"People / Who Read People / Are the Luckiest People In the World"

So People magazine. Who reads this? Seriously, does anybody buy this? Not just flip through it because you're stuck behind an old lady with a fistful of coupons, I mean, does anybody actually purchase and read this magazine? It's a mystery how this stays in print. It's like the fact that N'Sync and the Boy Band Battalion sold bajillions (a rough estimate...) of records, but who bought them? There aren't that many teenage girls (or gender-confused young men) out there to justify these kinds of numbers. Who buys them? Nobody that will cop to it, apparently. Smells like a mystery, Scoob.

Anyway, so this was the cover a while back (last week?). I saw it in line at the grocery store. I did not flip through it. I have standards. The Weekly World News, now that's another story entirely. Where was I? Oh yeah, the cover:

Which got me thinking to myself, "Self, why is Katie so happy?" Well, Self, I'll tell you why: antidepressants. Eat that, Tom Cruise and your couch-jumping crazy eyes. Who's being glib now, Tom? Huh?

Anybody else wanna play? Let's hear why you think Katie's so happy. The winner gets one Big Red Robot No Prize. Let's rock.


It's Not Just Me, Is It?

Am I the only person in the world who thinks this movie is a great (genius?) idea poorly executed?

Think about it. A guy traveling across the country with his dead dad's elephant. Coping with the loss of a father he didn't really know or maybe even like. The elephant as a metaphor for guilt/memory of the deceased. It's like a Kerouac novel... only substitute Dean Moriarty with an Indian elephant. It needs to be ten kinds of surreal, solemn. As if Tim Burton or Terry Gilliam or David Lynch (the one who directed the Straight Story, not that other one who makes the movies that are gilded crap) were to direct (I'm thinking a cool comic book/graphic novel?). Can you see it? It'd be awesome, right? It's not just me, right? Right?

It's official: I'm adding this to my list of "Stuff I Really Need To Redo Sometime In the Future," along with Knight Rider and the Hands Of Shang-Chi: Master of Kung Fu.

Electric Newspaper Boy!

So my brother Huston e-mailed me last night wondering about Guided By Voices. Basically, where to start. And as I think they are awesome and as our motto here is to scream about stuff that is awesome, I figured I'd reprint my response. This also helps me to recycle a needlessly lengthy e-mail as fresh content for the blog. Just doing my part for the earth. Because I'm all granola like that.

What follows is my response. With pictures. And music (to play the samples, click on the little play button thing. If you click on the title or artist, it will take to you the Last.fm page and you will not hear the music and you will be sad):

Hey Huston,

Essential Guided By Voices albums? Oh man, this is a really tough one. It's like asking for a list of essential friends or something.

See, the thing with GBV is that, while an album may not be all that good (take, I dunno, Do the Collapse, for example), there can be at least two, as many as five really good amazing songs on it. It's the sonic equivalent of flipping through records at a record store. It's kind of part of the fun. For example, Kid Marine, a Pollard solo album is... well, it's not very good as a whole, but it contains like, two good songs that I'm glad I own, so... yeah. It's tough. there's a lot out there, but I mean, if you thought Ryan Adams just put out whatever fell into his head... well, yeah. At least Pollard's more consistent.

Becoming a GBV fan is a disease, sort of. I'm sorry if you get infected.

But... if I had to compile a list of "Must Own" GBV albums I'd probably include the following:

Propeller - One of their better early albums. I have a disc where this and Vampire on Titus (the follow-up to Propeller) are doubled up, so I have a hard time distinguishing the two. "Over the Neptune/Mesh Gear Fox," Propeller's opener is textbook Pollard: pure epic pop. Vampire also has "Red Gas Circle," "Non-Absorbing," "Jar Of Cardinals," and like, a bunch of other stuff that I can't really remember. They're both worth sifting through.

Guided by VoicesUnleashed! The Large-Hearted Boy

Bee Thousand - For sure. I have an iTunes review wherein I state that this is the best album of the 90's. I believe the title is "Move over, Nevermind..." It's the best of their earlier, more-lo-fi albums. I bought it (on red vinyl!!!) based on a recommendation from Spin magazine back in the day (when it was relevant) and it hit me like - all hyperbole aside - a freaking revelation. It was like... imagine you have this neighbor. He's a school teacher. He tells you he has a band. And he gives you their demo tape. And it freaking rocks. It sounds all grubby and stuff, but man! it's good. That's what it's like. It's like discovering fire or five bucks in an old jacket or something. Maybe their masterpiece. Okay, so it is their masterpiece.

Guided by VoicesI Am a Scientist

Under the Bushes, Under the Stars - Maybe my favorite of their albums? There's like... 30-something tracks on this one and - amazingly - they're all worth listening to, though some more that others. It was originally a concept album about the rise and fall of a band called "King S**t and the Golden Boys," but was later just retooled as just one huge, rocking record. It also contains my single favorite GBV track: "Acorns & Orioles," as well as standouts like "Atom Eyes," "Underwater Explosions," "Lord Of Overstock" and , good gravy this is a good one, "Ghosts Of A Different Dream."

Guided by VoicesAcorns & Orioles

***I forgot to add in Mag Earwig! in my e-mail. It's a solid, rocking album. The first step toward their two slicker studio LPs, Do the Collapse (which isn't very good, but has "Teenage FBI" on it) and Isolation Drills, which we'll discuss after the little Last.fm listeny thingy.

Guided by VoicesNot Behind the Fighter Jet

Isolation Drills - Their most transparently personal album, dealing with the dissolution of Pollard's long-time marriage. It's one of their "produced" albums, with Tom Rothrock at the board. It also features an appearance of Elliott Smith on piano on, I believe, "Fine To See You." It also contains "Glad Girls," which, in a fair world, would cement their induction into Rock&Roll Heaven, like, immediately.

Guided by VoicesGlad Girls

As far as solo Pollard, both of his new albums are good, Normal Happiness and From A Compound Eye, though I think they feel a little flat in places. I don't have too many (relatively speaking, of course) of his solo/Fading Captain Series work, though his album with Doug Gillard (who was also in GBV) Speak Kindly Of Your Volunteer Fire Department, is pretty rocking. And it has "Pop Zeus" on it, which is awesome and I always think should be punctuated with an exclamation point.

