Tuesday, May 29, 2012

This Weeks Reading by Sean Stoltey

Blue Beetle #9/Green Lantern - New Guardians #9 - Uuhh, okay.  I just am dumbfounded at this point.  The Green Lantern books were (for the most part) really well done before the relaunch.  Now I'm to the point where I'm just about to drop all of them.  I've really tried hard to give the DCnu a chance.  I WANT to like it.  At first I was surprised by how much I did enjoy, but that started fading fairly quick.  Now however, when the concept of the Reach and their scarab warriors is the most interesting part of a "crossover" with Blue Beetle...I think I'm at that point.  Crossover is in quotes because the Blue Beetle issue was COMPLETELY superfluous.  One more issue of each GL book.  If I'm not wowed they're gone.  I do have to admit though, Saint Walker and the Blue Lanterns get an opportunity to kick some butt finally.  It would've been pretty awesome if it wasn't the last page and I have to wait until next month to see it.

Trio #1 by John Byrne - John Byrne doing a superhero book.  'Nuff Said.  Oh, you need more?  Philistines.  This book is FUN.  It opens in the midst of big action and introduces it's characters on the fly.  The stars of the book are a team of three heroes (hence the title) named Rock, Paper, Scissors by the media, but they refer to each other as one, two and three. Byrne is a master and the art is, of course, superb.  I'm not completely sold on the effect used on Rock's skin, but I'm sure I'll get used to it.  It is an interesting mix of classic art and what appears to be a computer generated surface/texture.  There are a couple of mysteries introduced and a "villain" whose introduction is a bit reminiscent of Namor, and there's the promise of a big damn monster in the next issue.  This is modern Byrne flexing those muscles from his FF days.  There is a lot of fun ahead for the readers of this book.  Hopefully stores will order it and push it to their customers so we all can have the chance to watch Byrne really cut loose on some good old fashioned superheroin'!  This, people, is how comics should be done.

Batman Incorporated #1 by Grant Morrison and Chris Burnham - Damn DC, so you still know how to do it!  While I have been disappointed by a lot of the DCnu (see above), the triumphant return of Grant Morrison to the Batman corner of the line has turned that frown upside down.  Here's another book that starts in the middle of the action.  There's a teaser of some bad stuff going down a month ahead of time and then it's right into a chase a la Lethal Weapon 2.  Grant's script is spot on.  I know, big surprise.  Honestly though, for me anyway, Grant's work is either completely and thoroughly amazing or nigh on incomprehensible.  Batman Inc. is definitely the former.  This is a great start to what seems to be an intriguing story.  Burnham's art perfectly conveys the kinetic-ism inherent in Damian/Robin.  There is a shot where he takes down 10 gang members that was just fun to go over and over soaking in the detail.  He also draws Bruce in a way that you can definitely see him becoming the Bruce seen years later in The Dark Knight Returns.  Thick and stocky, very powerful.  It may have been a suggestion, seeing as how the Mutants gang from DKR actually make an appearance in the story.  Morrison throws down a couple of classic lines.  One has been posted all over the web with Damian saying: "As of now, I am a vegetarian. And this is Bat-Cow."  This book is deadly serious without losing it's sense of FUN.  Like Trio, here's another master at work and twice in a week money well spent.

And now, another quick movie mention.

I just took my 5-year old to see Men In Black 3 today.  It was definitely enjoyable.  I've heard a lot of people say it's the best of the three.  I don't know about that, it's not quite as great as the first but is better than the second.  Granted, I'm one of the few that actually really likes the second one.  Josh Brolin once again absolutely nails it.  He is becoming one of the most consistently spot on actors in movies today.  Of course, anyone that was in Goonies gets a thumbs up from me.  The effects were great, the physically created creatures were amazing all while keeping that almost cartoony feeling the movies have always had.  They aren't high art, but they are fun pop art.  Fitting then, that we find out the real story behind Andy Warhol's efforts in the art world.  Time Travel is fun.  There's even a bit of an emotional, misty eyed element to the end of it.  The middle has quite a bit of talking and exposition (for a five-year old) and that did have Ewan a bit fidgety, but when the aliens and action showed up he was riveted.  Worth the money to see in the theater.  Where I went it was almost $10 for a matinee, so that's saying quite a bit.

