Archive for July, 2007

Flashback!

Posted in Food, Memories on 31 July 2007 by jason

I went downstairs to the vending machine at work today, and what did I see? Lorna Doone shortbread cookies! I used to love these things back in elementary school! I haven’t had one in years, so I bought a pack.

Not to bad…not as exciting as I remember them, but tasty all the same.

Who is Lorna Doone, anyway?

The Loneliness of the Middle-Distance Runner

Posted in otter, Sports on 29 July 2007 by jason

Me crossing the finish line

Well, today was the Pro-Football Hall Of Fame Festival race. Two races, actually: the 2-mile and the 5 mile. The 2-mile is the one you should be concerned with, and that’s because it concerns me!

I came in at 19:28:25, according to the official results. I say “according to” because, due to the ridiculous lack of restrooms for a race that 1447 particpants ran, I was late to the starting line! Well, me and about 20 or 30 other people, including the otter (my girlfriend…the nickname’s a long story).

Anyway, besides that, I had fun. My goal was to finish without having to stop, and I made it, even though a third of the race was uphill.

Me and the otter

Isobel Campbell…

Posted in Books and Literature, Music on 25 July 2007 by jason

From harpmagazine.com, reprinting an excerpt from Paul Whitlaw’s This is Just a Modern Rock Story

My heart wasn’t in it anymore, because there was so much disrespect and craziness. It was a neurotic set-up, and everyone’s pretty neurotic in [Belle & Sebastian]. Plus I’d grown up, and I didn’t want to be singing about school when I was thirty. I thought [that] was a bit disturbing.

This is hilarious because Stuart was about thirty when he started singing about school! Was this a subtle swipe at Isobel’s ex-boyfriend?

Original article: http://harpmagazine.com/articles/detail.cfm?article_id=5093

I am officially obsessed…

Posted in Music on 24 July 2007 by jason

…with this song and video.

Just a warning.

Some books I’ve read recently

Posted in Books and Literature on 22 July 2007 by jason

I read a lot. Sure, I go through periods where I just can’t get through a single book, but I often read three or more books at a time. (I blame my ADD for keeping me interested in just one book).

Anyway, here are some books that I’ve read recently:

Libra by Don Delillo. This gook was great. Its all about the Kennedy assasination, for the point of view of each of the conspirators. It takes a very personal look at how the conflicting needs of each person lead to a disaster and a web so tangled, no one will ever decipher exactly what went wrong. Plus, it makes the reader feel sympathy for Oswald without making him an innocent victim, a la Oliver Stone’s JFK. This was the first Delillo I’ve read but I’ll probably read Underworld or White Noise soon.

Lolita by Vladimer Nabokov. This book is no where near as explicit as people have told you. Everything is implied, but it will still make you feel dirty for reading it. LOTS of clever wordplay…if you’re an English geek (like me), you’ll love it. The story itself is very phychological, complete with unreliable narrator who hallucinates (or does he?) through the last third of the book. In the end, you’ll wonder if Humbert isn’t himself a victim, albeit one who deserves what he gets.

Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. This is one of the greatest works in the comics medium, and one of my all-time favorite works of literature. It took the black-and-white morality of the superhero genre and crushed it under it’s ethically ambiguous heel. Detractors will tell you that this was one of the worst things to happen to comics, as everyone else tried to copy it but got it wrong. Hating Watchmen is like hating the Beatles; you can’t really blame the originators with the duplicators mistakes. I won’t tell you any more except to say that its not really about superheroes.

Phonogram: Rue Britannia by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie. Music criticism about the fall and false revival of Britpop, thinly disguised as a story of modern day sorcerers and lost godesses. Not for everyone. Pretentious, heavy with references only “people-who-were-there” will get, but entertaining on its own. The author obviously has a passion for the subject, and this shines through. The artist’s work is beautiful, with crisp lines and ample use of zip-tone. If you like the music, or are a fan of stuff like Hellblazer (especially the short Warren Ellis run), give it a try.

Childhood’s End by Arthur C. Clarke. Great Sci-fi story of mankind evolving to its terminal state. Told through three generations of humans under the watchful eyes of “the Overlords”, heralds to a god-like being that sweeps through space. Fans of the Fantastic Four will think this all sounds familiar.

Vanity Post

Posted in Books and Literature, Writing on 21 July 2007 by jason

Just because I wanted to see it on my blog, here is my publication history, not including the self-published comics I did when I was 15…

The cut-and-paste screwed up the format, but here it is:

COMPLETE PUBLICATION HISTORY:

“Intervention.” Local Color. March 16, 2007. http://localcolor.wordpress.com/local-color-march-2007-call-for-fiction/

“Review of Year’s Best Graphic Novels, Comics, & Manga Edited by Byron Preiss and Howard Zimmerman.” Ohioana Quarterly Vol L, Number 1. Spring 2007 edition. Published by The Ohioana Library Association. Pg. 22-23.

“Review of The Best American Comics of 2006 Edited by Harvey Pekar and Anne Elizabeth Moore.” Ohioana Quarterly Vol L, Number 1. Spring 2007 edition. Published by The Ohioana Library Association. Pg. 14-15.

“Three O’Clock Robot.” Local Color. December 18, 2006. http://localcolor.wordpress.com/2006/12/18/3-oclock-robot-by-j-robert-novak/.

“Review of Modern Arf by Craig Yoe.” Ohioana Quarterly Vol XLIX, Number 4. Winter 2006 edition. Published by The Ohioana Library Association. Pg. 346.

“Review of Attitude 3: The New Subversive Online Cartoonists Edited by Ted Rall.” Ohioana Quarterly Vol XLIX, Number 4. Winter 2006 edition. Published by The Ohioana Library Association. Pg. 292-293.

