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Archive for the ‘OHMME’ Category

[POSTPONED: July 16, 2021] Waxahatchee / Fenne Lily [rescheduled from August 14, 2020 and April 6, 2021; now cancelled]

indexAlthough this show was still listed on the website as of mid may, when you clicked on tickets, it officially said cancelled.

Waxahatchee is playing all over the place, so I’m not sure if they’ll ever make it back to Asbury Lanes.  I’d have liked to see Fenne Lily open.

~~~

It took a pretty long time for this show to get officially postponed.  AS of a week or so ago, the date hadn’t been changed.  But I see now that it has been pushed just a few months away.  July seems REALLY questionable for a new show.  Although i will be vaccinated by then so…

Waxahatchee was supposed to play Union Transfer back in April.  That show was rescheduled to October.  But in the interim, she scheduled this date at Asbury Lanes.

Union Transfer holds about 1,000 people.  Asbury Lanes holds about 100.  What a different experience that would be.  Even if you went to both shows.

The one real difference though is the opening act.  OHMME is in Union Transfer, Fenne Lily is here.  I loved OHMME when I saw them and want to see them again.

I saw Fenne Lily open for Lucy Dacus and I really enjoyed her.  In fact, I would enjoy seeing her again as well.  So, her as an opening band isn’t a bad thing by any means, It’s just not as good as OHMME.

I’ve seen Waxahatchee twice–once with a full band and once solo.  I like her, although I wasn’t sure I wanted to see her again.  She has a new album out and I’ve heard it’s much more mellow than her last couple, so that doesn’t really appeal to me.

I’m curious if this show will be rescheduled.  It would be fun to see her in a small space (with social distancing).

wxa

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[POSTPONED: May 16, 2021] Waxahatchee / OHMME [rescheduled from April 14 and October 5, 2020; moved October 15 2021]

indexI have since come to really like the new Waxahatchee album and am looking forward to seeing her again.  I can wait until the fall though.

I’ve seen Waxahatchee twice–once with a full band and once solo.  I like her, although I wasn’t sure I wanted to see her again.  She has a new album out and I’ve heard it’s much more mellow than her last couple, so that doesn’t really appeal to me.

Since then, though I have heard a few songs and really enjoyed them.  I would definitely consider going to this show now.

However, Ohmme is phenomenal live.  I saw them open for Jeff Tweedy and I have wanted to see them again.  I’d prefer a headlining show (but I seem to keep missing out on those).  However, this would have been a solid double bill.

wxa

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[POSTPONED: April 6, 2021] Waxahatchee / Fenne Lily [rescheduled from August 14, 2020; moved to July 16, 2021]

indexIt took a pretty long time for this show to get officially postponed.  AS of a week or so ago, the date hadn’t been changed.  But I see now that it has been pushed just a few months away.  July seems REALLY questionable for a new show.  Although i will be vaccinated by then so…

Waxahatchee was supposed to play Union Transfer back in April.  That show was rescheduled to October.  But in the interim, she scheduled this date at Asbury Lanes.

Union Transfer holds about 1,000 people.  Asbury Lanes holds about 100.  What a different experience that would be.  Even if you went to both shows.

The one real difference though is the opening act.  OHMME is in Union Transfer, Fenne Lily is here.  I loved OHMME when I saw them and want to see them again.

I saw Fenne Lily open for Lucy Dacus and I really enjoyed her.  In fact, I would enjoy seeing her again as well.  So, her as an opening band isn’t a bad thing by any means, It’s just not as good as OHMME.

I’ve seen Waxahatchee twice–once with a full band and once solo.  I like her, although I wasn’t sure I wanted to see her again.  She has a new album out and I’ve heard it’s much more mellow than her last couple, so that doesn’t really appeal to me.

I’m curious if this show will be rescheduled.  It would be fun to see her in a small space (with social distancing).

wxa

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[POSTPONED: October 5, 2020] Waxahatchee / OHMME [rescheduled from April 14; moved to May 16, 2021]

indexI’ve seen Waxahatchee twice–once with a full band and once solo.  I like her, although I wasn’t sure I wanted to see her again.  She has a new album out and I’ve heard it’s much more mellow than her last couple, so that doesn’t really appeal to me.

