Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Gwar you there, god? It's me, Margaret

 

Oh man, how did I miss this last July? Would have come in handy.




NCBD:

Here's what I'll be picking up today for New Comic Book Day:


I'm pretty excited about this new Daniel Warren Johnson Beta Ray Bill series.


Deadly Class returns! What's more, issue 45 bumps the timeline up to 1991 - notice Marcus' shirt - and I can't wait to see how Rick Remender handles the era of my own teenage years. 


Two hyphenated superheroes? Man-Thing and Spider-Man, seeing as how I've really been digging Spidey again and Man-Thing is an all-time favorite, this should equal a win-win for me.


Two Moons is dark, proto-American West Horror tied into Native American folklore. What more do I have to say, other than so far, I love it.




Playlist:

Belbury Poly - The Gone Away
Blut Aus Nord - Hallucinogen
Gost - Behemoth
Zombi - Cosmos
Judas Priest - Painkiller 
Minnie Riperton - Ten Best
GWAR - Scumdogs of the Universe
Blut Aus Nord - Memoria Vetusta III: Saturnian Poetry
Huey Lewis and the News - Weather
 



Card:


 My old friend, The Fool. He's never too far away, is he? The voice of inexperience and novelty, a reminder that everything old is new again, and sometimes you have to look beyond your routines to make any progress.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Unchained Residue

I woke up one day last week and literally, before I could even climb from bed, thought, "Unchained Melody is one of the greatest songs ever recorded." 

Now, I've know this song my entire life, and I've long enjoyed it, however, this was something different. I don't know where this contemplation and pronouncement came from, because I don't know that I've heard Unchained anytime recently. But there it was, and when I got to work and put in my headphones I had to concur that, yes, this song is epic.




Watch:

Here's one of my favorite new scenarios: I come home from work tired at least two days a week. I settle onto the couch with my pillow and my cat and throw on a movie. Usually, my go-to's for this situation are either Shudder TV or Prime. I almost always end up falling asleep within the first ten minutes or so, then wake up in the last three-quarters of the flick. In the best-case scenarios, whatever I see when I open my eyes prompts me to rewind all the way back and pick up where I dozed off. This happened yesterday with Rusty Nixon's 2017 Residue


I LOVED this flick. I don't know that I've ever seen anything with this tone before, a kind of deft balance between humor, Horror, and Neo-Noir. Everyone nails their parts, the FX crew is cognizant of their limitations and do an outstanding job working within it (LOVE the Puppetry), and the mythology is just vague enough to leave me desperately wanting to talk about the flick and just specific enough to indicate the filmmaker knew what he was doing and stuck to it. All in all, this is one of my favorite finds in a while, as far as flicks that passed me by from recent years. 




Playlist: 

Zombi - Shape Shift 
Boards of Canada - Tomorrow's Harvest
Judas Priest - Screaming for Vengeance
The Marvelettes - The Hunter Gets Captured By the Game
Windhand - Grief's Infernal Flower
Windhand - Levitation Sessions
High On Fire - Blessed Black Wings
Tomahawk - Immobility
Suburban Living - Always Eyes
P.M. Dawn - Set Adrift on Memory Bliss
Various Artists - Valerie and Friends
Canadian Rifle - Peaceful Death
SURVIVE - Mnqo26
Gram Rabbit - Music to Start a Cult To
Just Once in My Life - The Righteous Brothers
16 - Dream Squasher
Etta James - Second Time Around
Steve Moore - VFW OST




Card:

 

Center your strength, eh? Okay, that seems like good advice right now. 

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Ceremony

 

New video for Deftones' "Ceremony", the second track on last year's Ohms record. Great track.




NCBD:

Yesterday was NCBD, so here's what I picked up. Mike Wellman and I will be talking about these books and more tonight on the Drinking w/ Comics NCBD Round-up, streaming live on our FB page at 7:00 PM PST:


I'm still not sure I'm in for the long-haul on Marvel's Alien series, but I dug the first issue and am curious where it goes. For now.


