Monday, October 31, 2005

Insert Short Comments Here

Got a couple of things in the idea hopper, that I'll have to get to when I have time. Until then a few short tidbits.

+ If you just can wait to read something new, my best chance to actually post is in the wee hours of the morning or sometime after I'm off the clock. SO if you're cruising for a new post bear with me as I get a hang of my new schedule.

+ Ringo. My least favorite Beatle. But the man has talent. Ringo Starr is the glue that holds everything together on Rubber Soul. Take a listen to the record, and just listen to his drumming. I haven't listened to the record in a long while, so while working on some duplicate exchange last week I put it in. Man oh man, Rubber Soul is Ringo at his finest.

+ Black Panther. Why does he have a cape? His "totem" is a panther. Capes are synonymous with flying. Panthers do not fly. Maybe it denotes royalty, or maybe it's a requirement that all Marvel B-listers are required to have a it true Moon Knight?

+ I want a Me First And the Gimme Gimmes CD in which they do TV show themes. My the gods of Rock n Roll make it so!

+ She-Hulk II #1 will heal the lame. Michael Allred Solo will give sight to the blind. They are now both my comic book holy relics and are treated as Holy objects.

+ If I ever meet Gilbert Esker in person I will knock him on his ass with a punch to the jaw and a kick to the groin. I reject violence, I will be compelled to do it because his Halloween Mix contains a song that it 4 minutes and 43 seconds of absolute torture. When I first heard it, (no lie), I almost threw up. This song almost induced vomiting. The song? I Believe I Can Fly as sung by William Hung. I cannot express just how painful this song was. I have never ever experienced such a reaction to "music".

+ Dear Postal Person, please hurry your ass up and get me my next batch of Veronica Mars Season 1 DVDs (via Netflix), because it is now literally causing me to lose sleep. It's like Nancy Drew channeling Twin Peaks and the O.C. (not that I ever watched the O.C.).

+ See this is how politics is played. You (meaning most of Red & Blue America) didn't like Harriet Myers, we get some one more qualified, but more entrenched in conservatism. Harry Reid, please get rid of the Monkey's Paw.


Friday, October 28, 2005

Lefty's Friday Three Questions

If I have 3 questions, it must be Friday. Once again, my answers are in the comments section, where you are invited to leave your answers there as well. This week's theme...a little thing called Worst.

1. Forget favorites, what's your choice for the worst Beatles, Rolling Stones, Who, and (what-the-hell) Madonna song?

2. What's the worst movie you paid full-price to see in a theater? Did you take a date to it?

3. What's going to suck more ass, the next Rocky flick, or the next Rambo flick?


Thursday, October 27, 2005

Lefty's Creature Feature Mix -The Director's Commentary

Yes, that's a Lefty original drawing above. Proving my art talent never progressed beyond a 3rd grade level, I thought the picture would add a sort of homemade school project touch to my Halloween Mixed Bag, dubbed Lefty's Creature Feature Mix. I tried to put together a mix that would connect to the spirit of Halloween and cinema, without being bogged down as being too holiday themed. Here's my tracklisting (with commentary):

1. Frankenstein -Phish

Phish covering the Edgar Winter instrumental. This was one of two Phish tracks that I was debating about using. The other was Wolfman's Brother, but ultimately I chose this track because Frankenstein is so iconic to Halloween costumes, not too mention to movies. It's not a bold introduction to the mix, but get my blood going in a few places.

2. Rock Lobster -B-52's

This song almost didn't make the cut. When I was worried about space, this song was cut. Sure it's sorta fits in with the creature theme, but originally Sabbath's War Pigs occupied the spot. However when I listened to the mix, War Pigs was a bit too soft in the mix, so Rock Lobster was back in. I think the mix is better for it, as it picks up the mix, and those synths really give it a Halloween flavor.

3. Godzilla -Widespread Panic

My new co-worker is a total Godzilla freak, and I say that in a good way. He loves this song, not because he's a big fan of rock music, because it mentions his favorite radioactive mutant dinosaur. This cover by Widespread Panic was the only version of the Blue Oyster Cult song I had, but it does give it a little bit of new life to this tired classic.

4. Invisible Man -Queen

Not really the best Queen song, but I have to admit it grew on me. I like the urgency of the refrain near the beginning. It's catchy, and I'm glad I fulfilled my requisite Queen inclusion in a mix CD (sadly there is no ABBA inclusion, thus violating mix CD rules and regulations).

5. Little Ghost -White Stripes

I love, love , LOVE this song. I always crack up listening to it, about a guy falling in love with a ghost no one else can see. Come to think of it, this would make a kick-ass blues song, if slowed down in tempo. God, I love the White Stripes.

6. Moanin' At Midnight -Howlin' Wolf

I gladly broke the rule on my "creature feature" by including Moanin' at Midnight. Sure it could be argued that it warrants inclusion because it's sung by Howlin' Wolf, but hearing that soul-chillin moans at the beginning of the song, I knew I had to use this song in the mix. And a good thing too, because Roger Green used the other Wolf song I was thinking about using, Howlin' Wolf's "Evil".

7. Sympathy for the Devil -Rolling Stones

This is just a flat-out great rock & roll song, and fits in well with my creature feature. Still maybe it's my lack of faith or my world-weariness, but as a Christian I'm less scared of Satan and his minions than I am of humanity's own fallen depravities that scare the living' bejeezus out of me, whether it's using torture in the name of preserving democracy, or killing millions of people because they make a convenient scapegoat.

8. Reptile -The Church

The song only tangetically fits into my mix, but I knew earlier on I would be using it. I love the leathery feel of this song. I just had to include this.

9. Witch in the Ditch -Erasure

I used this song to change things up a bit. Maybe it was too much, because I'm not sure if it's too slow, but I do enjoy the vocals. However I was sold in how well it fit with the mix theme.

10. The Fly -U2

I almost forgot about this song. I spent a night going through each and every CD I own to see if they had any creature titles I could use. I almost missed this, because the song titles aren't on the back cover. However, I remembered, and I loved the shout-out to the great black and white horror flick of the same name.

11. Pet Semantary -The Ramones

This was one of the first songs I know I wanted to use on the disc (Godzilla was the actual first song). It's a pretty cool song, and sometimes I can't believe the Ramones did a song for a crappy Stephen King horror movie. Still at least it brought to fruition this really cool song.

12. Evil Clown -Derek Trucks Band

Another change-up, this song doesn't exactly fit perfectly in the "Creature Feature" theme, but hey people get scared of clowns, and especially EVIL clowns. I wasn't going to budge on cutting this song from the mix because I love how the song changes gears and the tone of Derek's guitar.

13. Prince of Darkness -Indigo Girls

This song just narrowly missed the cut when I had to cut 8 songs to make the time fit on a single disc. Can you believe I cut a Springsteen song (Devils & Dust) over this track. Still I think I made the right decision. I love the harmonies on this track, which always gets me into an embarrassing falsetto when I sing along in the car.

14. I'm A Ghost -Ted Leo & the Pharmacists

Earlier in the year, I was turned onto this great rock band via my first Mixed Bag. So I was excited to see I could sorts return the favor and use another great track from the CD. I definitely see more Ted Leo CD in my future.

