|What will you Joup today?|
Have you ever had one of those songs that gets stuck in your head for days…weeks…years? Sure you have. These are the songs that always make the cut. The songs on repeat. We all have them. I have a ton. Welcome back to Endless Loop. “South” by Three Mile Pilot It seems to be generally agreed upon that the music you discover, listen to, and obsess about as a teenager molds your tastes and preferences for the remainder of your life. And that’s certainly true. The bands and artists that got to me at 14 and 15 years old undeniably made their marks and created a kind of fervor within me to seek out certain sounds to appease the addict music-beast inside of me. It’s like that for a lot of us. But in my early to mid 20’s, I had a second [more]
In the same way Chris Claremont’s Days of Future Past storyline in Uncanny X-Men has inspired scores of Days of ___ ___ variations since it was published in 1981, so too did Jim Starlin’s epic Batman story A Death in the Family inspire its fair share of homages in the caped crusader’s family of titles since it was published in 1988-1989. Like the storyline Blind Justice that I wrote about in last week’s column I happened across ADITF a few weeks ago in a seldom-opened long box and found myself called upon to finally re-read it for the first time in probably close to two decades. I’m planning on covering several more of these late 80s Batman arcs in the coming weeks because this is what interests me at the moment, reliving these stories I grew up with. [more]
There is a terrific recording studio located on Division Street just west of Western Avenue in the Humboldt Park neighborhood of Chicago. You know when you use a preset on a keyboard or recording application there usually is a default “Large Room” setting. I swear that setting is copied from this very studio also known as Strobe Recording. The room sound is as ideal as they come. Jamie Wagner, owner and proprietor of Strobe, occasionally hosts an event called “Strobe Sessions.” Well…he has for 63 times in the past 10 years! And Number 63 happen this past Thursday and I got to catch a terrific live performance of The Plastic Red Buddha including songs from Sunflower Sessions…this week’s Joup Friday Album. Local Chicago is good.
Have you ever had one of those songs that gets stuck in your head for days…weeks…years? Sure you have. These are the songs that always make the cut. The songs on repeat. We all have them. I have a ton. Welcome back to Endless Loop. “Shipbuilding” by Elvis Costello and The Attractions “Is it worth it?” For a song that’s about a community that thrives during wartime, an economy built on manufacturing the warships that they will then in turn send their own sons to die on, Elvis Costello and The Attractions’ “Shipbuilding” sure does sound sexy. Gracing 1983’s Punch the Clock, the song sets its potentially gloomy subject matter with a melancholy jazz melody and sheer poetry to craft a veritable work of audio art. Originally penned by Costello and Clive Langer for English singer-songwriter Robert Wyatt (whose version is also pretty great by [more]
In 1989 Batman fever settled over pop culture. The iconic yellow and black Bat-insignia T-shirt became ubiquitous to the point of being legitimate fashion; so did a number of other bat images: Joker’s hair-grabbing hahahahaha, Batman posed on a rooftop gargoyle-style; the list went on. The imagery, like Bat’s presence in pop culture, seemed endless. This was, of course, all part of a massive tie-in that primarily celebrated the release of Tim Burton’s initial Bat-film, but also, perhaps not as widely known in the mainstream but certainly heralded in the comic shops and specialty stores was the fact that it was also Batman’s 50th birthday. At the age of 13 and a die hard comic fan I was not excluded from this Bat-steria; I’d never out and out followed a Batman comic on a monthly basis, however I’d dabbled a bit [more]
Sadness is, I have long maintained, very similar to a drug. A nasty, hurtful and yet still strangely alluring drug, whose effects both damage and enthrall. And there is a way to enjoy sadness. Yes, I know that makes me sound Goth and I suppose although I’ve never felt the need to dress according to the parameters of any particular social group, there is indeed a large component of the ‘Goth’ ethos in this thing I call Shawn. That said the uniform is weak; adhering to the jurisdictional lines of social strata isn’t what defines our tastes, it’s the feeling that inspires those conventions. And The Cure – although they once pioneered the ‘look’ and in current times pretty much lampoon the same – are all about those feelings. And while previously I have always enjoyed 1987’s Kiss Me Kiss Me [more]
Drinking w/ Comics Issue #23