I keep saying I'm logging off the newer Spidey titles, but I'm just feeling the character so much right now that I find I cannot. 


I love that this character finally has a new series, and when I recently realized Dane's goat-headed butler is named Phillip, and really just wanted to buy Si Spurrier a beer. 


I'm not a fan of the extended Symbiote family, however, I had such a damn good time with the first issue of this series that I have to come back for the next. Plus, visually, all these Black White & Blood books Marvel has been doing are outstanding.


And of course, last but certainly not least:


TMNT ongoing has been my flagship book for some time now, and I don't see that going away any time soon. Look at that cover!!!




Playlist:

Kensonlovers - Keep Rolling 
Gram Rabbit - Music to Start a Cult To
SURVIVE - Mnq026
The Joy Formidable - AAARTH 
Sampa the Great - The Return
Windhand - Grief's Infernal Flower
Tiamat - Clouds
The Righteous Brothers - Just Once in My Life
The Righteous Brothers - You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'
Mastodon - Once More 'Round the Sun
Jackie Wilson - Higher and Higher
Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons - Definitive Pop Collection
Emma Ruth Rundle and Thou - May Our Chambers Always Be Full
The Besnard Lakes - The Besnard Lakes are the Last of the Great Storm Warnings




Card:


 Another "invest in structure" pull that slots in timely after Tuesday's pull. 

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Shang-Chi and the Voyag3r

 

This past weekend I stumbled on the band Voyag3r. Never heard of these guys before, and I think Apple Music did me a solid by rotating Lord of Doom Fortress in right after a Steve Moore track. I'm still getting used to this new update Apple has that makes their service a bit more like Spotify by continuing to play music after whatever album you're listening to ends. I both like and dislike this feature, but in this case, definite mark in the "Pro" column, because as I said, I don't know that I'd ever have heard Voyag3r otherwise. Listen to the outro of this track. It's gorgeous. After it ended, I listened to the entire record and absolutely loved it, so I'm on board. LOVE the use of guitars with the synths, it really makes these guys stand out from a lot of the other synthwave stuff out there.  You can head over to Voyag3r's Bandcamp HERE and check out their music, or dial them up on your favorite streaming service.





So F*&king down. 




Playlist:

SURVIVE - Mnq026
Blood Spore - Fungal Warfare Upon All Life
Gy├Ârgy Ligeti - Essentials
John Carpenter - Lost Themes III: Alive After Death
16 - Dream Squasher
Alice Donut - Dry Humping the Cash Cow: Live at CBGB




Card:


Prioritizing Earthly concerns, or in layman's terms, starting to save $$$ again. I did really good last year, but some unexpected car maintenance set me back last month. No biggie - gotta keep the machine running, right? Anyway, April was that rare bird where I had three paychecks in 30 days, so this is a reminder to roll into May feeding my savings account again. Can't keep paying rent forever, even in LALA Land.

Monday, April 19, 2021

New Zombi!!!


New Zombi! I'm still blasting last year's aptly titled 2020 and here there is, more on the way! Pre-order from Relapse Records HERE.




Watch:

Our entire household received our first doses of the Pfizer Vaccine on Thursday afternoon and it subsequently knocked me on my ass. I had flu-like body ache, fatigue and borderline nausea until yesterday. Which was fine, because I called out from work on Friday and other than having to work five hours on Saturday - which sucked - and interviewing comics artist and entrepreneur Jay Fotos for A Most Horrible Library afterward (episode out now), I basically watched a bunch of stuff, read a lot, and got some writing done. Oh yeah, and sleep. I slept A LOT.

Watch-wise, first up was Andrzej Zulawski's Possession, which I'd been wanting to see for a long time but is fairly hard to come by. Luckily, Anthony from The Horror Vision has several European Region copies and I now have a Region-Free player, so the stars aligned and my mind was literally blown. 

  

I'm seriously planning a second viewing of this one SOON, because I really need to unpack it. 