Fantastic Four #606 by Jonathan Hickman and Ron Garney - Right after posting this article, I read Fantastic Four #606 and immediately wished I had done so before posting.  Then I remembered the edit function!  I cannot say enough good about this issue.  It seems to be the FF on a danger filled exploratory mission, but ends up so much more than that.  Hickman has crafted a story that is high adventure, completely personal, full of everything you could want from a story and FULLY CONTAINED IN ONE ISSUE.  You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll kiss four bucks goodbye...but you won't mind spending the dough.  Garney is amazing.  He has (as always) completely nailed every moment of this book.  Big action, strange environments and the entire gamut of human emotion.  I really hope Marvel keeps him around and puts him on a high profile book after his FF run comes to an end.  He really deserves to be in a place where the most people are exposed to his art.


Sean Stoltey, writer, raconteur and retired rabble rouser, hails originally from California's Central Coast but currently resides in Southern California's BEAUTIFUL--San Fernando Valley. Screenwriter, Comic Book author, these are things he does because he's too poor to be a Producer or Publisher. 

Sean has been reading comics, watching movies, reading books and selling his soul (or at least his hearing) to Rock'n'Roll for as long as he can remember. He has been discussing and arguing about these things for almost as long. 

So now he has come here to throw his opinions in your face as well and hope that, even if you don't agree, hopefully you will enjoy them. For the record: Kirk was the greatest Enterprise Captain, Han was the only one that shot, Led Zeppelin was the greatest Rock band to walk the Earth and Keith Richards is the coolest undead person to walk the Earth. Coolest living people are my sons and my Mom and Dad. My Dad F---in' rocks, and my Mom can kick your ass.

You can ask Sean anything at http://www.formspring.me/WWest3001 contact him via twitter @WWest3001 or boring old e-mail at SeanStoltey@yahoo.com

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Music Returns to Being Real

Lately I have been hearing quite a bit of bragging about how bands are going back to analogue (analog) means of recording and mixing.  Over the past few years this "return to realness" is being broadcast by the likes of David Grohl, Slash, Jack White and many others.  So why the hype?  What's the difference?  Here's a short lesson for you kids out there..

Being a mediocre singer myself, I am shamefully not opposed to a little digital boost to widen range, round out a tone or help me reach thru a long phrase without feeling like I will pass out before my next breath. One such commonly used program for this is Pro Tools. Created by 2 college students in 1989, it has capabilities to make anyone singing or playing an instrument sound fantastic by digitally altering the sound frequency to the tiniest slightest degree or completely alter to something you could not imagine possible. . The Beach Boys were first to record an album with Pro Tools.  Was it really necessary?  The Beach Boys have already established great harmonies and a unique sound? So, yeah, those legendary harmonies got a bit of a boost but did they need it, really?

There is a place for altered music, electronica, dance, all use sound manipulation technology to create their booming or exceptional to nature sound. Films, TV shows, commercials require things to be done quickly and may require fantasy type scores.  Even remastering old soundtracks benefit from a bit of tooling.



Analogue on the other hand, is as close to live performance as you can get. The first recording device is a debate between a German company in 1935 and Thomas Edison in 1877. Over the past few centuries, the technology has evolved, but analogue means, as close to real as one can get.

Some ensembles will perform their part individually, mixed in later, there is no fixing it. If you screw up, the tape stops, gets physically cut out or re-wound and you start over.  This is time consuming and expensive so the process requires one to be prepared and know what they are doing.  Analogue also has less ability to manipulate a sound; a tonality of a piece will depend on the instrument, mic type, style,placement and quality. Other variables include the mixing boards frequency control and the ears of all involved in producing the sound.  Comparison, hand tossed or microwave  pizza, you don't really want a machine to make that do you?

The realness of music is deeper than just the lyrics of an artist pouring his / her heart out for all to relate to and sing along. Being against the use of digital enhancement of music Jack White said;"I think Pro Tools is highly inappropriate to record music... It's too easy to correct mistakes, it's too easy to fix things. We hear this sort of clean, plastic perfection that's been applied to all the tracks. That is not the kind of music we grew up loving and listening to and wanting to be a part of".

