Oh, yeah, so the companion book is also my third book read this year. I realize this means I’ve already fallen behind on my one-per-week goal. I’m also failing at my goal of changing my reading style. Ugh.
What is an eight-letter word for a witty or clever verbal exchange?
Medicine has shown that alcoholism is a genetic disease, and I wonder if crossword puzzle addiction is the same. Both my father and my paternal grandmother are crossword fanatics, solving the local newspaper puzzle daily.
One of my father’s most treasured gifts is a copy of The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language that he received when he graduated from high school. He now has a copy of the new fourth edition that he frequently reads in bed. My grandmother, with an eighth grade education, will regularly finish the crossword puzzle in the Chillicothe Gazette in less than twenty minutes, although she does complain a bit about the computer/internet clues and words. Given that, it is no surprise that eventually I would be bit by the crossword bug.
Sudoku was my gateway drug, unless you count the logic puzzles that thrilled me in junior high. I was happily filling out the sudoku puzzle in the local newspaper one day last fall when my eyes strayed over to the crossword puzzle clues. “I know that one,” I thought, and that is when it all began.
Mad Tea Party is the collaboration of songwriter Ami Worthen, multi-instrumentalist Jason Krekel, and bassist Lora Pendelton (who has since been replaced by Joe Edel). Big Top, Soda Pop is their third album in as many years, and it has received some well-deserved attention from radio and the press. The band combines retro-pop, folk, swing, and ragtime with a dash of circus music to create a unique sound that defies conventional categorization.
The album kicks off with the toe-tapping swing tune "62 Years Ago," which is followed by the eerie and mellow "Space Repair," and then the album shifts gears into the hurdy-gurdy influenced rockabilly title track. Listening to Big Top, Soda Pop is almost like being at a circus. Every song is a new act, and none of them are around long enough to become boring.
In addition to the entertaining musical arrangements, Mad Tea Party keeps the listener's attention with witty and creative lyrics. This is not an easy thing to do. I have heard far too many introspective singer/songwriters to take this gift for granted. However, it is disappointing that the band went with economy and did not include a lyrics sheet in the digipak. Hopefully they will come around to reason and post them on their website soon.
I highly recommend Big Top, Soda Pop to fans of The Ditty Bops or Erin McKeown. It's a good antidote to the over-produced and over-sexed pop being pumped out of top 40 radio.