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Archive for the ‘Jack Vance’ Category

moonmoth SOUNDTRACK: TRAMPLED BY TURTLES-Tiny Desk Concert #387 (September 3, 2014).

trampleI love the name Trampled by Turtles and it conjures up something very specific in my head.  And a bluegrass folk band is not it.

Although their first song on this set, the super fast “Come Back Home” does rather convey what their name does.  Bluegrass can be fast (often is, in fact) but, man, this song scorches and the violin solos that flow through the song are totally intense.

So I was a little bummed that the next two songs are really mellow ballads.  For “Winners” the band’s harmonies are spot on and I do like the sliding bass line.  In fact all of the instrumentation (mandolin, violin, guitars, bass) is really nice.  And I think if this didn’t follow that first song, I might like it more.  Perhaps they should have ended the set with “Come Back Home.”

Before beginning “Lucy,” they ask if they are doing one more.  Bob says yes unless they want to stay longer.  The singer asks if they’ve got beer and Bob says they can work something out.  The band is not ready to head back to New York yet–they came from New York just to play the Tiny Desk (which elicit’ awww’s from the audience).

“Lucy” opens with some cool staccato strumming.  It too is a pretty song that makes great use of all of their instruments9espeicoally the mandolin).

I have recently begun to enjoy bluegrass a lot more and I could see Trampled by Turtles being a gateway into more bluegrass.  But I need more fast songs like the first one.

[READ: May 10, 2016] The Moon Moth

This First Second graphic novel opens with a lengthy essay called “The Genre Artist” by Carlo Rotella.  In this essay Rotella sings the praises of unheralded genre master Jack Vance (whom I’ve never heard of–which is the point of the essay).  Rotella says that Vance has been described by his peers as “the greatest living writer of science fiction and fantasy.”  He has been writing for six decades and has won many awards.  But this success has mostly kept him in the genre ghetto.  Other writers have suggested that if he was born South of the border he’d be up for a Nobel prize [which is a strange thing to say, in my opinion].

The essay talks about how so many other writers love Vance (and the list of writers who contributed to a tribute volume is impressive). So after all of this hagiography, I expected to be blown away by this story.  And I wasn’t.  Although that might have been because of the illustrations.  The illustrations aren’t bad–they’re not my style, but they’re not bad.  However, the story is fairly complex, or shall I say it may not lend itself to visuals because so much of the beginning is about sound.

Although while I was confused by the beginning of the story (and maybe I’d have been confused if I read it too), by the end, Vance totally sold me on what was happening. (more…)

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