Friday night, Joe Bob Briggs returned with the first episode of The Last Drive-In. I'm a huge fan of JBB, however, after about thirty minutes of Lloyd Kaufman's Mother's Day, I jumped ship. I respect the hell out of the Kaufman's and Troma, but thus far, I've never had a single one of their movies work for me. This one was no different, so instead, K and I rented Travis Stevens' new film Jakob's Wife.


Starring Barbara Crampton and Larry Fessenden, there was pretty much no way this one would miss for me, and it didn't fail. Solid Five Stars on Lettrbxd.

I'm finally going back and re-watching all the Marvel MCU flicks that I missed due to total Superhero burn-out. If you're keeping track, I loved Ms. Marvel, and now loved Spider-Man: Homecoming

Wow. I knew these flicks would all be good, however, damn! This one was awesome. K and I both LOVED Homecoming and now can't wait to watch Far From Home.

Finally, Saturday night we watched Michael Kennedy and Christopher Landon's Freaky. Everyone told me this one was great, and they were all 100% correct. Loved it! 

   

As my good friend Missi said, "Vince Vaughn was born to play a seventeen-year-old girl!" Amen!
 


Playlist:

Steve Moore - VFW OST
Small Black - Cheap Dreams
Zombi - 2020
Tomahawk - Tonic Immobility
K's 70s Playlist
Kensonlovers - Keep Rolling
Kate Bush - The Dreaming
Lustmord - The Dark Places of the Earth
Selim Lemouchi and His Enemies - Earth Air Spirit Water Fire
Anthrax - Persistence of Time
Christopher Young and Lustmord - The Empty Man OST
Soul Coughing - Irresistible Bliss
Pilotpriest - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
John Carpenter - Lost Themes III
Judas Priest - Hell Bent for Leather
Mrs. Piss - Self Surgery
CCR - Bayou Country
Greg Puciato - Child Soldier
Numenorean - Adore
Alice in Chains - Facelift
Judas Priest - Painkiller
Allegaeon - Apoptosis
Revocation - Teratogenesis
Guns N' Roses - Appetite for Destruction
Zombi - Shape Shift
Zombi - Escape Velocity
Voyag3r - Doom Fortress
Voyag3r - War Mask
Various - Valerie and Friends
 



Card:


 Definitely feels like a Victory that A) I received that first dose of the vax, and B) I'm back into a pretty great vibe with Shadow Play Book Two!!!

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

NCBD

 First, let's set the tone with a little music...





Now that that's taken care of, let's get into some comics! 

NCBD has become a much bigger deal to me since Mike Wellman (AKA Mike Wahlman) and I resurrected Drinking with Comics. Here's what I'll be picking up today and (hopefully reading) before tomorrow at 7:00 PM PST when we live-stream the new episode and talk about all this stuff on our FB page! If you miss the stream, the edited episode will be up early Friday. That's the schedule we've set and are attempting to stick to for the foreseeable future. Now on to this week's books in...

PULL LIST:










I'm really feeling Spiderman lately, even though I'm not super into the way Peter Parker appears to be a teenager in his monthlies and an adult in the regular Marvel titles (as evidenced in The King in Black, which I broke down and bought all five issues of last week and overall enjoyed). Spider's Shadow is a kind of limited "What If" that asks What if Peter had become Venom. As for Non-stop Spiderman, this will probably be my last issue of it, however, the current Falcon and Winter Soldier show has my blood up for some Baron Zemo, and he made his appearance in the final pages of Nonstop #1, so I'm back for more Zemo!




Playlist:

Small Black - Cheap Dreams
Michael Kiwanuka - KIWANUKA
James Brown - Hell
Beastie Boys - Check Your Head
A Tribe Called Quest - The Low End Theory
Paralisis Permanente - El Acto
Human Impact - EP01
Tomahawk - Tonic Immobility
Guns N' Roses - Appetite for Destruction

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Katanas and Mimes, Oh My!!!

I'm not really a huge follower of Red Fang - they're a solid band, they just don't really stand out to me. That said, I LOVE this video.




