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Archive for the ‘Beavis and Butthead’ Category

town-boy SOUNDTRACK: DUBLIN GUITAR QUARTET-Tiny Desk Concert #409 (May 15, 2015).

dgqWhen I first listened to this brief concert for some reason I didn’t realize that the quartet were playing Philip Glass.  Of course, once he stated that that’s who they were playing, it became quite obvious–but having Glass played on acoustic guitars instead of synths or violins, is quite an unusual experience.

The music is still rigidly repetitive, but there is a great deal of warmth added with the guitars (and the human element as well).

The Dublin Guitar Quarter has been around since 2002 and they play pretty much only contemporary and new pieces (despite being dressed in suits and playing on “classical” guitars).

They play two pieces, with two and three movements of each piece respectively.  They were originally recorded for strings, so these guitar transcriptions change things quite a lot (especially in Mishima).

The first piece is called “Company.”  They play Movements 2 and 3. What’s most impressive about the first piece is that you can hear all of the musical lines.  Glass often interweaves line up line of music ad you can see each guitarist playing these lines on high guitar notes and low notes while the other play accompaniment–transcribing these must have been a real challenge.

The loud chords are practically heavy metal chords on the guitar as opposed to what the strings might sound like.  And for all of the repetition, these two movements of clock in at less than four-minutes total.

It’s interesting to listen to the original after this and hear how it’s clearly the same piece but it sounds so very different.  From tone to drama, everything is changed.

The final pieces are three movements from Mishima.  In Mvt 3 there is some fast picking while the other three play chords.  It’s also fun to watch them all doing similar but distinct things through the middle of the movement.  This doesn’t have the fast lines that Glass is known for but it has a lot of loud repetitive notes.

What’s so interesting is that original is full of drums–and parts of only drums.  Obviously these aren’t present here, but the music resonates in a similar (but again, distinct) way.

Mt 2 is a slow meditative piece, and is far shorter than the original (which is also full of drums).

The final piece opens with some chords and then grows very beautiful as the Glass riff takes on an almost prog rock feel because of the guitar and the way the bass notes contrast so wonderfully with it.  It is short in this and the original and is great excerpt to listen to.

  • Glass: String Quartet No. 2, “Company,” Mvts. II & III
  • Glass: String Quartet No. 3, “Mishima,” Mvt. III, “1934: Grandmother & Kimitake”
  • Glass: String Quartet No. 3, “Mishima,” Mvt. II, “November 25: Ichigaya”
  • Glass: String Quartet No. 3, “Mishima,” Mvt. XI, “1962: Body Building”

[READ: March 24, 2015] Town Boy

This book was written (and drawn) in 1980.  First Second books had it translated and published in 2007.

I found Lat’s first book, Kampung Boy to be quite charming.  It was about a boy growing up in a small village in Malaysia in the 1950s.  This is the sequel and it is about moving from the village into the town and being a teenager.

This book is a little less episodic than the first.  Most of the story is laid out as text on one page and a drawing on the next.  But the drawings also have speech bubbles, so there’s a lot of different things going on. (more…)

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ny915SOUNDTRACK: SAUSAGE-Riddles Are Abound Tonight (1994).

Sausage_riddles_are_abound_tonight_cd After Pork Soda, Primus took a little break and Les reunited with the original members of Primus–Todd Huth and Jay Lane (guitars and drums) to make the Sausage album.  The album contains new songs and what I assume is the original version of “The Toys Go Winding Down” which sounds quite different from the Primus recorded version.

The first two songs sounds the most like conventional (what?) Primus with big smashing choruses. The biggest difference on the whole album is in the guitar, which is not just making shapes and noises, it is laying an interesting riff.  And the single “Riddles Are Abound Tonight” sounds absolutely the most like Primus–with interesting guitar sounds and Les’ popping bass (the “ho hoy yea” in the middle is also very Primus).

Another big difference is that Jay Lane’s drumming is a very different style than Tim Alexander’s.  Alexander is a force to be reckoned with–he’s all over tha place, playing weird time signatures and all manner of drums.  Jay Lane is more of a jazzy drummer–he keeps things fairly simple with a lot of hi-hat work.  So yes, even though Les is the same (and the star) in both bands, Sausage sounds quite different from Primus.

It’s also not to say that Huth doesn’t make crazy noises (he was the original Primus guitarist after all)–“Here’s to the Man” has a scorching noise from Huth over Claypool’s fairly conventional bass line.  But this song, as with most of them on the disc are quite long and don’t offer the wide array of sections that most Primus does, which loses its impact after a time.  So even though Les is talking some silly nonsense over the song (which is very hard to hear), it doesn’t make the song much more compelling.

Sausage has more of jam band feel.  As with “Shattering Song,” a 7 minute piece with a conventional drum bass and guitar structure.  It goes on in the same vein for some 4 minutes before turning into the more enjoyable “Kern Kern the butter churn” section, which I wish was longer.  Because I love the Primus release of “Toys” I find “Toyz 1988 to be unsettling in its slowness. Although I do love the opening bass riff.  “Temporary Phase” also has a good thumping bass riff and some noisy guitars.

