Archive for the ‘Roz Chast’ 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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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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over easySOUNDTRACK: ANDREW HEWITT-“A Boy Held Up with String” (2014).

Yhewittesterday I mentioned the soundtrack to The Double.  The score was composed by Andrew Hewitt, and this is one of the more popular pieces from the film.

It opens with some fast violin runs that seems to be racing each other, until about twenty seconds in the piano takes over the runs, but with a high note that keeps the pieces grounded (in the air somewhat).

The end of the song is primarily the piano with violin swirling around on top of the melody.

It actually feels like an introduction to something epic, but as with most scores, 75 seconds is all you’re going to get out of this cool, dramatic piece.

You can hear it here.

[READ: June 5, 2014] Over Easy

I saw this book at work and more or less ignored it.  Then a few days later I saw a review of it in somewhere and decided to read it.

This is a graphic novel about a young artist making ends meet at a diner in Oakland, California in the 1970s.  The back of the book says this is a fictionalized memoir (which I hate because, well, let’s just call it fiction, huh?).

Margaret is an art student.  As the story opens, she is in a diner, the only one there, when a guy named Lazlo starts talking to her. He is funny, cleverly dressed and probably high.  (He claims his full name is Lazlo Meringue).  Margaret is broke and knows that most waitresses hate poor students, but Lazlo is willing to take one of her drawings in exchange a meal.  And a friendship is born.

A flashback shows us that Margaret grew up in San Diego.  When she graduated high school, she didn’t want to do anything, but was forced to go to college–so she chose Art school at San Diego State.  Then she moved to Oakland, and got mired in the art scene.  In which punks were starting to push out the hippies.  And the center of it all was the Imperial Cafe (the diner in the first scene).

She says that you can discern the various culture who came into the cafe by the drugs they took: Professional crowd (cocaine); punks (speed); hippies (pot).  And since she could no longer afford school, she felt that she could do worse than working at the Imperial.  Lazlo says she has to tell him a joke or a dream and if he likes it, she’s hired.  Her joke is quite vulgar and she is welcomed as Madge.  Her first job is washing dishes and scrubbing out all the shit.  It is backbreaking and strangely satisfying. (more…)

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