Challengers of the Unknown

It's March. Here's the new mix, Challengers of the Unknown.

"Another boxer on the cover?" Hey, I'm just as surprised as you are.

Download it here. More on the Master List.

***Cover art is a detail from "Richard Humphreys, the Boxer", by John Hoppner, 1788.


Fight or Flight

February! Hey there! New mix. The title was suggested by the one and only Reluctant Hero, who has a great blog. You should totally follow him. I'll work the other two suggestions in some time, as they were all pretty great. And if you ever have any ideas for titles, shoot them my way, okay?

Anyway, the mix. It's a weird, wobbly thing. It's all neon-colored and grimy, like the oil rainbow in a puddle or like the aura coming off that weird guy in the back of the bus. Psychedelic burnout fantasies from across the chronoheliosphere. Sort of a cousin to Electric Freak Out from a couple of years back.

Get it here, or just click the picture above, and, as always, there are more mixes to be found on the Master List. Thanks for listening, and feel free to share it with your friends, co-workers, lovers, pets, fellow inmates, therapists, or that weird guy in the back of the bus. Sharing = caring.

Here's the tracklist:

  1. "I've payed my rent and I've done my time and it's gone on much too long."
  2. "If we agree they're there, they're there; alive and shorn."
  3. "Note the hours, how they drag 'til the night-time comes 'round."
  4. "You're a girl of rainbow snow."
  5. "And that's a good thing, that's a good thing for you."
  6. "And I'll share your sleeping bag if I might."
  7. "Keep ringing against the walls with a hollow song."
  8. "They call when you are sleeping, they shake your hand downtown."
  9. "[At infinity of the fifth celestial galaxy]."
  10. "Right beneath the sign with the dusty yellow stars."
  11. "Nobody knows what's going on in my mind but me."
  12. "We're gonna melt away like apples in the ground."
  13. "She singled me out, single-handed took me alive."
  14. "It takes a year to make a day."
  15. "I was adrift in a dreamworld."
  16. "Is this real, what I see?"
  17. "You can't run away."
  18. "Stones deformed by gentle kissing."
  19. "Baby, it's a thrill."
  20. "Now that the parachute has opened, well, don't it make you feel good?"


Year's Not Long

January's mix is up; titled Year's Not Long.


  1. "There's someone on my mind now all the time."
  2. "There's not enough eyeliner in this world."
  3. "We could ride the camel. One hump or two?"
  4. " Nothing says 'I miss you' quite like war poetry you carved in your door with a Stanley knife."
  5. "Say you're going through a phase."
  6. "Hey girl, I watched you dancing to the rocking bands."
  7. " I don't wanna hang out with those teenage freaks."
  8. "The co-dependent self-styled nightmare."
  9. " The ghosts of graffiti they couldn’t quite erase."
  10. "I will secretly accept you, and together we'll fly south."
  11. "Make a cup of tea. Put a record on."
  12. "Cause they're coming for your brain, but they will leave with your head."
  13. "They are tiny suns infused with sour."
  14. "I must look like a dork."
  15. "Poor enough to eat a tree."
  16. "My basketball team's name is 'Gay Human Bones'. We win most of the games that we play at home."
  17. "I just had to get something off of my soul."
  18. "All you ever do is pout."
  19. "She has a statue inside."
  20. "Drag me across the sky."


2010 Favorite Comics

King City

Just dizzyingly masterful. Brandon Graham turns in an imaginative epic full of small moments, big monsters, great characters and just crazy, crazy stuff. The ever-reliable David Brothers does a much better analysis of what made it such a joy to read every time it showed up in my stack.

Uncanny X-Force
How did he do it? How did Rick Remender make me lovelovelove a book titled X-Force – a name that brings up images of saliva-mouthed, cross-hatched muscle-men toting ridiculously gigantic guns while garbed in a suit made entirely of pouches – featuring the already over-exposed Deadpool and Wolverine along with a bunch of other "kewl" characters (and the legitimately cool Fantomex) as the X-Men's black ops team? I don't know, but I'd be a liar if I said that this book didn't make the 13-year-old inside of me jump up and down and fist-pump forever and ever.

