Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Yes! So very tired of waxing. That's me.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Assembling next week's Inventory feature made wish, once again, I could see Thom Andersen's documentary Los Angeles Plays Itself, especially when I found an excerpt from this reputedly excellent, three-hour look at depictions of L.A. as created by L.A.'s most famous industry on YouTube.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Thursday, August 28, 2008

Hulu now has episodes of Elvira's Move Macabre in their entirety. I did this movie, Monstroid for Films That Time Forgot a while back. It's wretched. But kind of entertainingly wretched.

Monday, August 25, 2008


The story over at Reuters is about a promotional appearance for Connery's new book at which he restates his commitment to stay retired from film but adds, "I've a feeling there is something cooking. I don't know what it is yet."


Thursday, August 21, 2008


With pieces by A.V. Club contributor Michaelangelo Matos as my guide, I've been using a portion of my eMusic downloads for the last couple of months to pick up some knowledge of African music. It's such a huge field, fitting for a huge continent, and there's a lot to here. Basically I've just been cherry-picking a few acknowledged classics here and there and I've yet to find something I didn't like. (Which tends to happen when you just cherry-pick classics.)

But, anyway, Le Rail Band: Where has this music been all my life? They're a Mali act formed in 1970, sponsored by the National Railway Company, and given a home at the Buffet Bar at Bamako's Sation Hotel. (I'm using this as my source.) Their formation was apparently part of a government initiative to preserve traditional Manding music.

I know how to find Mali on the map but know little of Manding culture. I know this singer's name—it's founding singer Salif Keita, who would later pass the baton to Mory Kante—but I have no idea what he's singing about. All I know: These guitars kill me and I've been listening to Le Rail Band (a.k.a. Super Rail Band, a.k.a. Bamako Rail Band, a.k.a. Super Rail Band of the Buffet Hotel de la Gare, Bamako) almost every day lately.

Here's why:


Monday, August 18, 2008


I've been reading Marvel's massive Hulk Omnibus, which reprints all the Hulk stories published between 1962 and 1968. (It's pretty big.) During most this period Hulk was popular enough to keep publishing but not popular enough to justify his own book during a period when Marvel could only publish a limited number titles in any given month thanks to a fairly crappy distribution deal. Thus, once his own title bit the first after six issues, Hulk ended up sharing space in Tales To Astonish first with Giant Man then with Sub-Mariner.

The stories are entertaining and filled with the Jack Kirby/Stan Lee spirit—and for a few strange issues, the Steve Ditko/Jack Kirby spirit—even if the plotting seems a little seat-of-their pants than over in, say, Fantastic Four. After a while it just becomes a question of who's kidnapping Hulk in any given month. Late in the run, Kirby starts sharing art duties with Bill Everett that includes one of the weirdest two-panel stretches I've ever read in a comic book:

"Even his sleep is too powerful to shatter!" Are we to be impressed by Hulk's superhuman sleeping abilities or is this an example of Lee's spirited prose overcompensating for a lull in the action? And could this particular gamma bomb side effect be marketed as a sleep aid? As far as I know, Hulk's super-sleep remained unexplored in subsequent issues.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

E!'s The Soup is always good. Sometimes, however, it's transcendent.

Music review: The Final Solution: Brotherman

This is the soundtrack to a blaxploitation movie that never got made (and may not have even been scripted.) Good stuff.

Box Of Paperbacks: Ed McBain, Vanishing Ladies

Early McBain, writing under yet another pen name. Not bad but problematic and protracted.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


I like to check in on my hometown paper The Dayton Daily News from time to time. But I rarely find anything as amusing/disgusting as this headline:

"Bath In Sink Costs Xenia Burger King Employee His Job"

But wait, how did they know? Was their proof? Oh yes. He posted this video to his MySpace page:

"It's my birthday, and I'm taking a bath," he says. But the best line comes from the videographer, trying to coax an older, less easily amused co-worker to come look: "You can't see his penis or nothin'."

Or maybe the best quote belongs to the health commissioner who spoke to the paper. "They had already discarded about $10,000 worth of equipment and completely sterilized the sink twice," he said. "We just hope no one else follows through with (a behavior) similarly bizarre."