The return to realness is a direct reflection of a demand for quality. First and foremost, the demand of an artists expectations for their work, above all must be authentic to their vision. Second, from the consumer / fan perspective, the fallen economic status of many has inspired the astute frugal consumer to clip and save; but, how can you ( legally) do that with music? ( Or any art for that matter?)  To demand quality and authenticity is one way to get your monies worth.

If you're old enough to recall a time when electronic music ruled the charts, it was a time of prosperity, people had more money to spend, music acts came and went quickly.  Quality was not a priority due to disposable income. If you don't like something, you bought it knowing it would fade and you could buy more.  That's not the case now a days. And the consumer is now demanding higher quality from everywhere. In the music community, its not always cheaper to use analogue methods. You have to hire one or two extra people to work with the machines, tapes and transfers. Then, the extra step of transferring that to a digital format.  But its well worth it when you see the concert and can recognize the breaks, the breaths and while listening to your personal music purchases digitally, you don't loose out on hearing the pick hit the strings.

Some bands have always used analogue, but most have been tempted to stray. The return to realness is a welcome revival of a retro means of giving us just a little bit more, getting us just a little bit closer to our Favorited Lords of music we love to worship.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Ugly Fans an opinion by Sean Stoltey



It takes all kinds, right?  Sure, but there's a limit to everyone's tolerance.  Last week I was reading Marvel Executive Editor Tom Brevoort's Formspring feed, and I saw one of the ugliest things I've ever seen in fandom.  (Despite following some of the Before Watchmen "debate".)  Some poster, anonymous of course, made the following threat: "If you don't do a better job I will rape your wife with a rusty blade and make you watch. Then I will cut out her eyes and make you eat them".  I am not exaggerating this in any way at all.  You can tell it's a direct quote because I didn't add the necessary punctuation.  Here's a link:   http://www.formspring.me/TomBrevoort/q/327804198370427135

Now I don't care if you love Marvel and the job Tom and team are doing, or if you hate them. This is completely out of line and uncalled for.  Recently Dan Slott, who writes Amazing Spider-Man, closed down his formspring because someone had obtained his personal phone number and other information and was threatening to post it if the book didn't go the way he wanted.  WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE!?  These books are supposed to be fun escapism.  Sometimes they can tell a serious, relevant story but it is ink on a page people.  I can get into a long-winded, passionate discussion (fine, call it an argument) about most any comic book character.  However, I would never tell Dan Didio that I was going to assault and murder his wife because Wally West is absent from the "DCnu".  Even though I am quite angry about that as a fan, I know that sometimes these things happen.  I think it was the great Mark Gruenwald I'm about to paraphrase or outright misquote here, but I believe he said: "Give the fans what they want, not what they think they want."  Not every effort is going to please every fan.  That's just the way it is.  A writer or editor's job is to create the best book they can, tell the best story they can.  A great artist doesn't get great by trying to figure out what people want and spoon feeding it to them.  When they do we accuse them of pandering.  Great art, story, music, film, etc does not come from following a formula.  It comes from following your heart and doing what you want to do.  Most interviews with the best musicians, filmmakers, writers, artists after creating something wonderful and widely loved, all end pretty much the same way.  "Well, we were just trying to do something we would enjoy and put our all into it and made it the best that we could."