Robert PollardLove Is Stronger Than Witchcraft

The other GBV/Pollard albums are worth sifting through, some more than others, but it will take work. Obviously, I think it's worth the work, otherwise I wouldn't have so much hard drive-/shelf- space devoted to a band that really, nobody else I know (maybe Chris) cares all that much about.

Anyway, I hope this helps.

Love ya, kid,
aka POPZeus!


Saturday Night Is Alright For Sleeping

So, I finished posting last night and decided that I wasn't all that tired. So, I decided to stay up and watch Saturday Night Live. I figured it had been a while, so... why not?

Bad call, man.

What happened to this show? Now I don't want to get all "back when I was a kid," on you, but man, SNL, well, it sucks now. I know that I was probably spoiled by the amazing mid-to-late-90's cast (which were filled to the gills with some seriously heavy hitters), but come on, this is just... it's just not good comedy. It's not even good drama.

It made me feel like some ancient dinosaur person because not only was I getting pretty tired as I was watching it, but I just didn't get any of the skits. It was like they were speaking in Esperanto or Martian or something. I flipped through the channels during commercials and Mortal Kombat: Annihilation gave me more chuckles than the entire episode of SNL did. And it made more sense, too, which is saying something, because that movie is batcrap insane.

I am leaning toward laying blame at the feet of head writer Seth Myers (he's like a mini-Jimmy Fallon, all teeth and smarm with no comedic chops to back it up, always too willing to laugh at his own jokes) because it's not like there aren't funny people on the show: Poehler, Armisen and Forte are all very funny people, but man, this is just some dreadful stuff. It's like a caricature of a caricature of a caricature of SNL. Depressing.

"What the Helvetica?!"

Well, I saw Helvetica last night. You may recall I was pretty psyched to see it a while back, and I'm glad I finally got the chance. First off, it's well-made. Beautiful, even. Secondly, it has interviews with nearly every important figure in 20th/21st century design (most noticeably absent was Milton Glaser. WTH?), though some of them I can do without (I'm looking at you, David Carson, you smug so-and-so... "I didn't have any design training blahblahblah aren't I a genius?"), and finally, it's a great look at both the typeface as well as visual culture over the last 75 years or so.

You really don't need to be a typophile to appreciate it (though it helps), you just have to be interested in the world around you and how a single, ubiquitous typeface can communicate so much to so many people. Personally, I'm kind of on the fence when it comes to good old Helvetica. I'm not as dogmatic as Massimo Vignelli (who loves it) or Erik Speikerman (who hates it). It has its place. For some reason, whenever I use it, it just feels... Default? Boring? Artless? Basically, it never looks half as cool as some of the contemporary designers they interview.


So, watch for screenings near you or look for it on Netflix sometime in the future. It's worth it.

On a sidenote, the film pointed me to these cool Frietag bags made from reclaimed tarps from semis. Pretty sweet, huh?


Another Needless Comic Post

Holy crap!

Warren Ellis.

Simone Bianchi.

Astonishing X-Men.

Proof that Marvel hasn't gone completely mad.


In other news, I went to the comic shop and the library this week, so now I will bore you with short reviews:

First off, I read the hardcover collection of the Ultimate Galactus Trilogy by Warren Ellis and a bunch (and i mean a bunch) of other artists. It's good. Not great, but there are enough moments to keep it afloat. (My favorite moment is when the shuttle is lifting off and Reed Richards, with a grin as wide as his flexible face can contain says "I never get tired of this feeling." You and me both, Reed.)

The only misstep (beyond the wildly varying art) is the inclusion of the Mark Millar/John Romita Jr. Ultimate Vision back-up strip that not only adds little to the overall story, but actually contradicts a sort of big plot point for the finale of the saga. Still, it's got that crackle that most Ellis books do (which, it can be argued, is the real foundation of the Ultimate Universe, i.e.: a desire to replicate the widescreen superheroics of Ellis' "definition of awesome" book: the Authority) and, face facts, true believers, Ultimate Captain Marvel is just plain cool.

I also picked up Bizarro Comics, an anthology of indie comics artists playing with DC's toys, (Not a bad idea, eh, Marvel?) as well as volume one of the much-hyped Isaac the Pirate, both of which I have only skimmed. Reviews will appear if I feel either are worth shouting about.

So, yeah, I went to the comic shop yesterday, as I am wont to do. Here's what I picked up:

the Immortal Iron Fist #7 - I think I'm with Jog on this one. As good as this issue was, I really thought it could/should have been better. Not a lot better, just... better. I kept waiting for that one "aw hecks yeah" moment that I've come to expect from this book, but, alas, it never came. Still, you can do worse than a book about a lady doing kung fu on pirates and prostitutes, so I'll be shutting up now.

Godland #19 - A solid issue. It's always a little too cute for its own good, but it's still big, winking fun. Scioli's cleaned up his linework a little and Casey starts moving all of the pieces from the various subplots he's been percolating, which is good because I can't help but feel like more should be happening by now (a fact that Casey, via Freidrich Nickelhead, kind of meta-inserts mid-issue). Still a good read.

I also took a chance on Starlord #1 for a few reasons:

1. It has Rocket Raccoon in it.

2. Issue 4 has this cover:

(click it to make it bigger... it's worth it.)

3. It's superheroes in space which is like peanut butter and chocolate. It's a no-brainer, really.

and finally,

4. It has Rocket Raccoon in it.

Basically, it's a bunch of third-tier Marvel space characters on a Dirty Dozen-style suicide mission. Did I mention Rocket Raccoon is in it? Seriously though, it has a really good, Star Wars Expanded Universe/Battlestar Galactica vibe to it and while I'm not following the entire Annihilation: Conquest crossover (that would require a lot more patience and cash than I currently possess, as well as a willingness to read a comic with the word Quasar - what was our name for him again, Huston? ah-winkwink - on the cover), I'm definitely on board with Starlord (I should make a campaign button that says that: "I Am On Board With Starlord") unless something goes horribly awry. Also, the art is quite pretty.

Oh, and also, I broke down and bought the hardcover of the first volume of Nextwave: Agents Of Hate, (with the second volume to be purchased sometime soon) because I love it so.

So, yeah. Anybody still reading this post? Anybody? Monkey bottoms and pig intestines. Poop monster. Electric battery car lipstick on an enigmatic steer. Fart bacon. Nicotine cheese. Gragnok. Purf. Wq.