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Hey, the new Damien Jurado song is pretty good


Sunday, August 10, 2008


Isaac Hayes (1942 - 2008)

Saturday, August 09, 2008


This year's reading has been all about The Box Of Paperbacks Book Club over at The A.V. Club and my subscription to the Library Of America, which sends me hardbound omnibus editions of major American authors. I love the books and I like the randomness of the subscription service. One day I don't own any Willa Cather novels. The next I own five of them in one meticulously presented volume, complete with slipcover for that added touch of class/pretension.

Because I got a lot of Steinbeck when I first signed up I've consequently been reading a lot of Steinbeck, including The Grapes Of Wrath for the first time since high school. It held up well, but read a little saltier than I remembered. That's because it was a little saltier than I remembered. My edition restored some cuts made by Viking upon its original publication. A note at the back details the changes and provides some awkward comedy when read on its own.

Most puzzling entry? I vote for, "Joan Crawford."

Friday, August 08, 2008

I'm watching the opening ceremonies of The Olympics now, as directed by Zhang Yimou. So far, so good. But why don't they have this?:

Thursday, August 07, 2008


Move over LasagnaCat. It's time for Cake Wrecks.

Cake wrecks?

Cake wrecks!

Cake wrecks!

Cake wrecks.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008


- New Randy Newman album, Harps And Angels
Worth it for Newman's delivery of these lines alone in the title track:
[speaking as the voice of God]
"You ain't been a good man
You ain't been a bad man
But you've been [half-beat] pretty bad"

- Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants 2

Pretty Greek scenery + appealing actresses ≠ something worth seeing.

If you're of a certain age and grew up with parents with no interest in rock and roll you probably first encountered The Beach Boys song "Good Vibrations" in an ad for Sunkist soda. Specifically, this ad:

The lyric is changed, the arrangement pretty lazy, and the harmonies aren't exactly soaring. Hearing "Good Vibrations" this way is a bit like seeing Hamlet on Betamax in a production in which Hamlet wears a Burger King t-shirt the entire time. Maybe that's why it took me a while to understand the song's genius.

So where did the commercial come from? I have a partial answer for that. I just wrote a review of the album Brotherman, a long lost soundtrack to a never-produced Chicago-set, '70s blaxploitation film with music performed by the unfortunately named Chicago soul act The Final Solution. It's due out in a bit on the great Chicago boutique label Numero Group which specializes in such oddities. Numero sends out updates every once in a while, and the most recent one linked to that YouTube clip above. Turns out it was The Final Solution, or at least members therof, providing the vocals.

I doubt they regarded it as their finest moment, either. In fact, the Brotherman album makes a pretty convincing case for their best moment never seeing the light of day until now. Here's a taste:

Love that guitar line, which was apparently going to be swapped out for a more polished guitar sound, strings, and horns. Maybe it's best it never got completed after all.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


I've spent a little time lately catching up with some John Hughes movies I haven't seen or haven't seen in years. I'm not quite sure why. I don't think, when you get down to it, John Hughes makes (or, made, really) very good movies. And catching up with and revisiting Hughes is surely less rewarding than, say, watching all those Robert Bresson movies I've never seen. (Then again, Au Hasard Balthazar kind of did a number on me.) But sometimes you just want to do something and you're not sure why. Hence, I just watched She's Having A Baby.

Filmed at roughly the same time as Planes, Trains, And Automobiles and released a year after Planes in 1988, She's Having A Baby was supposed to continue Hughes' move away from teen movies. It didn't. In fact, it was kind of a critical and commercial failure. Was it that Hughes' built-in teen audience weren't ready to follow him into adult stories?

Maybe. I was, at least in theory, one of those teens. I can't speak for anyone else, but Hughes movies like 16 Candles and The Breakfast Club were less an active influence on my teen years than part of the ambient noise. I watched Candles, Club, and Weird Science on video months after they played theatrically. I saw Ferris Bueller the summer it came out but skipped Pretty In Pink and Some Kind Of Wonderful until college and grad school respectively. But it didn't really matter. The movies were quoted constantly (sometimes hurtfully), the fashions trickled down to my junior high (half the girls in my 8th grade class showed up wearing vests in August of '86), and the soundtracks were everywhere. How did mid-'80s British synth pop come to define the sound of teen yearning for my generation? The careful combination of gauzy cinematography, quirkily beautiful actors, and inspired editing.

