Say you have a regular bedmate, inasmuch as you have someone you regularly sleep next to (let’s keep the scenario PG for now with some suggestive themes).
Now, say this person is ill. Not gravely, probably just a nasty cold or flu. Its also entirely possible your bedmate has been exhausted for the last few days, which might make them particularly susceptible to a bug that’s going around.
With me so far? Good.
Assume that you are a bit of a hypochondriac. You hate being sick. Also assume that your bed is WAY comfy.
My conundrum is this: do I continue sleeping next to my regular bedmate and accept the possibility of infection? Or, do I temporarily relocate to the guest bed, which us smaller, colder, and generally not as awesome?
I want to emphasize I wouldn’t be sleeping next to her out of some moral obligation. I rather like having someone sleeping beside me. Plus, like I said before, the big bed is rad. Still, being an utter pansy when it comes to being sick (I HATE IT) I am slightly concerned.
I suppose it’s sort of inevitable I get whatever she has (if indeed I am going to get it) regardless whether or not I sleep next to her. We live together, hug, kiss, share Pad Thai. You always end up getting sick from co-workers and dickbags on the bus, might as well get the sniffles from someone you like. Just wondering about the etiquette, that’s all.
For some reason, this is basically the first time in about a week I’ve felt able to sit down at my computer and just veg. Its one of those situations where I’ve been running around like a chicken with his head cut off and yet have almost nothing to show for myself.
On the plus side, THE NEW MATCH BY MATCH SINGLE IS NOW AVAILABLE! We’ll hopefully be releasing a few more before the end of December, all leading up to “American Crowbar” dropping like the fist of God some time this summer. It’s only a buck, so go check it out.
Last night was pretty great. Nice to play before and audience that actually seems interested in music. Thanks so much to Matt (from the totally awesome band Gun Lake) and Bri for coming out as well as all the people Melissa had told but I didn’t know.
So yeah. Jack Johnson/John Mayer/Sublime is a PRETTY popular combination of influences for college dude who play guitar and write songs about girls. I’ll elaborate more at a later date.
…Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” from being performed by a cappella groups. Or really, anyone.
Seriously, all of you: STOP IT. It’s bad. You sound bad. If I have to hear another group of cleverly named sophomores (Noteworthy, Looking Sharp, Tip the Scales, etc) over-pronounce “before I knew YA,” I will have Leonard Cohen come to your recitals and embarrass you by being grumpy and horny.
There are millions of songs out there with vaguely transcendent themed lyrics and pretty melodies. Do “Chelsea Hotel.” See how that goes over.
I have no idea what is causing the funk or how long it’ll last. I’m hoping I can crawl out of it relatively quickly before I spend all my money on movies, food, and comic books. In the meantime, please forgive me if I’m short with you. I’ll likely regret it later.
So I took a listen to the most recent podcast if Sound Opinions, a usually pretty quality music crit podcast, and who should I hear but the omnipresent Best Coast.
Now, I think in the past I’ve probably been a bit hard on BC as being part of this immense wave of 60s influenced fuzz pop that I find a bit disingenuous. Furthermore, their record just doesn’t do it for me. It feels too restrained, too calculated.
But you know what? I really enjoyed their performances on SO. The songwriting is good, the arrangements tight, and Bethany Cosentino’s voice is really charming. Once you strip away the layers and layers of bullshit fuzz and lo-fi affection, you get this nice pop band. I think they are 1000 times better when they aren’t hiding behind ambient noise and this stupid lo-fi aesthetic that is the current fetish.
You know, there’s something I noticed that I feel has’t been properly discussed.
People working within the comic book industry (both publishers and retailers) are really, REALLY touchy about the idea of downloading comics for free on the internet.
This, of course, is reasonable. It’s a print industry and downloading does take away from comic book sales assuming the comic is currently in print and available.
Still, there’s an intense disdain and visceral reaction to the idea of downloading within the comic industry that I’ve seen that strikes me as odd and, to be honest, indicative of of the sort of attitude that killed the music industry. It’s this, “FREE DOWNLOADS ARE NEVER COOL!” sentiment that sounds like the establishment, the “man,” setting himself at odds with the winds of change. It hurts my heart to see young, intelligent people aligning themselves with the status quo, even if the reason they’re doing it is the noble preservation of the art with both love.
The sad truth for those who profit by the methods of distribution is that the internet has, if not made you outright obsolete, really called into question your need to exist like you have. The thing which is tough about whole proposition is that it effects both the lumbering corporate side AND the mom and pop stores, perhaps the former more than the later.
The truth that seems to elude these folks who decry free downloads is that COMICS WILL CONTINUE FOREVER, regardless if there is the publishing/distribution machine behind them. The “end of the music industry” we are currently witnessing has BY NO MEANS meant the “end of music.” Some might argue that we’ve seen a burst of creativity from non-centralized, previously-unmarketed to sources. We’ve seen the rise of independent voices, new forms, and globalization, all of which I feel has been creatively stimulating. I believe this can and has been happening within the comics industry and it has made the medium stronger. I believe this is something we should be thankful for, given how ailing and cloistered the industry was in recent years.
