Saturday, October 31, 2009

In love...

I posted this a while back, but oh well, you can never have your heart broken too many times...

Friday, October 16, 2009

"Flirted With You All My Life"

It's taking me a little while to really get into the new Vic Chesnutt record, At The Cut. Unlike his previous collaboration with the Godspeed You! Black Emperor/Silver Mount Zion folks and Guy Picciotto (Fugazi)—2007's North Star Deserter—the record ends up sounding to my ears as less than the sum of the contributors' parts. Where that first Constellation record saw the backing musicians sparingly supply Chesnutt's songs with a cinematic grandeur, this one has moments in which the elements feel at odds. Chesnutt's striking vulnerability at times feels stifled or obscured by the weight of the other players' embellishments and crescendoes. Part of what makes Chesnutt's best songs so powerful is his deft entwining of anguish and humor; and despite my love for the Godspeed contingent, I never took that apocolyptic crew for real appreciators of humor or irony.

A few songs on At the Cut work marvelously, though, and "Flirted With You All My Life," in particular, is a pure Chesnutt gem, as heartbreaking yet ultimately comforting as any of his best work. If you've ever lost someone close or grappled with suicide, the lyrics are sure to hit home. The conflation of death and romance is handled so exquisitely. I'd say it ranks up there with Johnny Cash's rendition of Trent Reznor's "Hurt" as far as glimpses into the heart of human mortality go. But this is maybe even more poignant because the words—and fears and feelings—are very much Chesnutt's own. And yet, they are ours as well...

"Flirted With You All My Life"

I flirted with you all my life
Even kissed you once or twice
And to this day I swear it was nice
But clearly I was not ready

When you touched a friend of mine
I thought I would lose my mind
But I found out with time that
Really I was not ready

[Purchase At the Cut HERE.]

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Voice Acting (Ray Fenwick vs. Me)

Those closest to me are familiar with my truest aspiration: to put to use and share with the world my vast array of character voices. I've long been building up my stable of vocalizations, preparing for a fulfilling career passionately giving voice to cartoon characters, narrating television advertisements, reciting audio books, maybe doing some puppetry here and there... I'm on my way.

But it looks like I'll have some competition...

Here, for your listening pleasure, is a brief (but hopefully illuminating) glimpse at my own voice acting endeavors (assisted here by the similarly chameleon-larynxed NLB)... Turn the volume down before you press play (trust me)...


(I may need to work a tad on controlling the hysterical laughter that involuntarily erupts from the sheer joy of practicing my craft, my calling.)

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Pigeon Lady

Once, when I was a boy, my mother and I went to City Hall to protest a plan to poison the pigeons around Wilkes-Barre's Public Square. We sat beside a woman who brought along a friend of hers—a friend who probably had more to lose in the debate than anyone else in the room. She had a pigeon in her bag. The woman stood when it was her turn, introduced her feathered friend, and spoke passionately about the inhumanity of what was being proposed. I don't recall her exact words, but I do remember the fervor with which she testified on the birds' behalf. She was known around town as The Pigeon Lady.

New York City apparently has its own Pigeon Lady, and the superb Revel in New York video series includes an interesting profile of her...

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Photo of the Day: Hikers

hikers | multnomah falls visitor center, or | by nicole

Monday, October 5, 2009

Hannes Coetzee - Amazing Tea Spoon Slide Guitar!

From Wikipedia:
Hannes Coetzee (born 1944) is a guitarist from the Karoo region in South Africa. Born in 1944, he is mainly known for his unique playing technique using a spoon in his mouth to play slide guitar. This playing technique is called optel and knyp. Coetzee reached a broader audience when David Kramer's documentary Karoo Kitaar Blues was released in 2003.

Don't You Wish This Were Your Life?

This Girls album (Album) totally deserves all the hype; it's phenomenal!

10/5/09 - Stuff We're Listening To

Nick Cave & Warren Ellis - White Lunar Alice Coltrane - Huntington Ashram Monastery Pastels/Tenniscoats - Two Sunsets
Judee Sill - Heart Food Girls - Album Fever Ray - s/t
Galaxie 500 - This Is Our Music Ducktails - Landscapes Fleetwood Mac - Rumours

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Nick Cave & Warren Ellis

"The Mother"

White Lunar, a collection of Cave and Ellis's soundtrack collaborations, is out now. It's breathtaking. Order it HERE.