“Girls for Single Men” is a fun song with a wild bass line.  It has a repeated chorus and a lot of spoken word.  As with a lot of these Claypool solo pieces, if the spoken stuff was just a bit louder, it would be more enjoyable.

“Recreating” i a short song with a cool opening bass section that is primarily based on Les’ whammy bar.  The final song, the 6 and a half minute “Caution Should Be Used While Driving a Motor Vehicle or Operating Machinery”  has a cool repeating bass line and some noisy guitars but it is most notable for all kinds of street noises–jackhammers, air raid sirens and the like.

I don’t love the Sausage album that much, but there is some good stuff here.  And the video for “Riddles” is pretty outstanding (and was actually the basis for the Beavis and Butthead character of Cornholio!)

[READ: January 8, 2015] “The Dinosaurs on Other Planets”

There’s quite a lot going on in this story and I enjoyed very much even if the ending wasn’t entirely satisfying.

The story is set in the house of Kate and Colman an older married couple (they met when he was 40 and their kids are grown).  We learn that they have not shared a bed for about a year.  He moved his lathe into their son’s room and basically just stays there all the time, and while she seems upset by this she doesn’t talk about it.  The only thing that sparks them moving back into the same room is their daughter’s upcoming return visit.

Emer has been living in England (I assume her parents live in Ireland given character names) and she is planning to come to visit for a few days with her son Oisin.  So Kate gets the house ready–she fixes up Emer’s old room and fixes up their son’s room (he is in Japan) for a  bedroom for Oison.

But when they show up, Emer has a man with her as well.  His name is Pavel, and when Cormac (who is none too pleased to have an extra guest) asks Oisin when Pavel is from, Oision (who is 5) says “Chelsea.” (more…)

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SOUNDTRACK: ARMY OF LOVERS-Massive Luxury Overdose (1991).

The only way that I, and I suspect any American, knows this band is because they were  mocked on Beavis and Butthead for their video “Crucified.”  In the video, which I have thoughtfully tacked on at the end here,  the three members of the  band are dressed up like extras from a  Duran Duran by way of Adam and the Ants music video (and maybe that’s not over the top enough).  This, by the way, seems to be their regular costumery (a French-seeming design despite their Swedish origins).

Beavis and Butthead cheer for the (impressive) cleavage and then gag at the lead singer’s  largely naked hairy body dancing in a bathtub.  It’s  pretty confusing.  But it’s also super catchy in a really over the top Europop way.

I have learned over the years that while I don’t really like pop music, I like Europpop a lot more than Ameripop.   It’s much crazier and outlandish, hence: Army of Lovers.

“Crucified” is a really fun, over the top bit of nonsense.  The chorus is incredibly catchy with a wonderful choral voice singing, and the verses are catchy too, they are spoken and in part French.   It’s good campy fun.

Having said that, the rest of the album is a mix of songs that aren’t quite as good as “Crucified” and songs that are just really bad.

The opening of “Candyman Messiah” is dreadful.  “Obsession” features a very mousey-voiced guy singing.  It’s a change and an interesting one, although like a lot of Europop, there’s not a lot of substance to it.

But it’s clear that the Army are not taking themselves seriously, “Dynasty of Planet Chromada” anyone.  The band has some really catchy choruses and I’ll bet it ‘s a hell of a lot of fun to dance to.  Especially if you have a pencil thin mustache.

Believe it or not, Army of Lovers were not just a one-hit wonder .  They released four albums.  And although their website seems to be updated often, I’m fairly certain the band broke up in 1995.  Well, why should that stop anyone?

[READ: Week of March 5, 2012] Gravity’s Rainbow Sections 1.19-2.3

I postulated that Section 1 (called Beyond the Zero) was a mostly expository set up (in one way or another).  And that seems to have been true.  Yes there was some plot development, but it was a lot of setting up new people.  New people are introduced in Section 2, but it is primarily about Slothrop (so far).  These first three sections don’t do a lot to advance the “plot” (I don’t really know what the plot is exactly but it must have something t o do with the war, right?)  Section 2 zooms in on Slothrop.  And while we do learn about the monitoring that goes on with him, for me, Section 2 is all about providing character depth and sympathy for Slothrop.

I found this week’s read to be the easiest so far, with only a few moments of stream of consciousness or reverie to get lost in.   And there were a lot of farcical moments–moments that were practically like a sitcom, which were fun to read and enjoyably insubstantial.

Towards the end of the reading, when Katje ultimately leaves Slothrop, she uses a metaphor comparing the rockets to sex.  And I wondered if maybe that’s why there is so much sex in the book–is it a physical manifestation of the theoretical idea?  Or does he just like using the word cock?

(more…)

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