Archive for the ‘Hop Along’ Category

SOUNDTRACK: FRANCES QUINLAN-Tiny Desk Concert #974 (May 13, 2020).

I Wanted to like Hop Along, but there was something about them that I didn’t.  I think it came down to Quinlan’s voice which I almost like but I think ultimately don’t.

That’s true here too, although I like it better on these quieter songs than the bopping of Hop Along.

Quinlan is a Tiny Desk veteran, having played here in 2015 with her indie-rock band, Hop Along. You could argue she has even more Tiny Desk experience than that; as Quinlan pointed out during her set, a can of Hop Along-branded beer has been sitting on the Tiny Desk shelves through numerous previous concerts, including Lizzo’s.

This time around, she performed songs from her debut solo album, Likewise. She was accompanied by two musicians who played on Likewise: her Hop Along bandmate Joe Reinhart, on bass and guitar, and Molly Germer on violin.

There’s something weird in the first song”Your Reply.”  From time to time a note rings flat or out of tune.  I can’t decide if it’s intentional or not.  And the middle of the song sounds like bassist Joe Reinhart is just messing up all over the place.  Although he does add a nice solo at the end.  I do like the melody at the introduction of the chorus though.

She tells a joke about Presidents Day that I don’t get.  I don’e even know if it can be classified as a joke.

The second song, “Detroit Lake” has a note that sounds wrong but which I is intentional–it’s part of the opening guitar melody.  This song is primarily just Frances and Molly Greene adding interesting violin textures.  Mid way through, Reinhart starts adding nice bass harmonic notes.

She tells us a fun fact that George Washington did not have wooden teeth–they were made of animals and other people’s teeth.  How about that.

“Lean” opens with a pretty guitar melody and Quinlan’s whispered vocals.  Reinhart switches to acoustic guitar to flesh out her sound nicely.  This is my favorite song of the set as it feels the most complete.

[READ: May 15, 2019] Five Years #3

The voice over for this issue is by Tambi.  She is going to Washington D.C. to meet Ivy Raven and Julie Martin, two characters from the Echo series.  Julie Martin is the living Phi bomb.

Ivy reveals that there’s an alloy in the bomb that affects those around Julie.  It messes with their DNA. If you’re a threat to her, it destroys you.  If you’re not, well, Ivy looks younger and radiant.

Turns out the Cleopatra papyrus (from SiP XXV) has gotten out and seven countries are developing their own phi weapons programs. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: January 31, 2017] Mary Lattimore

2017-01-31-20-21-17I wasn’t sure who would be opening for Parquet Courts.  I was surprised and delighted to see that the opening act was going to be a harpist.   I had never heard of Mary Lattimore before, although on looking her up it seems quite likely that I have heard her before–she seems to be a go-to harpist for a lot of bands [a shortened list includes these records: Thurston Moore – Demolished Thoughts ; Jarvis Cocker – Further Complications ; Kurt Vile – Smoke Ring For My Halo & Wakin on a Pretty Daze ; Sharon Van Etten – Are We There? ; Quilt – Plaza ; Hop Along – Painted Shut].

When I arrived her harp was onstage–lit up and gorgeous–and I was really excited to hear her show.

She came out while we were waiting and made some final adjustments.  And then a few minutes later she sat down at the harp, quietly thanked us for coming and began playing. (more…)

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reject1SOUNDTRACK: HOP ALONG–Tiny Desk Concert #450 (June 22, 2015).

hopNot too long ago a friend asked if there were bands that we wanted to like but didn’t.  Some people just said no, of course not, you either like a band or you don’t.  But I knew what he meant.  There are a lot of bands that I’d like to like.  And Hop Along is one of them.

Lead singer Frances Quinlan has the kind of raspy voice that is practically iconic (think Janis Joplin after a rough day).  And their music, which is kind of folky, also has a rawness that should combine with her voice to make me listen all the time.

And yet, for all of that, I really don’t like her voice.  It should be right up my alley but it, well, isn’t.  And that goes a long way to me not really liking the band.

They play three songs and although the blurb about the band talks about the music being more than her voice, I really can’t get past it.

None of the songs is bad, although they all sound a bit the same to me (her voice again).  “Horseshoe Crabs” has a folky feel and some soft/loud sections.

“Well_Dressed” has some unusual dissonant chords thrown into the mix. It’s especially interesting given the pleasant acoustic guitar that accompanies this song.

“Sister Cities” has some lyrics about shooting your dog which is a bit of a turn off.

So yes, I would like to like Hop Along more, but I just don’t.

[READ: July 20, 2015] The Rejection Collection

I heard about this book because it was listed under Matthew Diffee’s books in his bibliography.  I enjoyed his Hand Drawn Jokes for Smart Attractive People so much that I wanted to see what else he’d done.  Well, I didn’t quite understand the premise of the book.  Instead of it begin a collection of his rejected cartoons, he had edited a collection of cartoons that were rejected by thirty of the New Yorker’s regular contributors.

Which means there’s a lot more variety and a lot of funny stuff in here.

He gives us some context: each issue of the New Yorker has about 15-20 cartoons.  There are some 50 cartoonist vying for these spots.  Each of these 50 artists brings 10 cartoons each week and the editor pick the few that will make it (and those that are chosen are the only ones who get paid).

So that means that there are dozens of really good cartoons that just aren’t going to make it.  Many of those cartoons will be saved by their creators and submitted somewhere else or even back to the New Yorker in case the editors have a change of heart.

There are many reasons why cartoons are rejected.  Some aren’t very good, some aren’t appropriate for the magazine, and some just aren’t as funny as others this week (but may seem even funnier in two weeks’ time).

If you’ve read the new yorker (or ever been in a cubicle) you have seen the work from most of these people (even though you probably don’t know their names):

Leo Cullum, Pat Byrnes, Sam Gross, Mike Twohy, C. Covert Darbyshire, Drew Dernavich, Christopher Weyant, Kim Warp, William Haefeli, John O’Brien, Marisa Acocella Marchetto, Danny Shanahan, Tom Cheney, Mick Stevens, Mort Gerberg, Michael Crawford, P.C. Vey, Barbara Smaller, Arnie Levin, Gahan Wilson, Glen Le Lievre, Alex Gregory, J.C. Duffy, Carolita Johnson, Ariel Molvig, Michael Shaw, Eric Lewis, P.S. Mueller, David Sipress, Jack Ziegler.


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