POW! #7

Lots of windows on a building. I took this picture right after getting a ticket for parking at an expired meter. I'm sure the parking enforcement lady I had just begged to waive the ticket thought I was insane.

She was right.

Also, she did not waive it. So, rather than paying a quarter (which I didn't have... I figured I'd take my chances. See what growing up in Vegas does to you?) for the five minute I was parked there, I ended up paying $25. That is teh suck.


Nerdglee Factor 9

That's Heath Ledger as the Joker, holding a knife to Maggie Gyllenhalls' face. It's from another viral site (like this or this - hint: hilight the screen!) for next summer's the Dark Knight.

Earlier today it had the following image up:

This was accompanied by directions to one of the Joker's recruitment centers, presumably near the Con. As far as what those intrepid internetters found once they got there is anybody's guess, (A knife to the face? Ambushed by ninjas? By Jehovah's Witnesses? By Prince?) but it's a pretty cool guerilla marketing gimmick, innit? It got me blogging.

What Spock Found In Kirk's Toilet

Am I the only one excited about this? I am, aren't I?

Seriously, I hate Trek, (too much TALKING! Can you please just blow something up PLEASE?! Would it kill you to stop talking about the warp drive FOR ONE SECOND and just blow some stuff up? Seriously.) but then again, I thought I hated the Mission: Impossible franchise and Abrams managed to change my mind about that, didn't he?

The answer is: "Yes. Yes he sure did."

My only qualm is that it's a prequel and we all know how that worked out for that other (and still beloved by me, despite its squandered potential) space saga. I'd much rather they found a way to revitalize the Trek Universe beyond dusting off the admittedly beloved characters from the first series. It's a great concept and it would be fun to see it reimagined by the brains behind the bestest television show in the world: Lost.

(Only... [checks dashboard widget] 192 days, 10 hours and 56 minutes left until season 4! Now would be a perfect time to start renting the DVDs of past seasons and getting caught up! Seriously, summer TV is teh suck. You will thank me. You really don't want to watch the Singing Bee, do you? I didn't think so.)

Now would probably be a good time to admit a few things. In the second paragraph of this post, I said that I hated Star Trek. That is not entirely true. I may have fudged the truth a little. Sorry. Firstly, I loved the first four Star Trek movies. Especially the fourth one. It is amazingly hilarious. Secondly, as a preteen, I really dug the first two or three seasons of Next Generation. DON'T JUDGE ME! I was young and didn't know any better. It had "Star" in the title! It was trickery! Finally, the original series is always, always good for a laugh.


I'm glad I could get that off of my chest. I feel cleansed.

Anyway, so I guess I'd better start brushing up on my Klingon, move back in with my parents, set my phaser to "stun," and start referring to anything I don't understand as "illogical, Captain" because I will be all over this movie. For reals.

Babies! Growing Out Of the Ground!

Candace steered me to a blog that was showing this clip which is awesome, and as our mission statement around here is "We scream about the awesome," I feel it my duty to share with you, beloved internets, this commercial for... juice, I think?:

It's by Adrian Johnson, who is a UK-based illustrator. Here's his website. It is full of awesome, though I feel it only fair to warn you that there is an illustration where a panda bear drops the F-bomb. Just so you know. If that's your kind of thing, well, there you go. Otherwise... eyemuffs.


Oh. Hecks. Yeah.

Well, there goes my "no 'R' rated movies" streak. Seriously, though, it's Wes Anderson. I'm pretty sure he doesn't count.

Here's the kind of crappy quality YouTube trailer:

and here's a link to the (recommended) better-quality Apple trailer version.

"Is that my belt?"
"Can I borrow it?"

Freak yes.

I So Want Some Caffeine Right Now

It's after lunch. I am sleepy. I need caffeine. I am trying to quit caffeine. I must be crazy. I really want a Coke right now. Badly. I can't drink it because I am trying to quit. I am sad and sleepy and want a Coke and I sort of have a headache because I am quitting caffeine. Every time I spell "quitting" I transpose the last two letters and end up with "quittign." That is not how you spell it. Also I just typed "spel" instead of "spell" and while this sounds correct when you say it out loud, it is not. I think I am misspelling so many words because I am sleepy. I still have three-and-a-half more hours until quitting time. How will I make it without caffeine?

This is my problem and it is of immense proportions.

It's On Like Comic-Con

So the Comic-Con Mothernerdship has landed in San Diego. One of these days I'll make my way there for the geek-tastic five-day extravaganza and will bore you to tears with (not at all) amusing anecdotes on this very blog. Someday, dear readers, some day. Don't give up hope. Stay strong. Don't cry.

Normally, the announcements that come out of cons are either "meh," (creator exclusives? Who really cares? Seriously, is there anyone even left anymore that isn't contracted to either of the big two? "DC Announces That That One Guy That Did That One Cover That You Thought Was Kind Of Cool Has Gone Exclusive!") or "Oh, please no" (Jeph Loeb on Wolverine - or Loeb on anything, really - for example).

This one, however, is "Oh hecks yes."

I've made it abundantly clear how much Paul Pope rocks and as THB is out of print (and as of now still not completed, though Pope mentioned it's on its way to completion over at his blog), this is exciting news indeed. Plus, First Second is a classy establishment with high production values and a roster of impressive creators and books. They "get it." Which I appreciate.

Anyway, so that's my Comic-con update. Expect more throughout the weekend, though I promise to try and be not really boring. Scout's honor.

Also, a quick reminder: If you want in on Mixtapery and haven't signed up yet, head over to the blog and follow the directions to get on "the List." You don't want to not be on "the List," believe you me. You will be sad. Oh, so sad. You will cry tears of left-outedness and will be inconsolable forever and ever.

And ever. Just sign up, okay?


Fawning Over Flora (or) Man, I Loves Me Some Art History

I thought I'd wield my mighty blogging power and shine a light on the work of mid-20th-century American illustrator Jim Flora. I've sort of been dosing myself on Modernism for a project at work (especially American Modernism, which has a lot more wit than it's dry European cousin, the stuffy Swiss International Style). I really like Flora. I shall be swiping heavily from (as well as Russian Constructivism, Paul Klee and Fernand Léger) him over the next few weeks.

He draws heavily from Surrealism, Dada and Cubism, (aka: "the Holy Trinity") while still making work that is approachable and - more importantly to record companies in the 40's and 50's - marketable, while still managing to inject his work with a healthy dose of good old James Ensor "I forgot to take my crazy pills" pathos. He's like the illegitimate offspring or Salvador Dalí and Walt Disney.