15. See number 17 for explanation.

16. (really 15.) Corpse -Passengers

This track was going to lead off this disc. I had it that way for the longest time, but when I heard how the songs flow, I thought that this would made a better ending song than beginning. Passengers is of course a side project of U2 with Brian Eno. This really creepy song had an ambiance that I liked.

17. (really 16) Bonus Track: In Memory of Elizabeth Reed -Allman Brothers Band

This song was a very last minute addition to the mix. I was exercising one night at the gym and brought the CD this track came from. Recorded in Feb. 1970, is one of my favorite performances of the song. It really got my blood going on the treadmill. I decided that it would fit on the mix because a young girl's tombstone was Dickey Betts' inspiration for this jam. However I was in a rush and didn't notice how low the levels were on the track, so in hindsight I probably shouldn't have used it. Still, turn it up and just feel the electricity.

15. (really 17) Wave of Mutilation -The Pixies

Doh! I was working fast and made a mistake. So what was supposed to be track 15 turned into the last track. This is my favorite Pixies song, and while it clearly doesn't fall into my "creature feature" theme, I wasn't about to be such a stickler that I couldn't neglect this song's inclusion.

So that's my mix. Want to listen to it? I have two extra copies to give away, along with a little Halloween treat I sent each Halloween Mixed Bag participant, a comic book, the Goon 25 cent issue. Drop me an email if you want a free copy. First two requesters with their mailing addy gets a copy of the comic and the mix.


Lefty is Proven Correct

Paul Taylor I told you so! You owe me a beer when we get together for the U2 concert in Oakland in a couple of weeks.

My only concern is who Bush will nominate next. Still, I am enough of a bastard to wish Harriet would have gone to a full vote and crashed and burned. This gives Bushie a little bit of saving grace despite his boneheaded move picking a friend with no experience...not like he's never done THAT before.


Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Favorite Songs Meme

I saw this over on Tosy and Cosh, and have been wanting to do it for a while, just haven't found time....until now:

Favorite Beatles song: If I Fell
Favorite solo song by a former Beatle: Imagine
Favorite Bob Dylan song: A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall
Favorite Pixies song: Wave of Mutilation
Favorite Prince song: When Doves Cry
Favorite Michael Jackson song: Billie Jean
Favorite Metallica song: Unforgiven
Favorite Public Enemy song: Welcome to the Terrordome
Favorite Depeche Mode song: Blasphemous Rumors
Favorite Cure song: Just Like Heaven
Favorite song that most of your friends haven't heard: Me & My Monkey -Robbie Williams
Favorite Beastie Boys song: Sabotage
Favorite Police song: Wrapped Around Your Finger
Favorite Sex Pistols song: Anarchy In The U.K.
Favorite song from a movie: Don't You Forget About Me by Simple Minds from The Breakfast Club
Favorite Blondie song: Call Me
Favorite Genesis song: Throwing It All Away
Favorite Led Zeppelin song: Ramble On
Favorite INXS song: Need You Tonight
Favorite Weird Al song: Yoda
Favorite Pink Floyd song: Wish You Were Here
Favorite cover song: Statesboro Blues as done by the Allman Brothers
Favorite dance song: I Want To Dance With Somebody by Whitney Houston (seriously)
Favorite U2 song: With or Without You
Favorite disco song: I Will Survive
Favorite The Who song: Baba O'Riley
Favorite Elton John song: Tiny Dancer
Favorite Clash song: London Calling
Favorite David Bowie song: Space Oddity
Favorite Nirvana song: Dumb
Favorite Snoop Dogg song: ?
Favorite Ice Cube song:
Favorite Johnny Cash song: Folsom Prison Blues
Favorite R.E.M. song: Imitation of Life
Favorite Elvis song: Too Much
Favorite cheesy-ass country song: Two of a Kind Workin On A Full House
Favorite Billy Joel song: My Life
Favorite Bruce Springsteen song: Thunder Road
Favorite Big Audio Dynamite song: ?
Favorite New Order song: True Faith 94
Favorite Neil Diamond song: Sweet Caroline
Favorite Squeeze song: ?
Favorite Smiths song: Death of a Disco Dancer
Favorite Tragically Hip Song:
Favorite Beach Boys song: God Only Knows
Favorite Dave Matthews Band song: Ants Marching
Favorite Dire Straits song: Sultan fo Swing
Favorite Elvis Costello song: Veronica
Favorite Guns 'N Roses song:
Sweet Child O' Mine
Favorite Jimi Hendrix song: Cross Town Traffic
Favorite John Mellencamp song: Pink Houses
Favorite Living Colour song: Cult of Personality
Favorite Neil Young song: Cinnamon Girl
Favorite Paul Simon song: Kodachrome
Favorite Simon & Garfunkel song: I Am A Rock
Favorite Queen song: Fat Bottomed Girls
Favorite Radiohead song: Creep
Favorite Sting song:
Fortress Around Your Heart
Favorite Tracy Chapman song: Fast Car
Favorite Van Morrison song: You're My Woman
Favorite XTC song: Dear God

And I'm adding some of my own:
Favorite Allman Brothers song: Blue Sky
Favorite Grateful Dead song: Ripple
Favorite Green Day song: American Idiot
Favorite The Band song: Arcadian Driftwood
Favorite White Stripes song: Hotel Yorba
Favorite Willie Nelson song: Son of a Preacher
Favorite Indigo Girls song: Galileo
Favorite They Might Be Giants Song: Anna Ng


Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Halloween Mixed Bag Review: Roger Green

Okay, those Halloween Mixed Bags are starting to arrive. Including myself, I'll have 7 discs to review. The first to arrive was Roger Green's. I decided to steal his review format, but let's just say it's an homage:

Name: Roger Ooooowen Green
Blog Name: Ramblin' with Roger
Name of Mix: All Howls Eve 2005
Number of cuts: 18
Song list:
1. Evil -Howlin' Wolf
2. Title Music from A Clockwork Orange
3. Halloween -Duplex Planet
4. Celtic Rock -Donovan
5. Intruder -Peter Gabriel
6. Lovely Creature -Nick Cave
7. Your Long White Fingers -Gothic Archies
8. Gnomus -Pictures at an Exhibition
9. Greed -Duplex Planet
10. The Dead Only Quickly -Gothic Archies
11. Paint It Black -Rolling Stones
12. Voodoo -Neville Brothers
13. I Put A Spell On You -CCR
14. Zombie Jamboree -Rockapella
15. Catacombs -Picture at an Exhibition
16. Thriller rap -Vincent Price & Michael Jackson
17. Black Cat -Janet Jackson
18. Wastepaper Basket Fire -Brian Dewan
Already reviewed by:
General Thoughts: Roger and I must have been thinking on the same wavelength. because I also went for a Howlin' Wolf tune, and I very nearly used Zombie Jamboree but sung by a different singer (Belafonte). All in all a very good mix, I expect no less from Mr. Green.
Things I Particularly Loved: I so almost used "Evil" by Howlin' Wolf. Howlin' Wolf is my 4th favorite Blues player (I'll have to compile that list sometime). I loved the tracks by Duplex Planet, who I now want to know more about. Oh, and Roger and I also had a Rolling Stones cut, but he went a little more creative with Paint it Black, while I went with for Sympathy for the Devil. There are some very strong cuts on this disc, that has me listening to his mix repeatedly throughout my work week. Roger also succeeds in creating a mix that I'll listen to after Halloween (even with the one cut titled "Halloween" on it).
On the Other Hand: I didn't like the Nick Cave cut, the two cuts from Pictures at an Exhibition, and Thriller rap which preserves only the worst part of the song.
Office Friendly: Yes
Only Vaguely Related: Roger used Donovan's "Celtic Rock" on his mix. Donovan has a song called "There is a Mountain", which many consider the impetus of the Allman Brother's monster jam, "Mountain Jam". I used an Allman Brothers song as a Bonus Track on my Halloween Mixed Bag. It's not Mountain Jam, but it too is a monster jam, thought up in a cemetery called Rose Hill.


