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Sunday, September 15, 2013



Arsenio Hall
The Arsenio Hall Show (Syndication) :: Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got ’till it’s gone for 20 years?

John Lennon
/Plastic Ono Band with Elephants Memory and Invisible StringsWoman Is The N-Word Of The World (Apple) :: Silly, innit?

Ice Cube
– “The N-Word Ya Love To Hate” (Priority) :: Silly, innit?

The Last Poets
– “Run, N-Word” (Douglas) :: Silly, innit?

Ice Cube
– “The Wrong N-Word To F-Word With” (Priority) :: Silly, innit?

The Last Poets
– “N-Words Are Scared Of Revolution” (Douglas) :: Silly, innit?

Ice Cube
– “D’VOIDOFPOPN-WORDFIEDMEGAMIX” (Priority) :: Silly, innit?

The Last Poets
– “Wake Up, N-Words” (Douglas) :: Silly, innit?

Lewis Carroll
Through The Looking Glass, And What Alice Found There (1872) :: “Which is to be master? You or the word?”

Chuck D
& M1 & Gregory Porter – “Occupy Planet Earth” (Motéma) :: They’ve raised this incendiary single up the “Socially-Conscious Rap” flag pole and I’m snapping to attention and saluting it ’cause this is the most insightfully evocative seditious side your ear will hear this side of Public Enemy’s heady heyday so do yourself a flavor and pick up on what they’re putting down.

SIZZLING BOOK OF THE WEEK: David Anthony Kraft’s Comics Interview
The Complete Collection: Volume 1 & Volume 2 (CO2 Comics) :: Back in the good old days—ask your Mom—then-recent rags like Playboy and Rolling Stone would periodically publish multi-volume collections of their sporadic high-brow interviews in a vain attempt to try and fool The Establishment into thinking that they weren’t the filth peddlers that everybody made them out to be.

Meanwhile, although they didn’t rank nearly as high on the smut scale as their underground comix brethren, regular run of the mill comic books also had an uphill slog to likewise convince The Establishment that they too should be given some upscale respect.

But if comic books have indeed achieved that lofty goal over the decades, it’s due in large part to David Anthony Kraft who had the prescient wherewithal back in the early ’80s to start a pioneering magazine called, appropriately enough, Comics Interview that was dedicated exclusively to nothing but interviews with the most diverse display of comic book creators extant—and each of these mammoth, five pound, phone book-sized, 700 page volumes, does just that, beginning with the very first issue in 1983 and ending with the last issue in 1995.

For those of you keeping score at home, that’s a whopping 15 volumes, reprinting the entire run of 150 issues, containing 700 interviews, spread over 100,000 pages. Impressive, I know.

But not nearly as impressive as the endless array of interviewees because everybody who is anybody is contained herein, from Stan “The Man” Lee and Frank “Sin City” Miller to Alan “Watchmen” Moore and Howard “Black Kiss” Chaykin to Berke “Bloom County” Breathed and Steve “Howard The Duck” Gerber—plus additional insight from such long-time comic book fans as Gene “The Dean” Simmons, Robert “I Spy” Culp, and everybody’s friendly neighborhood cardigan-slinger Mr. Rogers. That’s right, Mr. Rogers. And remember: that’s just the first two volumes.

Even better than that is the fact that Marty W. Herzog, who was Comics Interview’s very own Canadian Correspondent right from the very first issue, is the same Marty “The Zog” Herzog who hired me to edit Canada’s Only Rock ’n’ Roll Magazine back in 1975 while I was writing for CREEM.

So when series editors Bill Cucinotta and Gerry Giovinco call this compendium “The Greatest Collection of Interviews in the History of Comic Books” they might actually be selling themselves short because this is also the greatest reference archive that comics has ever known.

But don’t take my word for it when you can heed the always acerbic advice of Howard Chaykin who says in issue number three: “I find that the idea of talking about comics, or talking about anything that’s visual, is silly.”

In other words, you’d think that people would have had enough of silly comic book interviews. But I look around me and I see it isn’t true. So go here instead and get in on the ground floor of what is truly the most toweringly monumental educational edifice in comic book history.

And what’s wrong with that? I’d like to know.

Be seeing you!

Sun, September 15, 2013 | link 

Sunday, September 8, 2013



Mike Myers
Supermensch: The Legend Of Shep Gordon (Nomoneyfun Films) :: Finally, the sequel to The Love Guru.

Dengue Fever
Venus On Earth (M80) :: What starts out as a Klaus Schulze synthesizer space-out immediately morphs into a Jefferson Starship psych-out before finally ending up perched on a rice paddy next to a finger-snappin’ mini-skirted Cambodian chanteuse who coolly coos sweet foreign-tongued somethings in your ear against a slinky bongo beat—and that’s just in the first 45 seconds. Stick around and you’ll hear an eclectic blend that’s one part sensual Sade, one part suave Japan, and one part pop tart Dee-Lite. Sounding as if it slowly sashayed out of a Tarantino flick, this is one air-borne virus you won’t want to be inoculated against.

Johnny Hollow
Dirty Hands (Orange) :: Imagine longtime Hitchcock composer Bernard Herrmann reincarnated as two gals and a guy and you’ll have a pretty good idea of just how spooky this album is. That’s ’cause Johnny Hollow have what it takes to be the world’s preeminent Goth band—and on Dirty Hands they prove it by cleverly carving out one of the finest examples of the genre since Siouxie & The Banshees’ landmark A Kiss In The Dreamhouse. Merging NIN-nuanced electro-atmospherics with a lush surfeit of strings that accentuate a multiplicity of instrumentation, Dirty Hands is uneasily the most eerily haunting record you’ll hear all year.

Lori Cullen
Buttercup Bugle (self released) :: If you heard Calling For Rain, Lori Cullen’s last album of classic covers, then you know that she has one of the purest voices in a generation and more than enough talent to become the next premier interpreter of our time. That’s because when Lori sings, she lives every song without the slightest hint of ironic inflection. And on her new record Buttercup Bugle she offers up a delightful bouquet of gentle brass-backed melodies which are light and airy, just like windswept love is supposed to be. This clever Cupid’s got a hammer and she’s swingin’ it all over this land.

Lost And Found (Courgette) :: Bein’ a rock critic these days is just like bein’ a cheroot chompin’ music publisher back in the old Tin Pan Alley era a hundred years ago. The only difference bein’ that instead of havin’ to suffer through a never endin’ array of auditionin’ piano players plyin’ their songs on an upright in your office, nowadays y’gotta suffer through the endless ordeal of listenin’ to hundreds of new records. But now as then the name of the game remains the same: to hear somethin’ so unique it’ll snap open your saggin’ eyelids and elevate your interest level a notch or two above the usual albatross dross.

And nothin’ peeled my pooped peepers faster this month than hearin’ this woman belt out a torchy nightclub version of Deep Purple’s goofy guitar classic “Smoke On The Water.” Backed by only a tinkly piano, Judith manages to wrap her well endowed pipes around the most inane rock lyrics ever written and make them sound as if they were penned by the great Sammy Cahn. I know you’re not convinced yet but by the time the accordion solo kicks in, you will be.

Be seeing you!

Sun, September 8, 2013 | link 

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