Archive for the ‘Alexander Abrams’ Category

00011SOUNDTRACK: PHOSPHORESCENT-Tiny Desk Concert #153 (September 1, 2011).

phospI know Phosphorescent from a Newport Folk Festival Concert a number of years ago.  I remember liking the show, although I feel a little disappointed by this Tiny Desk Concert.  This show is just Matthew Houck and his guitar.

The blurb says that Phosphorescent specializes in “free wheeling weariness.”  And that seems to be true.  It also says that Houck’s voice is weary after a lengthy tour and could barely speak which made his voice sound even more weary.  Phosphorescent was wrapping up months of touring and Houck could barely talk, let alone sing solo for 20 minutes on camera. We quickly hooked him up with as much herbal tea as we could find and coaxed that crooked croon back to life.

I found all four songs to be pleasant and, yes a little weary-filled.

I know that Phosphorescent is basically a solo project for Houck.  but when I heard the Newport Folk festival show back in 2013, he had a full band with him.  And I think the fuller sound made his songs sound, well, fuller.

“My Dove, My Lamb” is a pretty song, gently picked with a rather lovely sound and good lyrics.  After “We’ll Be Here Soon” he says that  “The Mermaid Parade” is in the same key with a lot of the same chords, “I’m okay with that if you are.”  The songs do sound rather similar. Before “Los Angeles” he says he has a new guitar with new tuning.  I can’t iamgine what he means by that.  Is he playing all of his sings with the strings tuned differently?

All four songs were pleasant, but they didn’t make me want to get his record.

[READ: January 26, 2016] “The Packaging (and Re-packaging) of a Generation”

Since I found the essay by David Lipsky in the recent Harper’s I decided to see if he had written anything else for Harper’s over the years.  In fact he hadn’t, but they had excerpted a portion of a book that he co-wrote, Late Bloomers: The Declining Prospects of the Twentysomething Generation.  Interestingly, on Amazon, only Alexander Abrams is listed as an author, but only Lipsky’s bio is given )no respect for Gen X).  Of course, the book is only available used since it is 22 years old, but as the slackers say, whatever.

Back in the 90s I read an enjoyed a lot of books about my generation–Gen X–from insightful commentary to parody.  And I’m somewhat surprised that this one missed my radar–although the title is a bit of a downer, let’s be fair.

The Publishers Weekly Review from back then states “In this sweeping and often dull analysis,” but for what it’s worth I found this excerpt to be pretty interesting.  Now if that could be sustained for 224 pages is something else entirely. (more…)

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