Ohbijou from Toronto and Library Voices from Regina played great sets at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn Thursday night Nov. 4. A six-piece outfit, Ohbijou’s music is like a space jam with soaring notes and lyrical interludes with great vocals by sisters Casey and Jenny Mecija, who also play guitar and violin respectively. A seven-piece, Library Voices has a brash, fun sound with vibrant catchy hooks, bookish song titles and literary-minded lyrics (“Reluctant Readers Make Reluctant Lovers,” “If Raymond Carver Were Born in the 90s,” “Prime Minister’s Daughter), and a very athletic performing style. It was great hanging with all the band members before, during, and after their sets. Had fun chatting with Jenny and her boyfriend, Eoin, bassist of Library Voices, about Canadian writers, including Pierre Berton and Farley Mowat. Farley is a longtime friend to Eoin’s father, who works for the Library Association of Canada. Because Ohbijou currently has a popular song called Niagara I mentioned that in the 90s I’d published Berton’s great book Niagara: A History of the Falls, which garnered front-page treatment on the cover of the New York Times Book Review. Their lyrics riff on some of the same dangerous features of the falls that characterizes Berton’s narrative: “You collapsed into iron arms/A bridge, a crossing into desperate parts/We filled this quiet, this poison cup.” Several members of fellow Regina band Rah Rah were also in the house–Leif Thorseth, Joel Passmore, and Kristina Hedlund–adding to the good times for all.
About Philip Turner
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Entries by Philip Turner
Better late than not all: a last-minute #fridayreads, ‘The Abramsky Variations,’ Morley Torgov, an acerbic comic novel about a Toronto Jewish family.
I’ve known my friend George Gibson since 1979 when he paid a call as a sales rep on Undercover Books, the bookstore I then ran in Cleveland with my sibling and our parents. George, now publishing director of Bloomsbury USA, hosted an event Nov. 1 at the Grolier Club, one of NY’s most distinguished book […]
Richard Nash is a very smart publishing person, and plenty smart enough to know when an experimental direction he’s taken isn’t working out. As a result, he gave a talk this week at the Books into Browsers conference in San Francisco conceding that Cursor, the enterprise he announced with great anticipation in 2010, hasn’t really […]
Neil’s the best. What a beautiful concert he played for the kids at the Bridge School. The lyrics of “Sugar Mountain,” all about the uneasy passage from childhood to adulthood, are especially meaningful here. The cover of the old Youngbloods song, “Get Together,” was a special way to close the night. I treasure Neil Young.
In recent months there have been a number of terrific graphic novels released, including Kate Beaton’s Hark, Vagrant, Michael Kupperman’s rendition of Mark Twain’s Autobiography 1910-2010, Ludovic Debeurme’s Lucille, and Nick Bertozzi’s Lewis & Clark. Last April, as part of the PEN World Voices Festival I had the privilege of covering a special comics reading […]
The personal essay pasted in below chronicles a formative episode in my publishing career, when I had the privilege of working with William Styron on an Introduction to a nonfiction book that told the story of an innocent man on Death Row in Virginia. It was called Dead Run and Styron helped me champion it to […]
Tuesday night Nov. 1 was an exciting evening and got the new month off with a real bang. After participating in the reception for the American Philosophical Society at the Grolier Club (detailed in another post) I went to Brooklyn’s Powerhouse Arena for PEN America’s reception for new members, of which I am one. Saw […]