The other thing to remember is that, moreso than music, comics appeal has been MUCH more physical. Music has a certain sensual touch appeal (vinyl, tapes), but its function can be reproduced basically the same way from reel-to-reel tape or mp3. Comics have the images of paper and frankly, I haven’t been terrible impressed with the tablet functionality I’ve seen. Furthermore, the back issues collecting aspect (like vinyl) will always be a vital component of the industry.
I understand people’s fear and frankly, if comics were paying my bills, I would probably feel the same way. Perhaps this paradigm shift is effecting my ability to later profit off my work in the medium (it certainly has in music). Still, the fact remains: there are SO FEW people who work within the medium on the publishing/distribution side compared to the multitude who merely appreciate it for its mythic and entertainment value that I think turning the readers into moral (or legal) criminals is only cloistering the industry more in it’s crumbling ivory tower. I’m not usually a “wisdom of crowds” guy, but the point here isn’t that, “as long as everyone’s doing it, it’s ok,” but more that the REASON everyone is doing it wit such blase impunity is that they recognize, on a primal, basic level, the delicate balance has shifted.
…According to the Adam McKay episode of WTF with Marc Maron (one of my absolute favorite podcasts), Adam McKay is currently rewriting the screenplay to Garth Ennis’ "The Boys", which will be going into production later next year.
In my mind, this is pretty much perfect. The Boys is such an enjoyable book, with that perfect mix of ugliness, humor and heart that Adam McKay GETS. He’s got the hollywood mojo to get it made and made without dumb compromises, plus gets the political reality of the book and I’m really looking forward to seeing his take.
What the FUCK is going on with music these days?, pt. 1: Witch House
OK. “Witch House.” Or, if you prefer, “drag.”
I feel like I should like this. Or “get it.” Or at least have heard of this before now.
Let’s go down the list of shit I like, shall we?
Name of my favorite city in New England? Yes.
Vague aura of spookiness? Yup, check.
Cool halloween-y genre name. Mmm-hmm, got it.
Played largely by DIY, non-musicians? Sure thing.
Still this… this just sucks. Well, maybe not sucks. But it’s just… not a thing. Like, I don’t get how this is a thing. It sounds very much like 80s post punk mixed with a touch of electro, i.e. DARKWAVE, WHICH HAS BEEN AROUND FOR YEARS. It’s a fuzzier Joy Division. I suppose there’s maybe a bit of a tribal, romantic element too. More than that, it feels like something I’ve heard before, only played by chubby goth kids instead of druggy hipsters to MUCH less acclaim. I suppose it wasn’t bad then, nor is it bad now. It just seems…
Call me cynical, but I feel like this is yet another way that the “cool” kids appropriate geekiness and cheapen the whole fucking thing. There’s like this whole ugly story that occurs when B+ to A- attractive people decide that they “don’t want to be pretty,” they want to be “interesting,” and suddenly start looking at the stuff us uggo-geeks like as fodder for their “personality.”
Seriously. Salem looks like this:
This is a band of beautiful fairy-folk. What. THEFUCK.
Look, all I’m saying is, there are fat dudes dressed as Robert Plant who have been playing this since the 80s, but the kids have convinced themselves they invented all on their own. I dunno, maybe the difference is the whole thing is more cynical and detached, but that doesn’t endear me to it. Irony is severely overrated, nor is nihilism much more charming. Maybe it’s a drug addict thing.
Match by Match is back. We’ve been lying dormant, dead and dreaming in our house under the waves, but that is not dead which can eternal lie. And with strange aeons even death may die.
Ahem. That is to say: We’re back, we got bitchin’ new tunes from our upcoming album “American Crowbar,” we have shows coming up later this month, and remember: this road never leads you down the same way twice.
It is the ultimate in human arrogance that presumes that, upon contact with an alien species, their first impulse would be to anally probe us. It’s basically saying that every species in the universe wants to have sex with us.
While I’m sure I’m gonna get a few h8ers on this, Tabasco sauce is kind of bullshit. It functions only superficially as a decent hot sauce, not hot enough to add real spice, but too spicy to be just a flavoring. It exists in bullshit limbo of condiments, taunting me as I eat my nasty, bloated burrito. Chipotle, you’ve bet on the wrong horse here.
After having a few days to digest AMC’s new horror television show, the Walking Dead, I think I’ve come to a few satisfactory conclusions.
As both a horror and comic fan, my allegiances were already well in place coming into the prospect: I was really hoping it’d be good. That said, my growing distaste for zombies (despite their unquenchable taste for me) tempered my enthusiasm. That on top of the fact that, while Robert Kirkman is, in my mind, truly a great comic writer (Invincible is one of the best superhero comics PERIOD), the series “The Walking Dead” lost me awhile back. This was due to no lack of skill in the writing or art nor a failure in concept; but rather a growing distaste and queasiness for what the comic represented.
