Tomorrow sees the release of my of my most anticipated releases of 2006, Belle & Sebastian's The Life Pursuit. I just listened "Funny Little Frog" and instantly enjoyed it. The song is bouncy but calm, which seems to be B&S's favorite mode as of Dear Catastrophe Waitress. Something about the song irked me; I kept thinking I'd heard it before, or rather heard the opening bars before. "The Beatles?" I thought, mainly since I've been listening to Revolver and Abbey Road this morning. The riffs kept running through my head until I figured it out. The intro to "Funny Little Frog" is almost verbatim the opening guitar licks of Queen's "Death on Two Legs" from A Night at the Opera. I still enjoy the song, but in the same way one might enjoy two-day old birthday cake.
I still intend on picking the album up. I've also heard "Another Sunny Day," which sounds like a slightly amped-up version of Boy With the Arab Strap-era B&S.
The second volume of Hard Time (DC Focus) is a few issues in. I've been reading this book since issue 4 or 5, and it's one of my favs. It mixes my interest in prison culture (think a PG OZ) with my affinity for smart-mouthed adolescent male protagonists (a la Seth Cohen, Holden, etc.). Issue 1 of "Season 2" began at the end of a violent murder rather than the new-viewpoint plot review that we get later in the issue. At first I wanted to edit this timeline, but then I realized that first scene was exactly where Steve Gerber & Co. should have began. It sets the tone and stormy foundation of the dynamic setting that drives sixteen-year-old Ethan's struggle with angst, violence, romance, gangs, and his spirit. There are several twists to Hard Time that make it unique, but you'll have to read the book to find out more; I don't want to give away the best parts.