“Review of Ego & Hubris: The Michael Malice Story by Harvey Pekar, with Gary Dumm.” Ohioana Quarterly Vol XLIX, Number 3. Fall 2006 edition. Published by The Ohioana Library Association. Pg.145.

“Review of Late Bloomer by C. Tyler.” Ohioana Quarterly Vol XLIX, Number 2. Summer 2006 edition. Published by The Ohioana Library Association. Pg.36-37.

“Review of …It’s a Bird by Steven T. Seagle and Teddy Kristiansen.” Ohioana Quarterly Vol XLVIII, Number 3. Fall 2005 edition. Published by The Ohioana Library Association. Pg.331-333.

“Review of Men of Tomorrow: Geeks, Gangsters, and the Birth of the Comic Book by Gerard Jones.” Ohioana Quarterly Vol XLVIII, Number 3. Fall 2005 edition. Published by The Ohioana Library Association. Pg.345-346.

“Review of The Jungle by Upton Sinclair, adapted by Peter Kuper, with Emily Russell.” Ohioana Quarterly Vol XLVIII, Number 2. Summer 2005 edition. Published by The Ohioana Library Association. Pg 175.

“Review of Studio Cards: Funny Greeting Cards and the People Who Created Them by Dean Norman.” Ohioana Quarterly Vol XLVIII, Number 2. Summer 2005 edition. Published by The Ohioana Library Association. Pg 222-223.

“From Four Colors to the Silver Screen: The Semiotic Similarities Between Comics and Live Action.” Writing Center Review Vol 10. Spring 2005 Edition. Published by Kent State University, Stark Campus. Copy available upon request.

“Review of Vic and Blood: The Continuing Adventures of a Boy and His Dog, by Harlan Ellison and Richard Corben.” Ohioana Quarterly Vol XLVIII, Number 1. Spring 2005 edition. Published by The Ohioana Library Association. Pg 31-32.

“Review of Paper Tales issues 1 and 2, by Bruce Chrislip.” Ohioana Quarterly Vol XLVIII, Number 1. Spring 2005 edition. Published by The Ohioana Library Association. Pg 61.

“Review of Attitude 2: The New Subversive Alternative Cartoonists, Edited by Ted Rall.” Ohioana Quarterly Vol XLVIII, Number 1. Spring 2005 edition. Published by The Ohioana Library Association. Pg 68-69.

“Review of Confessions of a Cereal Eater by Rob Maisch and Scott Hampton”. Ohioana Quarterly
Vol XLVII, Number 2. Summer 2004 edition. Published by The Ohioana Library Association. Pg 160-162.

Article Introductions. Writing Center Review Vol. 9. Spring 2004 edition. Published by Kent State University, Stark Campus. Copy available upon request.

“Review of Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis adapted by Peter Kuper”. Ohioana Quarterly Vol XLVII, Number 1.Spring 2004 edition. Published by The Ohioana Library Association. Pg 32.

Covers…making someone else’s songs your own.

Posted in Cover Songs on 15 July 2007 by jason

The best thing about a cover song is that it allows one to make a song by someone else one’s own. this can been brilliant (Blinded by the Light by Manfred Mann), or disasterous (Most of Tori Amos’ Strange Little Girls).

The best thing about the internet (debatably) is the ability for anyone to be heard, regardless of celebrity status. At best, this allows unrecognized genius to shine; at worst, it provides some comedy.

What’s my point? I love going to Youtube and typing in an artists name and the word “cover” to hear what people are doing in front of webcams to other people’s music.

Right now, as I have just watched Rocky Horror Picture Show and Shock Treatment, I have chosen to look for the songs of Richard O’Brien.

Here we go…

Jack Hicko: Science Fiction Double Feature. Hicko and a guitar. There’s something nice about this. He doesn’t try to sound like O’Brien, but he captures the spirit of the song. This song always had an intimate feel to it, so it’s probably the RHPS song most suited to the guitar.

Jack Hicko: Don’t Dream It. Hicko again, doing an even better job with this song. He’s not imitating Tim Curry, but he is camping up his voice a little. The “Sploosh” is an awesome touch! He does different voices for the other characters, which sound more like imitations that his Frank, but it works. The mess up in the end is funny, although I never understood why most people leave mistakes like this in a recorded medium.

J.D. Justice: Super Heroes. VERY nice piano-and-voice cover of Super Heroes. It’s almost TOO faithful to the original, but it sounds great.

L.A.B. Rocky Horror Suite Maybe one of the most interesting cover’s I’ve heard. All acoustic, live performance that attempts to mash-up Rocky Horror, Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, and others.

RAINBOWFROG77: Science Fiction Double Feature
OK…be nice, jay. Um…Her singing is decent. Again, this song easy to adapt to voice and guitar, providing that you can actually play the guitar.

Dresden Dolls: Science Fiction Double Feature Popular song, eh? This time by a semi-well-known band. Amanda’s voice suits this song well, and the piano and guitar combo works (as it did in the original). I’d like to see them do more covers from RHPS. Amanda would look good dressed as Magenta, too. ;P

Ultraviolents-Time Warp Fun, full band performance of the song. They look like they’re enjoying themselves.

Autozamm-Sweet Transvestite Sounds great. The lead singer does a bit of an imitation, but I’m not sure this song works if you do it straight. No pun intended. They skip the part with Brad asking to use the phone, which is probably for the best in a rock performance.

Marc with a C- Duel DuetFrom Shock Treatment, the sequel to RHPS. He does a great job with this (in fact, this was the inspiration for this entire post.). He takes the song and makes it his own by simplifying it, singing both parts as one. Here’s a link to the version that appears in the movie, so you can compare: here.