To bring this back around to the original point: why do fans shit on everyone who works so hard at entertaining them?  If you do not like a certain writer or artist’s output, don’t buy it.  The problem arises from our obsession with unbroken runs.  I had every issue of Uncanny X-Men from 1991on and a couple times I almost dropped the book because of quality.  I couldn’t bring myself to do it because I didn’t want to break the run in my collection.  Eventually I grew up and got over that.  Some people love the characters or teams SO MUCH that they can’t drop the book.  No matter how much they hate the direction the book has taken.  What they don’t seem to understand is that in this situation the problem is not the people producing the book.  It is the readers’ fault.  They stop being readers and become collectors.  Worse, they become addicts, but one person’s hell as a reader is another’s perfect book.  There are apparently quite a few people who cannot wait for Bendis to leave the Avengers books.  Personally, I have only regularly collected Avengers twice in my life.  When Busiek and Perez were on it in the nineties, and Bendis’ current run.  You don’t like the books?  DON’T BUY THEM!  Whining, moaning and threatening violence don’t make publishers change teams.  Lack of sales does though.  With the exception of some Bat books and Action Comics I won’t be regularly giving any money to DC (buying G.I. Combat because Dan Panosian is a great guy and a great penciller).  I will not be threatening them, bullying them or asking them snarky questions at Cons.  They simply will not get my money.  Just like, despite the amazing talent involved, my X-Men habit will not be including the First X-Men.  I won’t be threatening Neal Adams, and frankly he doesn't seem like the kind of guy you want to threaten anyway.  I just won’t buy his book.  So please fandom, stop being so ugly about these things.  It’s good to love something, it’s good to be passionate, but when your girlfriend or boyfriend treats you poorly you should just walk away.  Why should we be more obsessive about paper and ink than we are about the real world?

Maybe I’m being to logical and mature about it.  Maybe I’m wrong.  Feel free to let me know what you think.  But let’s keep it civil folks. 


Sean Stoltey, writer, raconteur and retired rabble rouser, hails originally from California's Central Coast but currently resides in Southern California's BEAUTIFUL--San Fernando Valley. Screenwriter, Comic Book author, these are things he does because he's too poor to be a Producer or Publisher.

Sean has been reading comics, watching movies, reading books and selling his soul (or at least his hearing) to Rock'n'Roll for as long as he can remember. He has been discussing and arguing about these things for almost as long. 

So now he has come here to throw his opinions in your face as well and hope that, even if you don't agree, hopefully you will enjoy them. For the record: Kirk was the greatest Enterprise Captain, Han was the only one that shot, Led Zeppelin was the greatest Rock band to walk the Earth and Keith Richards is the coolest undead person to walk the Earth. Coolest living people are my sons and my Mom and Dad. My Dad F---in' rocks, and my Mom can kick your ass.

You can ask Sean anything at http://www.formspring.me/WWest3001 contact him via twitter @WWest3001 or boring old e-mail at SeanStoltey@yahoo.com

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

"Rize of the Fenix" the Return of the Tenacious "D"uo of Jables and Rage Kage





Well “just like the phoenix”, after harsh criticism with the release of “The Pick of Destiny Movie”, the Tenacious duo of Jables and Rage Kage have risen from the depths of despair and near destruction with the release of their new album “Rize of the Fenix”.  The first full-length album in six years from comedy styling' s of Jack Black and Kyle Gass entertainers extra'ordinare. 


The whole album is uproariously funny from start to finish, with a few of the songs taking a new eclectic approach of their own. Like “Drive-Thru” and “Inward Singing” on the debut album, the vocal/skit tracks “Classical Teacher” and “Flutes and Trombones”, that are simply Jack and Kyle bantering back and forth made me burst out laughing. The musical aspects of the rest of the album are talented, coupled with hilarious lyrics. “SeƱorita” takes on mariachi characteristics with the addition of horns and Spanish lyrics. “Throw Down” is their own country ballad on religion, while “Rock is Dead” is a fast-paced rockabilly song with quick guitar licks and pounding drums. 


                                                 Photo; Jack Black, David Grohl, Kyle Gass appear in "The Best"video together


 Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters plays drums on the entire album for the first time, after only playing a few tracks on the first two albums.He also appears in the video teaser "The Best".  
“Rize of the Fenix” defines what Tenacious D is all about: Hilarious hard rocking acoustic songs, with a few extra creative tracks in between to give the album and the D its distinct superiority as ‘the greatest band in the world’. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

