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Archive for the ‘Skrillex’ Category

SOUNDTRACK: TY DOLLA $IGN: Tiny Desk (Home) Concert #104 (October 28, 2020).

I didn’t know much about Ty until his previous Tiny Desk Concert, which I kind of liked.

When I saw this one, I still thought he was a rapper.  But he is a full on crooner in this concert.

I was fascinated to see that he was manipulating all of his effects himself–autotune and whatnot-on the box in front of him, which he kept walking around with.  But perhaps the most fascinating thing about this was that Skrillex was there playing with him (they are mates, I gather) and that Skrillex was playing the guitar for the first track.

This is one of those “six songs in 15 minutes” sets.  Each song is more or less a verse and a chorus.  And in between there’s a kind of fun jam.

“Temptations” features Skrillex on guitar.  It’s pretty short and soon enough Skrillex puts down the guitar and they are playing that interim music and starting “Something New.”  This song features a groovy bass line from Joe Cleveland.  I don’t quite know what the lyrics are but they are remarkably vulgar.

“Or Nah” opens with a cool spiky guitar riff from Brandon Chapman who Ty calls “my twin, Baby Dolla $ign).    Up next is “Paranoid” which is without question the worst song I have ever heard.

The lyrics are bad enough

I seen two of my bitches in the club / I know they know about each other / I think these bitches trying to set me up.

What the hell?  And worse than the lyrics is that he does that awful love song crooning, but it’s about he’s crooning about his bitches setting him up.  Oh god, its dreadful.  Although I was amused at the amusign way he introduces his keyboardist.  I gather he changes the lyric to “your bitch smells like Camper” [point to keyboardist].

After the excerpt the band jams out and it’s really good.  The band is tight and really rocks.  There’s some great drumming from Mike Moore and some more wild soloing from Chapman.  This was my favorite part of the set.

Although the sinister bass riff that opens “Ego Death” is pretty cool.  Again the jamming in the middle of the song is great (and the samples that Ty triggers are really fun).

The set ends with “Your Turn.”  Ty picks up the guitar but mostly plays occasional chords.  The song is all guitar and vocals to start with.  Then backing singer Ant Clemons sings a call and response.  By the end of the song he is singing “yee yee yee yee” for some reason.  I was really happy when this set was over.

[READ: November 25, 2020] “A House on the Plains”

I tend to think of E.L. Doctorow as writing kind of formal books.  That’s not based on anything except that he’s been writing for a long time and that some of his books have been turned into movies (and musicals).

So I was surprised at the tone of this story.   And then even more surprised as the plot started to reveal itself.  The story was wonderfully written.  There’s the story that’s not being revealed as well as the part that is.  And both are really engaging.

The story begins in Chicago.  The narrator says that his mama tells him that he has to start calling her Aunt Dora.  Why?  Because when they move, she can’t have other people believing she has a child his age.

The boy, Earle, (who is at least a teenager because he is having sex with a local girl, Winifred) is not happy about leaving Chicago.  Both because of the girl and because Chicago is a cool city and they are planning to move to the middle of nowhere. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: October 25, 2019] Nøthing Møre

Before getting tickets for Starset, I had bought tickets for C. and I to see Ghost.  I had heard that their live shows were tremendous and I was pretty excited to bring him to a show like this.  When I looked for tickets, I knew we wouldn’t want GA Floor, but I didn’t know if we should go straight back or close to the stage on the side.  I chose close to the stage and I was pretty happy with the location although C. thought it would be better straight on.

I had not heard of Nøthing Møre before this show.  I rather wish I had looked them up beforehand, because part of their live show was really cool and I wish I had known it was coming so I could have appreciated it more.

But as it turned out, I was not quite in the mood for them.

Traffic was fine (I loved having the Arena only 45 minutes away and would totally go back).  Parking was a little tricky (I’ll know better if there is a next time).  We walked in with a few minutes to spare. (more…)

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SOUNDTRACK: KELSEY LU-“Due West” (2019).

I hadn’t intended to listen to so much of the Kelsey Lu album, but the third track was the one produced by Skrillex and I was curious what it would sound like.

I was expecting something very dancey and poppy.  It is nowhere near as over the top as I would have imagined.  Rather, it has a wonderful subtle hook in the bridge just because she sings a few words faster than the other.  Nearly everything else she sings is soft and slow, this little uptick is really cool.

Of the three songs, this is certainly the peppiest. It has some catchy electronic drums and definitive dance quality.  It’s still remarkably understate.