But back to the movie at hand. Kevin Bacon and Elizabeth McGovern play young marrieds who seem to hate each other. That's not really an exaggeration. There's a montage toward the end (more on that in a minute) filled with scenes of their happy life together, most of which we never saw watching the movie preceding it. Bacon's a whiny, creative type who ends up in advertising. McGovern is disapproving. They fight, occasionally about the expectations of their terrible in-laws and sometimes because they just fight. It threatens at any second to become a movie about getting divorced.

It's a weird mix of adult problems and juvenile gags that reveals how poorly the concerns of characters past the drinking age ft into Hughes' formulas. He'll latch onto a real problem--money woes, extramarital temptation, etc.--and then brush it aside with broad humor or a jokey fantasy sequence that reveal Hughes as a director either extremely comfortable with ambiguity or unsure about what he wants to say. Bacon and McGovern's neighbors (including, as was required at the time, Edie McClurg) are nightmares treated with affection. At one point, a suburban block party devolves into a cacophony of under-the-breath backbiting and shrill recrimination but there's an unmistakable fondness to the way it's presented as the score makes clear. Later, Bacon fantasizes a dance number involving those same neighbors and their lawnmowers. Is he going mad from his surrounding or falling for the place?

Either Hughes is playing it both ways or he doesn't know what he wants to say.

Elsewhere he's perfectly comfortable manipulating the audience to feel exactly what he wants it to feel. Cue the Kate Bush:

Yes, that montage alternated happy memories with surgical instruments. And what kind of wife plays "Gotcha!" with the possible death of a child? I don't see this marriage lasting. But Hughes never made me believe it was meant to last anyway.

A final note: Young Alec Baldwin is in this playing an '80s sleazeball and it's tough to underestimate how well that works.

Monday, August 04, 2008


- Dental Surgery: One night, while flossing me teeth, I felt the floss hook on a tooth where I'd previously gotten a crown. I tugged until I felt somethign give. Then I pulled out half my tooth. Thinking I'd just pulled out the crown, I scheduled an appointment at my dentist, who informed me that I'd pulled out half my tooth and would need surgery to finish the job. Two weeks of dread led up to a quick procedure mostly memorable for the Vicodin-addled couch time that followed.

- The Pitchfork Music Festival: The only downside to the dental surgery was that I missed the opening night of this year's Pitchfork, which included Public Enemy performing It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back in its entirety. The next day, opinions were divided as to whether it was awesome or lame. Most said awesome. I'm going to coninue to think it was lame just to feel better. The rest of the weekend felt anti-climactic, though Jarvis Cocker was cool and I'd neve seen Dinosaur Jr. before. Now I have. They were good.

- Comic-Con: Actually, I did blog about this.

- Lollapalooza: Went to see Radiohead. Skipped the rest.

- Nature's fury: Actually, this was just tonight. Stevie, Bryce, and I had tickets to the Cubs game which started fine and ended in a tornado siren. It briefly looked like we'd be stuck at Wrigley for hours. (Never one to miss an opportunity, beer vendors weaved through the crowd as we waited for a chance to leave. Hey, it wasn't the eight inning when the rain delay started.) In time, the tornado warning gave way to a severe thunderstorm warning which gave way to a mere downpour. We headed for the El and made it home with relative ease and in relative comfort. Sometimes the CTA gets it right.

- AT&T's online text-to-speech-demo site. (I call this "Morrissey 2.0")

Friday, June 13, 2008


Currently at The Chicago Tribunes site:

Also: Do you believe you can touch the sky?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


My review of a Larry Norman best-of collection Rebel Poet, Jukebox Balladeer ran today. It's the kind of longer music history piece I love writing and don't get to do as often as I like. (I've got another one, a review of Dennis Wilson's Pacific Ocean Blue running next week, too.) I'd never heard of Norman until he died at 60 earlier this year. He was billed as the "Father of Christian rock," which didn't much entice me. But his stuff is pretty incredible. He was a forceful, eccentric voice perfectly in tune with the confusing time of the early-'70s. I can't recommend the collection highly enough, or the material I've heard apart from that album. Here's one of many cuts warning of a loom apocalypse that he seemed to feel was close at hand:


In the past couple of days I saw a pair of soon-to-open major movies. I officially shouldn't talk about either of them so let's just call them Film X and Film Y. You can pretty easily figure out the rest. Film X is an action film, a sequel to a box office disappointment that promises to distance itself from its predecessor. It was the subject of a very public feud between the company that made it and a key player on the creative side. It is the essence of corporate product, filled with moments of what's generally known as fan service.