This Week’s Reading Pile – Reviews by Sean Stoltey


Secret #1 by Jonathan Hickman and Ryan Bodenheim – I know what you’re thinking, “Oh, here goes another one of Sean’s Hickman love fests.”  Not quite.  I know I’m as surprised as you are.  Don’t get me wrong, I certainly didn’t hate it.  It just didn’t live up to expectations for something form Hickman.  There’s a bit of a reveal at the end of the first issue that is glaringly obvious long before you get to it, and frankly I just expected more.  The line art is very well done; the panels are laid out well and move the story along nicely.  The color art was confusing; each scene had a singular color, although violent scenes were black and white with red, so the colors seem to be tying different scenes together.  Was it a clue?  Were they tied thematically?  I certainly couldn’t tell yet, but that’s more on me than it is the creators of the book.  Overall, it is definitely intriguing.  In fact I feel unfair reviewing it on its own.  As I’ve said before (insert plug for my recent opinion piece) many comics produced today are not designed to stand on their own.  So my opinion may be wildly different when I’m able to digest more than the first issue in one sitting, but this is the hook.  It should lock you in, and for me it does that but just barely.  There’s enough set up here to get me interested to see where he’s going, but if the hooks aren’t firmly in at the end of the next issue I’m out. 

Supercrooks #1 and #2 by Mark Millar and Leinil Yu – The first exciting thing was on the credits page.  “Co-Plotted by Nacho Vigalondo”.  If you’ve never seen the movie Time Crimes, do yourself a favor and check it out.  After seeing that, I saw the recent video that Nacho made as a sort of tease for a Supercrooks Movie.  I really hope they do it this book is quite obviously structured like a movie.  Sometimes that’s a bad thing in comics, but I really like what they are doing here.  I was smart on this one to wait until at least two issues are out to start reading (see mistake above).  Issue one is pure set up, it introduces the world and the main characters superbly and gives them proper motivation to take on the task that will be the centerpiece of the story.  The idea is that they need to pull off a big heist, but the cities are overrun with superheroes, so they know they’re going to get caught and put back in jail.  So the main character decides to pull this job in Spain where super powered people are not allowed.  Mark Millar is writing so there’s the dark outlook on humanity and even the “heroes” have hidden dark sides.  This story is perfect for Millar’s outlook and that comes through.  Likewise, Yu’s art has always felt a bit dark so he is the perfect fit for the story.  Great work here, great set up, interesting characters and great art.  They play to the rules of a heist movie and it seems to be promising a damn good time.  Imagine Ocean’s Eleven populated by super villains.

The Secret Service #1 by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons – Yeah, I’m taking a double dip in MillarWorld, sue me.  This one says co-plotted by Matthew Vaughan, the screenwriter and director of Kick-Ass.  The comic and movie of Kick-Ass fed into each other as Millar and Romita were still finishing the original series while Vaughan was writing the adaptation.  I’m assuming this is where Millar got the idea to involve directors in the plotting of his comics.  The opening of the book plays out as if Millar and Kevin Smith were writing the opening scene of a James Bond movie, without the heroic “Ah-ha!” at the end of it.  It involves Mark Hamill, yes that Mark Hamill, being rescued by a British Secret Agent from kidnapping by Middle Eastern terrorists, and it is very funny.  The story is steeped in pop culture references and apparently that is a big part of a plot that certainly is neither resolved nor fully revealed in this issue.  As before, this is a story that might be served better by reading after more of it is published, but it is very entertaining and if you like spy stories and British culture, you’re going to love it.  For those who have trouble with British accents and colloquialisms there’s a few pages in the South of London you’re going to have trouble with.  The art is by Dave Gibbons, so I really shouldn’t have to tell you that it’s great.  He’s a master of the form and the reason why I couldn't wait for another issue to start reading this book.  It’s hard to tell at this point in the story if Secret agent Jack London or his troubled nephew Gary is going to be the real star of the book.  Most likely they'll be true co-stars, with Gary leading us into this world of intrigue.  All I can say with certainty is that it’s going to be a lot of fun finding out.

The New Deadwardians #1 by Dan Abnett and I.N.J. Culbard – It’s weird seeing the name Dan Abnett without Andy Lanning right behind it.  I haven’t read much of their work outside of their New Mutants run, but it’s still strange to see one without the other.  To explain too much of the story would destroy the fun of discovery in this first issue.  It does a great job of setting up the characters and the word they live in.  It’s London circa 1910, but it’s certainly not “our” London circa 1910.  It’s almost like Downton Abbey, but with zombies, vampires and instead of the Lord of a County, our main character is the only homicide Detective left at Scotland Yard.  If that doesn’t sound great, well you obviously have never seen Downton Abbey and have no love of supernatural creature stories.  I have to confess that vampires and zombies are two things I’ve grown rather tired of seeing.  Between this and Scott Snyder’s American Vampire I’m realizing that there is plenty of gold left in this particular genre mine.  You just have to know how to find it.  Snyder and Dan Abnett are rather resourceful miners.

