Archive for the ‘Pasha Malla’ Category

2015-07 SOUNDTRACK: RHEOSTATICS-Fredericton, NB (April 8, 2005).

fredAfter a night of seeing the Rheostatics, how could I not go and revisit some more shows.  This time from 2005.

I get a kick out of the shows that are listed in a town but with no club attached.  I wonder how many clubs there are in Fredericton?  Anyhow, this recording is really quiet, but it is quite clear, which is nice.  The opening band was Grand Theft Bus, and one or two of the guys from GTB join on a song or two.

The show begins kind of mellow, with a slow (but really good) version of “King of the Past.”  Dave is uncharacteristically quiet and even says he doesn’t feel like talking much.

Tim reveals that “Bad Time to be Poor” was written about Ontario MP Mike Harris.  Someone is out of key and forgot to use a capo as the song starts.

For the 8 minute “Here Comes the Image,” they mix it up “if you think Dave on the drums is exciting, wait till you hear Tielli on the bass. and MPW plays keyboards and “excess.”  Then they play “Pornography” which is about the pornogrification of the USA by George W. Bush (obviously) with someone stating “Fuck him” before launching into the song.   They were so political that night!

Before “Alomar” some shouts “Adios Roberto Alomar.”

There’s a rather punky version of “Song of the Garden” and “Satan is the Whistler” proves to be sloppy but fun.

“Take Me in Your Hand” is a really delicate version with beautiful harmonies and no ending coda.  Dennis from GTB plays a solo during “Legal Age Life” and the finale of “Fan Letter to Michael Jackson” opens with Tielli’s robotic voice processor and devolves into a rather vulgar version of the song.

All in all, it’s a good show, with the guys having a fun time with the openers.

[READ: September 7, 2015] “One Hundred Knives in the Air”

I enjoy Malla’s stories quite a bit.  They are typically atypical as is this one.

Set in a grade school, the kids are all delighted to witness their guest performer, Jenny Balak, who is a knife juggler.  (I love the idea that a school would bring in anyone whose sole juggling item is knives!).  But more than simply juggling them, Jenny is able to keep one hundred knives in the air at a time.

The knives hover way up in the air like a cloud, as she somehow touches only one or two which seem to keep the entire group aloft.  The children (even Yusuf, the one kid who can never sit still) are transfixed.

And then Jenny starts telling a story. (more…)

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internetSOUNDTRACK王蓉Rollin-小雞小雞(Chick Chick) [RONG “ROLLIN” WANG-“Chick Chick”]. (2014)

chickchickDon’t call it a novelty! You must watch it.

Is it a kid’s song?  I have no idea.  But it is mesmerizing.  I have now watched it about a half a dozen times and somehow it gets better each time.  Not as awesome as Babymetal (who are Japanese), but awesome in a wholly different (Chinese) way.

So far it only has 8 million views, the number must be increased!

[READ: November 15, 2014] The Best of McSweeney’s Internet Tendency

Although I have been a fan of McSweeney’s from the very beginning, I have never faithfully read their online Internet Tendency.  Of course I have read the often circulated ones, and a few years ago I said I would read the old posts from the beginning (I didn’t).  Now I discover that in the years since I said that, the Internet Tendency has 283 pages of archives (with something like 30 entries per page).  Get moving on that.

Having these best pieces in a book form is nice, as is anything with “It’s Decorative Gourd Season, Motherfuckers” printed on the cover.  Since I haven’t read all 8,000 entries, I can’t say what qualifies as the best.  Although I have to wonder if some of these were picked more for their contributors than their actually bestness.  (Take a look at some of the heavy hitters represented below).  Regardless of how these were chosen, it is an excellent collection of funny stuff.

When I finish reading all of the online pieces (in about two years), I will have more authority to say if these 50 are the best, but in the meantime, I’m just going to enjoy this very funny selection. (more…)

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SOUNDTRACK: SONSEED-“Jesus is a Friend of Mine” (1983).

My friend Nick sent me a link to this song.  And he said that it would  have been the theme song to his radio show back in college.  (We went to a Jesuit school, so it could be taken seriously as well).  Of course, knowing him, he absolutely would have played it as his intro music.

