Wednesday, March 3, 2021

A Smattering of March 2021 Links and Goodness

 Spring Nears

We've made it to March. It's been a year since COVID-19 really started shutting things down and a surprisingly nasty Winter is hopefully wrapping-up. How about some news and links to read?

News and Interesting Stuff

People rarely remember Olympic mascots as often they are dull. The 1996 Olympics had Izzy, however, who was so terrible he kind of sticks out in your mind. The man who kinda-sorta created it shared how everything went wrong in a neat article.

I don't really follow heavy metal music at all, but apparently, sometimes bands can have questionable links to Nazi-ideology. This article breaks down how to avoid those kinds of bands.

Joe Jurado has been looking at, "The Rise of the Black Superhero," in a great series over at The Root.

In news that we all saw coming, Comic-Con International/San Diego Comic-Con is not going to happen as an in-person event. This is the responsible choice. There will be virtual events, so that's cool.

Transwomen are women, transmen are men. Trying to act like you're just dedicated to, "Fairness," when you try to ban them from sports is just a cover for being transphobic. This article by Esther Wang at Jezebel delves into that.

Lastly, the fact a big expensive omnibus collecting the Superman work of Grant Morrison couldn't even consistently spell their name right and has pages missing text is just embarrassing.

Enjoy the Warming Weather

It should keep getting warmer--barring any sudden snowstorms--so I hope you can relax on the nice Spring days that should be coming1

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Consider Backing Birdcage Bottom Book's 2021 Kickstarter

I am a fan of the publications that come out from indie publisher Birdcage Bottom Books. They consistently release great titles and deserve many accolades. They are currently running a Kickstarter to help fund their releases for 2021. The books set for this year look stellar, from a punk-themed anthology to a variety of neat mini-comics. Consider backing Birdcage Bottom Books at any level you can, they are really awesome. Here's that Kickstarter link again for ya.

Monday, March 1, 2021

Going (Band)Camping: Ninth Edition

Anyone in the mood for more music? Well, I hope you are, because this latest post has what I've been giving a listen on the snazzy website, Bandcamp. All of the artists I'm going to discuss can be found there so if something I discuss sounds appealing, don't hesitate to give it a listen at the links!

roelroel--I"ll Be Fine

This LP from roeroel is quite lovely. It has a chill alternative indie rock sound with smooth instrumentation and great singing. Many of the songs have a quiet melancholy simmering underneath the upbeat vibe. As for my favorite tune, I really dug, "Feelings." With its dreampop-style synth and nice little drum-kick I found myself coming back to that song a lot. The whole album is fantastic, however! Find it here.

4.5 out of 5 stars

Mr. Pope & The People's Love Cult--Century Girl & Other Reoccurring Themes

Anything from Mr. Pope I listen to I like, it is as simple as that. He performs his music with a stellar blend of laid-back chill and hopeful enthusiasm that makes every track on his latest LP a treat. If you like indie rock that evokes a bygone era of peace, love, and jamming out then Mr. Pope provides just what you're looking for. We follow each other on Twitter and he told me how he feels this is possibly the best work he's ever made. I wholeheartedly agree because I love it. Every single track. See why it's so great here.

5 out of 5 stars.

Sad Eyed Beatniks--Places of Interest

A bit more indie rock! This album by the Sad Eyed Beatniks sounds a little like opening a portal to an alternative universe where Punk grew into something a little softer but still with some edge. The tunes have a really lo-fi sound, which makes sense as this album was created on some old-school tech like 4-track cassette recorders. Everything flows pretty well, but there wasn't a specific track that stood out to me so much as the whole album is pretty solid. Give it a listen.

4 out of 5 stars.