Since then, though I have heard a few songs and really enjoyed them.  I would definitely consider going to this show now.

However, Ohmme is phenomenal live.  I saw them open for Jeff Tweedy and I have wanted to see them again.  I’d prefer a headlining show (but I seem to keep missing out on those).  However, this would have been a solid double bill.

wxa

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[POSTPONED: August 14, 2020] Waxahatchee / Fenne Lily [moved to April 6, 2021]

indexWaxahatchee was supposed to play Union Transfer back in April.  That show was rescheduled to October.  But in the interim, she scheduled this date at Asbury Lanes.

Union Transfer holds about 1,000 people.  Asbury Lanes holds about 100.  What a different experience that would be.  Even if you went to both shows.

The one real difference though is the opening act.  OHMME is in Union Transfer, Fenne Lily is here.  I loved OHMME when I saw them and want to see them again.

I saw Fenne Lily open for Lucy Dacus and I really enjoyed her.  In fact, I would enjoy seeing her again as well.  So, her as an opening band isn’t a bad thing by any means, It’s just not as good as OHMME.

I’ve seen Waxahatchee twice–once with a full band and once solo.  I like her, although I wasn’t sure I wanted to see her again.  She has a new album out and I’ve heard it’s much more mellow than her last couple, so that doesn’t really appeal to me.

I’m curious if this show will be rescheduled.  It would be fun to see her in a small space (with social distancing).

wxa

Read Full Post »

[POSTPONED: April 14, 2020] Waxahatchee / OHMME [moved to October 5]

indexI’ve seen Waxahatchee twice–once with a full band and once solo.  I like her, although I wasn’t sure I wanted to see her again.  She has a new album out and I’ve heard it’s much more mellow than her last couple, so that doesn’t really appeal to me.

However, Ohmme is phenomenal live.  I saw them open for Jeff Tweedy and I have wanted to see them again.  I’d prefer a headlining show (but I seem to keep missing out on those).  However, this would have been a solid double bill.

wxa

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SOUNDTRACK: THOR HARRIS & JOYFUL NOISE PLAYERS-Is Adam Ok? (2020).

I have been aware of Thor Harris for years.  He’s played in bands that I like and he’s played with musicians I like.

He’s an amazing all-around musician, even if his first/main instrument is drums/percussion.

Thor is also a craftsman–making his own instruments and all manner of other things.

So, when Joyful Noise Records announced that he was their artist in residence this year, I definitely wanted to see what he would come up with.

And so, he has created a 6 LP box set.  And by created, I mean he created the boxes (not the record sleeves, I don’t think) by hand and hand colored each one.  he also drew the album covers.

The first album in the collection (according to the list on the back) is this one, Is Adam OK.

The basis for this recording is this:

When musicians are working on a “song” or a specific “piece”, they are using a certain part of their conscious brains. But before the super narcissistic band leader shows up and takes the reins, they will often hang out making stream-of-consciousnesses music that is often more interesting than the conscripted “songs”.

I really enjoyed this observation about virtuosos and about himself

Interesting things happen when a musician is playing out of her comfort zone. This can be achieved by playing an instrument that you don’t usually play or by playing out of your usual genre. If you hand a guy an electric guitar and he grew up on rock and roll, the outcome is somewhat predictable at this point, mimicry of 50 years of rock and blues players. This is why virtuosos are boring to watch after a few minutes of amazement. I cannot count the number of times I’ve been asked to “play dumber” when recording drum tracks. I spent much of my youth learning hot drum licks, then my early 20s learning not to ever do them.

The first song, “Is Adam OK?” is a 22 minute improv piece.

On “Is Adam OK?” I sat at the piano prepared with sweaters across the strings. Virtuoso, multi-instrumentalist, super-freak Greg Saunier sat beside me at the piano and off into the abyss we wandered for 22 minutes.