Friends of mine have heard me talk about the comic series “The Walking Dead” as a kind of death march. To me, that’s what it feels like reading it. This, again, isn’t due to some failing on Kirkman’s part: he has stated in various interviews that he doesn’t have a particular “arc,” that he hasn’t “seeded” an ending, but rather the comic is a sort of cinema verite for what life would be like for the survivors of a zombie apocalypse.
Thus, like the zombies themselves, the comic book shambles from issue to issue, occasionally pausing for a moment of quiet reflection before mindlessly unleashing new horrors, as the human characters are deformed by the experience, leaving you with this unshakeable hypothesis: IT’S NEVER GOING TO GET BETTER.
It’s unrelentingly, unerringly bleak. And frankly, I don’t like bleak. This might come as a surprise to those that know me as a cynical horror fan. I make no bones about the fact I dig blood and guts and scares; nor will a bullshit you about my worldview being essentially dark and my propensity for villains.
But “The Walking Dead” is a different kind of bleak. It’s a hopelessness, a purposeless. There’s no reason these things are happening, nothing to explain, no way to accommodate. THERE’S NO DRAMATIC PAYOFF, only death or survival for another day. This type of bleakness is one I can’t abide in my art; it assaults me, my sense of security. As a narrative and arc nerd, the sort of unendingness of it also leaves me unsatisfied.
This, as I must keep mentioning, is no failing on the part of Robert Kirkman’s vision. The characterization is sound, the horror visceral, and everything about the series quite well done. It’s just, like I said, not to my taste.
Thus, the AMC show is a bit of an interesting thing for me. First off, while I was nervous about the show only fanning the flames of douchebag’s zombie fetish, I can see that, like the comic, it’s quite the opposite. Already the strains of flood and hopelessness are trickling in. Rick isn’t the Tallahassee, “FUCK YEAH” zombie killer we’ve seen and tried to think of ourselves as, and the zombies aren’t the silly props for “sweet kills.”
Like everything on AMC, it’s terribly well done. There’s a real beauty in the cinematography that makes it more watchable than the comic is readable. It tempers the bleakness with color. It also succeeds in really making the world a nightmare from which you can’t wake up. The gore is unflinching, the zombie effects marvelous, and the writing and acting… well, it’s not Mad Men, but it works.
Two things trouble me:
One, Rick isn’t much of a protagonist. He’s not much of anything really. True, he hasn’t been given much to do yet, but I don’t really feel much for him.
And two, the show, thus far, has been a pretty faithful study of the first few issues of comic, which makes me nervous about the issues of soul crushing bleakness I mentioned before.
That out of the way, I think the show is pretty impressive and hope, like HBO’s True Blood, it spirals out from its (flawed) source material into something unique, magical, and totally insane.
An Apology to most of the Women in the Modern World
As Halloween winds down for us working in the costuming retail business with increasing urgency, I feel a sudden and intense sadness and remorse about the state of the average, modern woman. While I feel my personal hand in the making of this creature is maybe not the most deciding, I recognize that my place among “mankind” (meaning, in this case, the male race) makes me culpable and, since I don’t see many others of my gender stepping up to the plate, I humbly offer myself up upon the alter of accountability:
I am, as a man, truly sorry for what we have done to women, what we have turned them into.
Working in retail around Halloween, in an average college town, I am filled with anger and disgust at what these women seem delighted to be.
The truth is that culturally, we as men have transformed women into these slight, flighty creatures, flinching at their intellectual capacity. We have taught them to delight in shallowness and materialism. We have forced them to forever see themselves as a sexual object for men and on THIS day, above all days, to be constantly asking themselves, “Is this sexy enough?.” We have, for all intents and purposes, DOMESTICATED girls. You know, like DOGS.
Many would try and argue that this is a personal feeling, that the feeling of “being sexy” doesn’t have to be a quest for approval from the opposite sex, but I don’t buy it for THIS REASON: if that were the case, why aren’t most men’s costumes “sexy” or about overt, unironic sexualization? It’s not even competitive; mens costumes are almost universally “funny,” or “ironic” or “clever,” occasionally with the really good looking ones being a careful study and reproduction of a thing (again falling under “clever”). Women’s costumes are UNIVERSALLY “sexy” or “sexy variation on a regular thing.” Sexy convict, sexy firefighter, sexy “Alice from Alice in Wonderland,” sexy hobo.
Ladies, I acknowledge and thank god every day for your sexiness. But the truth is, my lasciviousness is starting to become tempered by profound guilt and disgust at the flesh parade that occurs every halloween. It’s silly, this weird ritual of female disempowerment as drunk girls in lame hotpants stumble around in awkward heels.
That said, I sincerely apologize for the millennia of oppression and degradation we’ve put you through. That in mind, get on with the ironic/hilarious costumes.