That's a good thing.

As far as record packaging artists go, he's one of the pillars of the field and you can see his fingerprints all over contemporary illustration annuals as well as in the subcultures of urban vinyl and poster art.

There are two books of his art (both of which I am lusting after, BTW), a website dedicated to him and a blog that regularly posts work from his archives.

And that's your dose of culture for the day. Don't it feel good?


More Silly Stuff That I Think That I Need

I need this Gama-Go Yeti wallet.



I Love YouTube Posts

I don't care what people say; I love you, YouTube posts. Because I really like this song, video and album and this is a great way to make you pay at least a little attention to it. Hit it, YouTube!

Suburban Kids With Biblical Names from their album #3. I will tell you what, Sweden has it going on. These guys, Jens Lenkman, the Shout Out Louds, Peter, Bjorn & John, Dungen, some other bands I'm probably forgetting, those little delicious fish candies and the meatballs, Oh! Saints be praised! the meatballs. And let us not forget Ikea, boon to poor hipsters everywhere. Sweden, we salute you! If this whole America thing doesn't work out, I will definitely be calling you.

Sweden = teh rules!!!1!

P.S.: If you're serious about the art of mixtapery, you had best get on the list. It closes on Saturday.

I Need To Finish Book Seven So That I Can Start Book Seven (or) A Book Report

We bought Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows at Target yesterday afternoon (sorry folks, but the only midnight release I ever attended was for Pearl Jam's Vs. album way back in prehistoric times. Hooray for grunge!). I'm excited to read it, but I feel no real compulsion to tear through it. I'd rather savor it, because let's be honest, I most likely won't be reading them again anytime soon and once it's over, it's over. They're great books and all, but... well, it's time to say "goodbye." At least until Sadie's ready to read them.

I will say this, though: I am deathly afraid that I will wait for a little while to read it and some poo-poo head will spoil it. So I guess I do have a weird compulsion to finish it.

Dang it.

At least I'm not a total bad sport and just reading the last four pages in the store like some old fart yesterday. Yeesh. Some people...

Anyway, I can't really start it because I am still working through book seven of the Dark Tower saga, which is no small feat. The thing is like... over an inch and three-quarters thick. And this is the little mass market paperback version. If you can lift the hardcover, then you are the rightful heir to King Arthur's throne and some crazy lady will come out of the water and give you a sword and you can usher in a new age for Avalon. The unsold copies were used as bricks. On the pyramids. My copy is 1045 pages long. I'm on page 459, so... almost halfway?

So far it's a bloody, profane epic, full of, well, everything a blue-blooded American boy would like: gunslingers, robots, werespiders, time travel, stacked dimensions, tough characters, high stakes and blood blood blood. It's the very grown-up cousin to the Harry Potter series, both of whom look to old Grandpa Tolkien, though King's books moreso. It's not a large leap from Aragon/Strider to Roland Deschain, Sauron to the Red King. Heck, this book even has a sad little misshapen being following the fellowship as they quest deep into the heart of evil. Sound familiar, my preciousss?

But where the Lord of the Rings saga always showed war as a horrific, terrible thing, the Dark Tower books wallow in the violence. It's like Peter Jackson lost the job of adapting Tolkien's masterpiece to Sam Peckinpah's reanimated corpse. And it works, for the most part.

It's in no way perfect, but King's love for these characters, this story as well as story and characters in general (the whole thing is a treatise on creativity, in the end, and links all of his work together as one cohesive universe), oozes off of every page. It's like King made a list of everything he's ever loved about fiction and found a glorious pulp story to hang it all on. It's not for everyone (it's a pretty solid "R," make no mistake), heck, I'm not even sure it's for me, but it's a significant work and, in the end, I think I'll be glad I worked through it. If only to have read a book where the plot from Seven Samurai is reworked with cowboys and robots. Yeah. You read that right.

In other news, I can't believe I just posted a huge book report on my blog. [sigh] I am such a nerd.


Twelve Inch Punch

Daddy like.

Daddy want.

Anybody wanna give me $350?

You can see it on the Rotofugi site here.


I Cannot Tell A Lie

I'm pretty nerded up for this show. Sorry if this disappoints you, but, as my man Popeye says, "I yam what I yam." And what I am, dear reader, is a colossal, colossal nerd.

Two States! We Want Two States!

A couple of things:

Firstly, I'm getting started on putting the Mixtapery blog together. Head over there if you'd like to sign up. Serious inquiries only. Seriously.

Secondly, some of you may remeber that I made a resolution to have 365 posts over the course of the year. Then I got a job. And we had a baby. And moved. To Ohio. And the whole thing went horribly off the rails. Things were bleak indeed for my little resolution.

But wait, let's do a little math, because if there's anything more exciting than math, it's... anything, actually.

31 (Days in January) + 28 (Feb) + 31 (Mar) + 30 (Apr) + 31 (May) + 30 (June) + 21 (July so far) = 201 (days in 2007 so far) which just happens to be


I just might pull this thing off yet.

POW! #6 - Random Cleveland

Same alley. I have a not-so-steady hand, which works in my favor here. I would be the worst sniper ever. Also, brain surgeon is out. When I paint, I slap that paint on like a sonuva.

Right Now, At ThisVery Moment In Time, This - This - Is My Favorite Song

Make with the clickety-click to listen:

If you haven't purchased Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga yet, you are no longer allowed to read this site. That's it. We are through. I am cutting you off, young sir or madam. I wash my hands of you. Go to your room and think about what you've done. I can't even look at you. Why do you hate the awesome so much? Where did I go wrong as a blogger? Where?

Just... just go.

UPDATED! From an Onion AV Club interview with Britt Daniel, lead singer/guitarist of the incredibly incredible rock combo and Big Red Robot favorite, Spoon:

AVC : Can you see yourself ever stopping?
BD : I don't have any intention to stop. Rock 'n' roll is my main concern.

Oh hecks yes. It's official, "Rock & Roll Is My Main Concern" is going on my business cards.


Also... (or) "Wolfman Has Nards"

Seriously, this is the last post of the night. For reals, though. I just checked in over at Netflix and, lo and behold, there is this movie in the "Recommended For You" homepage section.

