WARLOCK MAGAZINE MAGAZINE has been the premier home for serious-minded, level-headed, intellectual discussion of comick books and the supersexy rock-Gods what make them since the Bumstead administration. Feel free to join the scintillating deliberation whenever there's absolutely nothing else in the world you'd rather be doing.
¶ posted by darkness at 2:51 PM
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
a camera would've been handy
It was raining when we left the MFA Saturday afternoon, so the missus and I decided to wait it out at the Prudential, a mall/convention center/office building place downtown. First thing we saw after getting off the train is a grown-ass man in a Link costume. As we walked to the food court we saw several dozen more people in various ridiculous costumes. We get to the food court and every other person is wearing something stupid and outlandish. We noticed a few Sailor Moons, some Final Fantasy characters, two dudes dressed up like Mario and Luigi, and then a hundred or so more in costumes I've never seen before. A good third of the costumed mass were unattractive nerd girls wearing far too little clothing. Our "what the fuck" was entirely justified. Then we learned that Anime Boston 2006 was being held at the convention center next door. Had we known, a camera would've most definitely been upon us. Now I'll never know if the sight of Khyron the Backstabber eating a burrito was real or mere fantasy.
Hey everyone...I'm gonna be filling in for Jay Harren for this weekend's Sunday School show. It's Sunday Night from 8-10pm on your favorite commercial alternative station. Any suggestions as far as new music that might be cool to throw on this week?
¶ posted by Elliott at 9:35 AM
Thursday, May 25, 2006
Forgotten Flagpole Checks, I Love You
Last week the missus discovered forty bucks (in check form) that I had forgotten about. Once upon a time that meant a trip to Twisted Village, or the beer haus; today, though, it can only lead to an impromptu comics splurge. Forty bucks at NEC got me these beauties:
AGE OF BRONZE Vol. 1: A Thousand Ships by Eric Shanower
The experts love it. Eric Shanower’s won all tons of awards within the comics world, as well as accolades from archaeologists, historians, and Trojan War re-enactors. I’m no expert, except on what’s awesome, and Age of Bronze is most assuredly that. Shanower’s black-and-white art occasionally looks like something out of a Jack Chick tract, but without the intolerance and insanity that really make those books zing. It’s definitely a fairly classic visual style, in funny book terms, and one that’s utterly appropriate for the ancient subject matter. Story-wise Shanower takes it slow; the Greeks aren’t ready to shove off towards the Hellespont until the end of this first volume. He resists limiting each character to their most defining trait, a problem that helped do in that semi-shitty Troy movie from a couple years ago. Yeah, Paris is an obnoxious, pretentious brat, but Shanower succeeds in making him a fully developed obnoxious, pretentious brat. At first you almost want to feel sympathetic towards the dude, but that sympathy quickly becomes untenable in the face of his complete self-obsessed idiocy. The scene of Odysseus feigning madness in order to negate his oath beautifully foreshadows the depth of the personal tragedies he would be forced to endure. It’s also one of several moments that I assume exist in the original legends but that I was heretofore ignorant of. And that’s a part of this work’s greatness: it provides much background information that’s otherwise left out of the Iliad or mentioned only in passing, and that Homer probably would have expected his intended audience to have been familiar with. I was a minor classics dude in high school, going to GHP in Latin and shit, but I know I’ve never encountered a significant portion of the recovered folklore / history, and Age of Bronze is helping to fill some of those gaps. Shanower intends to make it seven books in all, but I fear he’ll be hard-pressed to finish. The book’s been coming out since ’97, and he’s currently only on issue #21. The first two trades both contain nine issues each, so if he plans to keep ‘em at that length we’ll be waiting on book seven for a few decades, at least.
DC: THE NEW FRONTIER Volume One by Darwyn Cooke
Okay, yes, this is absolutely gorgeous. You should recognize Cooke’s work; he was one of the main art designers on the ‘90’s Batman cartoon. He also did that weird Wolverine/Doop two-parter that replaced the regularly scheduled issues of X-Statix a few summers ago. I sorta hated his Wolverine, but his DC work is absolutely undeniable. DC: The New Frontier is a beautiful and frequently brilliant jaunt across the DC universe, throwing references to and appearances by a remarkable number of DC characters into an overarching story that bridges the Golden and Silver Ages. It tackles some of the trickier continuity issues dealt with in the original Crisis, explaining why Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman continued to exist unchanged after the original Golden Age Green Lantern and Flash were replaced by new characters after years of dormancy. Name a classic DC property and odds are it’s touched on in The New Frontier, including non-superheroes like the Challengers of the Unknown and the Suicide Squad. The first chapter, in which Cooke touches on both war comics and ‘50’s monster books with a precursor to the Suicide Squad, is particularly brilliant. The highlight of this volume, though, is the extended sequence in Las Vegas, wherein boxing champ Ted “Wildcat” Grant takes on a young Cassius Clay in front of an audience that includes almost every other character seen in the book. They’re just kickin’ back in Vegas at the end of the ‘50’s, and it’s a beautiful thing. Finally, Darwyn Cooke should be mandated to draw every woman in every comic book ever for the rest of his life. His Carol Ferris is especially quite fetching.