Monday, October 24, 2005

When Poetry Attacks

This is Lefty working on a post that hasn't quiet found form, until then here's one of my favorite religious poems. I know, I'm blogging about poetry. Next I'll be posting about killer the OC's Seth Cohen hair has been looking or something. Anyway here's the poem:

Bar Fly

Raise that skirt higher,
Let me see Venus
And all the moons of Jupiter.
Let me roam awhile in Your shoes,
Across the universe and back
-Once or twice.
Stiletto heels,
Dispensing grace
And a great set of legs.

Oh Baby,
Let me see You strut Your stuff.
Shake what Your Mama gave You,
Spread them wide and far.
Caress the universe,
Share Your mystery,
In six various dimensions.
Where time has no meaning,
Where jaws

Lower Your top,
And let me see
The sky.
Milky clouds in the shapes
Of Animals and Actors.
Look a dove,
No, a burning tongue.

Let me hear You speak.
Sweet, sultry, and strong,
Make my knees weak,
And quench this thirst.
Whisper in my ear.
Let me feel Your breath float by,
Tell me just how good I make You feel.

Wrap me around Your nimble ‘lil finger.
I wanna be Your go-to man.
I know You’ve heard that song before,
But those others,
they don’t mean a thing to me.
I took up with a bad, bad crowd.
And this time-
This Time.
I can stop anytime,
I damn well please.
Just give my ass a second chance,
A midnight reprieve.
Just cozy up next to me,
And let me get a squeeze
Off of Your love.
A last call drink from Your well.
Ring the bell, and give me a shot.


Scheduling Changes

New stuff is on the way...seriously. You'll see posting in the early evening, as I try to adjust to a more hectic schedule.

Until, discuss. Do you buy more music now than you did 10 years ago? If not, is it because of the current music industry, or can you chalk it up to the economy?


Friday, October 21, 2005

Still Able to Blow Out Candles

This blog is 2 years old today. If I find some downtime later on today, maybe I'll even navel-gaze and celebrate a little bit. Watch for that, and my Friday 2 questions later on. Until then, comment on how this blog changed your life, healed the sick and blind, and caused dogs and cats to get along just a little bit.

Back to the grind. I got Duplicate Exchange lists to compile. Library boy to the rescue!


Thursday, October 20, 2005

Lefty's Weekly Top Ten

I made a decision to retire my Weekly Top Ten, in favor of forcing myself not to rely on this old crutch. Just one thing I decided to change as I head into my third year of blogging. So for your entertainment here's my last Weekly Top Ten:

1. "The Last Chronicles of Thomas Covenant: The Runes of the Earth" by Stephen R. Donaldson Finished off the first two trilogies of this series, and now I've begun the first book in the last trilogy. And then it's a long wait until the next book comes out. These books have been my lunchtime and down-time reading material for about two months now.

2. My Name is Earl (NBC) My favorite new show. I'm glad folks are watching it, so I'll at least get another season out of it.

3. Arrested Development Season 1 & 2 DVD I've recently begun my exhaustive viewing of Arrested Development. I'm taking my time to watch all the episodes, plus the commentaries, and extras. I'm halfway through the first season, and already catching stuff I missed the first two times around.

4. X-Men Legends II (Xbox) I'm now near the end of the game and been having fun trying to finish off Apocalypse. The Xbox Live portion of the game is really awful, but the first player has been loads of fun. I find myself using Wolverine, Juggernaut, Magneto, and Iceman the most.

5. The Losers (DC Comics) Finally picked up the third trade paperback, Trifecta. My shop was out of it for the longest time, but lo and behold it was on the stand last night. So I started re-reading the series from the beginning. The series ends in a couple of months, and I'm hoping with it being optioned for a movie, and the strong word of mouth, the trades will come out afterwards. This is a high-octane thriller of a comic that really outdoes many big budget action movies. It also put Andy Diggle on my mental map of writers I'll at least give a chance on any new project.

6. Commander-In-Chief (ABC) My second favorite new show. I was thinking yesterday about why I really dig this new show. It's gotten a lot of knocks for it just being a show to get viewers ready for Hillary's run for the office, but really there are just so dissimilarities between this fictional President, and the presidency a Hillary Clinton White House would look like. For one, a President Hillary would have more support. One major reason I love C-I-C is that the President is Independent and has to try to get support from Republicans that feel betrayed, and Democrats (which I hope we see more of in future episodes) that want her to embrace their agenda. Meanwhile, she is trying to shape her role as President of the United States. Another big difference is the family make-ups of each. In a Hillary White House it would basically be Hillary and Bill. In C-I-C, we are treated to whole storylines of family issues with the President's husband, two teenagers (boy and girl), and one younger adolescent daughter. This is good television, with the potential of becoming great television if they could just reign in Sutherland's villainy, and a little less preaching and more nuance.

7. West Wing (NBC) Why yes, I am a fictional political junkie. I'm of two minds about West Wing this season. So far it has been a stellar season, so a part of me wants it to continue with whoever will be the next President. The other part of me is that the show should end on a high note, and this season has totally turned itself around (except I do need more Donna & Josh romantic screen time) from two seasons ago.

8. Rod Stewart "Reason to Believe: The Complete Mercury Recordings" With the exception of his Faces work, this is all the Rod Stewart anyone really needs, and it's so freakin' great! This went back on my shelf as I begun work on my Halloween Mixed Bag mix, but now that most of the leg work is done on that, I've been re-discovering this collection. Each day I'll play one of the three discs a couple times at work just to get appreciate some of it's brilliance. I love the laid-back country rock. It reminds me of my favorite Van Morrison record, Tupelo Honey.

9. Amazing Race: Family Edition (CBS) It's not the best season of Amazing Race, but it's definitely the most heart-rending. Seeing the looks on kids and teenagers faces as they get eliminated alongside their 'rents has been hard because you just want the best for them (um, except for that one really really annoying family...yeah you KNOW who I'm talking about if you watch the show).

10. How I Met Your Mother (CBS) After just feeling hoo-hum after the first episode, I have really warmed up to the other episodes. I knew it was only a matter of time before the actors (and writers for that matter) started to feel comfortable in their character's skins. I still have problems with the flash-forward to the future, and the "nope she's not your mom" ruse, but the present storylines have been getting hilarious. It is definitely fashioned in the "Friends" mold, but this far into the season I am liking this much better than "Friends" in their first season. And yes, I do have a "man crush" on Neil Patrick Harris, like I have on Robbie Williams and Ewan McGregor. I'm okay with that.