Smell that? That's nostalgia right there.

If you haven't seen it, the movie is basically a rip-off* of The Goonies. With monsters. Needless to say: I freaking loved it to bits. I remember my brothers and I repeating the line from the trailer, which is the subtitle of this post, ad nauseum when it came out. Because it is a thing of purest hilariousness.


*It's shameless how sloppily they stole from the genius of The Goonies. They don't even bother to give the Chunk rip-off character a name. The fat kid is literally just named "Fat Kid."

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the beauty of Monster Squad.

Did We Keep That Receipt?

Can we please return the Beckhams? They've been in America for like a week now and they're already bugging the ever-loving crap out of me. "Mayjuh"-ly. Did we all of the sudden forget that Posh was responsible for some of the worst pop music of the last millennium? Why do I feel like the only sane person on a planet gone mad? Is there such a thing as mass cultural amnesia? If so, how does one protect one's self from it? Is there a vitamin I should be taking or should I just cover my doors and windows with plastic sheeting and duct tape and hope the infection doesn't spread? I am so scared. Does it smell like burning feathers to anyone else?

*Image taken from the Spice Girls Guide website, which is as disturbing as it sounds. It is truly the heart of freaking darkness. Enter at your own peril and may whatever god/gods/goddess/Muppet you pray to have mercy on your soul. The video is all YouTube.

Breaking News

This one's for Chris:

Ain't science grand?

A Quick Announcement...


That is all.


I Am Such A Total Blog Tease

I was going to try and commit to a record review a week, but... well, I'm gloriously bad at that kind of "regularly scheduled" type of stuff, so I will just say this: I would like to try and review an album a week. I don't know how regular of a feature this will actually be in real life. Jesse had mentioned he'd like to see something like this in a comment on a former post, and on paper (screen? Oh future, why must you confuse everything?), it sounds possible, so we'll give it a whirl. I promise nothing.

I tried something like this with another blog - the defunct Wall Of Sound (you can witness its birth andspeedy demise if you're so inclined) - and as great of an idea as it was, it was also insane. Seriously, I don't do drugs, but maybe I did and forgot about it when I decided that writing a review for every album in my massive music collection (currently residing in a hollowed-out mountain in western Colorado) was a doable thing.

Bat-crap insane.

Mel Gibson insane.

Whoever green-lit Rush Hour 3 insane.

Right now, I'm going through my music library. Alphabetically. Sort of. See, I listen to music all day long as I sit, shackled to my MacPro G5, designing things graphically. So, I decided to put all the albums that start with the letter "A," as well as any that start with numbers (this is before the newest iTunes update screwed all that up and put those ones at the end as well as fixed some alphabetical incongruence) on my iPod and am listening to those tracks in alphabetical order. Thus is the depth of my O.C.D.

I got through the "A"s last week and am elbow-deep in the "B"s right now.

I think I'll be taking a break from it after this. Give the ol' O.C.D. a little vacation. Buy it a cruise or something.

What am I talking about? Seriously, I've been going on and on about nothing for like, forever. What is my point?

Oh yeah. Music review.

Anyway, so this little O.C.D. jaunt has, in its circuitous way, brought me to the album I'm going to review: Sebadoh's 1994 release, Bakesale. I had planned on this post being the review for this album, but, well, I think I've gone on far too long, so... I guess I'll just post a picture of a kitten and save the review for another day. Maybe tomorrow. So... kittens! Three of 'em!



How Freaking Cool Is This?

I have no idea how this guy made this superrad Space Invaders clock (despite the fact that he kind of describes it, but he must be speaking Greek because it makes zero sense to my monkey brain), but somehow, he did. And it is pretty awesome. Thank goodness it isn't a Dr. Mario clock, because then I would have to learn Greek because I want one of those.

I freaking love Dr. Mario.


Poster Rock

I have been a busy little designer. I made the below poster over the weekend for my brother Bryan's band, the Novelty Act*. They're playing First Friday again, this time with my homie Frank "Frankie Android/Angel" Salvo's band, Romance Fantasy. I tried to come up with something that took both of their names and mixed them up. I call it "Romance Novelty."

Posters are fun, aren't they?

(make with the click-click to ginormo-size it)

Sometime this week I have to make a cover for Huston's band's (Numbers Like Pi) demo CD. I am having a hard time coming up with something cool for them that fits their sound/aesthetic and has nothing at all to do with numbers. They're kind of an emo band, so I want something that speaks that language. I don't. Hardly at all. Any help by those fluent in this dialect would be appreciated.

*See the sidebar for the linky links to my brothers'ss bands's'. But BEWARE! They're hooked on that nasty MySpace crack, so be careful!!! Click responsibly!


A Quick Word From Carl

His confidence is bizarre and otherworldly! He's Carl! A half dinosaur, half beaver, all awesome little fella!

From Marcos Perez's Carl Is the Awesome minicomic. Funny stuff, even if it gets old after a bit.

She Was A Daytrotter

Thought I'd flag this site for any other music lovers out there: Daytrotter. It offers exclusive mp3s from whatever band that happens to take time out of their tour schedule to stop in at the small western Illinois studio to record. They release two bands a week, four tracks per band. They have a pretty impressive listing of guests (I only skimmed the first four or so pages) so check it out.

It looks like a great way to hear bands that would normally fly under the increasingly inaccurate radar.

Their little "About" section manifesto is pretty cool, as well.

You're welcome.

Them's Good Eats

So as Candace said over on her blog, we went to the zoo yesterday. Unfortunately she... well, she lied a little bit. She does this a lot. Like, all the time.

Yesterday I asked her where babies come from. She told me Sears. So I called Sears, just to see what the going rate was for a baby. In case I wanted another one sometime in the future. You know, so the other ones don't get lonely. The lady (she sounded kind of mean) told me that they didn't sell babies and then got all mad when I asked her if they had layaway and if there was a list I should put my name on for when the next shipment of babies came in and while she was at it, could she check to see if they have any Wii's in stock?

I have to appear in court next Thursday and I still don't know where babies come from.


Maybe I shouldn't have skipped the sixth grade. I knew that would bite me in the butt someday.

Anyway, so she was all "the dinosaurs were animatronic." This is just not true. Those things were real. For really reals. And I have photographic proof! Well, sort of.