The musicians are Thor Harris – piano, xylophone, bass drum; Greg Saunier – piano, vibraphone, bass drum; Jasamine White-Gluz – organ; Sima Cunningham – vocals; Macie Stewart – vocals; Adam Harding – vocals, field recordings, toilet flushing; C.J. Boyd – bass guitar, vocals; Daniel Smith – vocals; Kid Millions – seed husks

The piece starts with repeated piano motif. You can hear the “mistakes” as they hit the “wrong” note or go out of time, but that’s sort of the point of this piece.  Around seven minutes, the vocalists start singing like the middle of Pink Floyd’s “Atom Heart Mother.”  I rather like when, around 8 minutes, the percussion comes in and then the bass drum at 10 minutes adds a whole new layer of texture.  By 21 minutes the piece has circled back to the quiet opening with just piano and xylophone.  And it all ends with a flushing toilet

The second track, “Kindest Regards Mr Mapfumo” is 11 minutes long and feels a little less improvised.

I started “Kindest Regards Mr Mapfumo” hoping for a Steve Reich kind of 12/8 piece, but ended up with a Thomas Mapfumo kind of 12/8. A pleasant misstep. The driving instrument is an electric tongue drum that I built. I will soon put instructions for building one yourself on Instagram. I ran it thru an Old Blood chorus/delay/distortion pedal.

Thor Harris – electric tongue drum, Casio organ, marimba; Sarah “Goat” Gautier – organ; Jasamine White-Gluz – guitar; C.J. Boyd – double bass; Sima Cunningham – vocals; Macie Stewart – vocals; Marina Tadic – vocals, güiro; Adam Harding – vocals, Mellotron, guitar, güiro

The tongue drum sounds like a modifed (loud) jaw harp–a cool vibrating sound.  OHMME add some unusual vocals to the song and then a double bass comes in to ground it somewhat.  Around half way through you can totally get lost on all of the various waves of sound that wash over the tongue drum, which feels aboriginal by this point.

The vocals around the 8 minute mark are just lovely–intertwining “do do dos” that flow around almost like an Esquivel space-age-bachelor-pad vocal line.

The third song “Grief Comes in Waves” is 9 minutes and is much more creepy.

On “Grief Comes in Waves”, Andy Stack, Monk Parker and I played layer upon layer of sax and clarinet in 7 minute slabs. We added some other bits and bobs, then sent them to others to have their way with them. Jad Fair, Ohmme, and Adam added things I never would have thought of.

Thor Harris – clarinet, kalimba, organ Andy Stack – alto saxophone, marimba Monk Parker – baritone saxophone, marimba Jad Fair – vocals Sima Cunningham – vocals Macie Stewart – vocals Adam Harding – vocals

The kalmiba and marimba make for some lovely echoing sounds , but its the repeated clarinet and saxophone rumbles and blasts combining with the low organ that create a field of tension.  The vocals are more keening than singing and help to build the air of discomfort.  There’s even  growling sound which could be a human voice or an instrument.

However around half way through, OHMME start singing some syncopated notes and it adds a feeling of hopefulness, somehow.  But the feeling of despair returns by the end, effectively demonstrating the waves of grief.

This is not easy listening, but then, one shouldn’t expect that from Thor Harris.

[READ: February 24, 2020] An Ocean of Despair

This is a short, illustrated story by Thor Harris.  Although I guess it’s not really a story so much as a telling of a low point in his life.

He says in 1992 he left Austin for San Francisco.  He hoped to recover his “Self-esteem and love for life.”  But instead he became terrified of social interaction.  It became so bad he woke up with tunnel vision.  He also began having panic attacks which made it hard for him to work.

He felt suicide would be an escape from the misery, an act of mercy.

In a moment of clarity he called his older sister.  She always made him feel like he was okay.  She brought him back to Texas, told him about depression (the disease) and thought that he might be able to get treatment. (more…)

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SOUNDTRACK: OHMME-“Kicking Television” (from WILCOvered, UNCUT Magazine November 2019).