(P.S. Yes I am looking forward to the Essential Godzilla coming out in two months)


Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Rage Fanboy Rage Against the Dying of the Light

Do not go gently into that good night.

Yesterday one of the best Comics bloggers called it quits. For two years, Fanboy Rampage supplied comic news, snark, humor, and some spot on analysis of the "man behind the curtain" of comics fandom. He trolled messageboards for the best and worst in messageboards, and no one got away unscathed. Fanboy Rampage opened many a person's eyes to the cringe-inducing musings of (once hero to now zero) John Byrne, the insanity of Mark Miller messageboarders, and the depravity of some Brian Bendis message boarders. And somehow we had a laugh or two or three at their expense, and saw a little bit of ourselves as well.

Fanboy Rampage became my primary source for comic news. It was the Atrios or Daily Kos of the comic trade, resplendent in its gaudy look towards fandom. Every now and then comic professionals would pop up, and showing that they were as much fans of the genre as we were, and always proving that Kurt Busiek was always right. It was an interesting place that in recent months became something a place that people a little bent out of shape. I think some folks took things a little too seriously and let the verbal attacks become rallying cries, which is never a good thing. I think sometime we forget that no matter how much people may bitch, it is after all a comic book...and nowadays less a book more of a marketable character. However, Rampage did more than a place to vent about the latest comic book news or messageboard outrage.

Fanboy Rampage exposed me to Demo, and the genius that is Brian Wood. Rampage provided lots of space to expose me to a great many projects I otherwise would never have heard of, or thumbs through the monthly previews. Fanboy Rampage made me a risk taker in my comic book lifestyle. I practiced risky comic book buying, and I found a more rewarding reading life. Fanboy Rampage was a place that gave me enough information to try my luck on a bunch of Losers, and Andy Diggle tickled my fancy. Not to mention learning about the great work from James Jean, Becky Cloonan, Brian Wood, Warren Ellis, and others. Fanboy Rampage lead me to publishers like Ait/PlanetLar, Oni Press, Speakeasy, Top Shelf, and other new sources that is the future of comics.

So what does the comic blogosphere have left to offer? A great many things, despite this great loss. There's still a lot of great sites out there, among them the plethora of awesome blogs coming out of a Ventura comic shop, among them Progressive Ruin, Postmodern Barney, and Tom the Dog. The Comic Reporter is an invaluable blog, not to mention Cognitive Dissonance, Near Mint Heroes, Brill Building, Johnny Bacardi Show, House of the Ded, and many many more featured on the right-side of this blog (and new ones are always popping up there). Oh, I almost forgot the glue that holds the comic blogosphere together, the Comic Weblog Updates, THE resources for sampling what the comic blosphere has for you.

I guess the question that bears asking is will something like Fanboy Rampage pop up again? I certainly hope so, because there still is an itch that need scratching. For right or wrong, I hope it comes along soon, and to hell with the castigations of ripping off Fanboy Rampage, because it would be a great contribution to the comic blogosphere and to all of us that don't want to waste our days trolling the internet comic messageboards. Fanboy Rampage shut down too damn soon. Graeme McMillan's site is going to be missed by a great many bloggers. Two years and he's out. Some say that two years was about the normal lifespan of a blog, which has me a wee bit worried, because someone else is turning two this Friday, Leftybrown's Corner turns two years old.

A few more days of until this blog turns two years old, and I'm finding myself beginning to lose steam. When I started off this blog, the Democrats were just getting the ball rolling trying to see who would become the nominee. Back then and during the election this was very much a political and personal blog. Over the first year I slowly started outing myself as a comic blogger. I've had slow days, and days when I was posting several times a day. I rarely post on the weekend. As of late, I've been finding it harder for me to post stuff. Maybe it's time for me to hang things up. Like that episode of Star Trek where the adults are killed when they reach a certain age, maybe it's time for the Corner closes things down. Well, I'm going to buck trends and am going to give it some more time. Hopefully I'll get back in the swing of things. I think I still have good stuff out there, not to mention my Arthur Adams stalking story in the 90s...just kidding about that one. However, approaching my two year blogoversary, there are some things I want to do differently.

A while back I thought about organizing a group of blogs that would focus on my differing interests. I currently own, but haven't done anything with it. I guess now is the time. If someone out there has the know-how, the time, the inclination, and will work for cheap...drop me a line. I'm moving forward on making my 'Corner' with different blogs that address my interests. Maybe my wife will also roll her blog there as well. Who knows? When that does happen you'll notice my blogs start to shape up and become a little more focused. So if you don't want to hear about politics, and just want to read about comic books you can here to "X" and not venture in Lefty's blog "Z". Anyway, I think I have someone willing to host my domain, just need to get/hire/blackmail someone into helping me construct the monster.

Anyway, I'm serious about the idea, if you;d like to help out, do drop me an email. Lastly, I'd like to leave you with this one burning question, did Thor look better with or without the beard?

Or as a toad?


Monday, October 17, 2005

Lefty Gets Personal

Comics book stuff later this week, but right now I just wanted to keep friends and readers updated. Mrs. Lefty had her shot this Saturday, and she had a few hours pain-free, but the pain has returned. This last shot was more powerful, and way more painful for her. She has some muscle soreness from the shot.

The next step is surgery on the nerve. At this point I have my doubts that even this will help. I'm not sure what effects surgery will have on Mrs. Lefty. Mrs. Lefty is hoping to hang on with her pain until Christmas time so she has time to recover without throwing away all of her sick days....if she can hang on for that long.

It's been a long and difficult period for the both of us. Obviously for her and her pain that keeps her doubled-over quite a bit, numbness in her leg, and nausea. It has also been hard on me as well, especially when there's very little I can do. Not to mention wanting to having a loving relationship with her (in all sense of the words), but it's hard to get close when her pain puts her in a foul mood, and fear of hurting her just simply hugging her.

So again that is where things stand. Man this year has been so fucked up. Worst Year...Ever.


Friday, October 14, 2005

Lefty's Friday Three Questions

Every Friday I ask three questions. My answer to those questions are in the comments section of this post. Feel free to leave your own answers as well.

1. Now that Infinity Crisis has finally hit the shelves, what has been your favorite comic book miniseries, if any? For those readers without a comics background, what's been your favorite TV miniseries?

2. Looking ahead to Halloween, what's the best costume you ever wore?

3. Underrated/Overrated time. Name the most underrated/overrated new TV show, comic, political development.


Thursday, October 13, 2005

Could It Be.....SATAN?!?!

I believe conservatives are people afraid of change, but conservative Christians are afraid that change is of the devil. Working at a Christian university, we have a plethora of books detailing the dangers of this and that. From time to time I'll highlight a few of these books. So let's take a look back at one of the driving forces of that fear, my brother in Christ, and all-around party animal, Bob Larson.