Anyhow, I listened to it and enjoyed the video in the spirit of gentle mockery that it was sent.  But I found myself listening to it quit a lot and I have concluded that I now enjoy it irony-free.  And how can that be?

Well, first off, Christian rock generally sucks.  In addition to many other reasons, it’s often played with a style that is inappropriate to the message.   And Gawd, forget the bombast of arena Christian rock bands (who shall remain nameless).

What I like about this song is that a) the musicians are really good. It’s a live song (I assume–they wouldn’t lip synch on  Christian TV show would they?) and they are tight.  Also, the music (ska!) is upbeat, just like the message.  Finally, while lyrically not very clever (most of the lyrics are pretty laughable), they are sincere and not aiming too high.

And, I hate to say, it’s catchy as hell (although I suppose you have to like ska to like it).

Evidently, I’m not the only one to be transfixed by this strange group (and, it seems I’m at least two years late to the party, as there is already a great deal of chatter (and even controversy) about this video).  So, let me be the umpteenth person to post it on his blog.

[READ: September 2, 2010] McSweeney’s 35

This new issue shocked me because I noticed that it was printed in Canada, not Iceland. I’m not sure when this switch occurred, but I feel somewhat saddened for the Icelandic press!

The cover is a (softcover) foldout (with two flaps).  The front shows two people crossing a street, but even more shocking than the Canada thing is the cover itself…something I didn’t notice until I left it out in the car.  The black of the cover (see above) is actually heat sensitive.  When it gets warm, it reveals a secret underworld to the picture.  Very very cool!  I was really confused when I picked up the book and it was no longer black but green with fishes swimming around, and I couldn’t imagine why I ever thought it was black.  Pretty sneaky, sis.

This issue features a newly revised letter column (although “letter” is a subjective term here).  There are four longer stories, and the rest of the book has two sections.  The first is comprised of an awesome photo series of lunch bags (which I will attempt to emulate for my kids when they begin school).  The second is “a Portfolio of Stories from Norway.”  The Norwegian Stories are great, and really show the strength of literature coming from the country. (more…)

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SOUNDTRACK: PRINCE-Purple Rain (1984).

I resisted Prince for most of my high school and early college years.  He was just so, so, so.  Well, actually I think he was just so popular.  Plus, my freshman year of college, someone on our floor used to blast this CD at full volume every time he did laundry.  It was pretty oppressive.

As I grew less strident, I learned to appreciate his talent (and his absurdity), and even to like Purple Rain.  And when I divorce Prince from the hype, the overplay, the excess, the quirks (yes, I’m talking 2 U) this is a damn fine record.

It’s also somewhat surprising that it was as big a hit as it was.  Musically, it’s all over the place (or is that something for everyone?).  I think in today’s specialized market, this may not have sold as well (or else it would be like Gnarls Barkley and be a hit regardless).

“Let’s Go Crazy” is poppy sure, but it rocks really hard (and showcases Prince’s guitar virtuosity).  But it’s the  second half of the disc that is just berserk with great music. “When Doves Cry” has that insane guitar solo opener.  The rest is simple keyboard pop (until the ecstatic screams at the end).  “I Would Die 4U” is the poppiest thing on the disc.  And the disc ender, “Purple Rain” is just a great rock track.  Delightfully pretentious in the beginning, full-bodied by the middle.  It’s quite genre defying.

I’m obviously not the biggest Prince fan in the world.  I have a few discs from this period (and the greatest hits).  It’s more than enough Prince for me.  And while I don’t listen to this disc while I do laundry, sometimes, when it’s warm, I’ll open the windows and crank this up.

[READ: May 14, 2010] “1999”

This story opens with the line “I wouldn’t fuck [the artist formerly known as Prince] if he was the last man on Earth.”  This turns out to be excellent foreshadowing.  The year is 1999, morphing into 2000.  And the unthinkable has happened.  There is no one left on the planet.  Except for the voice of TAFKAP on the radio, exhorting women to cum 2 him and b with him.

Although Sonya wouldn’t fuck him, several other women in the story most certainly would.   And so, the story follows four different women, each with her own agenda as they travel across the continent to Minnesota, to Paisley Park. (more…)

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