Good deals

2 cheap comic books lines I did not know about until very recently:

1. You can get six issue Runaways trade paperbacks for 8 bucks. This
is in a reduced size “manga” format but for 8 dollars, who cares?
Also, and I know I’m late to this party, Runaways was a damn good book
during the initial Brian K. Vaughn run.

2. All the Marvel Masterworks are available in paperback exclusively
from Barnes & Noble for 13 bucks apiece. Thirteen damn dollars for ten
issues chunks of Lee/Kirby Marvel. And Lee/Ditko Marvel. And
Lee/Romita Marvel. Holy crapping crap, I’m going to buy a lot of
these. Why did nobody tell me about these paperbacks sooner?

a post about music

Whoops, I’ve been so caught up in my own bullshit that I never
reported the results of my week of listening to new albums. How dare
I let my largely theoretical livejournal audience down? I knew you
were all waiting with bated breath to read what I think of about some
random albums from 2005 and I was off doing other things. I’m sorry,
Imaginary Audience. Here then, are my capsule reviews:

Rasputina’s Oh Perilous World!
This is a neat album. Having heard their earlier albums, I was
expecting a childish gothygothgothgoth sort of thing, but this album
is something far less gloomy, having gained a more mature and distinct
voice. It hasn’t completely gone off the goth rail: it is
melodramatic cello based rock, but Melora Creager, the band’s
frontwoman, has discarded the blood and lace tropes of gothiness to
find her own sense of fantasy. Fun stuff.

The Mad Caddies’ Keep It Going!
This is an album that doesn’t sound anything like That One Single I
Heard. I believe such a turn of events is entirely without precedent.
Really, it isn’t a bad album, but this is a mellow affair with a
pleasant ska beat, while I was expecting dumb pop punk with horns.
This disc was supposed to be the uptempo bouncy selection of these
albums. I wanted a summer afternoon and I got a summer evening.

Gorillaz’ Demon Days!
This is the album you all already have. You already know that the
album is great. Atmospheric, varied, and fanciful, this album meets
totally meets your needs in the way of monkeys, zombies, and mellow
alt-hip hop. Yeah, no big surprise. The deeper question for this
album is: does the album art rock sufficiently? I ham happy to report
that it does. Each track on the album gets a separate piece of
slickly produced art, so essentially the album has fifteen covers. I
dig the darkly cute style.

Mountain Goat’s The Sunset Tree!
I am normally very unresponsive to singer-songwriters who empty their
hearts into songs of angst and whining. John Darnielle of the
Mountain Goats is an angsty singer-songwriter, but he isn’t whiny.
He’s bitter, angry, and clever. And I love him where I hate so many
others. Maybe I need the distance of irony to look at emotions, maybe
I’m just responding to the cleverness, maybe I see my own
self-loathing mirrored in his, or maybe I just don’t like whiners.
Whatever the case, I dig this stuff.

Pavement’s Crooked Rain Crooked Rain!
I was excited about the large number of songs in this reissue. Over
two hours of Pavement. A great band I barely knew, I was going to
just soak it all in. I was going to OD on Pavement. Turns out, that
was a bad plan. Pavement made pretty dense music, and I think their
stuff is better enjoyed over repeated listenings. So, as it is, this
album hasn’t really sunk in with me yet. I would have been better off
with just the original twelve cuts.

I want my ipod back now.

Music is great.

 My ipod exploded and is now in the shop. If you own an ipod, it is inevitable that this will happen to you from time to time, but I’m never prepared for it. listen to a lot of music: All day at work, whenever I’m in the car, at home. I’d say probably 50-60 hours of music a week. 

And in this digital age, I find myself without an extensive cd collection, having sold all my cds to pay for my ipod. The one that I won’t have for the next 1-3 weeks. Going from the 9000 songs on my ipod to the 10 overplayed physical cds I own just isn’t going to cut it. So I did something I haven’t done in years, today.  I bought a handful of hardcopy albums. 

Having done so, I have decided that for the next week, while at work, I will listen to nothing but these five albums, giving all other music a pass.  I’ve gotten so used to the short attention span of shuffled playlists, that listening to a small number of albums, like I used to in the days of the cd seems like a interesting exercise.  

I bought five albums that I had reasonable expectations of loving, while being almost entirely ignorant of the contents of each.  This is what I got: 

The Mountain Goats – The Sunset Tree (2005)

Oh man, the Mountain Goats. The Mountain Goats is a dude named John Darnielle and he is clever and does irony better than any other musician that I know.  Take the Alpha Couple:  The Mountain Goats album Tallahassee tells the story of a bitter drunken couple glued together by desperation and mutual contempt. And maybe also love. It is at once the most depressing and the most romantic album in my collection. The Sunset Tree is about domestic abuse, so it should be full of feel-good ditties. 

Rasputina – Oh Perilous World (2007)

Rasputina is a band I haven’t paid any attention to since high school. A cello based rock band, they have a sense of gothic melodrama that is perfect when you are sixteen and just kind of obnoxious when you are a grown up. Since I’ve never really grown up, I can still dig this type of cheese.   They’re best known for “Transylvania Concubine” but I like the theatrics of “Watch T.V.”

Gorillaz – Demon Days (2005)

The Gorillaz is a fake band of animated zombie-apes performing alt hip hop electronica.  How can I not love that shit?  The formula is roughly  Blur+Tank Girl+monkeys+George Romero movie samples+Deltron 3030+weirdness= The Gorillaz. Or something. I don’t understand this group, but I love them.  “Slow Country” is special. 

The Mad Caddies – Keep it Going (2007)

This is a 3rd wave ska outfit that I’m only marginally familiar with.  However,  I have heard a song of theirs called “Road Rash” on a couple of punk compilations that I just fucking love.  Really, there is nothing special about it, but it just captures the sound of a fun Sunday afternoon with friends. I’ve been meaning to buy one of their albums for years.

Pavement – Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain (1994 Reissue)

I’ve been waiting for the right time to listen to a lot of Pavement, because what I have heard leaves me concluding that they were stone fucking brilliant. They’re indy rock guys with this rambling style that foregos typical song structure, spurting forward without being sloppy or jam-bandesque.  In particular,  “Shady Lane” and “Stereo” from Brighten the Corners always make me happy. Matador Records is reissuing all of Pavement’s albums, each with an insane amount of extra material. This album comes with 37 bonus tracks, including all of the album’s B sides and a John Peel session.