Film Y is the work of a visionary filmmaker who came seemingly out of nowhere earlier this decade and has pursued a singular vision to diminishing commercial and critical returns. This latest is no exception. It could only be made by one director.

Film X works. It gets the job done. It's not great. In fact, it's pretty far from great, but it's a solid piece of fast-moving entertainment in the mold of, and related to, another film made by the same company earlier this year. It's not as good. But it's not bad.

Film Y fails. Sometimes dully and sometimes spectacularly. The vision's still there in some breathtaking sequences filled with the director's signature touches. But the novelty's gone even from these and the stuff that surrounds them... Oh the stuff that surrounds them. There's one moment involving an iPhone, you'll know it when you get to it, that would do Ed Wood proud. A lot of people will blame the failings on the premise, which isn't yet general knowledge, but it's really no sillier than the premise behind The Mist, and that movie's scary as hell, not a reliable source for unintended laughs.

Great films are generally the products of powerful visions but the evidence isn't always on the side of the visionaries. There's something to be said for the churn-them-out Hollywood factory when it works, if only because it provides the visionaries something to rebel against. Even if that rebellion sometimes does them in.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Describing a scene during pre-production for Dr. Dolittle in which director Richard Fleischer met with Rex Harrison and his actress wife Rachel Roberts:
"Fleischer, Harrison, and Roberts then went out to a local restaurant called the White Elephant for an evening that ended in utter chaos when Roberts, who had been indulging her penchant for barking like a dog as soon as they entered the establishment, brandished a knife at her husband, and Fleischer hurried them out and poured them both into a cab."

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

This is a comment from an A.V. Club reader signed in as "A Tennessean" in response to this stupid video overplaying that Michelle Obama "proud of my country" comment:

"I can say that for the first time in my adult life (well maybe not the first), I've seriously wanted to fuck up some ignorant Tennesseans. Especially that smug prick from Vanderbilt. And the white woman talking about diversity and shit. Fuck her. I walk by a county republican headquarters everday and want so bad to smash their windows. They have this hideous oil painting in there with G.W. in the middle with his head bowed and Lincoln on one side and Washington on the other with their hands on his shoulders also bowed in prayer. Uhg! 245 days left!"

Hideous oil painting? I'm intrigued. Could he/she be talking about this?:

I'm guessing yes.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


I was on Deborah Harry's Wikipedia page today for some work-related reason that I've already forgotten and got a bit sidetracked looking at her discography. Where I thought she released a bunch of solo albums, she's only put out seven over the last 27 years. The one that came out last year was her first since 1993's Debravation, an album I listened to all the way through back in my college radio days. It was, like Billy Idol's Cyberbunk, at least partly an attempt to fuse William Gibson's fiction with rock music. It didn't work, though Sonic Youth had better luck with at least one Gibson-inspired song years later.

I've always been curious about Harry's first solo album, Koo-Koo from 1981, which I know mainly because of the famous controversial cover by H.R. Giger:

Giger is the Swiss artist whose disturbing and/or erotic depictions of "biomechanics" found their most famous expression in his designs for Alien. What I didn't know was that Giger directed a pair of videos for the album filmed at his studio. The pairing is much more intriguing than it sounds. Here's Harry performing "Now I Know You Know":

And here she is performing "Backfired":

What's weirdest about this to my eyes, apart from the Gigerian body stocking, is how poorly it all fits together. Blondie was expert at taking trends in fashion and music and making them their own. Alone Harry doesn't do nearly as well. Both songs were written and produced by Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards of Chic, the go-to guys for late-disco pop sounds and Giger was both edgy and trendy at the time. It's all the right elements at exactly the right moment and it should have worked briliantly. And yet... Well, the evidence is above.

I'm less curious about Koo-Koo now.


I've got a piece on The Price Is Right up on Slate today. It's a show that brings back fond memories of childhood and of misspent dorm hours. Here's an amusing clip I didn't find a way to include. It pretty much speaks for itself:

So close!

Saturday, April 12, 2008


Boing Boing had an item this week on a site called Muxtape.com that allows users to upload virtual mixtapes to the Internet to share with others. And that's it. It's remarkably simple and fairly unslick, which is in its own way pretty refreshing, even if users would currently seem to be limited to one muxtape at a time. Or at least it's that way now. A related blog keeps announcing new features. It seems like a site worth keeping an eye on.