The November 2019 issue of UNCUT magazine had a cover story about Wilco.  It included a 17 track CD of bands covering Wilco (called WILcovered or WILCOvered).  I really enjoyed this collection and knew most of the artists on it already, so I’m going through the songs one at a time.

I will always associate OHMME with Wilco because they opened for Jeff Tweedy when I saw him.

This song sounds immediately like OHMME–their guitars and voices up front and very distinctive.  There’s some intense backing vocals (ahhhhs that sound like The B-52’s) over a spare bass and drum.  They add some of their now patented hocketing for the middle of the chorus (which sounds fantastic) and then come together to harmonize or the “television” part.

The song is manic and wild with some great weird guitar sounds (that are very apt for latter-day Wilco).  But it’s also really catchy.

I love the original of this song.  This version is so different and it’s also fantastic.

[READ: February 10, 2020] 5 Worlds Book 1

This is an ongoing series that is something of an indie supergroup of creators.  Mark and Alexis Siegel wrote the amazing Sailor Twain, Xanthe Bouma draws for The Amazing World of Gumball, Matt Rockefeller illustrated the children’s book Pop, and Boya Sun created the quirky Chasma Knights.  So this was very promising indeed.

The illustration style of this book is very trippy–soft and delicate with fine lines and gentle coloring. It looks very anime and yet it’s not.  It’s hard to know which artist’s style dominates.  I feel like Boya Sun, but they all have a similar aesthetic.  I really like the character design as well.  I found it very refreshing that none of the characters look like superheroes (well except for Jax the athlete).  Oona is a short girl who has wide hips and thighs and An Tzu is a chubby boy.  Even the other creatures are all interesting and uniquely designed.

The story is magical and fairly complicated with a lot of parts.

On the land of Mon Domani, we see a young girl, Oona, with a halo (which turns out to be sand, I think) sitting alone.  Elders pass and say she looks a lot like her sister, but they shall not speak of her.  Oona is in school learning how to do the summoning dance (which has to do with the sand), but she’s not very good at it because she can’t control the sand.  She and her friend practice but when it goes wrong the bratty boys in class call her Oona Oopsa.  When her sand dancer runs off she chases it and overhears something important. (more…)

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SOUNDTRACK: OHMME-“Jing-a-Ling, Jing-a-Ling” (2019).

OHMME provided gorgeous backing vocals on the previous two Christmas songs that I posted about.  Well, they also have their own song on the JNR Holiday Party, Vol. 2 compilation and it is not quite as beautiful as you might think.

However, what it lacks in conventionality, it more than make up for in coolness.

OHMME is a two-piece band made up of Sima Cunningham and Macie Stewart.  They both play guitar and sing (there’s other instruments going on as well).

Their voices are gorgeous together, but their music also features some interesting guitar sounds.

“Jing-a-Ling, Jing-a-Ling” is a manic song originally sung by The Andrews Sisters.  There are two parts, a super fast chorus (the “jing, jing a ling” part) and then a middle part that is slower and, in the OHMME version, a bit creepy, maybe.  OHMME is known for their amazing use of hocketing.  [In the medieval practice of hocketing, a single melody is shared between two (or occasionally more) voices such that alternately one voice sounds while the other rests].  It’s a mesmerizing sound that they do perfectly.

This version opens with noisy guitars and the two voices rapidly singing the chorus.

Jing jing a ling jing a ling jing a ling
I love to hear our laughter mingle
Hah hah
Ho ho

But when the ha ha ho ho part comes in, OHMME performs some amazing hocketing to make the sound just stunning.

The slower middle part is played on a deep low guitar with a second guitar playing scraping noises as the two voices sing in close harmony.

It’s over quickly and after a guitar solo the manic chorus resumes.

Everywhere-man Thor Harris is also on this track.   I’m not sure what he’s doing, but I assume the drums and maybe whatever those other weird ringing sounds are (or are those from the guitar?  who knows).

As the song comes to an end, the two voices sing separate ho ho and ha ha and then they ho ho slightly out sync until they return in perfect tuning for the end note.

And if you listen closely at the very end of the track you can hear someone say, “Yeah!  Fucking awesome.”

