Archive for the ‘Misha Hoekstra’ Category

april16  SOUNDTRACK: JEREMY MESSERSMITH-Tiny Desk Concert #158 (September 19, 2011).

jeremyI had never heard of Jeremy Messersmith before this show (the blurb even comments how it’s a shame more people haven’t heard of him since he is so sweetly poppy).

He looks a bit like Buddy Holly although my first though when he started playing was that he sounded not unlike Belle & Sebastian.  But there is more to his music than a simple reduction like that.

Messermith plays five songs (FIVE!).  For the first three he has a four piece behind him–big jangly electric guitar, a cello and a drummer accompanying his really nice picking style.

In “Toussaint Grey, First in Life and Death,” the electric guitar is mostly picking as well.  It’s a gentle song and you can really hear his voice well.

In “Knots” the tempo picks up with bigger drums and louder electric guitar.  I also love the picked cello as a bass guitar (this is the song that reminded me so much of B&S).  But by the end it is wholly his own (the falsetto note at the end is great).  This song is super catchy.  I love the break in the song when the drums kick in again.

For “Violet” the cellist switches to keyboards and the guitar plays some big jangly chords.  The chorus is great once again–super catchy and poppy.  Even better, there’s some great background Bah bahs and then other oohs of harmony.  But it’s the switch to an even higher note at the end of the bah bahs that totally had me hooked.

For the final two songs it’s just him and the cello.  His picking style on “A Girl, A Boy, and a Graveyard” is wonderful.  His voice sounds like someone although I can’t quite place it, but I love it.   The song is sweet and delicate.

Before the final song “Tatooine,” (which is about Star Wars obviously) he says that Steve Earle was in not too long saying that now songwriters write songs for nerds, and so this one is for the nerds.  The first line is “twin suns of Tatooine taught me everything I know.”  Pretty nerdy alright.  It’s just him and the keyboard on this, and the song is perfect this way.

I’m really looking forward to hearing some studio version of these songs.  This Tiny Desk was quite a find.

[READ: March 12, 2016] “Hygge”

I have read several stories by Dorthe Nors and I’ve found most of them a bit odd.  And so was this one, which was translated from the Danish by Misha Hoekstra.  I’m not even sure what the title means.

I’m unclear about a lot of things in this story.  How old is the narrator?  He is at an old folks’ home with a woman named Lilly. She has made the place nice for him (cleaned the dead leaves off the windowsill and put the budgie under its cover so it can go to sleep).

They’d had a fight earlier–she’d said that thing about his face–but she was trying  be nice now.  And she wanted everything to be cuddly.  Her hand was “inside the waist of my trousers.” (more…)

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nymay156SOUNDTRACK: RHEOSTATICS-Evolve Festival Antigonish, NS (August 28, 2004).

evolveBestThe Rheostatics do a lot of festivals, and they always seem to have a good time.  But it also means a shorter set.  Unlike yesterday’s Nova Scotia show, this one doesn’t focus on new music too much (although they mention that 2067 is coming out Oct 5).

The sound quality isn’t great in this show either–there’s a lot of rumbling which sounds like winds, but who knows.

But they are even more charming in this setting.  Dave compliments someone one on their excellent sign and says that the sign demographic has let everyone down for this show–so her request will be honored.

The show starts with a cool jam from the Whale Music soundtrack (mostly “Song of Flight”).  When they play “Four Little Songs” one of the verses is a verse from Gordon Lightfoot’s “Early Morning Rain.”

Later they play a great version of “Saskatchewan” and perennial festival mates Chris Brown and Kate Fenner are there to help.  During “Stolen Car” they sing a few lines from “Another Brick in the Wall Pt 2.”

There’s great versions of “California Dreamline” and “Claire.”  The show ends with the new song “Power Ballad for Ozzy Osbourne” and there’s a breakdown during the song (no way to know what happened, but they have a laugh about it).

You can see photos from the day here (although none of the Rheostatics).

[READ: July 21, 2015] “The Freezer Chest”

I found Nors’ previous story to be a little odd.  And so I find this one.  There’s something about the way it was written (or translated) that I found it very stiff to read.  It is also told in a flashback which is later revealed to be a very-long-ago flashback.

What is particularly strange about the story is that the “action” of the freezer chest is all of about three paragraphs.  And while the story isn’t long overall, it takes a circuitous route to get to that part.

The narrator is a young girl, Mette.  She is on a boat with her classmates and their English teacher. Mark is also part of the group and he has made it clear that he does not like the narrator (that happened in a previous instance).  The crux is that Mark claimed to be an amazing guitarist.  And he is trying to get the narrator to respond to this information.  She genuinely does not care although she says she believes him. (more…)

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