Here are snippets of his book, "Rock & Roll: The Devil's Diversion" published 1967, revised edition 1970:

Satan has a plan!:

"Satan is aware that this generation is most likely the one which will see the rerun of Christ and he has therefore created a master plan to dominate and control today's youth. Rock and roll is part of this plan to achieve a world-wide moral decay." -page 10

The tools one needs to "get" rock & roll:

"The jargon of rock music is like a foreign language. There is an enunciation and intonation and vocabulary that the average adult ear is not tuned to. Also, some songs are understandable only when a listener is under the influence of drugs. Why do you think that the pastime at many pot parties consists of sitting around listening to rock recordings?" -page 32

Here's my favorite snippet, on the psychological effects of rock & roll:

"A missionary in an uncivilized region of Africa told me of an experiment he conducted with music. One of his tapes was a recording of semi-classical music. When he played this tape the tribesmen smiled and indicated in their language that the sound was pleasing to their ears. They asked to hear more. Then my friend played a tape of rock and roll music. In response, the natives grabbed their spears as if intending to fight. They picked up stones to smash the recording and destroy the music."
-page 66

On the physiological effect of rock & roll (also keep an eye out at the gaffe, because obviously rock & roll causes stupidity as well):

"At a Rolling Stones concert in Los Angeles, one girl ripped off her blouse while another took off her slacks and threw them into the Rolling Stones' dressing room. One girl screams, 'I want to have a baby by Ringo,' while another pulls out her hair. What is it that causes normal young people to act this way?" -page 80

Just you wait:

"Rock and roll is the agency which Satan is using to possess this generation en masse. I have seen with my own eyes teenagers who have become demon-possessed while dancing to rock and roll music. It was particularly noticeable with girls." -page 136

And one last one, it's a bit longer, but it just may save your life:

"On the less successful side of the ledger are those instances when I have talked with rock and roll musicians and singers who have rejected Christ in favor of the performances of rock music. I know what it means to looks into the face of a dying rock and roll musician. Because of his long hair I recognized him in a hospital ward and went to tell him what Christ had done for me. He played an electronic piano in a local combo, and one night as he was plugging it in, he accidentally touched the prongs and was electrocuted. He lay in bed, on the critical list, with a tube protruding from his chest and leading to a bottle on the floor. In this manner, fluid was being drained from his lungs which had collapsed. After I explained God's plan of salvation for his life, he begged me to come again and talk to him about Christ. When I returned several days later, he was sitting up in bed with a stack of Playboy magazines at his feet and a cigarette in his mouth. He informed me that his condition was much better and that he had thought about the things I told him. His conclusion was that if he became a Christian he would have to quit playing rock and roll, and that was something he would never do. He had chosen rock and roll rather than God and rudely asked me to leave the room." -pages 144-45

Tomorrow, selections from Wertham's "Seduction of the Innocent"....


Tuesday, October 11, 2005

I Am Fanboy, Hear Me Snore!

I'm just having one of those days where I got nothing coming to mind, so allow me for a minute to pontificate on Comics, saying whatever comes to mind.

+ I like superhero comics. There are some folks in the comic blogosphere that poo-poo on comics from the 'Big Two', some of them I have tremendous respect for. Still I dig superhero books, team books, etc. There are very good ones out there that rise about mediocrity. Titles like Ex Machina, Gotham Central, Daredevil, Flash, She-Hulk, to name a few. As much as I dig superhero books, I find myself having a deeper satisfaction with some Indy books. There are books out there that truly represent the best of the genre. I have been deeply moved by Judd Winick's Pedro and Me, had my mind blown by Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics, and astounded and horrified by Alan Moore and Eddie Campell's From Hell. But I go to superhero books to be entertained, same with non-capes books from the folks at AiT/PlanetLar, Oni, Fantagraphics, Slave Labor Graphics and a great many self-published creators. When it comes down to it, high brow or low brow, comics are just a wonderful medium...or is it genre. (I always get those confused)

That being said, tomorrow there's a little comic from an obscure two-letter comic book company coming out. We've been teased and teased about the build up to it, and the first issue of Infinite Crisis hits the racks on Wednesday. In preparation, I picked up my trade paperback of Crisis on Infinite Earth to read, because I.C. is supposed share some common themes. Supposedly Infinite Crisis is not a direct sequel to CoIE, but it's gonna feature a handful of characters from it. My inner-fanboy is giddy with excitement. To me this year has sort of been like waiting for Lord of the Rings or the Star Wars Prequels (before we known how lackluster those would be). You see as a kid my first exposure to comics were the "Big Event" superhero comics. To this day I have such a fondness for Marvel's original Secret Wars despite of some of it's down right silliness. Heck, I loved those Mike Zeck covers. Tomorrow the comic blogosphere will be an interesting place to be. I'm sure there'll be a lot of snark, some bitching, and not enough praise...heck that's the blogosphere's S.O.P.(Standard Operating Procedures).

And another thing...I need more Tim Truman in my comic purchases. I recently picked up a Grateful Dead Comix trade paperback, and man I just love his illustration. Some years ago Tim and I traded emails, and some Allman Brothers show. Now I've talked, hung out with, and stalked (just kidding there) some comics professionals, but geeking out over the Dead and Allmans with Tim Truman was too kool 4 school.

I also need more books like Fell. Yes, Warren Ellis is very much his own brand nowadays. He's the comic fanboy's William Gibson. I don't profess to have a huge love for his work, but recently he has been firing on all cylinders. When Satan finally comes to reclaim his soul and his stash of aged single malts, Warren will probably be best remembered for his work on Planetary and Transmetropolitan, but his work right now on Fell and also Desolation Jones is just stellar.

While I'm really flying off the tracks here, let me just mention that we need more not less TV and movie writers dipping theirs toes in the frigid waters of the comic book industry...just all the good ones. Lindelof from Lost, good. Tom Fontana from Homicide and Oz, hell yes. Give that man a Batman book and watch out. Remember when Kevin Smith was the only Hollywood property gave fanboys 12 hour erections? Now he's like the summer girlfriend that never calls back.

So far the Hollywood talent has been pretty good, even that guy Alan Heinberg is doing good on Young Avengers, a project that looked doomed from it's conception. Yep, Hollywood is alright in comic books....woah! Not so fast there Jeph Loeb. A year or two years ago I would have given you a pass, but now consider yourself in detention. We'll be keeping a close eye on eye in Marvel's playpen on Ultimates. Personally, I hope you redeem yourself, because really, as much as you fucked up Supergirl, I love Spider-man Blue, Daredevil Yellow, and Batman: The Long Halloween. Weeeeeeeee'lll just turn a blind eye on Hulk Gray and Batman Hush. We see nusssink!

Yep we need more of those great TV and movie folks in comics. Authors too. I'm looking so forward to Jonathan Lethem's Marvel project. And rumors of Stephen King can't be all bad, even though I never really cared for his work. Greg Rucka has done well, I just wish we'd see more of Queen & Country and less of OMAC, but hey he's on the gravy train.

Anyway, let me get this post off and head to bed, with dreams of Psycho Pirates and Harbingers, and a deceased Flash dancing in my head. Yeah, I dig superhero books. G'dnight.

P.S. See that Firestar cover there? Ever notice that it's always a women that kicks Wolverine's ass most dramatically? Firestar, Shadowcat, Spider-woman, Rogue, the list goes on and on. What a wimp!