Dudes. Just buy it. It's beautiful, hilarious and it's by the guys who made Street Angel. You need to know nothing else beyond this.

Chris Roberson and Mike Allred have crafted the perfect weapon to do battle against the horribleness of the Twilight saga. Zombies, mummies, werewolves (well, were-terriers), vampires, and a talking chimp.'Nuff said.

The Bulletproof Coffin
This book is so weird. Like a dayglo David Lynch superhero fever dream, Hine and Kane take a long look at comics and all their idiosyncrasies and leave you with a feeling of hopelessness. It's the anti-Flex Mentallo.

Orc Stain
James Stokoe's kind-of-sort-of fantasy tale subverts all your expectations in a purple-ish, veiny wonderland full of thieves, Flintstones-ish contraptions, swamp witches, and orc-based genital mutilation/currency. The Mindless Ones did a great podcast on the subject. Go listen to that. Then go buy the trade of the first six issues. You won't regret it.

Thor: The Mighty Avenger
Yeah, I know. Another comics fan whining about the little book that couldn't. But when you have Roger Langridge writing an accessible, all-ages book about a character I could have cared less about and making me love him and his universe, and when you have Chris Samnee drawing the heck out of every singe panel in that book, you kind of have to bellyache a little when something this special gets snuffed out in the crib. I can't say I'm shocked that a well-drawn, well-written Marvel book got canceled due to low sales, (as my Nextwave collection will attest) but I am a little disappointed. But hey, good art doesn't always win. In fact, the instances where something that is actually excellent gets wide recognition are so rare that I can't think of any. When's the last time a legitimate, all-caps, GREAT film was #1 at the box office? Or a GREAT record/song was at the top of the Billboard charts? How about on the bestseller list?

You get the point.

Scott Pilgrim's Finest Hour
There's not a whole lot surprising in Bryan Lee O'Malley's final chapter in the Scott Pilgrim series. Like it's predecessors, it's funny, ridiculous and touching. It's beautifully rendered, well-written and populated with great characters doing really fun stuff and kissing and stuff. What more do you want in entertainment?

Gabriel Bá and Fábio Moon's stunning mini-series about birth, death and the stuff in-between was just fantastic. It'll break you. In a good way.

Morrison's Batman books: Batman & Robin, Batman: the Return of Bruce Wayne, Batman: the Return, Batman Inc.
This run has been uneven as hell, but wowzers, it's been fun to read. Morrison manages to tie up his years-long Batman story (who knew that Final Crisis was really a Batman story?) while paving the way for the future of Batman all the while giving up some top-notch work from Frank Quitely, Frazier Irving, Chris Sprouse, and Yanick Paquette. (We won't discuss the attack of the Morrison Art Curse on ROBW and B&R) Morrison literally killed off the old, grim soldier of Frank Miller's Batman and replaced him with one poised to take over the 21st century. I, for one, welcome our new corporate Batman overlords.

Sweet Tooth
I wasn't too sure how I'd like this, a post-apocalyptic tale featuring an boy with antlers and his tough-as-nails guardian, all done up by Jeff Lemire. Yes, that Jeff Lemire, the guy who gave us sublime stories about people in small, rural Canadian towns in his Essex County books and Vertigo's The Nobody. I mean, the guy is obviously talented, but a Mad Max meets The Island of Dr. Moreau sci-fi-type book? Has he gone all Hollywood on us?

No. No he hasn't. Settle down, Dylan. Sweet Tooth is full of the same stuff that made Lemire's earlier books work so well: well-rounded characters stuck in situations they don't necessarily like or understand, making things work as best they can. Sorry I doubted you, Mr Lemire.

