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Showing posts from July, 2008

Tattoo You, Revisited

I don't think there's anything wrong with getting a tattoo. Tats can look good, and I think there's a sense of beauty to them, even if my parents think otherwise. Some friends of mine have tats all up and down their arms and in various spots on their back and legs. These tattoos can be covered up by long-sleeve shirts and pants, so they can still work regular jobs and not be hassled. But in the last few years, and something that really stuck out to me when I was at South by Southwest this year, it's surprising to see how many twentysomethings have not only a ton of ink on their bodies already, but in places that are very hard to cover up. In particular, the neck and throat area. I've seen a lot of neck and throat tats on people in Warped Tour bands. A lot of these guys are younger than me, and I don't know if they think they're going to play in bands forever and be on tour forever, but not everybody filled with ink can work at a tattoo parlor or work constru

". . if I ever start referring to these as the best years of my life, remind me to kill myself."

Nathan wrote a piece on a couple of movies released this year that are set in the nineties. Also examining nostalgia in general, he makes some excellent points about why a movie like American Graffiti worked so well in 1973. Simply, these movies are looks at times long since passed and a characterization of more "innocent" times. But I must say -- not forgetting the fact that I love American Graffiti , The Last Picture Show , and Dazed and Confused , and how I've spent the last four years of my life chronicling post-hardcore before it became commercialized -- nostalgia can be an evil, misleading mindset. I have not seen The Wackness or August , the two films Nathan mentions that are set in the nineties. That's not really the point at hand. The point at hand is, setting a film in a day and age that was before 9/11 and George W. Bush's time as president. Whether or not that's really going back to a more "innocent" time is in the eye of the beholder.

Ask and receive, search and be rewarded

I asked about comics yesterday and Donna and Noel came through with some great recommendations . I highly doubt I would have found these books through fumbling around at my local comics store. Chances are I would have given up and walked away after thumbing through book after book filled with either gritty noir or over-the-top fantasy. Names like Frank King, Rick Geary, and Guy Delisle might not appear on Wizard covers or many Diamond order forms, but their stuff is out there and obtainable. Why I've expressed a recent interest in getting back into comics is simple: something else to read and that something can't be read on a web site. As awesome as the Internet is, I spend enough time on it already. I'm on it forty hours a week at work, coupled with the few hours I spend on it at home everyday. There are plenty of books, articles, and other things I'd like to read, and coupled with my "between book projects" status, I figured it's high time. On top of th

The bat signal is on again

Like a certain podcast I listen to where Greg and Jim play the Rock Doctors, I ask you the reader about suggestions for comics. New or old comics, I don't mind. I've been wanting to get back into reading them for a while, but haven't known where to start. For sanity's sake, I'd prefer to read graphic novels or trade paperbacks rather collect individual issues. Here are my likes and dislikes: --Superheroes were great when I was a kid, but I'm not interested in reading superhero comics. I love the recent movie adaptations of Spider-Man , Batman , Superman , and Iron Man . However, I'm not compelled to read neverending arcs on these characters. Maybe I'm still burned by DC's "Officer Down" arc about six years ago. --I've read Watchmen once. I liked it, but found it a dated, Cold War-era piece that kind of holds up today. Again, I only read it once, so my opinion is not like the ones who've read the book multiple times over the years.

Lost in Spaced

Reading Keith's wrap-up of Day 0/Preview Night at this year's San Diego Comic-Con reminded me of my reluctance to go to cons in general. The USA Today article he references states that con attendance has exploded over the years. Cons are now to the point where they're not just for socially-awkward nerds anymore. Since many aspects of geek culture (video games and comics for starters) are mainstream these days, it makes sense why the San Diego Comic-Con is expecting an audience size in the six figures. But for me, as a socially-awkward person when I'm alone in a big crowd, it's very safe to say I would not pay good money to go to a con or a special Q&A screening. Why? There's simply way too many people going out to these. Just trying to get into one is very hard. I'm not saying things suck once they become popular. It's just for me, the lack of personal involvement is a huge turn-off. I'll still see the shows and movies I'm interested in t

A date with Destinos

I don't know how well known Destinos is to those who didn't take Spanish in school or those who randomly see it on late at night on PBS, but it is very well known to me. Not only did it help me use Spanish in a more conversational way, but I believe it was the first series I watched from start to finish, in order. Many years before I watched LOST , Spaced , Dinner for Five , and Twin Peaks chronologically, I watched the worldwide travels of Raquel Rodriguez, searching for the long-lost son of Don Fernando. I saw all fifty-two episodes. And watched the series twice over the course of my six years in Spanish classes split between high school and college. Now that's dedication, even if we were required to watch the episodes. Destinos follows the soap opera formula: nothing really settles down because something new and earth-shaking pops up. That said, I still think fondly of the show's mix of humor, melodrama, and application of the Spanish language. Unlike a certain da

You be the cat! I be the mouse!