Read:

Pretty psyched to have been sent a digital copy of Osaka Mime from Behemoth Comics for review on our A Most Horrible Library podcast. This book looks NUTS, and I am all about finding out more everything I can about whatever the hell monster is on this cover:


Super cool. Chris and I should be reviewing this one on our new episode, dropping next Monday morning (Sunday night at Midnight if you do the youtubes).

A very special thanks to Behemoth Comics and creators Andy Leavy, Hugo Araujo, and Robin Jones for sending this our way.



Playlist:

Judas Priest - Firepower
Small Black - Cheap Dreams
Steve Moore - VFW OST
 



Card:


Significant in that I just sent a Beta copy of a short story I've been trying to solve for almost three years to my good friend (and constant beta reader) Missi. The story is 99.9% there but still feels incomplete; not start to finish, but something textural inside its narrative feels weak. I'm hoping Missi's insight will help me realize what, if anything it is (because it is totally plausible, when you've working on something for this long, to get into a headspace where you can't finish it, even when it's finished).

 

Monday, April 12, 2021

Sailing with Charon


I'm back on this reassessing the 80s kick, wherein I dig back into a lot of the music I dismissed or, in some cases, openly mocked in my 20s. 

The Scorpions were a staple of pre-Grunge radio and a band whose singles I had a particular affinity in my pre-teen years. It would have been around the age of six or seven that I first heard their stadium-packing single "Rock You Like A Hurricane," a song that, at the time, sounded like the heaviest thing imaginable to my young ears, and helped steer me into metal. By '91 however, all these operatic-style vocalist-driven guitar-heavy bands had worn out their welcome, and I never bothered to look any further. 

Fast forward to last week when, while unable to stop listening to 80s-era Judas Priest, I went scrolling down the neon corridors of Apple Music looking for another comparable band to unearth.

Scorpions are where I landed. 

Covered by Testament on 1997's Signs of Chaos comp, it was my good friend and Horror Vision cohost Tori who pointed me toward Scorpions' 1977 album Taken By Force, specifically mentioning this song. I was not disappointed in the track, and in fact, despite some of the Scorp's other 70s-era albums not striking a chord with me, this one 100% did the trick. More proto-metal than butt rock, even the ballad "Born to Touch Your Your Feelings" has a dark, ominous allure that reminds me a bit more of some baroque Opeth song at times than Winger (in music only, as I can't rightly compare the vocals). This makes sense; as far as I know, what put the Scorpions to bed in the early 90s wasn't a predilection for mascara and cheese, but endless rotation and what sounds to me now, looking back, like an over-reliance on Producers who grouped them in with everything else 'happening' in generic hard rock at the time. I.E. everything Smells Like Teen Spirit would obliterate in 1991. I'd still rather jam Teen Spirit on most days, however, there's definitely a place for some Scorpions in my world.




Watch:

After catching up on Falcon and the Winter Solider this weekend (Mardripoor!!!), wee watched two flicks this weekend, both of which I enjoyed more than I initially thought I would:

First, Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck in Roman Holiday. This stands as probably my favorite movie K has introduced me to. I loved it, and I especially appreciated that they 'stuck' the landing.


Next, the recently released Wrong Turn reboot, which I cover pretty extensively on the new episode of The Horror Vision that went up this morning. 

 

My motivation for watching this one, as I've not seen any other entries into the series (except maybe the first way back when it came out on video) was simply as an act of balance. 

On THV's previous episode, my cohost Butcher gave the film a bad review, and as an attempt to provide the benefit of a second perspective I decided to install a 'Second Chance' policy on the show. This is where when one of us gives a new film a bad review - which is totally acceptable and not something the second chance is meant to overturn - someone else will watch and review it as well. In some cases, this will add a possible positive review, and in some, I suspect it will only strengthen the argument against. However, the internet is awash with negativity, especially in regards to movie criticism, and I want our show to be held apart from that rampant, often collegiate negativity. Bad reviews are inevitable in film critique, however, I want our criticism to be better than just name-calling and rampant negativity.




