My internet service is currently on the fritz and thus my attempt at posting my thoughts on Monday’s Decemberists concert got fucked up.  Thus the partial post that was up here. Things are fixed, so regular service will return this evening. Sorry.


They Forgot Classic Hits like “Global Warming is a Myth” and “The Trickle-Down Rock”

In my travels across the Internet, I stumbled across this list (http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=NzZkNDU5MmViNzVjNzkzMDE3NzNlN2MyZjRjYTk4YjE=)
where the National Review decides to count down the top 50 Conservative rock songs.

Yeah that’s right “conservative rock songs.” The funny thing is, for the most part, rather than trying to find songs that were truly written trying to say something conservative, the list is made of misinterpreted lyrics with the article’s author, John J. Miller saying, “See? See? They’re really conservative at heart!”

The list is already screamingly funny. There’s a few choices I expected to see, like “Taxman” by the Beatles or “Sweet Home Alabama” by Skynyrd. But for the most part, the rest of the list is so bizarre, so baffling that you won’t believe what you’re reading.

“Gloria” by U2 is included because it has a few lines in Latin. (What the fuck?) Ben Folds’ continual insistence that “Brick” is not a political song falls on deaf ears, as that song comes in at #23. “Wake Up Little Susie” by the Everly Brothers is on there. Apparently falling asleep and having the town think you were getting it on represents the conservative party. (I’m still trying to figure that one out.)

The number one head-scratcher has to be “Who’ll Stop the Rain” by CCR. Nowhere in my wildest imagination can I figure out any possible justification for listing a Vietnam protest song as a conservative anthem. I’m honestly wondering if this John J. Miller guy has disguised himself as a conservative to secretly make fun of them behind their backs.

I decided to come up with a few entries that really should’ve been on the list, complete with lyrical evidence and the sort of supporting comments I’d expect from a product of the National Review’s caliber. It’s a shame, because I think they might be a little more telling of the true spirit of conservatism… Read the rest of this entry »

Invest your time – DVD style!

Hey all. This will be my first in a series of DVDs you should invest your time with if you haven’t seen the show the first time around or want to relive the shows you love. Some of these are not on the air anymore so DVD is your ticket to television bliss.

Ok, for my first series I highly recommend Six Feet Under. I don’t have HBO so I didn’t get to watch it when it was on (last year was its final season), but I’ve been watching it avidly with my girlfriend on DVD. We are starting season four right now and I believe it’s the final season.

SFU is the story of a dysfunctional family in LA who run a funeral home, Fisher and Sons, in the wake of the family patriarch and Fisher and Sons owner Nathaniel Fisher (Richard Jenkins). The Fisher’s consist of prodigal eldest son Nate (Peter Krause), uptight taskmaster David (Michael C. Hall), aspiring young artist Claire (Lauren Ambrose), and the insanely prim and reserved matriarch Ruth (Frances Conroy). Also in the cast is David’s on again off again cop boyfriend Keith (Matthew St. Patrick), Nate’s girlfriend Brenda (Rachael Griffiths), who’s a genius but emotionally incapable of keeping her life together, and Rico (Freddy Rodriguez), the funeral home’s restorative artist with aspirations of making partner.

Creator Alan Ball put this series together with the intention of talking about death without the bullshit; our culture is terrified of death and acts like it doesn’t happen. Death is sanitized and almost unreal in this society, and the show is a no-holds bar examination of the emotions, realities, and intricacies of death and life alike. The performances are top notch, with both powerhouse regulars and rotating characters that show up for story archs and disappear continually. Standouts include Frances Conroy’s ruth, who should win best actress even when she’s not in a project, Michael C. Hall’s David, as he navigates through a terrifically written personal journey of dealing with his sexuality, and Richard Jenkins’ Nathaniel, the Fishers’ late father who visits the family from beyond the grave from time to time to dispense wisdom or prod them to seek out a better self knowledge. And of course I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Lauren Ambrose’s Claire. She is incredible in the show, and if you are friends with me on Facebook you already know; I have an unhealthy obsession with Lauren Ambrose.

Aside from the suburb acting, the story lines are great, the writing is excelent, and the cinematography and filming is gorgeous. With only 13 episodes a season, you might feel jipped before you throw the first disc on, but what you’ll find is that each episode is like a 60 minute high budget film, and there is so much character development and so much story is packed into each episode that you will be amazed it all happened in 13 episodes each season. There is a perfect balance of humor and drama, and all else I can say is if you choose to invest your time with this underappreciated gem, get ready to be entertained, and yes, get ready to be moved.

I give seasons 1-3 four out of four stars, and I’ll check back in with you when I’m done with season four.

Six Feet Under (2001-2005) Created by Alan Ball. HBO.

Seasons 1-3 ****

Life of the artist…

The new artist on Ultimate Spider-Man announced. This is good news. Good news indeed!

Why the Trials of Shazam (#3) is a bad comic…

This review is going to be a bit shorter than the last two, since while this book is just AWFUL, it’s hard to keep the bile up after three months. Winick’s terrible new direction for Captain Marvel is no longer infuriating, it’s more pathetic.

What continues to amaze me is that Judd Winick’s fresh new direction for Shazam and magic in the DC Universe was fresh… in early ninitys Vertigo. An evil council of seeks to control magic!!! Magic has role/gender reversals (Solomon is a girl!). Is self cannibalisation a sign of freshness? It’s all very predictable; ideas that staff writers on the X-Files where pitching 10 years ago.

I believe the creature in beginning is the second (or third??) Cthulhu monster that a Shazam character has fought. I for one am sick of it. These sort of monsters are far too common in mystical comics these days (another sign of the FRESH NEW DIRECTION of Shazam). I’d be nice if writers (not just Winick) would come up with something new.

And look, we get to meet Freddie’s new nemesis this issue. Oh and how intimating she is dressed in white jeans and a cut off t-shirt. Those mystical villians really know where style is these days (In-Style Magazine Villian Edition?). To be fair, it does look like she gets a red Punisher skull on her shirt on next months cover. That certainly spices things up.

My point is that I’m just sick of the post-Matrix superhero world where a good costume consists of just street clothing. The leather look worked for Morrison’s New X-Men but now it’s just tired. (More freshness from Winick)

Howard Porter’s new art style (which I found interesting in the first issue) just keeps getting worse and worse. He manages in this issue to make someone combusting to death look boring.

That tattoo Freddie gets looks like Porter swiped it straight from a crappy Michael Turner book.
What really stuns me in this issue is that Winick didn’t need to darken up Freddie’s origin. It was already fucked up.

This book continues to slide down hill month in and month out. What horrors await us next month? RATING: UTTER SHIT

I hadn’t quite realized you were taking them to kill your creativity… (Comics Reviews: 10/25)

Lots of books this week to review so I’m going to get to it right away. Sadly though, the store did NOT get Seven Soldiers #1 this week.  Disappointing, I know.

Read the rest of this entry »

Milovan Djilas’ Obscure Music Hour!

Well this is my answer to Tito’s song of the week columns. In it I will deal with more esoteric music, music you’re unlikely to have heard of, probably, maybe. Expect more about Voodoo Glow Skulls than about Audioslave, and more on Dirty and the Mudflaps than Guster. By the way, Milovan Djilas was Tito’s Vice President in Yugoslavia until around 1948, so I felt it was a fitting name to adopt.

Read the rest of this entry »