Comic Timing


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Cantaloupe Music’s collaborative book and CD release, The Carbon Copy Building, aims to re-create a live performance with a 48-page picture book (with illustrations by New Yorker cartoonist Ben Katchor) that serves as a visual libretto to Bang on a Can’s idiosyncratic, rhythmic musical direction (read: hyperactive and warbly). The idea is to look at the drawings and read the text about the title characters—twin buildings separated by class, one expertly maintained and painstakingly preserved, the other trapped between seedy, unsavory businesses—while listening to the disc. The outcome: It’s difficult to stare at a drawing for 2:24 minutes as the music plays out without turning the page. But the “multimedia” experience is ultimately like an urban “Prince and the Pauper” where the title characters never have to be inconvenienced by actually meeting each other—all set to tunes.





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