See, here's me and Sadie, minding our business on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon and all of a sudden this T-Rex comes out of the brush:

Sadie notices it first. For a huge apex predator those things are remarkably silent. They're like 50-foot tall ninjas.

So we turn around and there he is: Tyrannosaurus Rex, King of the Lizards. Dude is looking at my kid and I'm all, "Oh hecks no, sir. You should seriously consider stepping off. Like. Right. About. Now."

And he keeps glaring at Sadie and I swear he said something anti-Semitic and I have Jewish friends, so I'm all "Oh yeah. Now it is on."

And it was on.

I was all, "Sadie, go stand by your mom. This could get ugly."

It did. Needless to say, those things are just chock full of blood. It was kind of gross, which was probably why Candace didn't take a picture. I can think of no other rational explanation. A few karate kicks to the throat and a swift kick in the you-know-wheres and it was all over.

As I stood over my fallen foe I remembered I was supposed to say something clever like in the movies so I was all, "Who's extinct, now, Rexie? You are. Extinct, that is. As in 'dead'. Yeah. You are. Ex. Tinct. I was like a huge meteor whose impact created a large cloud which made the plants die which made the herbivores die which made you extinct. Only instead of a cloud it was a karate kick and instead of herbivores it was your thingies. Yeah. Nobody messes with my gals, Rex. Nobody."

Yeah, I need to work on that. My banter. It's not that good.

So anyway, tonight we grilled up some dino-steaks. They were tyranno-licious.

The end.


It's A Love Story, Really

Oh man, I so want this. 184 pages of prehistoric monkey boy and big red dinosaur awesome, all gloriously reproduced from the amazing mind of Jack "King" Kirby. Freaking rock. One click and... "Hello, Wish List."


POW! #5 - Random Cleveland

Some little industrial pimple on the side of a building in the same alley from last week.

It's a really cool alley.


I Love Red Meat

The incredibly disturbing comic strip, that is, though a nice steak every now and then is also appreciated. I have a Dashboard widget that displays all of the strips and I flip through them when I get bored. I also have a Whoopie Cushion one. I am so classy it is unbelievable. Anyway, here's a funny strip:

Now, why didn't I think of that? Here's another one:



Bring the Funny

This is all the reality television I will ever need. I am so officially obsessed with this show. If you're not watching it, well, you are a sad, sad person.

Seriously though, the initial selection process is over, so next week's a good week to jump on. Because let's face facts, everything else on at 10 pm is freaking depressing. Expect updates whenever I feel like it.

Time Machine Tango

Do you ever think about what you would do if you had a time machine? Maybe buy up Microsoft shares? Save Bruce Lee from dying? Or take little Adolf Hitler out hunting and have a little "accident"?

Those are all noble things, but I think I would eat a fine dinner at this place:

Ah, Pastamania! You were too beautiful for this world.

We Are Going To Rock

We are going to blow out the speakers on the stereo.
We are going to tear the roof off of this sucker.
We are going to party like it is going to be 1999.
Or 1899 for that matter.
We are going to dance until our legs fall off.
We are going to party like it was going out of business.
We are going to sing songs that haven't been written by anyone on this planet, we will sing them so loud the moon will cry because its ears hurt.
We are going to kick this party out the door and then invite it back in, only to kick it out again.
We are going to throw the kind of party that you can only experience in history books.
We are going to rock like Napoleon Bonaparte.
We are going to rock like Pablo Picasso.
We are going to rock like Vasco da Gama.
We are going to party until the sun burns up.
We are going to party until we run out of music.
If there is a world record for rocking, we will break it to pieces.
We are going to rock like electric robots on fire.
Our party will rock so hard that the crust of the earth will rupture, spilling out massive amounts of molten hot awesome that will burn us all to cinders.
We are going to party like astronaut explorers being ripped apart by a black hole.
We are going to party like hypnotized donkeys.
We are going to party like breakdancing kung fu masters.
We are going to rock like Godzilla, Bruce Lee and Frankenstein teaming up to beat the living bejeepers out of Dracula, the Mummy and the Wolfman.
And Mothra.
And Martha Stewart.
And that one guy with that beard that comes out to here.
And Keanu Reeves.
We are going to kick this party like it is a bad habit like heroin or listening to Rush Limbaugh.
We are going to rock like 76 electric guitars wailing in the darkness of a scorpions heart.
We are going to rock like kittens drinking a saucer of milk.
We are going to rock like rattlesnakes who have grown to an unimaginable size.
We are gong to rock like Batman and Superman got into a fight over who their favorite Spice Girl is and they didn't speak to each other for weeks.
We are going to explode the sun with our rockingness.
Our party will become the legends of future civilizations.
Our ability to rock is second to none.
We will not be out-rocked.
Everything must be rocked.
The ottoman.
The electric can opener.
The other can opener that you have to turn with your hand.
The butter knives.
The bones of dinosaurs.
The unicorns of Norway.
The pet rock collection.
The stained glass windows depicting how we rock.
The entire set of Franklin Mint commemorative plates.
Potsy, Mouth, Richie and especially the Fonze.
They must all be rocked.
We are going to rock our faces right off of our heads and it will be so much better than that movie with John Travolta and Nicholas Cage.
We are going to rock like tube socks made from electric eels with electric eyes and electric toothbrushes.
We are going to rock with the combined power of all of Jack "King" Kirby creations.
Which is a lot of power.
We are going to party like pirates on the high seas of love.
We are going to rock like it is the law and we must obey it.
We are going to rock like the Pythagorean Theorem.
Like the Berlin Wall.
Like a baby's scream.
Like a bobcat's tail.
Like the wild blue yonder.
Like a special effect.
Like the moon on the water.
Like the ocean's tears.
We are going to rock so hard, Bigfoot will come our of hiding and regain his rightful place as King of the World.
We are going to rock because we know of nothing else we do as well.
We are going to rock because we like - no - love it.

We are going to rockrockrock.

Oh yes, indeed.

...If I can just find that Paula Abdul cassette.


Yes, I Know That A YouTube Post Is Kind Of A Cop-Out

Deal with it:


I am totally protesting this whole "blog rating" thing. It's totally bogus. I got a PG-13 rating. Come on, Michael! Everybody who is anybody knows I kick it PG! As in "Permanent Gangstah!" As in "Preternaturally Gregarious!" As is... uh, "Poo Gold." Okay, maybe not that one, but still, this is bull-you-know-what.