An update on the unwanted guests in our building. After a full week of having a mousetrap set up behind the oven, the mouse didn't take to the peanut butter. I heard it roaming around as I watched An American Werewolf in London late in the evening over the weekend, but I didn't see it. I've decided to move the mousetrap from behind the oven to above it. I didn't like having our oven pushed out of the wall, so it's back in its place. Of course, the smell of burnt mouse poo is back. I've considered getting poison for the mouse, but for fear that the mouse would die within our walls, the stink would probably remain for weeks. Recalling a time when a rat died above my room while I was going to community college and living with my parents, I didn't want a repeat performance of a month of pure stankery. Now I just hope the mouse leaves on its own volition. As far as the baby birds in the chimney, I thought they had flown away. I had not heard them in a week until

I'm afraid my condition has left me cold to your pleas of mercy.

Ryan posted a nice little reminder of a certain Batman movie that wasn't directed by Christopher Nolan or Tim Burton. That got me thinking more and more about something I thought while I watched The Dark Knight this weekend: a movie like Batman Begins or The Dark Knight would have never been made twenty years ago. I'm not so sure I'd say that Batman , Batman Returns , Batman Forever , and Batman and Robin were sacrificial lambs, but they seem to be with a lot of Batman nuts. I always liked '89's Batman and saw it multiple times on VHS and TV. I proceeded to see the three sequels in the theater, but did not watch them again. It wasn't for any particular reason; I just didn't feel compelled to watch them again. I didn't have that strong of a negative reaction; I just thought they were entertaining. Course, by the time Batman and Robin came out, I started hearing more and more about people being ultra-harsh, mean-spirited, and super-picky, all in a v

A murderer of love

The headscratching about parenthood continues. In this case, why do fathers seem so scared of their daughters -- gasp! -- being attracted to boys? More specifically, fathers with young daughters growing up and being attracted to boys. Is there some sort of territoriality going on between fathers and teenage boys? What's the real fear? As I've stated before, I'm not a parent, but I am an uncle with young nieces. I understand that one day, they won't be babies anymore. I also fully understand there will be a point when they hit puberty. I can understand parents want their kids to be as young and innocent as possible, but kids can't stay in a perpetual shell of youthful purity forever. I see this scene frequently in commercials and movies (most recently, Dan in Real Life and Bad Boys 2 ): a teenager (from the ultra-niceguy to poseur bad-boy) waits at the door while a nervous father stands side-by-side with his daughter as they open the door. The scene usually ends wi


If the timing is right, I should be receiving my copy of Spaced: The Complete Series a few days after I turn in all of the book corrections. That's right, the show is finally coming out in Region 1 next week. Even though I have a region-free player, I was hesitant to fork over all this cash for a show I'd never seen before. With some nice and exclusive additions to the supplemental features just for the Region 1 version, I'm glad I waited. But then again, right when the DVD set was announced for us North Americans, I went ahead and pre-ordered before I watched an entire episode. Thanks to the world of YouTube , I've watched a few episodes and strongly believe this set is well worth the purchase. The show is filled with incredibly smart, fun, and funny stuff. It proves that Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg didn't just create Shaun of the Dead out of thin air. I must say, a week ago, life just seemed really slow. I thought the slowness would continue for a month and a h


With the book's final deadline approaching, having new neighbors/roommates move into our house has put a little strain on things. These new inhabitants are not humans though: we have a mouse living behind the kitchen oven and a small nest of newly-born birds in our chimney. For now, they're out of harm's way, but you never know. Ideas swirl in my head, as well as my upstairs' neighbors', about what we can do. But these ideas -- more specifically, the ideas I've suggested -- sound rather morbid. I'm talking peanut butter mixed with poison in a mousetrap for the mouse, along with setting a fire in the chimney. Am I really that heartless thinking of these things? For some reason, mice like to get into Juliet's dog food. Whatever diseases they're carrying, I'd prefer them to not get into the food we feed our dog. I'd also prefer to not hear all its squeaks as I leave for work in the morning. I'd also prefer to not smell its fecal matter burni

14 Days

Well, this was a fast little surprise: new proofs of Post await my corrections. Looks like I have something to do this weekend. Since I can't wait to get everything done, I will start today. Everything is due in fourteen days, so the crunch time has resumed. In the meantime, for related reading, check out this interview conducted by Geoff Rickley of Thursday with Hot Water Music's Chuck Ragan.

