Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Digital Huston

My best buddy in the world, John Huston (pictured above in slightly younger days), has finally been given the nod by the provincial powers that be to start his blog at the Pioneer Press here in the suburbs of Chicago. The city (and the world at large) is better for it. He's one of the funnier people I know, and no one enjoys getting under people's skin more. So expect great things, or at the very least (from the looks of things on the blog thus far) expect some great lunches and dentistry.

"People Want This More Than We Do, Actually"

If all Thieves of the Night (comprised of my pals Charlie Deets and Deric Criss) ever put out is this video (above) and this picture (below), they'll still be one of my favorite bands. In fact, that's the best way they can guarantee it. One hundred percent pretense, no music.

Finally, we've reached the logical conclusion of the music industry.

It's a Mego, Mego, Mego, Mego World

I'm not sure what the pie graph of my time spent on the internet would look like. I'm sure the majority of the graph would be reading news, especially recently as we sprint toward apparent Armageddon. But another sizable chunk would have to be –born at least partially from escapism, but in concert with sheer curiosity and forgetfulness – playing detective work about items from my youth. What really existed, what was that show or this toy really like? The forgotten worlds the internet burps out never cease to impress.

One such burp is the Mego Museum. Like plenty of people my age, I've a fond recollection of these dolls (apologies to the male power fantasy comics crew, but they're dolls), though I never had the honor of owning one. I would go down the street and play with Batman, Robin, and (if I recall correctly) Spider-Man, all owned by Jodi Reid, the daughter of the school librarian. Jodi, by the power of ownership of these dolls (possibly her older brother owned them, but that was of little import to anyone at the time), was the coolest kid – never mind girl – on the block.

There was something about those toys sadly lacking in the over-rendered toys of today. Somehow in their simplicity they left play more open to interpretation. A sort of three dimensional cartoon. Maybe I'm just being overly nostalgic, romanticizing the past. Mainly I'm still just a little jealous of Jodi Reid, wherever she is. Guess I could look that up on the internet, but I've got to get back to reading about which bank fell through today.

Make Dumb Faces Unto Michigan

Several months ago, the good people of the Ann Arbor Book Festival were kind enough to invite me up and have a little conversation with Dave Carter, comic enthusiast and purveyor of this blog. The Festival site subsequently posted a heavily truncated version of our conversation in which I mumble and pull just about every possible face out of my bag in a simulacrum of entertainment for the five or six people in the audience. All in all, I think we had a good time. And, yes, the truth is out: I love root beer.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

So Long, Sundays

The Holy Consumption site, which has, for the past six years, hosted postings of artwork by Jeffrey Brown, John Hankiewicz, Anders Nilsen, and myself, will discontinue its "Sunday Services" ("weekly" offerings which, due to my schedule in concert with this blog and the other three artist's schedules was getting to be far from a weekly event). Anders finished off the six year run with one of the best contributions yet (a truncated version of which is above, but be sure to visit the site to see it in its majestic entirety).

I posted a longer note of the site's progress and where you'll be able to find all of us on The Holy Consumption's blog. For those that e-mailed wondering about the Sunday Services (mainly readers from Sweden, for reasons that escape me), we'll be keeping the site up for anyone who wants to peruse all those past posts, and I'll be sure to post any new events or projects from the group here.

As I noted in that blog post: thanks so much to everyone for reading, e-mailing, and supporting us for these past six years. Your support was invaluable.

Bolling on Palin

Ruben Bolling's Tom the Dancing Bug (a perennial favorite of mine) once again hits it right on the head, this time succinctly nailing the demeaning nature of McCain's vice presidential pick.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Eugene's Hot Pants

Eugene Mirman – one of my favorite comedians despite inadvertently pouring his drink down the front of my jacket at a post-show bar encounter during my latest trip to New York – apparently garnered unsolicited attention from the secret service for his smoking pants at this year's Republican National Convention.

More Pretty Patti

My pal and all around aesthete Michelle Maguire has posted more gorgeous photography on her site Pretty Patti. Stop by and give your support by picking up a Theremin couture Clara Rockmore shirt.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Farewell, Bill

Goodbye to Bill Melendez, the animator who worked on "Pinnochio," "Fantasia," and most memorably for me and so many others, on the animated Peanuts cartoons. I've always loved his collaboration with Peanuts creator Charles Schulz and understood on some level why Schulz never authorized anyone else to animate the characters. Melendez was just that perfectly in tune with Schulz's quiet world, even to the point of being Snoopy's voice.

Spacemen 3's Progeny, Music Hall Sept. 22nd

Music Hall (below) will be taking the stage at the end of this month with Spectrum (above), aka Sonic Boom, aka Pete Kember of Spacemen 3. I saw Mr. Kember once open a show (under the moniker of Sonic Boom) with a bevy of Speak & Spell voice emulator toys and a mixer. That's it. And he filled the venue with one of the most massive sounds I've ever heard. So I'm looking forward to seeing what gadgets and noises Spectrum brings this time around.

The show details are:
Monday, September 22nd
Darkroom. 2210 W. Chicago Ave., Chicago, IL
$10 in advance, $12 at door, 9pm, 21+

Music Hall goes on first, around 9. Feel free to recommend your preferred b-movie, educational film, or newsreel to be shown over top of whatever it is we end up performing.