Monday, October 10, 2005

Lefty's Weekly Top Ten

Somewhat weekly I post on the top ten items holding my attention. SO without further ado or aplomb:

1. The Shield Season 2 & 3 DVD I'm nearly halfway through season 3, and so far it's my favorite of the 3 released DVD seasons (season 4 comes out in December). I like how the pressure builds and builds on Detective. Mackie and his squad, and even if they did pull off an incredible heist, sometimes getting what you want doesn't mean you become care-free. I think now this is my favorite drama.

2. Arrested Development Season 1 & 2 DVD I'm starting back at the beginning before I dive into Season 2. This is the funniest show on TV, and sometimes the beauty of it doesn't shine until the 2nd or 3rd viewing. This time around I need to listen to the commentary on the discs.

3. West Wing (NBC) It's alright, you can come back to watching West Wing, because it's become fascinating again. I have really been enjoying this season so far, and looking forward to the live "debate" coming up during "sweeps" in November.

4. "The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant" by Stephen R. Donaldson Just finished book 2 of the second trilogy. It's now gotten to the point I'm reading it obsessively. I'm enjoying the second chronicles much more than the first. After I finish this off this week, I'm diving into the first book of the new trilogy. Great fantasy writing.

5. Gotham Central "Dead Robin" storyline #33-36(DC Comics) Brilliant work by all the creators on board. I was too sure about the "new" artist Kano, but he's really doing a great job. Hands down this book is easily the best of the 'Bat-books', but also these are just great crime stories. It's one of my favorite series.

6. My Name is Earl (NBC) Probably my favorite new show, Earl never fails to have me laugh-out loud. I think this might be the biggest sitcom success without a laugh-track attached to it.

7. Amazing Race (CBS) Yay, it's back. This time it's a four person team race across America. It's a bit of change, but it's still refreshing. Still I hope the next edition takes us around the globe once more. For now, I'm already picking my favorites and also the teams I hope make a quick exit. And yeah, I'm so much of a fan of this show, I may be picking up the Season 1 DVDs.

8. Commander In Chief (ABC) I've come to really like this show. Yes, Donald Sutherland is a bit over the top in his "evil republican" role, but that isn't to say that they don't exist (yes you, Tom Delay). I really like the personal struggles of the First Gentlemen, in a role that has been VERY feminine. I also like the interpersonal struggles of White House cabinet and Madame President. This, if handled properly, could become a very compelling show.

9. X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse (Xbox) My not-so-inner fanboy is very happy with this game. I can play as Wolverine, Colossus, Iceman, and a great many other X-men heroes and foes. The jury is still out on the quality of the Xbox Live play. So far I've okay rooms, and I've been really laggy rooms. I also don't like that you have unlock some Xbox Live functions by getting to certain levels in the game. Some really good graphics in the game as well.

10. Neil Young "Prairie Wind" Wow! A great Neil Young album. I keep having these debates about Neil Young. Do I like his rocking albums, or his more laid back albums more? This new one currently has me in the laid back camp for the moment. And that last song, "When God Made Me", moves me every single time I hear it.


Friday, October 07, 2005

The TV Gods Smile Upon Lefty

On our way to Kaiser to pick up a prescription, Mrs, Lefty and I checked out a new Target that just opened. The "Biggest Target" in Fresno County, they keep saying. Like that's supposed to impress me or something. I was a bit weirded out by Target employees that actually walked up to me (3 times no less) to ask me if they could help me find something. But what really made me happy was picking up season 2 of Arrested Development before it's official release next Tuesday. Even if I have to return to Target to get a refund if it goes on sale, I had to pick this up because this is just about the greatest comedy show ever made. Can't wait to dive into it this weekend. Yeah, that's right. Ever.

Steve Holt!


Lefty's Friday Three Questions

It's that time again. Every Friday I ask 3 questions. My answers are in the comments section, where you are invited to leave your responses as well. Here we go:

1. What's the worst date you've ever been on?

2. Who is your favorite movie hero and villain?

3. If you could pick one actor/actress from one of your favorite TV shows and insert them (character or actor, I don't care) into another of your favorite TV shows who would it be?


Lefty Continues To Answer Even More Questions

Next up is Gordon D.:

I'll go for the cliche question:

You're stuck on a desert island, and you only have 10 CDs. (Plus, you have a CD player, unlimited batteries, food, shelter, etc). What are they?

Keep in mind that these D.I.D. (Desert Island Disks) are constantly changing depending on whims and fancies, back in March I listed 20 of my favorite disks. So for right now my top ten D.I.D. would be:

1. Allman Brothers Band "Eat A Peach" -barely edges out the Fillmore East CD because E.A.P. has Blue Sky on it, and I love that song.

2. The Beatles "Abbey Road" -one of the few albums I got listen to over and over again without growing bored.

3. Grateful Dead "American Beauty" -I've just been in a Dead mood, and this is from my favorite Dead period. Grateful Dead is sort of like wine, each year they had a distinct vintage. 1972 is my favorite Dead "vintage".

4. Pink Floyd "Wish You Were Here" Keeping strictly to single discx collections, I'm choosing this over "The Wall".

5. U2 "The Joshua Tree" -Gotta have U2 on my Desert Island, and this is one of my favorite albums.

6. Guns N' Roses "Appetite For Destruction" -Yeah, if I'm on a desert island I'll need this CD so me and Wilson can headbang our cares away.

7. The Who "Live At Leeds" -Second best live album ever made. Pay no mind to what Tom the Dog says on the subject. He's wrong.

8. Bob Dylan "Blood On the Tracks" The best Dylan album, and sometimes that's a real hard decision to come to.

9. Green Day "American Idiot" -More and more I am starting to beleive that this is going to be a rock/punk classic.

10. Bruce Springsteen "Darkness on the Edge of Town" - Love this album for it's upbeat moodiness, like a warm & sticky August night.


Lefty Answers Even More Questions

Next up, Ed Stewart:

1. do you have seasons of 24 & lost?

Yes. Off the top of my head here's what I have of Television DVD collections:

24 Season 1 & 2, Alias Season 1-3, Chapelle Show Season 1, Coupling Season 1-4, Desperate Housewives Season 1, Firefly Complete Series, Freaks & Geeks Complete Series, Lost Season 1, MacGuyver Season 1 & 2, MI-5 Season 1 & 2, Moonlighting Season 1-2, Northern Exposure Season 1, Saved By The Bell Season 1, Simpsons Seasons 1-3, Superfriends "Season" 1, West Wing Season 1 & 2

And I may be forgotting some.

2. can i borrow them.

Maybe. Lost I was planning to start watching in about a month, after I finish off netflixing (look I used it as a verb) The Shield. Call me, I assume you have my new phone number.


Lefty Continues To Answer Your Questions

Next up, Mrs. Leftybrown:

1. How many comics do you own? I lost count!!

Hmm, don't know the exact number, but I have roughly 21 short boxes full of comics and I think each holds about 125 comics (bagged and boarded) so that's roughly 2,625. Not a lot compared to other comic bloggers, but way more than lots of ordinary folks.