Freaking white people. Somehow this is all Jack Valenti's fault.

They Must Be Giants

A quote from They Might Be Giants' John Linnell from an interview over at PopMatters on working with Disney on their highly recommended children's DVD/CD, Here Come the ABC's:
“John and I flew out to Burbank to meet people there and play some of our songs and, you know, did some schmoozing. And, so we went out to L.A. and in the morning we got picked up at our hotel by this van that was black and had, like, really dark tinted windows and this guy in this suit [who] looks like a Secret Service guy—he opened the door for us and we got in, and he slammed the door behind us. And then John turned to me and said, ‘I wonder if this was the van where they removed Hillary Duff’s soul?’”

I love those guys. I think I'll be downloading their newest, The Else, when my eMusic downloads refresh on Thurdsay.


Some Musings On the Mullet

I know it's sort of easy to bag on that most hilarious of haircuts - the mullet - but I had an interesting thought today: Do you think that mullet people know they have a mullet or is there a degree of mullet denial involved?

When they go to their stylist do they say:
"Give me the #13... y'know... the mullet." Or is it more like the following exchange:

"Just take a little off the top. I like the back long. Like that Billy Ray Cyrus guy."
"You mean a mullet?"
"What? No! Are you crazy? Just short on top and long in the back."
"So... not a mullet. Just short on top and long on the sides and back?"
"Yes. Exactly. You know: 'Business up front. Party in the back.'?"
"And how is that not a mullet?"
"Mullets are... I dunno. Just different. Longer in the back maybe? Didn't you learn this at the barber college? Yeesh."
"Okay. Whatever. You're a lousy tipper anyway."

So kids, what did we learn today? Well, if your hair is long in the back and short in the front it is, in fact, a mullet, despite whatever delusional state you may find yourself in. It is a mullet. As the poet Wesley Willis once said:

Do something about your long, filthy hair
It looks like a rat's nest
Do something about your mullet
Get out the hair clippers, jerk.

- from masterpiece "Cut the Mullet" found on his Greatest Hits album

The first step is admitting you have a problem. Mullets are hideous. Hilarious, but hideous. They are a disease, but there is a cure. It's called a normal haircut. I'm sure there's some sort of mullet support group for you to join. Do it for the children. Do it for Wesley Willis. Make the world a better place:

Cut the mullet.

More Funny Shirts To Cover One's Nakedness

I think I need this shirt:

The link is right here.

This one's funny too, although it is a little PG. Kids, ask your parents if you don't understand.

Someday I will buy a shirt from Threadless... someday. Unfortunately, "clothing" falls under "comic books," on my needs pyramid, which looks something like this:

(click it to super-size it)

Yeah, so... what was I talking about?

My Car Looks Like A Zebra

We have a black car. A Pontiac Sunfire. It's a girl car. Candace bought if a little while after she graduated from high school. It has a sun sticker on the back window. It's got some years on it now, so it's not much to look at. The finish is coming off and it got rear-ended a few years back but never fixed. It's also paid for, so I don't mind driving it around even though I know that I lose Cool Points whenever I turn the key to start it.

In its prime, it ferried my lady around in style with a loud ghetto muffler. I could hear her coming from around the corner. No joke. Now, it ferries me to work with a held-on-with-a-bungee-cord muffler.

On Friday, I parked it under this giant tree to hopefully shade it over the hot, humid weekend.

I came out this morning and it was covered in bird poop.


I don't know what people feed birds around here, but judging by the immensity and consistency of the droppings that now inhabit the exterior my car, it's a blend of Metamucil and Raisin Bran. And something purple. I'm not sure what that is, but it's all over my windshield. Maybe the raisins?

I have had three people in my office of six comment on the bird crap that now envelopes my car. Anyway, so now I have to wash my car... but I really don't want to. This is my dilemma. It is of immense proportions.

Three Cheers For Mister McFeely

Attention winners: The mixtapes are in the mail. Let the anticipation mount!

They were a lot of fun to make. Like, "this is probably illegal this is so much fun," type of fun. I can guarantee that Candace is tired of hearing/looking/listening to them by now.* I probably went overboard (okay, so I did go overboard), but you guys are worth it, right? Right?


Anyway, they are in the shaking, sweaty, psychopathic hands of the USPS as of this afternoon, so start checking your mailboxes... now!

*You my girl!


Leeches! Leeches I Say!

I am convinced that the people on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition feed off of other people's misery. It is like candy to them. They cannot get enough of it, sad little people that they are.

Also, Ty Pennington's hair and soul patch: they bugs.

Craft Time!

Dude. I so need to make one of these. Maybe two.

Okay, 37.

You Have To Learn How To Die If You Want To Be Alive

We watched the Fountain last night. It has been sitting on our mantle for like, two weeks now, waiting for the right time to watch it.


Just... wow.

It's gorgeous, touching and heady. The closest analogue I can think of is 2001: A Space Odyssey only a lot more personable. And intelligible. Life, death, love, conquistadors, bald astronauts and the tree of life. What more do you want from a movie? Really? See it. Now.



I Got Simpsonized

If you head over to the website for the upcoming Simpson's movie, (which may or may not be good... we'll see) you can create your own Simpsons avatar. Here's mine:

The eyebrows are a bit small, and I'm not that tan, but otherwise, it's like looking in a mirror. A big, yellow mirror. A little eerie, actually. If you do one, let me know, cool?

POW! #4 - Random Cleveland

A downtown alley.


Anybody Want Free Music?

Okay, so I'm pimping eMusic. It's true, I have no shame. Anyway, anybody out there want to try this service - which I wholeheartedly endorse, by the way - out? Because if I send you an e-mail, you can get 50 free downloads rather than the usual 25 they use to lure you in. Sorry, let me repeat that:



There. Much better.

If you're interested, email me at hello@dylantodd.com and I will hook you up. Because I care.

Well, that and I also get free downloads if you decide to keep the service. Because I have a problem. And I'm okay with that.

Best. Sketch. Ever.

Okay, so I've been searching everywhere for this sketch. It is possibly the best SNL sketch of all time. Seriously. Finally, I have found it. Truly this is the greatest of days. Let us rejoice.

"She won't answer you. She's a bobcat."


Heavy Liquid

I recently stumbled onto the blog of one of my favorite comic artists: Paul Pope (aka: "Pulp Hope"). Dude can swing some serious brush. There's some pretty pictures up as well as a really cool post about Jack Kirby and the iPhone. Check it out.

