Nov 18, 2007

MARVEL (?!) Previews

Normally, I don't give much thought to the Marvel section of Previews. I write the newest issues of Runaways and Daredevil on my pull list along with maybe one or two other books (Currently, it's Marvel Zombies 2 and House of M: Avengers). It's not that I don't like Marvel characters and writers, but I'm burned out on X-Men, et al and don't care for a lot of their current artists.

However, several things caught my attention in this months Previews. All of these titles should ship in January.

While the nauseating Joe Madureira is puking all over Ultimates, Cary Nord's cross-hatches are looking pretty good on Ultimate Human. I'm not sure who's coloring, but I appreciate the washed out colors that allow the line-work to shine. Writer Warren Ellis lost me on issue 3 of Ultimate Secret, though, so I won't be getting this one.

In addition, Ultimate War Machine debuts in Ultimate Iron Man II #2, by Orson Scott Card and Pasqual Ferry. Salvador Larroca (New Universal, Ultimate Elektra) takes over pencils on Ultimate X-men with issue 90. Robert "Invincible and Walking Dead" Kirkman is still writing the series.

The book that caught me most by surprise, was the new Spider-Man mini, With Great Power. David "Stray Bullets" Lapham writes the 5-issue arch, which focuses on the time after Parker gained his powers and before he decided to use them for fighting crime rather than personal gain. Tony "Ex Fucking Machina" Harris handles the artwork! Spider-Man rarely interests me when not in a team dynamic, where he works well as comic relief, but the creative crew on this one might land it in my hands come '08.

Ed Brubaker's Captain America debuts the new hero--complete with pistol, dagger/sword, and Alex Ross-designed costume--in issue 34. I initially assumed that they had prematurely brought back Steve Rogers. The death of Captain America was one of the biggest cultural events of the year, and bringing him back would only cheapen the Civil War storyline and damage Marvel's cred. However, it seems that this is a new Captain, perhaps James Newman from The Chosen. I don't know; I don't keep up with this stuff.

Along with the great Jeph Loeb, Ed McGuinness (Batman/Superman) will be working on the new Hulk series. Loeb's obcession with colors brings us a red Hulk. Man-Thing makes an appearance in X-Men: First Class #8. I'm not really sure what is going on in The Tweleve, but Straczynski is writing and it features classic heroes in contemporary times.

The cover to Marvel "Still Written by Robert Kirkman" Zombies II #4 is Suydam's tribute to Iron Man's first appearance in Tales of Suspense. And is that Dexter's David Zayas (Angel) on the cover of Daredevil #104?

Oct 19, 2007

New Scout Niblett

Scout Niblett's new album, The Fool Can Die Now, features more of the vocalist, drummer, and guitarist's sparse creations. The electrosprinkles of Kidnapped by Neptune are brushed aside in favor of Will Oldham guest spots and occasional orchestration. While much of this album shares sonic landscape with White Chalk, "Nevada" is a treatise on where I wished PJ Harvey's newest effort had settled. "Dinosaur Egg" whispers from the dark forests of the dusty Hawthorne on your shelf. Albini records brilliantly.

Download "Nevada" by Scout Niblett
Download The Fool Can Die (Emusic) (Amazon) (Insound)

Scout in Phonogram #1

Jul 26, 2007

Karaoke Verite

I've been away for much to long. Plans for another netcast are still in the works (mainly for my own enjoyment) and I hope to get back to posting regularly.

Today I've got a couple videos for ya. The first is hot of the presses from Zach "Late World" Galifianakis. That's
Will Oldham (Bonnie "Prince" Billy, Palace) in the hot shorts. This short, which takes a long time to load, is pretty amazingly directed/edited by Michael Blieden, who has done other work with Zach, other comedians, episodes of King of Queens, etc.

Zach Galifianakis & Will Oldham - "Can't Tell Me Nothing" (Kanye West)
[Updated with new link.]

This video reminded me of another classic from the band that provides the title for this post.

Dresden Dolls - "Together" (Avril Lavigne)

Both are highly recommended. Why else would I be posting at 3AM?

May 21, 2007

Break Up: The Band

Sadly, Phonogram is over. But it promises to be back. Otherwise, we'd just be suspect to some crappy cover bands playing the same boring singles. In other words, I would have been writing my own fanfic. You can get the trade soon.

Meanwhile, look for artist Jamie McKelvie's new solo project, Suburban Glamour, in an upcoming Previews. Apparently it's about skateboarding fairies. Is there any other kind?

Warning: Personal Notes Ahead:
This summer I'll be planning a wedding (Yes, my own.) and preparing for my first semester as a high school teacher, so posts may be spotty. I still have plans to do a new podcast and other cool things, but they are not high priorities. I mainly do this blog for my own enjoyment and enrichment. If you're into it, please let me know. I'd hate to disappoint any fans if they actually exist.