Rawls Royce--Llarold

Now for some punk rock. Rawls Royce delivers a solid EP with some great tunes here--the second one, "Elon (Take Me Home)," is fantastic with its discussion and criticism of technology and its impact on our lives from everything such as romance or travel. The 3rd track, "You Can't Play Chel to Chelsea Wolfe," borders almost on a heavy metal/screamo level at some points, and I'm not as into those genres, but generally, this EP is just punky goodness. Try it out here.

4 out of 5 stars.

Katy Kirby--Cool Dry Place

I love some good folky-styled acoustic rock as has been apparent from it being the majority of what I reviewed today, and Katy Kirby firts that bill perfectly. Her thoughtful vocals about friendship, life, and getting through struggles float over stellar drumming and great guitar melodies. The at-first sneakily quiet, "Tap Twice," is a favorite track of mine as it builds to an exhilarating climax of sound, but I enjoyed the whole album. You should definitely check it out at this link.
5 out of 5 stars.

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Happy 4th Birthday to my Son, Clarkson!

Today Clarkson turns 4 years old! It is crazy to think back to when I wrote about him first being born, discussed when he came home from the NICU, shared things not to say to me as a stay-at-home Dad, and talked about the challenges and successes he's achieved as he's grown. He is truly an amazing little guy. Samii and I are thankful for having him in our lives every day. Clarkson has been doing wonderfully in preschool, continues to be a big fan of anything musical, and has been loving having books read to him lately. Some mornings he will wake-up, grab a book in his room, and then come pop open our door and climb up in our bed, hitting me in the head with a book until I start reading it to him. It's both cute and a little annoying if I'm still groggy!

Happy birthday, Clarkson! You are an astounding person and Samii and I are honored to be your parents.

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Visit my Friend Mark's Website to See Cool Artwork

I've met some cool folk in-person and online in my over 10 years of blogging and even more years of buying, selling, and trading comics. One person I've enjoyed chatting with about comics lately is named Mark Boyd. He doesn't just love comics, he actually is a very skilled artist himself, as can be seen on his website. The man excels at various kinds of illustration and creation. I'd recommend checking his stuff out.

Friday, February 26, 2021

Are, "Super Follows," a Dumb Idea or Secretly Genius Because of What They'll Most Likely be Used For?

Twitter is a place where I honestly don't want to see half the bile spewed out by people for free. With this in mind, Twitter is now going to make it where you can have, "Super follows," so you charge people to see select tweets. This...this is dumb, right? In an example twitter gave, someone could charge $4.99 so people can see all their tweets as some kind of perk. Again, this is stupid. Who is this for? Why would I pay to see anyone's tweets? Oh, wait. Oh, okay.

This is some weird effort to compete with OnlyFans but Twitter doesn't want to say that, isn't it? I mean, the only thing I could imagine people paying to see on Twitter is nudie pics and other pornographic content. That could be secretly genius where someone has a Twitter account full of sexy but, "Safe for work," content and then if you pay that extra monthly fee all the dirty tweets unlock--with Twitter getting its cut. As absurd as Super Follows sounds at first blush, that is the one way I could see it working-out for Twitter. Otherwise, few people are going to pay extra to see some celebrity behind-the-scenes tweets or get exclusive cooking recipes from a professional chef or however Twitter is trying to spin this as not being used in a pornographic way.

Super Follows sound incredibly dumb at first, then you realize how the fact people are always super-horny online could make them actually quite profitable. Twitter hasn't admitted Super Follows could be used for this, but come on, we know they considered this and probably won't care what is getting posted as long as everyone is a consenting adult and they get their cut. There are lots of thirsty people online and Twitter might just have thought up a way to quench some of them. Clever.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

We Are At a Point Where People Don't Believe Snow is Real

The World--and it seems America in particular--has gotten to a point where now people don't even believe snow is real and must be a government conspiracy. I'm not joking. The idea that maybe a bunch of snow could come down in a region that doesn't usually get snow for some reason upsets people. It must somehow be the fault of President Biden, or Bill Gates, or some kind of conspiracy to rain, "Chemical snow," down. Why do people believe this stupidity? Because it's 2021 and now even the fact that it snows sometimes is something conspiracy theorists have to question. I really think Deltron 3030 said it best when he rapped years ago--and I paraphrase--"Aliens came and said we weren't even worth invading," because we were too stupid to be of use if conquered.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

I've Been Really Digging Two Songs Lately

Not my radio, but it looks cool.