Playlist:

Judas Priest - Firepower
Judas Priest - Hell Bent for Leather
Judas Priest - Screaming for Vengeance
Guns N' Roses - Appetite for Destruction
Alice in Chains - Facelift
Pilotpriest - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Zombi - Cosmos
Blanck Mass - No Dice (single)
Scorpions - Black Out
Anthrax - Persistence of Time
Deftones - Saturday Night Wrist
Foster the People - Torches
White Lung - Paradise
Razor - Live! Osaka Saikou
The Rods - Live
Steve Moore - VFW OST




Card:

 

Balance is exactly what I am striving for this week. Last week was a manic roller coaster wherein I accomplished absolutely nothing and tied my stomach into a knot that finally untangled yesterday after nearly 9 hours of sleep and a cleaning frenzy. 

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Beware the Silver Coin!

A little old-school Deftones for you. Love this album, but I've fallen into the habit of forgetting about it due to the fact that Apple Music ranks it as "Various Artists" and, thus, puts it in with the "V" artists instead of my other Deftones stuff. Of course, I still have the CD, but with the car stereo out of commission, those aren't nearly as handy as they used to be. Great track. I love the crickets. I'll forever be grateful to Jacob and Jeremy from Blue Karma for convincing me to give this record another chance, back in '06.




NCBD:

Since Mike Wellman and I brought back Drinking with Comics, I've been buying way more stuff than I normally do. Big Two stuff, even. Later tonight we'll be live-streaming another DwC NCBD run-down on our FB channel, with the edited video to follow tomorrow. In the interim, here are the two surprise big hits this week, both of which I absolutely LOVED.


I don't think I've ever liked a Geoff Johns comic before, but then again, everything I'd be even remotely familiar with would be DC, and I wanted to give the man a chance. Glad I did, because Geiger's first ish knocked my socks off! Great art, and a really cool story, with a super-intriguing final image that guarantees I'll be back for more.


An anthology comic that centers around a cursed (?) silver coin and the various lives it affects, each issue by a different creative team? Well, if this first installment was any indication, I'm in for the duration. I love that this is the second historic (1978) rock band comic horror comic I'm reading at the moment, Home Sick Pilots being the other (90s).




Playlist:

Judas Priest - Hell Bent for Leather
Judas Priest - Screaming for Vengeance
Blanck Mass - Animated Violence Mild
Anthrax - Persistence of Time
Black Sabbath - Heaven and Hell
Judas Priest - Firepower
Valkyrie - Fear
Windhand - Grief's Infernal Flower
Deftones - Saturday Night Wrist 




Card:

Insatiable. That feels about right because I'm really unable to concentrate, I'm eating too much, drinking too much, and not writing enough. I think I've run out of patience for this stunted COVID existence. I've been attempting to sign up for Vaccination, but it's mostly just making me frustrated as all hell. Looking toward the horizon and hoping to see better days and a return to productivity.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Killing Machine Brings a Reckoning

I follow a man who goes by the handle Jomparantala on IG who has totally made me reassess a lot of the music I grew up with in the 80s but later dismissed. I won't say I ever totally gave up on Judas Priest - Living After Midnight remains a song I never stopped turning up to eleven whenever it comes on, although it's been so long since I listened to any radio station that would play it, so while it lingers on an old playlist, it's been a minute. Seeing Jom post about Priest yesterday, I definitely see myself firing up some today.




Watch:

Somehow I totally missed the fact that Neil Marshall's The Reckoning hit VOD two months ago! What the hell?!? I feel like I waited for this forever, then I let it fall off my radar. Well, that will (hopefully) be remedied this weekend. Here's the trailer. Love those plague masks, right?