Oh, and I totally made one just for you. Here it is. The title comes from the fact that this cold I've been dealing with all week took a bizarre turn yesterday that found a headache settling behind my left eye. I admire its specificity.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

A crimefighter gets specific.

In case you can't read it, here's the added text:

"Stranz is the man who has the machine that sends electric shocks. He lives at..."

Here the text has been crossed out and someone else has pointed out that this is a "whorehouse." Somehow I can't imagine that this is what CAPS had in mind.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

From Facebook's new "People You May Know" feature:

Can I bring the person to bring Stipe and Kasell together at last?

Thursday, March 20, 2008


Two of today's headlines from CNN.com:

This was also a day where a women dying after a freak collision with a sea ray got a lot of play.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The New York governor without fear?

Who is new New York governor David Patterson? I mean really. When nobody is looking, who is he? Here's a theory:

Patterson was left blind by a childhood ear infection.

Daredevil was blinded by a childhood accident with radioactive waste.

Patterson's father served as Secretary Of State of New York, setting an example that his son would have to struggle to live up to.

Daredevil remains haunted by the death of his father, killed by gangster's after refusing to throw a fight.

Patterson has a law degree.

So does Daredevil.

Patterson: Tortured romantic history.

Daredevil: See above.

I guess what I'm getting at is that while I'm not sure there are tights and a fighting stick in Patterson's closet, I'm not sure there's not.

CNN.com-watch: The more Obama asks for change...

Barack Obama delivered a speech yesterday that a) excellently defused the Rev. Wright controversy b) demanded that this political season be played on higher ground and c) revealed the soul beneath the politician. I thought I might have overestimated its effectiveness until I read an editorial than went even further than I was thinking.

Not everyone got it, however. Here's how it appeared in the headline feed at CNN.com


Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Box Of Paperbacks Book Club: Supplemental

In the Box Of Paperbacks post that went up today I wrote about Wolfshead, a 1968 collection of miscellaneous Robert E. Howard stories. It was packaged, like the paperback collections of his Conan stories, with a cover featuring Frank Frazetta art, in this case a slightly censored version of the painting below (as always, click to enlarge):

One of my readers commented that "The Howard and E.R. Burroughs boom [of the 1960s and '70s] was the result of the Frazetta covers as much as the stories." I don't think he/she is right but they certainly played their part. Frazetta is the definitive adult fantasy artist. And one whose work fills me with profoundly mixed feelings. As I wrote back, "Every bit of good taste and refinement in me wants to resist all those image of musclemen, dripping swords, heavy-breasted women, and scowling animals but I can't. His stuff is amazing." It's all that's leering, and sexist, and simpleminded in fantasy and science fiction but it also accesses the parts of those genres that reach directly to the id. I shouldn't overthink it. If I can like Brahms and The Cramps and I can like Mondrian and Frazetta.

That's not even the point of this post. The point was to spotlight a few weird Frazetta corners I found in researching that Wolfshead post. Namely, a couple of paintings done for L. Ron Hubbard Novels.

This is The Lieutenant from Final Blackout, a Box Of Paperbacks subject I covered (pretty unfavorably) here:

And this is a puny Man-Animal doing battle with an alien in Battlefield Earth. (If the movie looked like this, it would have been much better):

Finally, here's a piece of art from From Dusk Til Dawn I'd never seen before, with Salma Hayek in full Vampirella mode and Frazetta renderings of Tarantino, George Clooney, and Juliette Lewis:

Again, that's much better than the movie I remember. Maybe, if they'd used that as the poster, it would have drawn a bigger audience. Maybe that guy who wanted to credit Burroughs' and Howard's latter-day success to Frazetta was on to something.

The Awesome Pulp/Archie Mash-Up You Didn't Know You Were Waiting For

From Chris's Invincible Super Blog

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Enter The Hulu

Hulu, NBC and Fox's joint online video venture debuted today and it's pretty neat. Scott Tobias and I both signed up to be early users. He got accepted; I did not. But via his login I've been playing around with it for a little while. Now that it's a fully operational Death Star of a site it's even more impressive. You can embed whole movies in your blog, if you choose, in addition to TV shows from The Office to Galactica 1980. Users can also watch them on the Hulu site and the quality is impressive.