¶ posted by darkness at 4:23 PM
******** semi-sorta-spoilerish, so if you hain't watched the TiVO yet, tread lightly ********
Sort of. No idea what’s up with Eko and Locke, or where the captured three are being taken, or whether Desmond’s alive or not (probably a big no here), or what Gale meant when he said they’re the “good guys”, or how the Widmore Corp. is tied in with Dharma / Hanso, or, uh, well, like eight billion other things, still, but they did give us enough answers on last night’s Lost to satisfy this guy here. Of course some of y’all will say that just means I’m easily satisfied, but whatever. Beer might make Lost better, but Lost totally makes beer better, too, or at least more acceptable on a Wednesday night. Even if that beer didn’t lower my critical faculties (I actually believe it has the opposite effect, to tell the truth) last night’s season finale, and all of the last six or so episodes, would pass muster.
But shit, man: what the hell was up with those last fifteen or so minutes? The electromagnetic Ragnarok, the weird look Jack gave Kate (like their being kidnapped was all a part of Jack’s plan or something), Michael and Walt being allowed to leave scot-free, and then, of course, at the very end, that odd ice-bound reporting station, somehow connected to the Widmore Corp. and, thus, Desmond’s lady. Is Desmond really the key to the whole damn thing? Were the crash of Flight 815 and the entire original premise of the show the indirect result of Desmond’s girl troubles? I don’t know if the name “Widmore” has ever popped up on the show before, but it is familiar from the internet game they’ve been running the last few weeks (that’s what those Hanso Foundation ads lead to). Apparently it’s also mentioned in that tie-in mystery novel that came out a few weeks ago. I’m surprised to see it suddenly take such a prominent role within the show, to be honest, especially since we still know mostly nothing about Hanso. Anyway, all these questions have me amazingly excited for the next season, far more than I was after the first year. I never much watched X-Files, so I can’t compare the two, but in terms of shows built around slowly unfolding mysteries, Lost is doing a much better job than Twin Peaks at interweaving revelations of long-awaited answers with the introduction of new and equally fascinating questions. If Twin Peaks had led directly from Laura Palmer into the Black Lodge arc, without all that random non-sense in the middle, perhaps it wouldn’t have squandered the public’s interest so quickly.
¶ posted by darkness at 8:03 AM
Crews Controls Your Fate
Crews is on WXDU from 9 am to noon today. I hope he does a better job on the radio than these home fries are doing as my breakfast. This shit ain't sufficient at all. Worst home fries ever.
I'm still listening to them. Give me time, friends. Neither Quebec nor White Pepper have made much of an impression on me, but I vow to keep on listening until I have some sort of strong opinion on the matter. I've thrown The Mollusk into the rotation, as well, although I've yet to get around to listening to it. Right now I'd describe Quebec and White Pepper as decent, but I'm sure there's more to 'em than just that. I'm being patient with them, giving 'em every opportunity to win me over. I'm supple, really. Please make me like you, Ween. You owe it to yourselves.
Chocolate and Cheese, meanwhile, is exactly as I remember it: awesome for a couple of spins, then increasingly more mundane. "Buenos Tardes Amigo" remains awesome, though.
¶ posted by darkness at 3:35 PM
Bobby and I went to see Mark Kozelek last night at the Variety. We had 4 beers each.
The show was great, and first off I will go on record yet again saying that Variety Playhouse has the best sound of any venue in Atlanta or Athens. Shows like this prove it. A big room plays well to Kozelek b/c his voice can get the booming reverb it needs to be effective. I would imagine its probably pretty hard to run sound on this guy, his acoustic - a fellow guitar player, and his voice. While that sounds pretty simplistic - to pull it off it has to be thick & heavy and rich with reverb. Anyways i'll quit being a fag and say they pulled it off last night.
Set was full of solo stuff, Red House Painters songs, Modest Mouse covers, Sun Kil Moon, and even some new material. Everyone was sitting down at either tables or in the theater seats. Bobby and I actually got booted from the front table section where we had pulled two chairs down to sit our rears in. Right as Kozelek started this huge security bouncer beefcake came up and said we had to move. "But these chairs were here when we got here" (a clear lie) - "I saw you guys pull these down, there were no seats here when the show started". Fuk. So we stand up to move back (place is quiet as a nun's tit) find some seats and as we are sitting down the beefy dude who told us to move drops the chairs as he is putting them away. Mark Kozelek says "be careful out there, i know its full of obstacles". Some other dude yelled "right on man".