Apr 23, 2007

Cape Comic Con 2007

As advertised, the Cape Girardeau Comic Con was this weekend. In its second year, the con improved immensely. It was bigger, more organized, and longer. Organizer (and owner of Marvels and Legends) Ken Murphy and his gang of sidekicks brought in more talent, added panels, and added an extra day to the event.

I got a lot of time to talk about comics and other stuff with Cullen Bunn (writer of Oni's The Damned) and Matt Oliveri (writer of Werewolves: Call of the Wild). The pair did panel on submitting your work and ideas to publishers.


The Damned artist, Brian Hurtt also joined them. He was only there for Saturday along with Chris Samnee (Capote in Kansas, Queen & Country), but it was long enough for me to get a great sketch of Eddie and Sophie from The Damned.

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Brian Hurtt's blog: the Hurtt Locker
Chris Samnee's blog
Mike Oliveri's
The Malice Engine
The Damned

On Sunday I attended Denny O'Neil's panel, where he told great stories about the 70s and 80s, and even 90s at DC. We also got some behind-the-scenes tales on Batman: The Animated Series and the Batman storyline, No Man's Land.

O'Neil on Wikipedia

Before leaving, I met Jonnie Allan, creator, writer, artist, promoter, etc. of Stykman, a hilarious parody of superhero stories and supernatural comics.

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Allan's Aka Comics

In between all this I found lots of goodies, including the Dark Knight Strikes Again PVC set.

Looking forward to next year!

Apr 17, 2007

Coming Attractions . . .

I'm hoping to have another podcast up by this weekend. It will feature some great new music, reviews new films of Inland Empire and Grindhouse, comments on the graphic novel Skin Walker, and previews of comics coming soon.

Don't forget the Cape Girardeau Comic Con!

Apr 2, 2007

Cape Girardeau Comic Con

It's almost time for the second annual Cape Girardeau Comic and Gaming Convention, orchestrated by our friends over at Marvels and Legends. This year will feature many returning guests, including Brian Hurtt (Hard Time, The Damned) and Gary Friedrich (Ghost Rider), but promises to be bigger and better. Denny O'Neil (Batman), Jonnie Allan (Stykman), and others will also appear. There will be more gaming, more vendors, and--best of all--more time. This years event will last a full two days as opposed to last year's one-day-for-each format.

More to come . . .

Check out the site.
Read last year's review.
Another blog about the con.

Mar 31, 2007

Ted Leo & the Pharmacists on NPR

Wednesday, NPR interviewed Ted Leo on All Things Considered, most well-rounded news show to ever hit the airwaves. Go on over the sight now. You can listen to the interview, where he talks about guitars and throat problems, and download a live show from the 9:30 club in DC.

I've got a couple tracks for ya, too.

Ted Leo - "Since U Been Gone" (Yes, that's a cover.)
Ted Leo & the Pharmacists - "The Sons of Cain" from Living with the Living

Living with the Living on Emusic
Living with the Living on iTunes
Living with the Living on insound

Mar 27, 2007

The Secret's Out

Before reading, The Secret, and new book from Dark Horse, I feared it might be too much like the bevy of mediocre teen-slasher flicks on the market. Unfortunately, my fear has been confirmed. Possibly driven to force the plot by the comic media, writer—and Dark Horse founder—Mike Richardson introduces the conflict before we hardly know the characters’ names. (For a better, but similar device, see the Luna Brothers’ Girls.) By the end of the issue, it appears one of the stock high schoolers we follow may already be gone.

Jason Shawn Alexander’s (of Stoplight Sleep- favorite The Escapists) art is sketchy and expressive. His method of portraying sound effects is better than the unbelievable dialogue. Although his fresh style begs a second visit, I doubt I’ll fork over another three bucks to read about teenagers who live and talk like they were parented by Jeepers Creepers 2 and Cruel Intentions.

If you really want good graphic fiction about rebellious teenagers, pick up R. Kikuo Johnson’s Night Fisher.

For the best in comic-book horror, read The Walking Dead and Fell.

Mar 8, 2007

Best reviewed review

There is no possible way 300 could be as good as this guy claims it is. Hell, there's no way it could be as entertaining as the review itself. I've been looking forward to seeing this movie for several months, but now that I know the main characters are "a super-human elite squad of lumberjack pirates who were trained by the the great-great-grandpa of Chuck Norris' paternal ancestor," I'm afraid we've got another Snakes on a Plane.

But seriously, if you go see this movie tonight, you just might see me there.

