The Joup Friday Album: Gogol Bordello’s Super Taranta

Gogol_Bordello_Super_TarantaA friend once told me that throughout your life, you become about five different people. We change. That’s just the way it is.

In my early twenties (surprise, surprise), I was completely lost. I searched. I prayed. I hoped that I’d figure out my place in the universe before the universe could eat me alive. I clung onto anything shiny and new that offered temporary relief from all of this emptiness, shunning away people that I felt were “problematic” to my new plan. The only result in all of this was guilt. I didn’t feel like I fit into a mold that existed long before myself. In a last-ditch effort, I moved back home to try and reset things.

Thank God for VOD! – The Nightmare

I don’t get to go to the movies as often as I’d like to, but that doesn’t mean I can’t watch awesome flicks at home. Thank God for VOD!

thenightmareThe Nightmare

Endless Loop: Chi Mai

enniomorriconeHave 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.

“Chi Mai” by Ennio Morricone

Thee Comic Column #132: Sons of the Devil

SOTD-01-COVER-C-d11d2I have an enormous love of movies, music and news in or of the age of American history that the media retoractively refers to as “The Great Satanic Panic”. There is a very particular tone that accompanies the stories – both real and imagined – of the era when baby boomers, confused and in some cases devastated by the collapse of their own spiritual enlightenment in the 60s, pitched themselves into a frenzy fearing that Satan and his evil influence lurked everywhere around them and, more terrifying I’m sure, around their children. Satan was in comic books, video games, movies, and Satan was most especially music.  What’s more Satanic cults existed around every corner, and really, any one you know might secretly be a “devil worshipper”. If this sounds like lunacy now, it’s really just another iteration of what happens when people have too much time on their hands and not enough ability to take responsibilty for the world around them. The Great Satanic Panic was no different than the Salem Witch Trials, McCarthyism and the Communist witch hunt or nowadays, our obsession with terrorists. And while a widespread cultural fear that the devil was corrupting the youth of the country is itself terrifying in what it says about humanity’s missing DNA link to sheep, it tends to make me smile at the same time that I groan. This is because I have always liked imagery that accompanies the devil as a character, much the same I like Batman and Gotham City or John Constantine and his own associated imagery. I do not believe in the devil – except usually for about 2-3 days after a viewing of William Friedkin’s The Exorcist – I like his story and the stories that he has been used to tell since. This is why, even though I knew absolutely nothing about Sons of the Devil when I saw enountered it on the shelf at The Comic Bug, seeing that wonderful Paolo Rivera variant cover it had to come home with me. I NEVER buy a book based on its cover so I did so this time with my fingers crossed that I wouldn’t regret it. After reading it the first time, not only did I not regret buying it, but I found myself enticed at the subject matter and the precipice of the way the story was going to unfold.

The Joup Friday Album: Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti – Mature Themes

mature themesEver since reading Grant Morrison’s Invisibles I have wanted to build a time machine. Why? Not, as one might think, so I could go back in time and choose alternate, diverging paths paths from that which I originally did; not to alter regretful decisions – I have none; and not to kill Hitler (although that one is tempting). No, my interest in a time machine would be to go back and re-experience certain things from my past. Now, these are not key “life events” that I’m interested in, rather moments that have haunted me since their occurrence; moments that I would like to go back and witness again in a newer, informed capacity. I would do this in an attempt to understand how some random, seemingly inconsequential events have stuck in my heart and taken on an import greater than the sum of their parts. My trail for these adventures would begin with the fact that these iconic memories almost always occur when particular places and people coalesce with music; perfect moments crystallized in time by my relationship with the world around me as it becomes set to music.

Thee Comic Column #131: Southern Cross

So CrossLast week at the shop I found issue #3 of Becky Cloonan, Andy Belanger and Lee Loughridge’s Southern Cross. Reading this issue was a lot like my experience reading issue #5 of Southern Bastards in that this is the issue that sealed the deal and made me a hardcore fan of a new monthly book that I was initially skeptical of. Southern Cross is a brilliant Sci Fi mystery/ghost story (maybe?); I picked issue #1 up without knowing anything about it and really dug it. That said, I dawdled a bit before buying issue #2. my skepticism didn’t have anything to do with the book itself, but the fact that I’ve really been trying to watch what I spend on comics lately as it’s in danger of getting ridiculous again and that’s making me a little gunshy on adding new series. Then I remembered what I should be doing to control my spending at the shop is NOT giving in to those Marvel books I’ve tried to swear off several times now – mostly succeeding but not always. Not paying $3-4.99 a book for a bunch of interconnected franchise stories, no matter how good they might be at times, will free up enough money for me to painlessly indulge in all the indie/creator-owned stuff I can. Also, Elephantmen creator Richard Starkings frequents the same comic shop I do – my beloved Comic Bug –  and he spoke very highly of the second issue of Southern Cross so lucky for me, I found I couldn’t resist.

Endless Loop: Silver

jesuHave 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.

“Silver” by Jesu

There’s always that one song that serves as your entry point to an entire discography of any particular artist. The inciter. The catalyst. The first. That song can be wonderful and special in its own right, as it is the harbinger of music to come, but every so often it maintains. It keeps you carrying a torch for it. It stays firmly ranked among your favorites, never to be unseated by any other.

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