Of course as to be expected it was an extremely somber show, it was as quite quiet all night and he had some funny moments with the crowd. Sang the song about Atlanta, received cheers. Played one of my favorite songs by him, "Duk Koo Kim" - a song I saw for the first time at SXSW in 2000 where the Red House Painters (full band) reunited for the first time in like 5 years. I was lucky enough to see that song played live for the first time ever - just as good last night with only two dudes.
When he came back on for the first of 2 encores - he got on to these two drunk dudes who were sitting at the first table right under his nose. Normally I get kinda pissed off when artists do the whole "hey you need to shush" thing, but last night I gave out a hoot, and dreamt. He said he would only keep playing if these two dudes left and went to the back, because he had been hearing their commentary all night. He then started talking about how everyone needed to chill out in their lives and turn off their mobile tvs. He's a good dude, and one of the best shows I've seen this year.
If you arent familiar with this guy you have probably seen him in Almost Famous and Shop Girl and heard him in Vanilla Sky. You should listen to him though...any cd from his catalogue would be a good starting point. The new one with the Modest Mouse covers is sorta alright...
Here is a version of him covering a Palace Brothers song - I think its an edit, but its all I could find on the infraweb...Mark Kozelek: "New Partner"
Here is the setlist...
Michigan Truckers Atlas Tiny Cities Made of Ashes Down Colorful Hill All Mixed Up Salvador Sanchez Convenient Parking Four Fingered Fishermen Make Like Paper Duk Koo Kim Jesus Christ Was An Only Child
These dudes love Ween. By these dudes I mean my dudes, our dudes, Forever Dudes. DJ, Ice, Croxto, Sudsy, Widowmaker, the Confirmed Bachelor: all Ween fans, to the nth degree. I had my period, back in the day, a day that lasted for four or so months in 1994, but since then I've limited my Ween exposure to fleeting moments inside DJ's car. They sound good from the backseat, for sure. Yesterday, though, I was struck with an immediate and inexplicable compulsion to listen to Chocolate and Cheese, one of only three Ween albums I've ever owned. I threw it on the old iPod last night, but was hardly satiated. I couldn't find my copies of The Pod or Pure Guava, so I went trolling on the interscape for more Ween, both more recent and more classic. eMusic had GODWEENSATAN, and thus so now do I. Other, similar such services (all entirely legal, of course) provided me with Quebec and White Pepper. All now reside safely within my tiny digital friend, this music-mastering iPod, and shall be listened to and hopefully enjoyed by yours truly throughout this fine day. And I do mean fine; it's the first day without torrential downpours in about a week and a half. But so, perhaps later this afternoon I shall regale you with my cursory, half-assed opinions on each of these Ween albums, decided and delivered with the utmost authority and infallibility after roughly half a listen. It'll be good times, most definitely.
Brief Reviews of Records I Plan on Buying This Summer...
despite having copies today.
Oneida, Happy New Year: More emphasis on the Incredible String Band dirges, but otherwise this is textbook Oneida. If you couldn't cotton to their spastic yet static rock'n'roll in the past, you probably won't like at least half this album. Fans, though, will most likely love it, even if it's not as distinctive as The Wedding. "Up With People" remains an epic jam.
Sonic Youth, Rather Ripped: More melodic than you'd expect, and Kim Gordon doesn't sing like a rock troll's asshole. The band reins in their most annoying tendencies and focuses on relatively clean pop songcraft. No wannabe boho poetry, none of Gordon's barf-encrusted Cthulu vocals, just straight-up smooth rockin', with enough noisy bits to keep me interested. Shit, even the wife likes "Jams Run Free".
¶ posted by darkness at 10:27 AM
Still Flyin' - 5/06/06!
Behold! This is Still Flyin' from their show a few weeks ago in San Fran that the ATL/ATH posse flew out for (part of Brah Fest). Sold out. Jammed Out. I only had space on my digital camera for one song, so here is "M'STERY TENT" Lizzive. Sorry for the herky jerky but shit I was excited to be there, oh yeah and we were fuckin' jammin.
***Just started going through photos, etc from the trip so more posting will happen. Took a while to get back in the zone.
¶ posted by Zazz at 8:17 AM
This completely blew my mind when I was 16. Three of my favorite people on tv together. In hindsight 120 Minutes was shit, but had its moments like this eppisode. The mockery is what made this show so great.