And finally this week, I’d like to give you my spoiler free, yet insightfully detailed, thoughts on The Avengers film written and directed by Joss Whedon.



WOW!!!

Seriously, if you haven’t seen it yet, go!  I haven’t felt that much like a kid at the movies since the first Jurassic Park in 1993.  My youngest son spent most of the next day in the back yard with his toy Mjolnir and Thor helmet smiting invisible enemies.


Sean Stoltey, writer, raconteur and retired rabble rouser, hails originally from California's Central Coast but currently resides in Southern California's BEAUTIFUL--San Fernando Valley. Screenwriter, Comic Book author, these are things he does because he's too poor to be a Producer or Publisher.
Sean has been reading comics, watching movies, reading books and selling his soul (or at least his hearing) to Rock'n'Roll for as long as he can remember. He has been discussing and arguing about these things for almost as long.
So now he has come here to throw his opinions in your face as well and hope that, even if you don't agree, hopefully you will enjoy them. For the record: Kirk was the greatest Enterprise Captain, Han was the only one that shot, Led Zeppelin was the greatest Rock band to walk the Earth and Keith Richards is the coolest undead person to walk the Earth. Coolest living people are my sons and my Mom and Dad. My Dad F---in' rocks, and my Mom can kick your ass.

You can ask Sean anything you like at http://www.formspring.me/WWest3001 (try not to be rude if you can help it, rudeness will receive no response) follow or contact him via twitter @WWest3001 his personal blog is at http://stolteysbrainblasts.blogspot.com/ (be aware, that’s where his frustrations go along with weird writing exercises) or boring old e-mail at SeanStoltey@yahoo.com

Saturday, May 5, 2012

No Doubt New Album


No Doubt Announces album release date September 25, 2012.  Their much anticipated new studio albums will also show off a revamped website.

In the last 2 years since their last release, “marriages, Kids and clothing lines ( and other projects)” have delayed recording and planning any supporting tour.  This is the first studio album of new material since 2001.  Other releases have been live albums and singles types. Their first release, “No Doubt” was in 1992

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The No Harm Foundation Battle of The Bands!!

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Attention all Metal Heads and Metal Bands!!

We need your help!

The No Harm Foundation has asked me to help raise some funds to help them continue the good work they've been doing with Autistic children!! And so, we're putting together a Battle of The Bands!! The prelims will be held at Prime Time Sound Studios in Mount Vernon, NY June 2nd and 8th. The final six will go on to The Chance in Poughk...eepsie, NY on June 23rd!! The Grand Prize will be a 20 hour recording package from Prime Time and an interview on the Metal Mayhem show with Matt O'Shaughnessy where the winners songs will air!! We need bands to compete. Please contact me for more info - soon!! Second and Third Prizes awarded too!! Please

Spread the word!!

Thanks!!

Tony Gizzo
— with Scott Kaufman and Josh Kaufman.

www.facebook.com/tony.gizzo

gizzo@wildwoodgeters.com

 

 


IDW Previews and a Review by Sean Stoltey


Gonna try something new here folks, so let me know how I do…seriously, there’s a comments section and my contact info below.  Some quick reviews and previews all bundled together. 

Previews


First up, Star Trek Classics Vol. 3  - Now, I have to be honest, when I hear the word “Classic” in reference to Star Trek the last thing I’m thinking is Voyager.  However, in the interest of space I’ll leave that debate for another article.  In the past, Star Trek books have suffered most when it comes to art, not so here.  The pages looked quite good.  They captured the likenesses fairly well without being slavish about it and the ship actually looked right, so kudos.  The writers have definitely captured the voices of the characters as well and it’s set in the latter, better seasons era of Voyager.  The Berman era long-windedness and techno-babble is all there as well.  All in all an interesting set up that had me thinking I’d like to read the whole story some time.