I listen to the radio when driving a decent amount as well as looking for what's popular online so I can keep up on trends (I also love me some of the more obscure and weird stuff, which is why I adore Bandcamp). Two songs that have been really getting attention have been on my mind though as they are pretty darn catchy.

Giveon, "Like I Want You."

The song starts out okay with a solid weird little trippy melody and this Giveon fellow I didn't know of yet singing a bit in an impressive low voice that someone online remarked, "His voice already sounds slow and reverbed!" Then he starts the actual crooning about how he can't act like he wants someone even if he really does miss the relationship he had with them and DAMN. Giveon's voice sounds like smooth butter over the track as he gives off the impression he is just pouring his vocalized soul out for us all to witness. That chorus is straight fire and why I keep listening to this track.

Earthgang (with Wale), "Options."

Funnily enough, another song about relationships, but with a completely different theme. It's basically about a relationship that is a huge mess and Earthgang is pointing out he has options to date other people. Wale then offers a bit of a counter about still, "Needing you," in reference to the lady. It's quite short at just over 2-and-a-half minutes, but that just means it doesn't wear out its welcome. The weird little peppy beat and melody are what make this song addictive for me. The music video with Barbie doll-style figurines is hilarious too.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

"The Wrong Earth: Night and Day," #2 Was a Blast to Read

I've been a huge fan of any mini-series involving, "The Wrong Earth," and the latest mini-series, "The Wrong Earth: Night and Day," has been awesome. The series basically imagined if a grim and gritty hero traded place with a very campy one and went from there. They are Dragonfly and Dragonflyman and now they've finally met-up in yet another weird Universe. A Universe where their arch-villain is actually thought of as some kind of hero due to how he's cleaned-up that Universe's sending it to the other realities. Tom Peyer has been writing the series and I continue to love it, with Jamal Igle and Juan Castro's artwork perfectly fitting the mixture of tones too. The publisher Ahoy comics really has been putting out some stellar stuff, with this comic being a prime example.

5 out of 5 stars.

The Beans Have Finally Been Spilled About When Zack Snyder Tried to Make, "Justice League," the First Time

We are nearing the release date of on HBO MAX of the Zack Snyder version of, "Justice League." This may sound odd at first blush, as the initial time, "Justice League," was released it was allegedly by Zack Snyder. However, the official line was that due to the death of his daughter due to suicide, Snyder stepped away from the film and Joss Whedon came in and finished it up, making some light edits and doing a handful of reshoots. However, as time has gone on the rumors were Snyder was basically forced off the film and Whedon redid 3/4 or so of it. Vanity Fair has a big article that basically spills all the beans and turns rumors into facts. It is, "The True Story," of all everything from how Snyder got kicked-off his movie to the rise of a demand for a, "Snyder cut."

I, of course, have expressed mixed feelings of Snyder's work. I sometimes find moments of pure genius in it mixed with edgy-to-be-edgy bullshit. I truly extend my heart to him for losing his daughter as that obviously had a major impact on Snyder and the way it could be used as a throwaway excuse by the studio to toss him off his movie was sickening. I can hear it now, "He needs to step away and mourn, we swear he didn't get fed-up and quit because we're worried about the movie and will ironically end-up with something possibly even worse than we were worried about once Whedon is done!" Yeah, I'm glad Snyder got to make the movie the way he wanted, whether it turns out good or bad. 

Anyway, definitely give that article a read, it is quite interesting. Once Snyder's true vision of, "Justice League," drops at least there will be some closure for everyone, for better or worse.