It’s a really stunning song in just over 2 minutes.

I played it last night for my family and my 12 year old daughter loved it while my 14 year old son did not: “just because it’s weird doesn’t make it good.”

[READ: December 18, 2019] “Amaranth”

This year, S. ordered me The Short Story Advent Calendar.  This is my fourth time reading the Calendar.  I didn’t know about the first one until it was long out of print (sigh), but each year since has been very enjoyable.  Here’s what they say this year

The Short Story Advent Calendar is back! And to celebrate its fifth anniversary, we’ve decided to make the festivities even more festive, with five different coloured editions to help you ring in the holiday season.

No matter which colour you choose, the insides are the same: it’s another collection of expertly curated, individually bound short stories from some of the best writers in North America and beyond.

(This is a collection of literary, non-religious short stories for adults. For more information, visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.)

As always, each story is a surprise, so you won’t know what you’re getting until you crack the seal every morning starting December 1. Once you’ve read that day’s story, check back here to read an exclusive interview with the author.

Want a copy?  Order one here.

I’m pairing music this year with some Christmas songs that I have come across this year.

I read this story in Lucky Peach back in 2013.  In that review I gave away a little more than I was planning to this time, so avoid if you want fewer details (but no real spoilers).  I am also surprised at my reaction to the story six years ago.  I thought it was unduly harsh and a little hard to read (the content, not the quality of the story).

Here it is now, six years later with so much badness going on in the world and I found the revenge rather impressive and it gives a little bit of hope for those waiting for a long payback. (more…)

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SOUNDTRACK: KISHI BASHI-“All I Want for Christmas is You” (2019).

The 2018 JNR Holiday Party, Vol. 2 compilation also featured a Christmas song by Kishi Bashi.

It begins with him muttering.  “It’s Christmas.  It’s never Christmas when you’re recording Christmas songs.”

What follows is the remarkably conventional song I’ve heard Kishi Bashi record.  Aside form the obviously hugely conventional nature of one of Christmas’ biggest songs, the style of his singing along with the backing vocals and the general feel makes me surprised this version isn’t played more.

Thor Harris who appeared on yesterday’s bizarre Christmas song, makes an appearance here (although I don’t know what he does).  The gorgeous backing vocals come from OHMME (just like yesterday as well).

K. sings this in his lower register–giving him a very croony sounds (one that is rather unlike his normal singing voice).  The only real nod to it being Kishi Bashi is a the cool violin solo (so much better than a sax solo!).

I would listen to this version over any other, hands down.

[READ: December 17, 2019] “The Science Fair Protest”

This year, S. ordered me The Short Story Advent Calendar.  This is my fourth time reading the Calendar.  I didn’t know about the first one until it was long out of print (sigh), but each year since has been very enjoyable.  Here’s what they say this year

The Short Story Advent Calendar is back! And to celebrate its fifth anniversary, we’ve decided to make the festivities even more festive, with five different coloured editions to help you ring in the holiday season.

No matter which colour you choose, the insides are the same: it’s another collection of expertly curated, individually bound short stories from some of the best writers in North America and beyond.

(This is a collection of literary, non-religious short stories for adults. For more information, visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.)

As always, each story is a surprise, so you won’t know what you’re getting until you crack the seal every morning starting December 1. Once you’ve read that day’s story, check back here to read an exclusive interview with the author.

Want a copy?  Order one here.

I’m pairing music this year with some Christmas songs that I have come across this year.

This was another confusing story that seemed like it might have been based on something … except the whole premise is crazy.

Even the beginning is hard to parse: “When the new gangsters got elected and took control, atoms could no longer be said to be the smallest form of matter.”  What?

This begat the Science Fair Protest, an ongoing violent disruption.  The narrator says he is no science teacher, but his neighbor, Ram, was an eighth grade biology teacher.  Ram said that the gangsters insisted that instead of him having lab hours once a week, he was to take the students to a field to play a game called Stick & Ball.  You have a stick and, not a ball, but a big rock.  You throw the rock in the air and hit it with the stick as hard as you can. (more…)

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