Archive for the ‘Oddisee’ Category

SOUNDTRACK: ODDISEE-Tiny Desk (Home) Concert #83 (September 22, 2020).

I feel like I just watched (and enjoyed) Oddissee’s Tiny Desk Concert recently, but apparently it was back in 2015.

In 2015, Oddisee visited the Tiny Desk with a drummer and a keyboardist. For his Tiny Desk (home) concert, he assembled his full band, Good Company, for the first time since the global pandemic cancelled their tour last spring. They rehearsed the day before this capture at Assorted Studios in York, Penn., the midway point between the members’ hometowns of Philadelphia, New York City and Washington D.C. They picked this facility because it felt more like a living room than a studio. And to make it feel as cozy as possible, they brought memorabilia from their own homes. Bass player Dennis Turner brought family photos, Ralph Real (on the Fender Rhodes) brought his son’s toy drum set, and Oddisee brought tribal statues from Sudan.

Oddisee has eleven albums out (!), but all of the songs here come from his new EP Odd Cure which was

“a record I didn’t want to write but needed to,” Oddisee said in July. He wrote it in eight weeks, between March and May, while in self-isolation. He had just returned from a performance in Thailand and wanted to protect his family. Oddisee says these songs were inspired by the deluge of news, social media, misinformation and conspiracy theories generated during the first weeks of the pandemic. Relevant and inspiring, his music and its message addresses the uncertainty and anxiety we all live with today.

“The Cure” has some great funky bass from Dennis Turner and some excellent twinkling on the Rhodes keyboard from Ralph Real.  Before the verses start, drummer Jon Laine gets the drums to make a really neat sound and then plays a wonderfully complex rhythm–complete with rim shots.  Oddisee raps speedily and clearly.  Half way through the song a little window opens up and Olivier St. Louis (all the way from Berlin) plays some cool guitar soloing.  But the star of this song is definitely Turner, with some amazing bass work throughout the song.  The song also has a really funky chorus.

“Shoot Your Shot” is full of slow thumping before the funkiness starts.  An integral part of the band is DJ Unown playing the MPC.  I really don’t know exactly what sounds he’s making, but I can see him playing all throughout the songs and I’m sure the music would lose something without him.  The middle takes off with another wicked solo from St. Louis.

“I Thought You Were Fate” is a slower song that opens with guitar from Sainte Ezekiel.  This song has a slower r&b crooning chorus.  But I love the way it speeds up after the  chorus and shifts the song into higher gear.  Ezekiel get a jazzy solo mid song.

“Still Strange” shifts the tempo much slower and features a lead vocal (via Oddisee’s phone) of Priya Ragu.  Sainte Ezekiel plays some beautiful understated guitar throughout.

“Go To Mars” returns the funk and Oddisee raps in a very cool style of short, abrupt lines.   It’s got a really fun chorus of longing: “I wanna go to Mars; live among the stars ; be the one who got away from it all.”

There very little social distancing here–Oddisee even has the guys scooch over (although I think Turner is wearing a mask).

[READ: September 24, 2020] Introduction

During the COVID Quarantine, venerable publisher Hingston & Olsen created, under the editorship of Rebecca Romney, a gorgeous box of 12 stories.  It has a die-cut opening to allow the top book’s central image to show through (each book’s center is different).  You can get a copy here.

This is a collection of science fiction stories written from 1836 to 1998.  Each story imagines the future–some further into the future than others.

As it says on the back of the box

Their future.  Our present.  From social reforms to climate change, video chat to the new face of fascism, Projections is a collection of 12 sci-fi stories that anticipated life in the present day.

I don’t know anything about Rebecca Romney, but I love her introduction to this collection and I want to look into her work a little more. (more…)

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reject2SOUNDTRACK: ODDISEE–Tiny Desk Concert #451 (June 26, 2015).

oddisee Oddisee is a positive rapper.  That photo of him smiling really conveys the tone of his songs–well, that and the fact that the first song is called “That’s Love.”  He raps really quickly.  He also gets a wonderful call and response going on “That’s Love” where he has the NPR staff sing along to his chorus.  (The opening scene shows him practicing with the audience).  And he really gets everyone going.

I don’t know what his recorded output sounds like, but in this Tiny Desk, he’s with only a keyboardist and a drummer.  The live drummer is a great addition.

“Contradiction’s Maze” has a few sung choruses (he has a good singing voice too).  They don’t really modify the keyboard sound for the songs, which isn’t all that interesting.  It sets a nice background for all the songs, but it does make things sound a little samey.  “Belong To The World” is similarly uplifting, but I honestly had a hard time distinguishing it from the previous song.

Despite that, his positive attitude and generally upbeat personality were quite infectious.

[READ: July 24, 2015] The Rejection Collection 2

The Rejection Collection is back!  Presumably the first collection was successful enough that Diffee was prepared to do another one.  He gathers many of the same cartoonists (although at least a half a dozen did not return) and he gathered some new folks as well (for a total of 38 this time).

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

New additions include:  Paul Noth, Roz Chast, Marshall Hopkins, Nick Downes, Robert Leighton, Julia Suits, Zachary Kanin, Harry Bliss, Jason Patterson, J.B. Handelsman, Sidney Harris, Jack Ziegler, Robert Weber. (more…)

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