9 Fingers on You

It's not surprising that Shudder to Think is reuniting for a handful of dates this fall. If you want to get really technical, it's not a full reunion: bassist Stuart Hill will not be there, nor will original drummer Mike Russell. Pony Express Record -era drummer Adam Wade will be on the West Coast dates, while 50,000 B.C.- era drummer Kevin March will handle the others. But anyway, Adam played a few shows with Craig Wedren a few years ago, and the only major hurdle in doing a full reunion was the fact that Nathan Larson lives in Sweden. I'm just glad that people are looking forward to seeing Shudder reuniting. Their Pony Express Record has to be one of the strangest, damaged, but awesome records to come out in the post- Nevermind craze. Highly recommended listening if you wonder how can a band go from Dischord to making even better records on a major label (see also Jawbox's two albums for Atlantic).


We were a band for maybe two years before we were ever in a magazine. And even then, it was like, little, small mentions. --Jason Gnewikow on the Promise Ring's coverage in the press. People frequently ask me how I'm going to promote Post once it comes out. Well, I say I've been promoting it for years. This blog was originally started to track the writing progress. Course, lots of other things to talk about came up along the way, making the blog what it is now. But as far as farther-reaching promotional efforts, the operative word is "organically." There's nothing worse than a crappy piece of work getting a major push in the media. On the other hand, it sucks when there's something great that is impossibly hard to find. In the back of my mind, I thought about how I got into the bands I featured in the book. None of the bands got the mass-exposure treatment. I didn't flip open an issue of AP or Guitar World and find an extensive, multi-page piece on

The Action is Go

There was a time when I watched a lot of late Eighties/early Nineties action movies. I'm talking Predator 2 , The Perfect Weapon , and Revenge of the Ninja for starters. I couldn't help notice at least one movie playing on a local TV station or HBO on a Saturday or Sunday. Then there was a time when I avoided that kind of movie like the plague. The time when I watched a lot was middle school and high school. The time when I avoided them was college. Now I have a different perspective. I often hear about people who, after really digging mainstream movies growing up, become exposed to all kinds of other, non-mainstream movies when they go to college. In turn, they tend to take the piss out of super-mainstream movies. I'm definitely guilty of that: part of my college experience was to pounce on Jerry Bruckheimer-produced movies. I don't think I ever ripped apart his movies on a message board or an e-mail list, but I definitely let it be known to my friends that I didn'

Don't give up, never walk away

Being a Journey fan is one thing. Being a fan of their career after Steve Perry's departure is another thing. Both seem to come with some explaining to do, especially if the majority of the music you listen to is worlds away from corporate rock. Well, I've always liked Journey's classic material and have enjoyed most of the band's output post-Steve Perry and Steve Smith. Going to the lengths that I did to hear the band's most recent album, I think about why in the world I did go to all those lengths. The newest incarnation of the band includes Arnel Pineda on lead vocals. Out of the three singers the band has had since Steve Perry, Pineda sounds closest to Perry. Not to diss Steve Augeri (who did a fantastic job) or Jeff Scott Soto (great singer, but he just didn't sound right with Journey), but Pineda does the job right. He hits those high notes with ease and is a natural. The new Journey material doesn't offer anything new per se, but at this point, I exp

Is it safe?

The past five weeks have been extremely busy with prepping Post for production. Another page-one edit was done, this time with the assistance of a semi-secret editor who knew nothing about the bands or labels, but really understood the material. Nothing in the book's structure changed, but a lot of grammar and overloaded sentences were re-tooled. Hopefully these changes didn't make the overall book feel "overproduced." Now that the final edit has been sent off to the publisher, I will see a new proof in about a month-and-a-half. I will have two weeks to make any last-minute corrections before the book goes into production. After that, I should have a release date. Make no mistake, filling up free time on afternoons and weekends to edit was really tedious. But what the hell else was I going to do? Drink a lot and watch a lot of movies? I can do that at any point in my free time. I guess it's understanding the amount of free time I have and taking advantage of it.