Dungeons & Dragons: Forgotten Realms Classics Vol. 3 – Okay, full disclosure, fantasy comics are not my thing.  I love a good fantasy film and even some fantasy novels, but those are pretty rare in my opinion.  So I tried this, and it just wasn’t for me.  If this is your thing, then you will probably dig it, and if you are a Rags Morales fan then it might be worth checking out to see some of his earlier pre-fame work that is included in this volume.









Godzilla King of Monsters Vol. 3 – Having NEVER read a Godzilla comic in my life, I had absolutely no idea what to expect from this preview.  It sets up something with a Man and his young daughter running around in a Mechagodzilla, and for some reason this worries the President.  There’s not much detail here, but I was shocked by how intrigued I was.  I want to see what this is all about now.  I don’t know if I need to track down Volumes 1 and 2 first, but that seems a pretty fair bet.  So I guess I’ll have some weekend Monster reading to do pretty soon. 






Full Issue Review


Star Trek (Ongoing) #8 – This issue starts with a nice little inside joke/reference for Trek fans.  For anyone who’s ever wondered why so many high-level ship officers go on away missions, this page is for you.  As with the Voyager review above, the writers have definitely captured the characters voices here.  It probably helps that one of the screenwriters of the movie is consulting on every issue of the book.
  
For those that don’t know, this series takes the new Abrams-era Trek characters and throws them into stories based on episodes from the Original Series.  Anyone who knows me personally knows what high, practically religious, regard I hold Original Trek in.  So it’s no surprise that it’s been a bit of a mixed bag for me.  I liked the first story, based on the pilot episode “Where No Man Has Gone Before”, quite a bit.  I felt the “Galileo Seven” arc was somewhat lacking, though I honestly couldn’t point to why.  This latest arc seemed to be an original story, until I got to this last issue and realized the argument could be made that it was a rather radical re-invention of the Season Three episode “The Enterprise Incident”.
  
It involves the Romulan Empire and the infamous “red matter” from the recent reboot/sequel/prequel movie.  It delves quite deeply into the different reactions the Vulcans are having to the destruction of their home and who should be responsible for it.  It does so quickly and thoroughly without bogging down the story, which is a great thing.  I don’t want to say much more, but I thought it was quite enjoyable.  This series is a nice appetizer for the big meal of a movie which will be coming out next year.

I think IDW has been doing rather well with the Star Trek license.  I think it might be the best Trek comics since the ones DC produced in the mid to early 80’s.  I honestly didn’t read the Marvel stuff from the 90’s, other than the X-Men crossover.  What were they thinking?  What was I thinking reading it?  I quite enjoyed the John Byrne Trek work that IDW had been publishing up until now, especially “Frontier Doctor” featuring the 70’s disco bearded McCoy.  It’s a bummer that they can only do work with Kirk and his crew that's based on the new movie continuity, but at least this series has been mostly enjoyable despite that restriction.  Fortunately they can still work with TNG so we have the Star Trek: TNG/Doctor Who crossover coming soon, which should be buckets of fun.



Sean Stoltey, writer, raconteur and retired rabble rouser, hails originally from California's Central Coast but currently resides in Southern California's BEAUTIFUL--San Fernando Valley. Screenwriter, Comic Book author, these are things he does because he's too poor to be a Producer or Publisher.
Sean has been reading comics, watching movies, reading books and selling his soul (or at least his hearing) to Rock'n'Roll for as long as he can remember. He has been discussing and arguing about these things for almost as long.
So now he has come here to throw his opinions in your face as well and hope that, even if you don't agree, hopefully you will enjoy them. For the record: Kirk was the greatest Enterprise Captain, Han was the only one that shot, Led Zeppelin was the greatest Rock band to walk the Earth and Keith Richards is the coolest undead person to walk the Earth. Coolest living people are my sons and my Mom and Dad. My Dad F---in' rocks, and my Mom can kick your ass.
You can ask Sean anything at http://www.formspring.me/WWest3001 contact him via twitter @WWest3001 or boring old e-mail at SeanStoltey@yahoo.com



Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Alabama Shakes

 

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Alabama Shakes 2011

Alabama Shakes is four musicians who came together the old fashioned way, by meeting up and writing together, played dive bars and finally got discovered. Britney Howard sings lead vocals for their debut album “Boys and Girls”, released April 9, 2012. Offers hard edge drummer energy with R&B feel. Songs range from Speed Rockabilly, sad Slow Blues and up-beat Rock & Roll. Likeness leans towards Ottis Redding, Janice Joplin and hints of Etta James.