But one of the neatest features has to be the ability to trim clips. Like, say, you just wanted to share the part of Boat Trip when Cuba Gooding Jr. and Horatio Sanz realize they've accidentally signed up for a gay cruise, gay Roger Moore and all:

Oh, Boat Trip. As if seeing you once for professional reasons wasn't bad enough, you came back to me like a bad meal last fall when my dad was in the hospital. One of his succession of bad roommates was a grotesquely overweight man prone to make room-clearing use of his bedpan in ways that were pleasing to none of the senses. He also liked to play his TV at maximum volume. Consequently we once spent a Sunday morning in a fetid hospital room while a TBS showing of Boat Trip blared in the background. I can laugh about it now. Kind of.

"This is only the beginning!!!"
I don't usually promote Onion (as opposed to A.V. Club) stuff here because a) I figure everyone in their right mind is already checking out The Onion and b) It's always good, so what is there to say? But every once in a while something really sticks withe me, like this disgusting/hilarious Onion News Network piece:

Anonymous Philanthropist Donates 200 Human Kidneys To Hospital

It is nice to have a positive story once in a while, isn't it?

Saturday, March 08, 2008

I'd heard good things about The Mist for a while now, from general buzz, from my pal Josh Rothkopf and our own Tasha Robinson's review. This week Scott Tobias became a convert. I was still skeptical. I've never had any great affection for writer/director Frank Darabont. The Shawshank Redemption is solid enough, and I like the way it balances roughness with sentiment. But after sitting through The Green Mile and The Majestic I'd lost the faith. But after watching The Mist tonight I can confirm the rumors are true.
Adapted from a 1980 novella by Stephen King, it combines the best of King—the class-conscious realism and the ability to make horror emerge from the fabric of everyday life—with the best of H.P. Lovecraft—hungry, tentacled beasties. (Side note: Do this and Cloverfield suggest a trend of stealth Lovecraft adaptations?) It's tense and minimal, extremely well-crafted, and able to deliver on the promise of shocks. Is there any cheesier horror movie device than one character looking over the shoulder of another and gasping, "Oh god!" Probably not. But every time it happens here the imagery that follows is truly Oh God!-worthy, even if there's not an element lacking an easily identifiable source of inspiration.
It's also political as hell, thanks to Marcia Gay Harden's fire-and-brimstone crazy lady character, who uses fear to make herself a demagogue. There's no shortage of monsters here, but the bulk of the action concerns the meltdown of trust amongst characters trapped in a supermarket. It's like the Twilight Zone episode "Monsters Are Due On Maple Street" only with, you know, actual monsters. And unlike a lot of King story's, it has an ending that works, courtesy of Darabont. A horrific, horrific ending.
I think a cult following awaits The Mist, which did little at the box office but has already had a couple of midnight showings At The Music Box here in Chicago. It's certainly one of the best mainstream horror movies of recent years even if, after that final scene, I'm now thinking Darabont's kind of a bastard.

Noel Murray and I put together an Alan Moore Primer for The A.V. Club last week. I think it turned out pretty well. We spent quite a lot of time on Moore as the cause and solution to the grim and gritty trend in superhero comics. I didn't have room to talk about it in the piece but over the course of putting this together I came across, "Grit," a funny little four-page parody of Frank Miller's Daredevil from the early-'80s that I came across in researching its piece. It's interesting for two reasons: 1) It's a reminder that all those funny (and occasionally "funny") short stories in Tomorrow Stories didn't come out of nowhere. And 2) It's a send-up of the grim and the gritty from a the perspective of a then-outsider to the world of American superhero comics. He was about to get his hands dirty with the very material he's parodying here. Click on the images to enlarge:
Well, once you factor me out. This is Scott and Ali's daughter Isabel meeting our dog Sophie.

Friday, March 07, 2008


I've been laying off music reviewing a little this year, if not quite as thoroughly or publicly as Noel Murray. But I still have opinions and my opinion is that Cardiff's Los Campesinos are awesome. They're young. They're Welsh. They have a violin player. And they sound like they're having a lot of fun while making some unpredictable-but-not-fussy and rhythmically charged music. Noel turned me on to the band's debut EP last year. The forthcoming full-length Hold On Now Youngsters does not disappoint. Here's a great track, that's not even the best on the album:

Los Campesinos: "We Are All Accelerated Readers"