But i can see that the whole album could have sounded very different had she picked different producers.

The song ends with a surprisingly long guitar passage.  It is gentle and sweet with what sounds like crickets playing in the background.

I really don;t know all that much about Skrillex, but I think he’s a wild dancey EDM kinda guy.  The little I know leaves me astonished that he could produce something so subtle and pretty.

[READ: May 1, 2019] “Addis Ababa, 1977”

This is an excerpt from the novel The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears.

It is a horrifying example of what it was like to grow up in Ethiopia in 1977.

The bedroom is a wreck and letters are scattered all over.  He will forever be able to see the room, the house, like this.

Soldiers have arrived. The house guards had already left (begging forgiveness as they fled).  There are three soldiers in the house and at least four waiting in the truck,

The lead solider pushes his father in to the room, considering him weak and vulnerable.  The soldiers can’t be more than a year or two older than the narrator. (more…)

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SOUNDTRACK: KELSEY LU-“Pushin Against the Wind” (2019).

The Kelsey Lu album has a song produced by Skrillex, and I was really surpirsed at how gentle the first song on the album was.  I was listening on Spotify and the second song started.

I was astonished how much the song sounded like a 70’s (British) folk song.

“Pushin Against the Wind” opens with a quiet, simple guitar melody.  Kelsey sings softly over the top.  The thing that sets it apart happens about a minute in when the tone changes.  She sings slightly faster and this bridge is punctuated by chunky percussion accents.  But those modern sounds are sparingly used, and this song feels delightfully timeless.

The song never gets all that big, but the end pulls the sound back even further to a simple cello and xylophone melody as she sings over the top.

This song is quite enchanting.

[READ: May 1, 2019] “The Swim Team”

This is a very short story (two pages) about the narrator living in a small town called Belvedere when she was twenty-two. The town was so small it wasn’t even a town–just houses near a gas station.

The citizens of the town thought her name was Maria and she was overwhelmed by the task of correcting people.

She knew three people: Elizabeth, Kelda and Jack Jack. (“I am not completely sure about the name Kelda, but that’s what it sounded like and that’s the sound I made when I called her name”).  They were all in their eighties at least.

There are no bodies of water or pools in Belvedere, but “Maria” gave the three of them swimming lessons.  None of the three of them could swim, and when Maria said she used to swim on her high school team, they asked her to be their coach. (more…)

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SOUNDTRACK: KELSEY LU-“Rebel” (2019).

I saw that Kelsey Lu was playing NonCOMM this year.  I had never heard of her, but her record was getting some high praise.  Then as I was going through some older Harper’s things, I saw this story by Pamela Lu.  I quickly thought it might be the same person.  Then I double checked and of course they are different, they just have the same last name.

Kelsey Lu is a classically trained cellist and has become one of many classical performers who have migrated into the pop world.  She is certainly underplaying her chops on the record, going more for melody than virtuosity.

This piece opens with a pizzicato cello (looped I assume).  It is overlaid with a mournful melody before Kelsey sings in her quiet but affecting voice.

The song is just over three and a half minutes and it slowly builds with more and more organic sounds–strings and voices.  By the half way point, there’s echo and by the three minute mark, this quiet, almost chamber pop song has built into a full-sounding piece which just as quickly drops nearly all the music as two cellos fade the song to the end.

It’s an astonishingly pretty and subtle song to start an album that has production credits from Skrillex (on a different song).

[READ: April 24, 2019] “Ambient Parking Lot”

I started reading this excerpt and thought it might have had something to do withe The Flaming Lips’ Parking Lot Experiments:

During 1996 and 1997, The Flaming Lips ran a series of events known as “The Parking Lot Experiments”. The concept was inspired by an incident in Coyne’s youth, where he noticed that car radios in the parking lot at a concert were playing the same songs at the same time, Wayne Coyne created 40 cassette tapes to be played in synchronization. The band invited people to bring their cars to parking lots, where they would be given one of the tapes and then instructed when to start them. The music was “a strange, fluid 20 minute sound composition.”  [from Wikipedia]

I’ll assume there is some kernel of something, maybe, that inspired this, frankly, disappointing piece.

It begins by talking about the recording of “Ambient Parking #25.”

With just a little filtering, the empty landscape managed to express its industrially generated solipsism and came to overshadow even the engine gunning and trunk popping of SUVs.

The seven inch vinyl was released two weeks later on an indie label.

It was a huge success compared to attempts 1-24 and inspired them to make a full album. (more…)

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