Jeff Parker & Gabriel Hardman on Hulk
Talk about making a silk purse out of a sow's ear. After the third cancellation of Parker's Atlas series (See my remarks on well-written, well-drawn series at Marvel in the Thor entry), the creative team shuffled over to the adjectiveless Hulk book to take over for Jeph Loeb after his two-year-ish run on the book detailing the exploits of the Red Hulk, an idea so stupid it could only come from Jeph "I Wrote Commando," Loeb.

And they knocked it out of the park. The set-up so far is reminiscent of Nextwave (the whole "gotta shut-down all these secret doomsday weapons" plot engine) and Thor: the Mighty Avenger (the whole "let's team Red Hulk up with another hero every issue to see what makes him different" thing), and it's so well-plotted and expertly drawn you forget just how dumb this whole thing started off as. In fact, in their hands, it makes perfect sense.


BRR Christmas Mixes


All remastered and ready to go! Enjoy!

A Big Red Christmas, Vol. 1: I Would Never Steal From Santa
A Big Red Christmas, Vol. 2: Sleigh Bells In the Air
A Big Red Christmas, Vol. 3: It's the Perfect Gift Idea
A Big Red Christmas, Vol. 4: You'd Better Watch Out
A Big Red Christmas, Vol. 5: K-Mart Is Closed
A Big Red Christmas, Vol. 6: My True Love Gave To Me
A Big Red Christmas, Vol. 7: To Heck With Ol’ Santa Claus
A Big Red Christmas, Vol. 8: We Dress Up Like Snowmen
A Big Red Christmas, Vol. 9: Got Something For You


Good Times

So I think I'm going to move a lot of my blogging over to my Tumblr, Big Red Tumblr. So you can follow me over there for the short bursts of static that comprise Tumblr blogging.

I'll still keep this live and update with posts here & there, but dang dudes, I feel guilty whenever I look at this thing, like it's looking back at me with these eyes that say, "Remember the good times, when you used to write stuff on me? Why can't we have those times back again?"

"But blog," I want to say, "those times are gone. The Internet has changed. I've changed. We can't go back to then. We can only have now. And now is … different."

But I just can't say it. Not yet.


Flying High Again

It all started with Nixon. Blame him. It's September's mix, A Beginner's Guide To Levitation. Featuring tracks from 13th Floor Elevators, Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti, R.E.M., The Monkees, Male Bonding, The Promise Ring, Modernettes, Best Coast, Lou Reed, The Killers, Serendipity, Band Of Horses, Radar Brothers, The Feelies, Andrew Bird, Nick Drake, The Bee Gees, The Cure, Ben Folds, and Club 8. Here's the cover:

Download it here. And you can get even more mixtapery goodness by checking out the Master List.

As usual, feel free to tweet this, share it on Facebook or just send the link to a friend. Sharing is caring. Oh, and if you do, let me know and you just might get some special surprise.

The Pirates Have Learned of His Invisibility Device

It's MST3K Drink & Draw time again, so get your pencils ready for Manhunt In Space, another chapter in the adventures of Rocky Jones: Space Ranger.

Manhunt In Space
Movie-sign is tomorrow night, August 25th, beginning at 9 pm. Who's in?

Watch along on Netflix. Draw along with the movie. Follow along on Twitter with @theChrisHaley and @theJenya OR find all the great tweets using the hashtag #MST3kDandD. And there's always our Flickr pool for posting your drawerings.

A good time will be had by all.


15 Records & 15 More

So I got tagged on one of those Internet meme things on Facebook the other day. It was a thing where you were supposed to list 15 albums that stuck with you, which, c'mon, how am I supposed to pass that up? I've done something similar here on the blog ages ago with my Desert Island Disco series, and while both lists contain a lot of the same artists, for this one I included records that were more introductory and seminal as opposed to ones I'd listen to forever if necessary. So here's my list of 15 Albums:

1. Jonathan Richman - I, Jonathan
2. Harry Nilsson - Nilsson Schmilsson
3. The Beatles - The Beatles
4. Bob Dylan - Highway 61 Revisited
5. Guided By Voices - Bee Thousand
6. Pavement - Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain
7. The Unicorns - Who Will Cut Our Hair When We're Gone?
8. Talking Heads - Remain In Light
9. The Beach Boys - Friends
10. The Clash - The Clash
11. Yo La Tengo - Electro-Pura
12. Sebadoh - Bakesale
13. Flaming Lips - The Soft Bulletin
14. Funkadelic - Maggot Brain
15. R.E.M. - Reckoning

And of course, as soon as I hit "Submit" on the Facebook note, I thought of another 15 or so records I could include. So here's another 15:

1. Paul & Linda McCartney - Ram
2. The Dismemberment Plan - Change
3. Beck - Midnight Vultures
4. Spoon - Girls Can Tell
5. Ganglians - Monster Head Room
6. Tom Waits - Bone Machine
7. Belle & Sebastian - If You're Feeling Sinister
8. Old 97's - Too Far To Care
9. Super Furry Animals - Rings Around the World
10. Halo Benders - God Don't Make No junk
11. Devo - Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!
12. Dirty Projectors - Bitte Orca
13. The B-52's - The B-52's
14. Neil Young - After the Gold Rush
15. They Might Be Giants - Apollo 18

What about you? What are some informative, keystone records from yr life? Ones that you heard and said to yourself, "Yeah, that's it right there."?


Seven Evil Exes

So, we saw Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World the night it opened and for some reason, I'm just getting around to blogging about it. It was really fantastic. Like, very, very, very good. Perfect, almost. Upon its completion, I immediately wanted to go watch it again. That's how good it is.

It has everything a movie should have: a great soundtrack, great cast, masterful direction, snappy dialogue, epic fights, and a cute love story. It looks great, it sounds great and it feels great. (It also includes the long-awaited fight between George Michael Bluth and Ann Veal that all you Arrested Development fanfic writers have been salivating over.*) And so far, it's not doing so great at the box office, with box office receipts totaling less than half of that steaming turd of a film Eat Pray love. This is terrible. I cannot let this act of aggression stand. As an enjoy-er of Things That Are Awesome, I must act.

So I am posting this in an effort to get you out of your house and into a theater to watch this movie. Because trust me, if you wait until it hits in DVD and you're watching it at home on your little TV you will be going, "Oh man! This movie's great! Why didn't I see this on the big screen? WHYYYY?!" And I will jump out from behind a plant and say, "I TOLD YOU!" And you will probably call the cops. But it will be worth it.

But yeah, go see Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World. I loved it, and c'mon, my tastes are pretty impeccable, right? And if you're worried it's too dudical or if I'm already to biased about the source material (Seriously though, the comics are great, too. And yeah, I'm a pretty big sucker for Edgar Wright, but c'mon! Spaced? Shaun of the of Dead? Hot Fuzz? Spaaaaaaaaced? And yeah, I bought both the soundtrack and the score and will most likely download the game on Xbox and sure, I waited to buy the last volume at midnight at my local comic shop and I pretty much feel like if you don't like this movie you probably wouldn't like me because it's everything I think is great about movies/comics/video games all in one place…), I will point out that I saw it with my wife, who also enjoyed it lots and couldn't care less about comic book movies or martial arts movies, both of which this film shares DNA with. So there.

It's super-fun. Honest. And if you have seen it already, why not tell a friend. It pains me to see something this good and this fun and this well-made get passed over in favor of stuff like Vampires Suck or Eat Pray Love. We've got to fight for our right to awesome.

Here's the trailer.

* Is Arrested Development fanfic a thing? Initially I was joking, but now I kinda hope it is. I don't know that I want to live in a world where somebody isn't spending hours writing the further adventures of the Bluth family. It's gotta be out there somewhere, right? I mean, if people are writing Spin City or WKRP In Cincinnati fanfic, surely somebody somewhere's gotta writing the story of Carl Weathers and Tobias Fünke on a roadtrip across America to audition for the Spider-Man musical, right? Please tell me this is so, otherwise, well, you know what I'll be doing this weekend.