Beck and Mike D being interviewed by Thurston Moore on 120 Minutes: (most of the music is cut, which sucks but you see like 5 seconds of the last one where Thurston freaks out on a mandolin while Beck and Mike D rap about eggs and bullshit)
Les Rallizes Denudes “disc two track two” Awesome Color “Free Man” Elf Power “King of Earth” Circle “Earthworm” The dBs “Bad Reputation” John Cale and Terry Riley “The Soul of Patrick Lee” Comets on Fire “Wolf Eyes (middle version)” Sonic Youth “Jams Run Free” Minimal Man “Hatemonger” Major Stars “Syntoptikon” Red Krayola “Cruise Boat” LSD-March “A Bud of Flesh” Sibylle Baier “I Lost Something in the Hills” Fifty Foot Hose “If Not This Time” Einsturzende Neubauten “Halber Mensch” Oneida “Changes in the City” Monoshock “Separate Beds” Blue Oyster Cult “The Red & The Black” The Glands “Livin' Was Easy” Masters of The Hemisphere “Give Me Something Clearly” Murder Beach “Simpatico” Pylon “Feast On My Heart” Jack Logan “When It All Comes Down” Kincaid “Eleanor Roosevelt” Olivia Tremor Control “Memories of Jacqueline 1906” Masters of The Hemisphere “Uncola” Mendoza Line “If You Knew Her As I Know Her” Crooked Fingers “The Man Who Died of Nothing At All” Empire State “To Get Thru Now” Neutral Milk Hotel “Gardenhead / Leave Me Alone” Joe Christmas “Coupleskate” Summer Hymns “No Butlers” Cinemechanica “Pen” Wee Turtles “Playtime at Castle Greyskull” Bugs Eat Books “Ian Is Going To New Zealand” The Glands “When I Laugh” Dances With Wolves “All About My Last NIght”
¶ posted by darkness at 1:41 PM
1. After two weeks off, Mesmerization Eclipse returned to WZBC. It was an extra-special three-hour installment, too, with a live in-studio appearance from Billy Sunday of Oneida, and a final hour of nothing but Athens music. I was filling in for the local show, which runs from 5 to 6, and since the only two Boston bands I know both have some variation of the word "Boston" in their name I figured I'd devote the hour to what I think of as local music. Which, of course, is Athens-area indie-rock from the late 1990's. Anyways, good times, good times.
2. Free Comic Book Day. Unfortunately NEC had a two-book limit, so I only grabbed the kinda shitty X-Men / Runaways thing and the Donald Duck book. Also unfortunately there's no Barks in the Duck comic, but I flipped through it and it seems fine enough. Didn't see Owly anywhere, which sucks, 'cuz that would've taken the place of the Marvel crap had I noticed it.
3. Watching Smokey Robinson, Billy Gibbons, and Ludacris sing "My Old Kentucky Home" arm-in-arm at the Derby.
4. The fries at the S&S Deli are pretty fuckin' sweet.
5. Saturday night was the finale of the annual M.I.T. Steer Roast, wherein the graduating seniors cook about 800 pounds of beef and invite various rock bands to play the courtyard at their dorm / co-op. The meatening was closed to the public, but we made it to the show in time to see PAIK and Oneida. It was a beautiful night for an outdoor rock show. The bands were both great, and it was excellent getting to hang out with our Boston friends for the first time in three or four weeks.
6. Obviously the weekend sucked massively for Braves fans, but at least the Sunday game was fun to watch. No four-run seventh innings, or anything, thank God. Not that one would've made much difference, though.
7. And finally, we finished up season three of Newsradio. Now we only have to wait two and a half months until season four comes out. Season four, of course, is absolutely amazing.
¶ posted by darkness at 12:28 PM
Monday, May 08, 2006
Love Goes On
As many of you know, my favorite band ever is the Go-Betweens. I was completely shocked and sick to my stomach to read that co-founder Grant McLennan died in his sleep on May 6th, my birthday. Judging by how I'm feeling right now, it's actually a good thing that I read this devastating news on my birthday, amidst distraction. I'm also thankful that my band was able to play one of his songs that night during our set, with no practice, and play it reasonably well.
To die at 48 with no known health problems is a hard thing to swallow. He was a brilliant songwriter and lyricist and a left a great big, warm, witty, shimmering, pristine mark on the lives of myself and countless other fans. There are so many songs of his that I will love for rest of my life.
The one positive thing that my thoughts keep gravitating towards is how glad I am for their show last summer. At the time I knew it was one of the best shows of my life, and now it's firmly entrenched in the number one spot. I can see David Byrne again. I can see Bruce Springsteen.
Well with the new owners (Cumulus) taking over tomorrow you only knew it was a matter of time before the bloodletting was going to happen. It came a little earlier than people thought though. Wednesday around 20% of our staff was let go. Including many of my good friends and my mentor Jay Harren. It was a sad day and I had to pour a few out for my dead hommies last night. Radio is a fucked-up business.
¶ posted by Elliott at 10:43 AM
last night's Lost
Not gonna spoil it, but, GEEZ, what an ending last night.
If you didn't see it, try calling this number: 1-877-426-7674.