Mar 2, 2007

Podcast #2, Reposted

I forgot to add the details for the last podast. Here they are:

  1. A Band of Bees (The Bees [UK]) - "Listening Man" from Octopus
  2. Girl Talk remix of "Knife" by Grizzly Bear
  3. Bloc Party - "The Prayer" from A Weekend in the City
  4. Minus the Bear - "Drilling (P.O.S. Redo)" from Interpretaciones del Oso
  5. Amy Winehouse - "Rehab" from Back to Black
  6. Justice - "Phantom" from Phantom (limited 12")
  7. Mari Taylor - "Lost Time" from Lynn Teeter Flower
  8. Glen Glenn - "One Cup of Coffee" from Rarext Rockabilly & Hillbilly Boogie / The Best of Ace Rockabilly
  9. Charlie Feathers - "Wild Wild Party" from Memphis Rockabillies, Hillbillies, & Honky Tonkers, Vol. 4
  10. Eddie Bond - "Raunch" [Take 3] from Memphis Rockabillies, Hillbillies, & Honky Tonkers, Vol. 4
  11. The Decemberists - "Bridges & Balloons" from Picaresqueties
Other tracks used: Bloc Party - "Helicopter (Whitey Version)" from Silent Alarm Remixed; Amy Winehouse - "Rehab (Hot Chip Remix)"

Comics discussed: JSA; Jack of Fables

Download it!

Feb 24, 2007

Random 5

Using iTunes’s Party Shuffle function, I picked 5 random tracks from my library for you to hear and me to discuss:

  1. Make-Up – “R U A Believer” from I Want Some (single comp., 1999 on K Records)

Forget Fugazi. Forget Minor Threat. Forget Bad Brains. Even forget Bikini Kill. Make-Up are the best DC band ever.

OK, I’m kidding, but they did give the scene some much needed class. Featuring Ian Svenonius (Nation of Ulysses, Weird War) on lead vocal, Make-Up brought an early R&B vibe to the scene. If Little Richard and Lou Reed had an insane love child, that would be weird.

This track is flat compared to some of their better efforts, but it has a classic punk structure, giving it a certain appeal. The minimal lyrics, squirted out in a plee from Svenonius, rip up what could otherwise be boringly monotonous. Michelle Mae’s (Weird War) gigantic bass drives the song, while guitar and drums decorate her line like tinsel on an Xmas tree.

  1. Smart Went Crazy – “A Halo & A Nosebleed” from Cubbyhole (EP, 1994 on CozyDisc [vanity label])

Another DC band. Smart Went Crazy may actually be the most under-rated DC/Dischord group. An indie-math outfit on the surface, SWC succeed due to Chad Clark’s vinyl-warm vocals, Jeff Boswell’s raindrop guitar, and Hillary Soldati’s restrained cello work.

This song is a classic example of the band’s talent. It also follows a popular theme of their lyrics: troubled relationships and malignant deeds hidden behind a sweet feminine persona (see also “Con Art” and “So Speaks the Queen Bee” from their class Con Art).

  1. Bellini – “Patience and Passion in Brown” from Snowing Sun (2002 on Monitor)

The term “supergroup” gets thrown around carelessly, but in the world of art rock, Bellini fits the definition. The band features husband and wife Agostino Tilotta (guitar) and Giovanna Cacciola (vocals), both of Uzeda and Alexis Fleisig of GvsB.

Their sound is basically Shellac with a female lead singer, but they’ve developed into something more worthy. Cacciola’s violence replaces Albini’s wit. Where Shellac’s rhythms mimic hip-hop, classic rock, or industrial, Bellini’s are more post-punk or no-wave.

Notice the stuttering verses that give way to the bouncing riffs of the chorus and the metallic bridge. As usual, Cacciola struggles to overcome the sonic crowd or her own bandmates. If they were less talented, cynical, and arty, they might be Kittie.

  1. Modifiers – “I Like Her (Band)” from a Magnet New Music Sampler

I’m not sure which is sadder: that this band is nothing more than an alt. country bar act channeling the Replacements or the verse-capping rhymes. Charming in a Zack-Braff way at most.

  1. Aphex Twin – “Phloam” from Classics (1994 on R&S)

I think we all know Aphex Twin. The amount of this electronic juggernaut I have on my harddrive is inversely proportional to what I have to say about them.

On this track, as with much of their work, one loop in the mix (listen at 0:11) threatens to drive me insane at the very moment it disappears, only to reappear a minute and a half later. No band begs more to be remixed.

Feb 13, 2007

Fast Update

I'm currently working on a new podcast.

Meanwhile, be sure to pick up the new issues of 52, JSA, and Batman (by Grant Morrison!
) tomorrow.

See you soon.

Feb 5, 2007

Revise & Recommend

I've reposted the podcast due to technical problems which appear to be cleared up now.

Get the podcast here.

I've also got a few recommendations for those of you hitting the comic-book stores this week.

