Archive for the ‘John Ritter’ Category

deogrataisSOUNDTRACK: JOSH RITTER-Tiny Desk Concert #119 (April 11, 2011).

ritterNot too many performers mention the actual day that they are performing their Tiny Desk Concert.  But Ritter mentions Valentine’s Day twice during his set so I thought I’d post it on Valentine’s Day even if the actual date of the posting is much later.

I don’t really know Ritter, I’ve heard of him, but I’m not too familiar with him.  Nevertheless, I was quickly won over by him.  He is charming and polite and is certainly having a good time (he even laughs at some lines in his songs).

His first song “The Temptation Of Adam”sounds vaguely familiar.  The melody is very catchy and his voice is strong and excellent.  Lyrically the song is quite interesting.  I especially loved this section: “We passed the time with crosswords that she thought to bring inside/ ‘What five letters spell apocalypse?’ she asked me/ I won her over saying, W.W.I.I.I.’/ She smiled and we both knew that she misjudged me.”

“Lark” is a faster song, but still very folksy and clever.  I love that although the melody is fairly simple, the way he plays it (with very fast fingerpicking) makes the song sound more complicated.  “Rattling Locks” is a dark minor chord song, louder and heavier than the other two.

The site says there is an audio only track called “Pale Blue Eyes,” but I can’t find it.  For the last track, his 2003 song “Kathleen,” he introduces the song by saying, “I think Valentine’s Day is the most awkward self-imposed holiday — even worse than New Year’s — so this is an awkward song.”  It’s a louder song, with Ritter’s voice reaching great intensity.  It’s a great way to end the set.

[READ: February 14, 2016] Deogratias

Here’s another story that I would never have read if it were not for First Second’s #10yearsof01 challenge.  The thought of reading a story about the genocide in Rwanda just seems to depressing to undertake.  And yet in the spirit of reading things outside of your comfort area, I decided to read this this weekend.

And I am incredibly glad that I did.

I feared that this story would be one of rampant genocide–struggle and death and mutilation and everything else that I could imagine.  But rather, what Stassen has done is created a story about how the toll of genocide can impact one person.  Yes, it affects him directly and the story is incredibly sad, but it was a very different story than I expected, and it was so personal that it made it more tragic without having the oppressive unreality of millions of dead people in the plot.

The introduction alone is worth reading, as translator Alexis Siegel gives a brief summary of the Rwandan tragedy.  I’ve always found the conflict to be really hard to grasp.  Hutus and Tutsi, a privileged minority, a brutal majority.  The back and forth was so hard to grasp, and the names of the tribes were similar as well.  It is hard for a lazy person to keep straight.

But I found Siegel’s explanation to be succinct and very effective. (more…)

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