One of those vocalists you say is far beyond her year’s talent, Britney mixes vitality, balls and soul into every track; her un-ashamed no holding back delivery proves she can rock with the boys and probably better.

The band is getting much love, appearances on NPR all things considered, David Letterman and in the UK on Later…with Jools Holland.

Impressive and good, not since AC/ DC have we heard such a raw attack of vocals, hard hitting arrangements- from all instruments, not just drums or a screaming guitar, the whole package works. This is most definitely the type of music I wish I could sing. I look forward to their journey.

Check them out ( http://www.alabamashakes.com/home )

Asura Diviva

Contact the author - Follow @asuradiviva

 


A Howling Good Album for a Dastardly Good Time

 

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Album Review: Beast for Love by Dance Hall Pimps

On Lakeshore Records

Remember the old time horror movies with Boris Karloff and Vincent Price, the old black and white skin crawlers that made it difficult to sleep but “hurt so good”. Picture an old laboratory with an evil genius, a big black cauldron and lightning strikes. The scientist tosses in some back woods boogie, some old New Orleans jazz and some Rockabilly beats with just a touch of monster mash. The lever is thrown and the sparks fly, what’s left is some hip and happening party music and something worth rising from the grave for.

Dance Hall Pimps, a popular group playing the underground cabaret scene in Los Angeles presents to you for your ghoulish pleasures Beast for Love, a collection of original tracks and renditions of classic rock and roll tunes that mix their incredibly unique vision of excellently composed music and emotionally driven vocals that have a dash of the macabre. Beast for Love, produced by Grammy Winner Matt Hyde and Rob Hill is a grand accomplishment of whimsical analogies and serious scores. Dance Hall Pimps is not a one hit wonder, but in this album, prove they have the potential to captivate and keep a crowds attention and leave them wanting more.

 

 

Dance Hall Pimps

 

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Meet the Monsters, Dance Hall Pimps are RJC, Jeff Jourard, Bruce Mann, Eddie Fish, Vic “Baron” Migenes and Steve Carr, a group of musicians with a flair for expression and a passion for their craft that shows in their creation, “It’s Alive” with what makes memorable music.

Beast for Love is 12 tracks that have references to the old style horror and sci-fi movie theme, but could easily be references to issues that are part of the real world, I reference “Mommy was a Zombie”, I laugh at the idea that mommy was a zombie, and undead creature of the night and daddy was the invisible man, a creature of eerie formulation, but it could be that daddy was a vagrant lout that spit when the baby was born and mommy was a drunk, overwhelmed with life’s troubles, which is equally horrible. Their renditions of “I Put a Spell on You” and “Take a Walk on the Wild Side” are simply perfect and well done, not trying to do it exactly the same as the original artists and not to drastic a tangent, the songs are strong and exciting.

I also liked “Heartbreak of Dawn”, “You’d Drink Like I Do”, “Beast for Love” and “Transylvania Girls”, the title track “Beast for Love” is a great dance track, it just has the power to move you, it has that Rockabilly magic in it and “Transylvania Girls” could put California girls to shame. “Underneath Your Stone”, the 2nd track on the album is very reminiscent of the Doors and the darker music of the 60’s, in fact the band has been referenced as having influences like Elvis and early Rolling Stones, but I would liken them more to early Pink Floyd, Arthur Brown, Vanilla Fudge and possibly very early Deep Purple for the lyrical composition and musically they have too wide a range to nail into a coffin, that is why I feel any true music lover would give a pint of blood ( or more ) to see this dapper and deadly group play live and dance the night, and possibly their lives away.

So dress to kill, dig up a date, sharpen your fangs and primp your paws…very simply put, show some love for the Dance Hall Pimps, Pet the doggie, he won’t bite… MUCH !

To find out more about Dance Hall Pimps, check them out at:

http://dancehallpimps.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4DONDwTKTlw

http://www.facebook.com/DanceHallPimps