Archive for the ‘Bathtubs’ Category

SOUNDTRACK: CHAD VANGAALEN-Live at Massey Hall (May 27, 2015).

The name Chad VanGaalen sounded familiar to me, and it turns out I know a couple of his songs from NPR.  But I didn’t recognize them here.

As the show opens, he says he only recently heard of Massey Hall and he was blown away by the architecture

He’s glad he’s playing acoustic but even more so that he’s dong the whole one man band and not just a guy with a guitar–he never been that good at playing guitar, so he needs more.  He is playing with Julie Fader “saved his ass on multiple occasions.”   She is one of his favorite people to play with–she does harmonies very well plus it’s nice to play with a  female….  I’m always playing with a bunch of dudes its nice to temper the energy a bit.

“Pine and Clover” opens the show.  Chad play a pretty guitar intro (not power chords-which is what he claimed was all he could play).  As the camera pulls back, you see that he is also playing bass and snare drum with his feet.  Julie sings backing vocals and plays flute.  Next up is “Broken Bell.”  It’s a pretty, slower song.  I love the lyric: “I sit and do a drawing, a portrait of my dad, I should really visit him before he is dead.”  This lyrics gets a big reaction: “Should I take the advice of the graffiti on the wall telling me to go suck it? / should Ii listen to the voices ringing in my head like a broken bell?”

“Hangman’s Son” slows things down a little further, but “Weird Love” is kind of a stomper with some interesting slightly dissonant flute (or maybe its the guitar that is dissonant).

“Peace on the Rise” gets some applause from the start, as does “Willow Tree” which is a quieter, picked guitar song.  For “Cut My Hair” he switches to capo 7 and plays a lovely melody.  But it soon becomes a real stomper: “I will never learn my lesson.”

The final song is dedicated to his daughters. He says he has been teaching them to fish.  Which is “way more fun than doing this….  Not saying this isn’t fun….  It’s really stressing me out…  Holy shit.”  He says he doesn’t like killing he fish but his 7-year-old is like “oh yeah!’  She’s the henchman and he’s in charge of the barbeque, “Which is what you should do with kids–don;t let them run the barbeque.”

“So ‘Burning Candle’ goes out to my girls….  If I fuck this up I’m the worst dad in the world.  It’s pretty and quite short and no, he doesn’t fuck it up.”

[READ: June 2, 2018] “My Father’s Face”

This issue of the New Yorker had a section entitled “Parenting.”  Five authors tell a story about their own parents.  Since each author had a very different upbringing the comparison and contrasting of the stories is really interesting.

Chang-rae says that a clear childhood memory of “my father washing his face.”

His father was very particular about it–“with a vigor and thoroughness that made me feel somehow cleaner for simply having watched him.”  This was the early 1970s and his father was settling into to his first doctoring position as a Bronx V.A. hospital.

Their flat was small but suitable with a place for he and his sister to play. (more…)

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2016-12-05-21-06-09SOUNDTRACK: ANNA CALVI-Tiny Desk Concert #189 (January 26, 2012).

I’d published these posts without Soundtracks while I was reading the calendars.  But I decided to add Tiny Desk Concerts to them when I realized that I’d love to post about all of the remaining 100 or shows and this was a good way to knock out 25 of them.

calviAs with many artists on Tiny Desk Concerts, I thought that Anna Calvi was someone else (conflating two other names I’m sure).  But I certainly didn’t know this British guitarist born in 1982.

I find it unsettling that Calvi doesn’t take off her overcoat.  The drummer leaves his hat on, but that’s another thing altogether.  It seems odd that a woman who rocks would remain in her coat seeming very unrelaxed.

She plays three songs in under ten minutes and it’s a shame that the audio is mixed so poorly on this one, because the drums are louder than just about anything else and you really can’t hear her voice all that well.

“River To The Sea” is a cool instrumental that really shows off her guitar skills.  She’s all over the fretboard with different tempos and sounds.  It’s slow and moody (with a neat echo effect) until the end when there’s some really cool fast soloing.  I love the section where she’s playing some crazy looking chords on the high notes and that she emphasizes the individual strings and the chords at the same time—it’s great to watch (and to hear).

For the next two songs, it becomes apparent that she has on jeans and that she doesn’t seem quite a stiff and bundles as he coat suggests.  Phew.  “Surrender” has a very moody surf guitar feel.  This comes from the way she plays and the harmonium chugging along behind her.    Her singing style is very moody as well—I could see this song appearing in Blue Velvet.  Calvi has a captivating voice, but it is mixed way too quiet (it’s also embarrassing that there appears to be about 10 people watching her).

“Jezebel” is a rocking song, staying in that same vibe of 1950s surf guitar.  I like the way she plays the three brash chords at the end of each section.  She really belts out the last few words—I wish she was mic’d better throughout the show.

[READ: December 6, 2016] “Under the Taps”

Near the end of November, I found out about The Short Story Advent Calendar.  Which is what exactly?  Well…

The Short Story Advent Calendar returns, not a moment too soon, to spice up your holidays with another collection of 24 stories that readers open one by one on the mornings leading up to Christmas.  This year’s stories once again come from some of your favourite writers across the continent—plus a couple of new crushes you haven’t met yet. Most of the stories have never appeared in a book before. Some have never been published, period.

I already had plans for what to post about in December, but since this arrived (a few days late for advent, but that was my fault for ordering so late) I’ve decided to post about every story on each day.

This story started out in a very confusing way.  Set in Ireland, it opens with the narrator saying “This is what I intend to say tomorrow in court.  Be assured.”

It jumps to third person to give some context: she was the middle child, she had to learn to wait.

Then it jumps to the present.  She has brought her statement (what we are reading) to her solicitor.  He didn’t look at it when he filed it away.  He believes that she should compromise–it’s the only way to get her off.  But she will not compromise. (more…)

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