even back to the New Yorker in case the editors have a change of heart.

There are many reasons why cartoons are rejected.  Some aren’t very good, some aren’t appropriate for the magazine, and some just aren’t as funny as others this week (but may seem even funnier in two weeks’ time).

If you’ve read the new yorker (or ever been in a cubicle) you have seen the work from most of these people (even though you probably don’t know their names):

Leo Cullum, Pat Byrnes, Sam Gross, Mike Twohy, C. Covert Darbyshire, Drew Dernavich, Christopher Weyant, Kim Warp, William Haefeli, John O’Brien, Marisa Acocella Marchetto, Danny Shanahan, Tom Cheney, Mick Stevens, Mort Gerberg, Michael Crawford, P.C. Vey, Barbara Smaller, Arnie Levin, Gahan Wilson, Glen Le Lievre, Alex Gregory, J.C. Duffy, Carolita Johnson, Ariel Molvig, Michael Shaw, Eric Lewis, P.S. Mueller, David Sipress, Jack Ziegler.


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nurserySOUNDTRACK: FRANK FAIRFIELD-Tiny Desk Concert #445 (May 29, 2015).

frankFrank Fairfield and friends Tom Marion (who plays mandolin on the third song) and Zac Sokolow (on guitar) play old-timey music (marches, polkas and mountain tunes).  Fairfield plays banjo and plucked cello (and apparently fiddle, although not here).

The first song “Tres Piedras” is an upbeat instrumental.  The second song “I Ain’t A Goin’ To Weep No More” was written by Harry von Tilser whose brother wrote “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”

The final song “Campanile De Venecia/Sharpshooters March” has an overwhelming Italian feel (that mandolin, I gather).  I like that Fairfield yells “take it, Tom” so that Marion will play a lengthy mandolin solo on the for the final song.  There’s also a “traditional” Italian melody in the song that I know more from cartoons than elsewhere.

The songs feel like they leaped out of a 78 record (even Fairfield’s voice seems suitably “old” on “Weep” (although it appears that they were up playing late last night so he may not quite be up to par).

This was a fun Tiny Desk by an artist I’d never encounter anywhere else.

[READ: January 21, 2015] Nursery Rhyme Comics

This is a collection of Nursery Rhymes as drawn primarily by First Second artists.

The 50 nursery rhymes includes here are the traditional rhymes which remain unchanged.  So this was an opportunity for these artists to draw interesting visuals to accompany the traditional stories.  Some artists stayed traditional, while others went in a totally new direction.

It was fun to see that while I knew most of the nursery rhymes, there were quite a few that I didn’t know.

I always wanted to get a  collection of nursery rhymes for my kids when they were younger, and I feel like I never got one that would have been as satisfying as this one. (more…)

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