"Every girl/That I've seen since/Looks just like you/When I squint."

Art Brut. "Emily Kane." From the album Bang Bang Rock & Roll which is A Big Red Robot Recommended Title.™ It' like Oprah's book club. Only for music.

And not lame.

I am so looking forward to my eMusic downloads refreshing so I can download their newest, It's A Bit Complicated.

Also, as I was searching (unsuccessfully) for the cover for the album (it's got a protractor and a square, get it?), I somehow found this picture which is both hilarious and disturbing. Which makes it... hilariousturbing? Distarious? Histurbinglious? Just look at it and you can tell me:

Uh... yeah. So... yeah.

Rock Around the Clock

Okay, so really quick here:

Firstly, I added a Last.fm radio station to the sidebar. It's my radio station. Which makes me feel cool. You can pop it out and listen while you're working! Yay! I just added it (using funds from my sad little Paypal account), so I haven't had much of a chance to play with it, so if it plays weird stuff now and then... sorry.

Also, I was browsing over at Rotofugi and came across this guy:

You can purchase him here, if you have $70 bucks just laying around. I don't. [sigh] Japanese Santa Claus, where are you now? I really wanted an Big Abe Lincoln Wearing An Eyepatch t-shirt, but they are out of my size. Curse you, average-sized torso! Curse you forever!

Anyway, I still need a couple of addresses. I'm hoping to get the mixtapes out by early next week, so HURRY!

Panic In Detroit (or) I'm Rocking the Segues Like My Name Was Gob

So we went to Detroit for the Fourth yesterday. Candace has the scoop over here. (I stole her picture.) It was a lot of fun.

The Spoon show was awesome. Their set was well-balanced, with tracks spanning Girls Can Tell, Kill the Moonlight, Gimme Fiction and a few from Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga, which incidentally, I figured out how to say properly.* It was a long set, too, especially for a free show. They played for a good hour and a half, with little stopping between songs. I freaking love Spoon. In a world of plasticine pop stars with empty glass eyes (Sgt. Pepper's reference... see how I did that?), it's refreshing to hear a band with honest-to-goodness soul. They're like the love child of the Modern Lovers and Motown. Also, they have a kicking rhythm section and I am a sucker for rhythm. Personally, I blame David Byrne.

And society.

Speaking of rhythm, Femi Kuti (son of Afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti) played earlier in the evening with his backing band, Positive Force. They rocked the heezy for sheezy. The only bad part of their set was the white lady who had most likely had one too many who was dancing all skanky and trying to get all freaky-deaky on her man IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STREET. Masty. Ah, white people, when will we learn to just Stop. Trying. To. Dance?

Speaking of white people dancing stupid, there was an overabundance of hippie kids at this shindig. Now a few hippies at an outdoor event is unavoidable. Like ants. Or sunburn. Only more annoying. The hackey-sacking, the epileptic-on-fire-type dancing, the Tevas or Birkenstocks, the hemp jewelry... I hate hippy kids. It's 2007 fercryeye. Jerry Garcia is dead and, sorry folks, the Dead were boring anyway. There I said it.

Oh yeah, and Detroit is a hole. I really wanted to be surprised by it, but it's a dump of a city. I know it's Motown and all, but I wanted to be out of that place ASAP. As in, immediately. As in, like, now. Eminem, the "D" is all yours.

Anyway, go see Spoon if they come through your town. And pick up Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga next Tuesday, the 10th. I'm buying it on vinyl, by the way. Oh yeah, and the new Interpol is out, too. Seriously, music, why are you trying to bankrupt me?

*It's "GahguhguhGAAHguh," said kind of quickly. I've been over-pronouncing it and knew here was a better way to be saying it, so it was an informative show.


Stuff Exploding Everywhere In the Sky

First off Happy Independence Day. Remember to light a sparkler in remembrance of our Founding Fathers who repelled the British and their hordes of zombie warriors and mind-controlled T-Rexes with lasers for eyes. Okay, so they didn't have either of those things, but history's written by the winners, right? And I, dear readers, am a winner.

Secondly, check the timestamp on this post. Yeah. It's late. Why am I up so late, you ask? Well, if you must know, it's all for you, baby. I'm printing up stuff for the über-rad mixtapes I'm sending out to the following people:
Candace (she would have gotten one anyway)
If your name's asterisked ("*") that means I need you to e-mail your address to hello@dylantodd.com. I either have it and can't be bothered to look it up or I had it and lost it or I just don't have it. In any case, I need it if you want your mixtape. I am holding it hostage. And trust me, you want this one.

I'm not going to spill too much on the mixtapes, but I will let this slip: it's titled Songs For A Golden Summer. It may also be a double-disc set, but that's all I'm saying.

So, anyway, have a great Fourth. Don't lose any limbs. Keep it safe and sane and watch out for Redcoats! King George is a pansy!


I so want these! All of them! And now! They are amazingness! Please Japanese Santa Claus, please I promise to be a good boy! Pleasepleaseplease! Make all my wooden dreams come true!

The Blackest Of Blues

Check out Ben Gibbard's recent live show from the All Songs Considered podcast. An amazing mix of songs, all of them sad as a bag of drowned kittens. Truly he is the King of Sad Sack Pop.

Here's a link to the All Songs homepage. If you're not subscribed to the podcast through iTunes, first off, what is wrong with you? and secondly, you can download the episodes from there. Because it's awesome.


This Is Why I Read Comics

From the latest issue of the Immortal Iron Fist, issue six. I vow to use "Less talking. More kicking." in casual conversation more often.

Brubaker, Fraction and Aja (as well as the guest flashback artists) have been knocking it out of the park with this series. If you love kicking, stuff blowing up and overpowering pulp hero action, this is the book for you. The first trade's out soon. Don't miss it. Or I will be forced to one-inch punch you in the Adam's apple. For reals.

I Am A 30 Yeard Old Man...

And I love this show:

Disney's Charlie & Lola. It's just amazingly crafted and cute as heck, without being cloying or obnoxious. I love it. There I admit it.


An Open Letter...

Dear Guy (Or Gal) Who Invented Cupcakes,

Thank you.


My Daughter Is Punky Brewster

Candace swears we let her leave the house like this, but I have no recollection of said incident. And I am sticking to that story.