Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Scary Monsters and Superfolks

Love has that funny way of finding you when you look away. It happens every single day. Don't believe me look it up. Lima Research Society's "Magic Juice Box"

So I've been reading Robert Mayer's Superfolks and it is one of the most refreshing things I've read in a long time. For those not in the know, this book was published in the '70s. It is almost a prototype for the deconstruction of superheroes that would be seen in Watchmen and Miracleman. But this book is much funnier than those books set out to be. Our hero is from the planet Cronk. He is basically a Superman analogue who has all the powers but when he uses his x-ray vision for checking out women he always runs into something.

He can be weakened by Cronkite. Hilarious!

The book is riddled with little digs at movie stars and obscure pop culture references. Which, while it is a treasure trove for a junkie like me, frames the story so well. He lives in the same world as our favorite heroes. But they are dead and he is forty.

My friend picked up Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba's Umbrella Academy recently. Originally, I was out off by a musician making a comic book. Even though I have a soft spot for all of MCR's albums (you chalk it up to some high school nostalgia but The Black Parade was a pretty fun exercise is raising glam from the dead). The first arc is pretty fantastic but I hate that there isn't more of this book. I want to know everything about the characters. It bothered me that I didn't know more. It was like coming into a movie halfway through. I suppose that that is just the literary device that is easiest to use for a rock star who is constantly on the road. Still, it's frustrating.

In other news, my band played it's first show. It went well. We played three songs in a black-lit room. Tons of bands played: Cameron Wisch, Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt!, Math the Band, Lima Research Society, Landlords, Elemeno Pete, Santa Dads. It was a good day. Cameron Wisch really blew me away. He used to drum for Ra Ra Riot. Definitely one of the sickest drummers I've ever seen.

We have another show on Friday. Zombie-style.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Times They Are A-Changin'

Now at midnight all the agents and the superhuman crew come out and round up everyone that knows more than they do Bob Dylan's "Desolation Row"

Watchmen was much better the second time around on a screen bigger than my house when I wasn't pressed up against the front of the theater, needing to basically lay down in my seat to actually see. (Damn New Paltz Cinemas!)

After watching it the first time I was kind of mystified by it. I mean, they did it. Filmed the unfilmable and all that jazz. Couple of problems though.

1. The soundtrack was too loud and no one should have sex to Leonard Cohen. That man's gravely voice will have you losing wood faster than Rue McClanahan naked on a freezing winter day.

2. Malin Akerman is the worst actress ever. She ruined just about every scene she was in.

3. The resolution of the movie took too long. After the plot is revealed, it should've been Rorschach dies, Nite Owl gets mad and cut to the newspaper scene. cue credits and bad MCR cover of Dylan.

4. The Dr. Manhattan/ Silk Spectre scene on Mars was completely unsatisfying. (See #2)

5. I wish Ozymandias wasn't so villainous. And I wish Matthew Goode was a better actor.

Watching it the second time, I was distracted by less things like the gratuitous amounts of violence and blood and all the annoying slow motion. I think the movie is really as faithful an adaptation we'll ever see. Almost everything is covered. Hooded Justice and Captain Metropolis' homosexuality is alluded to. The Rorschach scenes are fantastic.

I was much more skeptical a few days after the first time around. The message of the material does change through this adaptation but I think that the book just takes the film's resolution ne step further. In the book, I like tot think that there is world peace for a split second before the Squid wipes everything out. The movie just never lets the world end.

Maybe it's too nicely packaged. But maybe that was the only way to do it.

Oh, and go watch those opening credits at least. They are easily my favorite part of the movie, Jackie Earle Haley not included.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Rebirthed Like a Phoenix Through the Spirit of the Beat

AbsolutePunk.net published one of my pieces today!

It is called "Rebirthed Like a Phoenix Through the Spirit of the Beat"

Here's the beginning:

The walls are sweating. I’m sweating. I’m stepping on someone’s broken beer bottle and a large plank of wood just fell from the ceiling. Feedback rips through the room. The basement is packed like the E train during rush hour. A broken chair, a mop and scraps of duct tape litter the floor. They used to be a mic stand. The crowd looks on expectantly, straining to see over each other. I quiet them down.

You can read the rest here.

This feels really good. Thanks AP.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Happy Endings: Slumdog Millionaire and Joss Whedon Says Something I've Always Said

I will go where I will go, and I will jettison all dead weight, and I will use these words for kindling, and I will sleep by the garden gate. My garden will grow so high. My garden will grow so high that I will be completely hidden. The Mountain Goats' "Island Garden Song"

It may be a little late to talk about the Oscars but whatever.

Since "Slumdog Millionaire" won all those awards, I've been thinking about why it was so successful. Now I liked 'Slumdog.' I went to go see it without any preconceived notions or ideas about it and came out of the theater pretty happy that I had seen it. It was the feel good hit of the year and certainly that added to it's popularity.

But I can't help but think that movies like 'Slumdog' make us, as Americans, that much more desensitized to the world around around us. Some atrocious things happen in that movie but in the end the hero gets the girl, wins the money and everything is great. I feel like this movie has (incorrectly) given people the right to think that they don't have an obligation to help those in need because hey, they win a million dollars. I realize that I'm really not giving people a lot of credit but I think people rally behind movies like this because recognizing something like it seems like doing some sort of favor to those involved in making it.

Maybe I'm being too cynical.

In other, geekier news Joss Whedon (creator of Firefly and Serenity among other fantastic things) agrees with me. I have always said that the reason that Marvel Comics just work better is because their characters always seem more human. Even Thor bides his time between immortal god and human doctor! Of course, I will give that Batman has all the qualities of great Marvel characters. Mr. Whedon does have a point there. Still Spider-Man. He's from Queens. I could practically be him.


Glad to have good ol' Joss on my side.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

I feel so dumb

Sometimes, when sailors are sailing,they think twice, about where they're anchoring and I think I could make better time of my time on land. I'll drink less 'cause lord knows I could use a warm kiss instead of a cold goodbye. I'm writing the folks back home to tell them "hey im doing alright" The Format's "If Work Permits"

This post will make me sound selfish and immature. You'll probably I am spoiled and have entitlement issues. Just warning you.

It all ended last year. It was early February. It didn't seem real. It didn't seem definite, more like a cruel April Fool's joke played 2 months too early. We didn't talk, I mean, we couldn't. There were a few vague internet postings and that was it. The Format broke up. A band I considered a favorite of mine since high school and one of the only ones to truly endure into college was finished. So I stopped listening to them. Cold turkey.

I thought I could avoid the new bands pretty easily and I did.

But today I found out that fun is touring with Manchester Orchestra and I will have to see them live.

This is the biggest problem in my life right now.

Poor me right?