The Joup Christmas Album: Vince Guaraldi – The Charlie Brown Christmas Album

CB ChristmasWe will return to our regularly scheduled feature, The Joup Friday Album next week, when Katie promises to give us a good hangover album for New Year’s Day. In the meantime, here’s the holiday classic by master jazz composer/musician Vince Guaraldi. I don’t know about you, but as far as Christmas music goes it really doesn’t get much better than this, album-wise. Sure there’s a few songs that I have to touch base with every year – chief among them Fairytale of New York from the classic 1988 record If I Should Fall From Grace With God by The Pogues – but when I’m looking for something to put on for a length of time that will allow for baking cookies, commiserating with friends or just working my way through a couple of beers and some quiet reading time, this is the one I go for.

Shawn’s Top 10 Records of 2015

My favorite ten of the year, #1 being the pinnacle of what I heard in 2015. It was a good year and as usual, I didn’t even get to hear everything I wanted to yet.

Thee Comic Column #149: Penny – Adventures in Coping

PennyIconHave you ever had one of those days? One of those weeks? Months? Well, about three Wednesdays ago I was having a day. My cat Tom had been stricken with an unexplained ailment that saw his rear legs cease to work properly (he’s since recovered). I’d spent the night before at the vet, where I’d received no real conclusive answers despite the $500 I spent, and ended up coming home and basically crying myself to sleep while holding my cat. It continued to the next day as I woke up at 4AM for work, exhausted both mentally and emotionally and was treated to especially brutal doses of LA traffic on the dreaded 405. The day elapsed in a sad daze, and as I drove home in that hellwater traffic I had an epiphany and said f*ck it: I’m stopping at the Comic Bug. It was #NCBD and I figured I had just enough cash left over from the vet to pick up the new issue of TMNT, as well as issues 2-4 of my new obsession We Can Never Go Home. And as always, the moment I walked through the door of my favorite shop in CA everyone working there and several of the regular customers made me feel fantastic as we sank into the rejuvenating confines of passionate discourse.

Thee Comic Column #148: We Can Never Go Home

wecannevergohomegreenphantomAbout three weeks ago I walked into The Comic Bug to pick up my pull list and peruse the shelves when Ben – one of the employees there that has a pretty good feel for the type of books I dig – sauntered up to me and slapped a copy of We Can Never Go Home #1 into my hands.

“Check this book out. Think you’ll dig it,” he said and walked stoically away. I looked at the art, the clip-art style image of a cassette on the inside front cover that said “1989” and had a feeling. It’s that feeling I get when expectation meets intuition. This was going to be a great book, I could literally just feel it.

Thee Comic Column #147 – Man Vs. Rock

Man vs. RockWhatever you are doing, stop. No really, STOP. Go to the windows and carefully pull down the shade or shut the blinds. Did anyone see you? No? Are you sure? Because there are eyes and ears everywhere. Well, not eyes and ears per se, but there are people watching. Well, not people per se. Not people but ROCKS.

F$*K YOU ROCKS!

So says Professor Buck Stone, the one man who stands between humanity and a malevolent, invading force of rocks! They’re everywhere, all around us, and they’re tired of taking our shit! Now the rocks are going to make us pay and…

Thee Comic Column #146: Descent of the Dead

DoDI’ve said it before, I’ll say it again; zombies are overdone. We’ve reached the  saturation point and most of what we see from here on out is recycled in some way or another.

Most.

It takes something really special in the, ahem, Zombie ‘genre’ to get on my good side because at this point not only has almost everything conceivable been done with Zombies: comedies, Romcoms, adventure/sci fi takes, big budget, low budget. Has there been an Elmo meets the Living Dead? Oops. Too soon?

The Joup Friday Album: Post Stardom Depression – Prime Time Looks A Lot Like Amatuer Night

PSDI Love this album. I mean, I LOVE this album. Somehow though that love has never incited me to look into anything else that Post Stardom Depression has done, or any of the groups that frontman/guitarist/chief songwriter Jeff Angell has done since PSD called it quits in 2008. That’s a mistake I need to remedy, but I guess I have this thing where, when I find an album like this one, something I’d never heard of before that comes out of the blue, and it’s this damn good, well, I become a bit paralyzed. What if it’s a fluke and I hate the other records by the band? Ridiculous? Yeah. But if there’s one thing we human beings excel at, it’s ridiculous, no?

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