Playlist:

The Replacements - Tim
Ted Leo and the Pharmacists - Shake the Sheets
ACDC - Highway to Hell
Alabama Shakes - Sound and Color
sElf - What a Fool Believes (single)
Santigold - Eponymous
The Clash - Train in Vain (single)
Talking Heads - Sand in the Vaseline
Protomartyr - Under Color of Official Right
Protomartyr - The Agent Intellect
Moonlover - Ghost Bath
Deafheaven - Sunbather (single)
Judas Priest - Killing Machine (single)
Zombi - 2020
Goblin - Dawn of the Dead OST 




Card:

 

Everything lately has pointed to self-control, something I've been in short supply of lately (he types as he opens another beer at 11:04 PM moments after setting alarms that being at 4:05 AM)

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Swinging Party


While I've picked at a few albums by The Replacements over the last five years or so, I've never really fallen for any. Until now. Holy cow! I'm reminded of when, in 2009, I fell hard into The Smiths decades after many people my age did.  A friend pointed out that both The Replacements and The Smiths are bands that classmates with older siblings tended to get into when we were younger, and with both of us being the oldest in our houses, that avenue to some of the more sophisticated music of the slightly older classes was cut off from us. That sounds about right, however, I definitely believe you find things when you need them. That was definitely true of The Smiths, and it feels equally accurate for The Replacements, or so far, their 1985 album Tim.

I love falling in love with older bands because I tend to go through these intense exploratory periods. One album at a time becomes an obsession, and within that microcosm different songs tend to cycle through as favorite obsessions. Currently, I'm stuck on "Swinging Party," its subtle lyrics and shimmering guitar, but I've already moved past "Kiss Me On the Bus", and seem imminently bound for "Little Mascara" to commandeer my obsession.




Watch:

With only a handful of episodes left of Penny Dreadful, K and I made the joyous mistake of watching the first episode of Servant on Apple TV.  Five episodes later we are HOOKED and not going to be able to go back to Penny until we blow through both seasons of this show. The tone, the ambiance, the characters!  I'm a big fan of Lauren Ambrose's character Claire on HBO's Six Feet Under, so it's nice to see her again. 

 





Playlist:

The Replacements - Tim 
Garbage - No Gods No Masters (single)
The Joy Formidable - Into the Blue (single)
The Joy Formidable - AARTH
Zombi - Cosmos
Zombi - Shape Shift
Zombi - 2020




Card:

 

No capacity for interpreting this at the moment, because I'm worn out from being up too late watching Servant! 

Monday, April 5, 2021

The Joy Formidable

I really dig this new single by The Joy Formidable, a band I don't know all that much about. Not sure if this is the precursor to a new album from the band, but I'll be investigating their back catalog now, so either way, it's all new to me.




Watch:

It's been a few days since I posted here. Busy as hell. I did find time to watch a few things this weekend, however, the thing that I must discuss is last week's season two opener of Shudder's Creepshow. I can't express how much this episode lit up all the goodwill in my brain. It had everything, including a full-on entry into the Evil Dead mythology, which I don't think any of us were expecting.

.

Next up, Mike Wellman and I have returned with Drinking with Comics! It's been difficult to bring this show back, as it's primarily a live show with an audience that, well, for obvious reasons we can't do at the moment, however, for the moment, we're going to do a weekly NCBD round-up on Thursday nights. It will stream live on our FB page, then appear Friday morning on youtube. Here's last week's episode, where we talk Man-Thing, Stray Dogs, Shadecraft, and even find some time to dig into Tomahawk's new record because, you know, you gotta listen to something while you're reading all those comics:





Playlist:

The Replacements - Tim
Alice in Chains - Dirt
Small Black - Duplex (single)
Run the Jewels - RTJ4
Suburban Living - Always Eyes (single)
Godflesh - Pure
Satanic Planet - Baphomet (single)
Tomahawk - Tonic Immobility
Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Asunder, Sweet and Other Distress
Human Impact - EP01
Megadeth - So Far, So Good... So What!
Pixies - Doolittle
Flogging Molly - Float
Zombi - Cosmos
S.O.D. - Speak English or Die
Mr. Bungle - The Raging Wraith of the Easter Bunny
Howard Shore - Crash OST
AC/DC - Highway to Hell
Ghost - Meliora
The Bangles - All Over the Place 




Card:

Here's a fella I see quite a bit on these daily pulls. Time to take control of the more willy-nilly, emotionally compromised elements of my Work and steer things back in an orderly direction.