2. What is your favorite kind of ice cream?

Depends on my mood, ice cream isn't one of my favorites deserts, but I'm fond of a peanut butter-cheesecake blend I usually make at the local Cold Stone Creamery.

3. Boxers or Briefs?

Briefs. Hanes makes these briefs that are just so comfy with a tag or a waistband that cinches up.....but you already know all about my underwear choices my dear.


We Get Mail...continues

More questions. Next up is Gil Boob:

1. dean koontz or Stephen king?

Neither. I've never read Koontz, and I've read one King short story. It was a Bachman book. Just isn't my thing.

2. what if any country artist do you like?

Actually a great many, just not many of the NuCountry shit. Here's just a sample of "country" and americana artists that I like: Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Buck Owens, K.D. Lang (she's not really country anymore), Steve Earle, Lucinda Williams, Neil Young, Travis Tritt, Dwight Yoakum, Tift Merritt, Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, Kris Kristofferson, Bill Monroe, Waylon Jennings, Hank Williams Sr., Conway Twitty, Ernest Tubb, Mary Chapin-Carpenter, Mickey Gilley, and yes even Kenny Rogers.

3. when shaving ones head what shaving cream does one use?

A gel, brand doesn't matter, but I like one for sensitive skin or has aloe in it.

4. tell the truth did you like buffy and or angel?

Both, nothing to hide there. I'm eagerly awaiting the complete Buffy DVD release that will save me hundreds of dollars if I had to pick up each season individually. As for Angel, it didn't hit it's stride until the last few seasons, IMHO.


We Get Mail...

I'm still open to more questions, so ask away. I'm also going to start answering some questions now. The first batch of questions is from Roger Green:

1. Please elucidate on your pro-life liberal position. Do you really take grief about this?

I sort of fall in line with the "seamless garment" philosophy, which believes that "life" is not ours to bandy away with. This applies to issues like abortion, euthanasia, the environment, and what-not. So I get flack from the right for being anti-death penalty. I get flak from the left for being anti-abortion and anti-assisted suicide. My stance finds its heart in my religious belief.

Now I don't go out and protest Planned Parenthoods or anything like that. Also my feeling on when life begins is not at conception. Sure morning after pills and what not are fine in my book. I guess for me it's when the fetus is viable.

Also, as much as I dislike abortion, I much rather have them legal and safe until we better our society to create a place when the loss of any human life is a tragedy. This takes investing in our schools, our businesses, our health care, and what not to lift the value of everyone's lives out of economic slavery.

Anyway, the words of John Lennon come to mind right now..."you may say I'm a dreamer..."

On a side note, this "seamless garment" philosophy has also led me to start thinking seriously about vegetarianism as well.

2. How many times per month does Kelly say, "No, you simply CANNOT buy that"? or "You simply CANNOT do that"?

The first statement, not enough. The second question a great many times. *snicker*


Thursday, October 06, 2005

Now Taking Your Calls

Never one to miss out on a good thing, I'm stealing an idea I've seen many other bloggers do. For the next few days I'll be answering YOUR questions. Something on your mind? Got a question for me? Ask away!


Lefty's Kryptonite: Tower Records

Last night I had planned on getting some more stuff up for sale on eBay, however I decided to pick up my short stack of comics. My local comic book shop Heroes is a very good place, but it contains an added value for me...their employees. One employee in particular contains an awesome knowledge of punk music. Besides his weird and sometimes blunt charm (and his avoiding ANY physical contact, this is a guy who wants to be in a bubble away from human contact), I respect most of his music advice. He turned my onto the band X, the White Stripes, and Me First & the Gimme Gimmees. All of whom I am thankful for.

Anyway I asked the employee for information on what he thought of the bands Bad Religion and Social D, because I decided I was going to pick up a CD or two by these bands. (BTW I still need CD recommendations for both bands)

This is what I ended up buying at Tower Records:

NOFX "White Trash Two Heebs And A Bean"

Robbie Williams "Live at Knebworth"

Grateful Dead "Ladies and Gentlemen: Fillmore East, New York City, April 1971"

Grateful Dead "Steppin; Out with the Grateful Dead: England '72"

Let me explain. When I enter into a Tower Records I become a woman at a shoe sale. Maybe it's because Tower Records ordinarily has their CDs higher priced than most box stores, so when I do find something on sale or find a bargain I am compelled to pick it up. Also I think it's because it's one of the few brick-n-mortar stores where you could conceivable find the Delany & Bonnie Japanese import of "Motel Shot" along with a copy of Little Feat's expanded "Waiting for Columbus". Try doing that at your local Best Buy, Target, or Circuit City.

So I ended up not picking up anything by Bad Religion or Social D. I did scratch that punk itch by picking up the terrific NOFX album. I rationalized picking up the two Grateful Dead collections (both are four disc collections) because it was a steal at $9.99 a piece...and I later found out they didn't even appear used. And I had to pick up the Robbie Williams disc because I had all his other ones, and here was one I didn't even know about (and for only $8.99).

So guess what I'm listening to at work today and tomorrow?


Ponder On My Way Nerdy Son

(Apologies to Kansas)

Here's a few questions I wish I knew the answers to:

+ How many chain comic book shops are left in the U.S.? (I was an assistant manager at a Comics & Comix up in the Bay Area way before they ran into trouble a few years back) There's only two I know about, Mile High Comics and Lone Star Comics.

+ After reading the latest Wonder Woman and Donna Troy that came out this week, I have this feeling that Diana is going to be this Crisis' Flash having her die the hero's death and then Donna Troy filling in her bracelets. I sorta hope this doesn't come to pass. Anyway this leads me to ask, who was the best Wonder Woman writer? I love Greg Rucka's run, but I heard good things about Perez' run as well. Also does DC plan on release all of the Wonder Woman series in trade, or just the recent and Perez era stuff?

+ Of those that participated in previous rounds of my Mixed Bag mixes, how many of you still listen to people's mixes? I still on occasion, finding myself listening Tom the Dog's mix, Roger Green's, and a few others. I'm occasional "forced" to listen to Mrs. Lefty's because after all these months she still thinks hers the greatest contribution to the CDR format. BTW, the Halloween Mixed Bag has room for only 5 more participants. If you want to throw your mix into the ring, hurry, because you have until Saturday to join up.

+ Green Arrow had Speedy, Flash had Kid Flash, Wonder Woman had Wonder Girl, Batman had Robin, and Superman kinda sorta had Supergirl, but Green Lantern never had a sidekick. Am I right?

+ Fuck gay & lesbian heroes! We need more transgendered and bisexual heroes...well besides Big Barda. C'mon you just know she used to carry a big stick. Seriously though I would like to see more gay superheroes, and not just sidekicks or police captains. Plus, c'mon it's a perfect stereotypical match, spandex, capes, looking fab-o--lous.

+ Can anyone who understood everything in the Return of Donna Troy please explain what happened? Same with Rann-Thanagar War. Geez, I was aware the originally the Donna Troy thing was supposed to be an Titans/Outsiders crossover, but got "promoted" to an Infinite Crisis miniseries. Yeah they IC stuff did feel more than a little tacked on, and I did have an inner-giggle of satisfaction over the whole multiverse stuff, but man, this miniseries limped it's way through.