52 #40
Last month, the plotlines of the weekly series hit some key points. Stories that had been moving along slowly finally reached turning points in their conflicts, while others reached the end of one problem and the began a new one. Only three months left!

Batman Year One: Deluxe edition SC
While not as groundbreaking and edgy as his Dark Knight stories, Year One is one of the best Batman stories ever told, particularly for fans of his noir roots fighting more realistic criminals. In this book, Batman is just as mysterious to us as he is to the rest of Gotham.

Fell #7
One can never really count on this book, but all sources seem to indicate a resolicited Feb. 7 release. I really can't praise this book enough, and this one is sure to be another sell-out. Each self-contained story is like Silent Hill meets The Shield. And it's only two bucks!
Check out a preview here (scroll down a bit).

Secret #1
This new book from Dark Horse looks interesting. The plot sounds like some teen slasher, but the emotionally charged artwork is worth the gamble.
Here's a preview.

Get a full list of what's shipping from Diamond.

Jan 29, 2007

Podcast the first; 2006 the second

One of my New Year's resolutions was to do more with this blog, and today's post is another step in that direction. Continuing the collection of tracks found on my first 2006 mix, my first podcast features some of 2006's best songs from the year's best albums. This time you'll hear:

  1. Neko Case "Maybe Sparrow"
  2. The Streets "The Hardest Way to Make an Easy Living"
  3. Midlake "Roscoe"
  4. Margot & the Nuclear So & So's "Quiet as a Mouse"
  5. TV on the Radio "I Was a Lover"
  6. Ghostface Killah "Back Like That" (feat. Ne-Yo)
  7. The Dresden Dolls "Mandy Goes to Med School"
  8. Liars "It Fit When I Was a Kid"
  9. Lupe Fiasco "He Say She Say" (feat. Sarah Green & Gemini)
  10. Arctic Monkeys "Perhaps Vampire is a Bit Strong But . . ."
  11. The Rapture "Whoo! Alright Yeah . . . Uh Huh"
Download the Podcast

If you enjoy the songs, please buy some downloads or an album. Support live music.

Your feedback is encouraged and appreciated.

To be continued . . .

(If you want any of the old mixes you missed, let me know.)

Jan 24, 2007

SS Recommends: Week of 1/23/07

I'm not even done sorting through last year (expect an '06-related podcast soon), and '07 is already off to a raging start. Tuesday gave us the new Shins, another Of Montreal album, the domestic release of Mew's Fengers, along with a handful of other notable releases. But the best of the lot is Deerhoof's Friend Opportunity.

Deerhoof's first
release since the Chris Cohen left the group, Friend Opportunity is another step in the band's evolution from quirky no wave superstars (see also Erase Errata and Melt-Banana) to the foremost purveyors of prog pop. They've been feeling out the combination of hook-friendly tunes and noisy experimentation for the last few years. '04's Milk Man, was the best shot so far, but the new album may have trumped that effort.

You can hear "+81" on the last posted mix or on various places around the net.

Friend Opportunity on insound.
Download the album from Emusic.

Jan 14, 2007

2006 part 1

I'll have something to say later.

For now, here's a mix of some of my favorite 2006 tracks.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs "Phenomena"
Clipse "Wamp Wamp (What It Do)" (Feat. Slim Thug)
Cansei De Ser Sexy "Music is My Hot, Hot Sex"
Mogwai "Glasgow Mega-Snake"
Joanna Newsom "Only Skin"
Beck "Nausea"
Nas "Hip Hop is Dead" (Feat. Will.I.Am)
Cold War Kids "Saint John"
Deerhoof "+81"
Girl Talk "Peak Out"
Madonna "Hung Up"

Download Stoplight Sleep's 2006v1 Mix

I'd really appreciate feedback from anyone who listens to this. I've just got into to mixing, and I love some criticism.

Thanks till next time.

Jan 6, 2007

Hide & SeeqPod

One of my New Year's resolutions was to get back to updating this site more often. I plan on posting some new mixes, reviews, etc. soon, but here's a new site for now.

For awhile and The Hype Machine have dominated the music-blog-aggregator market, but SeeqPod may change all that. SeeqPod's design includes a streaming list of new mp3s posted on various sites. Click on a track and it's added to a playlist on the right side of the screen. You can move tracks around, skip them, and play them again, just like on your favorite music program, such as iTunes or winamp. There are also links to the site, recommendations (which don't seem to be working just yet), and artists info.

The site is still beta testing, so you'll notice some bugs, mainly in the form of poorly labeled tracks, which is sometimes a problem for even Hype Machine and The site may never gain popularity, but the idea is sure to cross-over to other sites/programs. If anyone makes an iTunes plugin or something similar, you'll be sure to hear about it here.

Read about SeeqPod on Wired
The SeeqPod Music site