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Archive for the ‘Eef Barzelay’ Category

SOUNDTRACK: CLEM SNIDE AND SCOT AVETT-Tiny Desk (Home) Concert #26 (May 23, 2020).

I’ve never given a thought to Clem Snide.  Well, my thought is that he was a country guy that I didn’t want to listen to  Turns out, Clem is not a guy but a band founded by Eef Barzelay, who had a solo Tiny Desk back in 2010.

I do know Scott Avett from The Avett Brothers (although I never really know which brother is which).

Barzelay and Avett not only maintained social distancing throughout their set, but also rigorously enforced it with the aid of a visible tape measure.

This is my favorite Tiny Desk Home concert so far since it is done in a barn–and the sound is great!

Recording a Tiny Desk concert at home naturally subtracts a lot of familiar elements…. But when Clem Snide (the three-decade-old project of singer-songwriter Eef Barzelay) and special guest Scott Avett (the Avett Brothers co-founder who produced and performs on Clem Snide’s latest album, Forever Just Beyond) performed together in Avett’s barn, they added a few new features you’ve never gotten to hear at the Tiny Desk — most notably a noisy flock of birds and the unmistakable cries of a nearby rooster.

We’ve had a few disruptive animals at the Tiny Desk over the years, from the occasional dog to Bob Boilen himself, but this had to be our first rooster.

Their voices blended warmly as they tackled three spiritually searching songs from the (great) new record, Forever Just Beyond.

For the “The Stuff of Us” they both play guitar.  Eef’s is a full size while Scott’s is a smaller one (I can’t tell how many strings).  Avett sings the rather impressive high notes.

After encouraging everyone to brew their own fermented ginger beer for the immune system.

He introduces “Jews for Jesus Blues” by saying “A doubtless faith is a dead faith.”  The song from Clem Snide’s 2005 album End of Love, is a bouncy folk number.  Avett plays banjo.  The lyrics are interesting: “Now that I’m found, I wish I was lost” and “now that I’m saved, I wish I was dead.”  When the song’s over, Eef says, “not too offensive.”

Before “Some Ghost” the roosters start crowing.  Clem jokes, tell them chicken to shut the hell up.  Avett plays a full sized guitar and even sings some lead vocals.  Their harmonies are wonderful, too.  As the song ends, the rooster crows: “chicken go it right that time.”

Clem picks up a different,smaller, guitar for “Roger Ebert,” a song based on Ebert’s actual dying words: “This is all an elaborate hoax.”  Avett provides only percussion and vocals on this lovely song.

[READ: May 22, 2020] Five Years #8

Terry Moore seems like a very nice guy.  He draws people in love so wonderfully.  He draws adorable children and he specializes in a mischievous grin.

It’s easy to forget that he can be incredibly violent.  Well, I don’t know about him personally, but his art sure can be.

This issue has two violent deaths in it.  One is bloody, the other is not.

The one that is not is Stephanie.  The woman who wrapped Katchoo up in the mystery.  In several pages of wordless panels, Stephanie breaks into a secure building. She walks through a series of rooms activating secret panels.

She gets what she came for and heads out.  But when she steps outside, an unkindness of ravens swarms on her.

She drops her satchel and one of the ravens picks it up and flies off. (more…)

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kazam2 SOUNDTRACK: EEF BARZELAY-Tiny Desk Concert #81 (September 20, 2010).

eefEef Barzelay is the singer and songwriter for the band Clem Snide.  I’ve never listened to them–I was turned off by the name. But I’m really curious to hear what they sound like because Barzelay’s voice is really quite nice and his song writing skills–both musical and lyrical are really good.

For this Tiny Desk it is just Eef and his guitar (in addition to records with Clem Snide, he has released some solo albums).

The first song “With Nothing to Show Of It” has great lyrics and a wonderful delivery.  I was instantly hooked to Eef after this song started.

The second song, “something Beautiful” has a fun jaggedy melody.  This song is a bit darker, with wry, amusing lyrics.  I enjoy how the verse, which has been a series of “You make me want to…” ideas ends with “You make me want to break… something beautiful.”

During a pause, Bob asks him about his office experience.  He says he never worked in an office but he watered plants in an office (most of his clients were in the Twin Towers–yipes).

“We Are Flowers” is a Clem Snide song that never made it onto a record—he says it’s a deep cut, and a  very NPR kinda song.  Upon hearing this, Bob is concerned but Eef says he means it in the best way. And the lyrics are “we are flowers blooming in the dark…we can save the world in our beds tonight.”

The final song, “Denver” is dark and surprising.  And yet he plays it on a baritone ukulele, which takes some of the darkness out of the music.

Sometimes you can’t judge a band by its name.

[READ: June 1, 2015] The Song of the Quarkbeast

Book One ended with a satisfying wrap-up but left a rather sad moment lingering.

But this book has moved on from the events of book one by…about a week.  So not much has changed since Jennifer Strange became the Last Dragonslayer and averted a huge disaster.

Well, except that she’s not really the Dragonslayer anymore–there doesn’t appear to be a need for one at the moment.  So she is still working at Kazam, trying to keep the wizards in working order.

The book starts off with a suspiciously generous case–the magicians are asked to find a ring for a wealthy person.  It’s an easy gig.  But when they try to get the ring out of the ground, magical forces fight against them pretty hard.  They do succeed (which almost costs Tiger Prawns his life), but Jennifer refuses to give the ring over just yet–something is unsavory about this deal.

At the same time, Lady Mawgon is trying to hack into the Dibble Storage Coils.  They are a storage facility that houses untold amounts of magic.  If the house can access it, they will never have a shortage of magic again.  The problem is that when Lady Mawgon tries to hack in, as soon as she determines the passthought (think about it), a curse immediately turns her to stone.  Rats. (more…)

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