Meme Me Two Times Baby

This short but fun Meme I saw over at Crisis/Boring Change:

Here's how you play: Pick a musical artist or band. Now fill out this questionaire using only song titles. I'll start.

Artist/Band: Allman Brothers Band

Are you male or female: Ramblin' Man

Describe yourself: I'm No Angel

How do some people feel about you: Good Clean Fun

How do you feel about yourself: Old Before My Time

Describe what you want to be: Ain't Wastin' Time No More

Describe how you live: Low Down Dirty Mean

Describe how you love: All Night Train

Share a few words of wisdom: Can't Lose What You Never Had

Your turn.


Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Reheated Left-Overs

I'll have a longer post hopefully later on today, but for now just some snippets of stuff to report:

+ I have 6 spots left on the Halloween Mixed Bag. The call to participate ends on Saturday. I'm already thinking about my mix, with the latest acrostic mix or my own "soundtrack" to the delightful AiT/Planetlar book, Full Moon Fever (which would have to include Zevon's Werewolves of London).

+ Speaking of Ait/PlanetLar..anyone know when Black Diamond series starts? After reading the preview many a moon ago, I'm still anxious for it to see print. I'm also eagerly awaiting November and the release of Five Fists of Science.

+ How freakin' awesome are those DC Showcase Presents? I picked up the Superman one, and hopefully my shop will have the Green Lantern one back in stock. Over 500 pages of classic stories, and the paper is bright white, so you can easily read the black and white reprint. Wish Marvel would use similar paper for their essential series. These first two volumes are priced at $9.99, and future volumes are around $15. I'll probably end up picking up the Jonah Hex and the Justice League of America volumes as well.

+ Tonight I should be starting round two of my ebay auctions. Round one went suprisingly well. Round two should be a little smaller, unless I decide to sell my Flash vol. 2 collection, which I'm still on the fence about. For a look-see of what auctions I have open, go here. Should have more there by tomorrow, and remember if you read this blog, and win an auction, drop me a line before paying because I'll cut you a break on shipping.

+ I'm coming up my 2 year "blogoversary" in a couple weeks. I'm hoping to maybe do another interview with a comics professional, like I did last year with Tom Beland. Time to start emailing...

+ Infinite Crisis starts next week. Am I the only comic blogger looking forward to it? Seems like the Infinite Crisis stuff is easy fodder to many of the fine comic blogs, but I'm not expecting "high art" here, I want an exciting story, with the appearance that this "could change everything", and told and present in a clear and detailed style. Glad to see Johns attached to the project, but I do have a love/hate relationship with Jimenez's art. I'm sure the comics blogosphere will be all abuzz, good or bad, about IC #1 next week.


Monday, October 03, 2005

Playing With My Rod

Stewart, that is!

A couple weeks ago when I went up to the Jerry Garcia tribute concert, the friend I stayed with put on a Rod Stewart collection, Reason to Believe: The Complete Mercury Studio Recordings. This collection basically takes all his studio stuff from his Mercury days, around the time he was in Faces. It's amazing stuff, and after hearing the first disc, my mind became obsessed with it. Well this weekend, I gave in and picked this up at my local "box store from hell" (re: Target, Best Buy, know the like). I can now say that I am nearly through with buying anything interesting and exciting Rod Stewart ever produced. I just need to someday pick up the Faces box set, and maybe some of the Jeff Beck group.

This is an amazing collection. I love the laid back country-rock feel to the songs. Ron Wood does a masterful job on guitar, and you gotta love the spot on bass work by the likes of Peter Sears, Ron Wood, and a few others. It's a great collection just to put in the CD player and spend a day reading, playing XBOX, cleaning house, or lounging about with your significant other.

It's a real tragedy that for so long, Stewart has sort of given up this creative vision for "hit records". From his disco-esque stuff in the late 70's, his pop stuff in the 80's, and now the soft rock crooner songbook stuff...he's become the cotton candy of rock and roll. But at least now I have his astounding early feats on this 3 CD collection to listen to.


Heaven Always Gets the Good Ones

One of the greatest guitarists that graced our Earth passed away on October 1st. Paul Pena died on Saturday after a long battle with a few ailments. I've only seen him play once with another of my favorite guitarist, Derek Trucks. He was the subject of a documentary called Genghis Blues, and after years and years his great album "New Train", recorded in 1973, saw the light of day on September 26th 2000. For more information on him and his death check out his website, from which I snipped together this brief biography:

Paul Pena was born on January 26, 1950 in Hyannis, MA, the oldest child of Jack and Virginia Pena. He was born with congenital glaucoma. When he was five, he began school at the Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown (a suburb of Boston). He graduated in 1967 and then attended Clark University in Worcester, MA.

In 1969, Paul played in the Newport Folk Festival 'in the Contemporary Composer's Workshop with such people as James Taylor, Joni Mitchell and Kris Kristofferson.' In 1971, Paul moved to San Francisco and recorded his first marketed record for Capital Records, which was released in 1973.

Paul first heard a fragment of harmonic singing on a shortwave Radio Moscow broadcast on December 29, 1984 and he was so struck by it, he spent almost eight years trying to track down its source. In 1991 he was finally able to locate a recording of Tuvan music and taught himself the vocal techniques known as 'Khoomei, Sygyt, and Kargyraa'. In addition, he learned a good bit of the Tuvan language using English-Russian and Russian-Tuvan dictionaries and an obsolete 'Opticon' scanning device which translates text into sensations. In 1993, Paul attended a concert sponsored by the Friends of Tuva organization and met Kongar-ol Ondar after the performance. Paul gave Kongar-ol an impromptu demonstration--and astonished him with his talent and mastery of traditional Tuvan singing. The two men formed a strong friendship along with their musical collaboration.

In 1995, Kongar-ol invited Paul to sing at the second international Khoomei Symposium and contest, held in Tuva's capital city, Kyzyl. Ralph Leighton and the "Friends of Tuva" sponsored his trip. Paul took first place in the Kargyraa division of the contest and became known as 'Earthquake' for his amazingly deep voice. He also won the 'audience favorite' award. Filmmakers Adrian and Roko Belic accompanied Paul to Tuva to film the contest and his travels through Tuva, guided by Kongar-ol. Paul and Kongar-ol have also recorded a compact disc called Genghis Blues, which combines American blues singing, Cape Verdian 'morna,' and Tuvan Khoomei.

Since the release of the film, Genghis Blues, and the CD Sountrack , Paul was named 'San Francisco's Tuvan Blues Ambassador' and July 11, 1999 was declared 'Paul Pena Day' by the mayor.

Rest In Peace. Hopefully someone will re-release his self-titled first album on CD, we should be so lucky.


Announcing the Halloween Mixed Bag

I am pleased to announce the return of Mixed Bag compilation CD-Rs. This is first one since moving to a quarterly schedule. For this special Halloween edition of Mixed Bag, I'm limiting it to just 10 bloggers (plus my wife and I). If you want to participate drop me an email with your name, address, and website of your blog. Being Halloween, I would also ask for some song or theme to give it just a Halloween flavor. I'll close down sign-ups on Saturday, October 8th. Then each participant will mail out their mixes to each other participants by October 24th or before, so that everyone can get it before Halloween.