Friday, December 31, 2010

Zine Reviews: Proof I Exist

PROOF I EXIST #11
Billy Da Bunny
I bought this zine at Chicago Comics. It's rare that I get to that part of town anymore and my budget for zines and comics (and music and cool stuff in general) has been seriously curtailed in recent times. In fact, I felt like a real shlub browsing for thirty minutes and only spending ten bucks, but that's the reality of "these economic times." At one buck though this zine was priced right. It wasn't until I was riding the train home and had gotten halfway through Proof I Exist that I realized that I had heard of this perzine before and that I actually know the publisher, Billy, from his days running Loop Distro. I think my band even played a house show at his crib (The Control Room) back in the dizzily day. You are to please excuse the digression, but it actually keeps in check with theme of PEI #11: it's about looking back. Typed on an old typewriter Billy picked up in Bloomington, IN, this issue or 'slice' of PIE documents Billy's last days in Chicago before his upcoming move to Santa Fe, New Mexico. Any such impending life event is bound to kick up some reminiscin' as it does for Billy, who looks to the past but is excited about the future. Good luck in Santa Fe, Billy. If you know Billy, e-mail him at iknowbilly@gmail.com—Chris Auman

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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Zine Review: A Guide to Picking Locks #2

A GUIDE TO PICKING LOCKS #2
Crimethinc (Microcosm)
I would be a bold-faced, dirty, rotten liar if I even pretended that I read this whole zine (or even one-third of it), but believe me, I get the gist. This is a guide to picking locks, like the title accurately suggests. If you want to learn how to bybass all manner of security mechanisms (for good and not evil, of course) then this guide will be incredibly helpful. The reason I personally could not “feel” or "get with" this zine isn't because I have no practical use for the information—hell, we’ve all been unfairly locked out of something at some point or another—but I don't possess the mechanical aptitude that's required to put any of these tutorials into practice. In fact, reading about how things work makes my brain achey. I could watch a tv show about it, however. That’s just my brain though, which shouldn't take away from the work and research that went into writing this handy guide, so read it... but don't pick my locks, please—Chris Auman

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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

10 Worst Celebrity Child Names

1. Yellow Moonbeam Honeysuckle
2. Raisyn Palm Frond
3. Skyler Tyler Zeppelin
4. Jordon Payton Butkus
5. Raspberry Raynbow Cloudburst
6. Pillowcase Footstool
7. Friendly Soapdish
8. Steamboat Captain
9. Tracker Lennon
10. Mike Dixon

7" Review: Super Wild Horses 7"

SUPER WILD HORSES
Enigma (You Say Go) b/w World's Gone Bad 7" (HoZac)
Text for Super Wild Horses review goes here: Ok. Thanks, boss. Here we go: Super seven inch from Super Wild Horses featuring the cut "Enigma (You Say Go)" from the duo's Fifteen LP. Favorite lyric: "And baby Jesus, what did he teach us, we fell asleep during his speeches". Amen, Horses, amen. You know it can be quite misleading listening to SWH bash out the poppy garage rock tunes. They can sound so amateurish at first listen but further inspection reveals something a little more intriguing at play. It takes smarts to make simple sound so good—Johnny Pancakes [Super Wild Horses]

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CD-R Review: Danny Reels

DANNY REELS
CD-R (no label)
I was walking home from the Crotch one night this past summer and this kid stopped me on the street. He had a Walkman and a set of headphones and he wanted me to take a listen to something. I put the headphones on. I listened to a few seconds of some stuff. It sounded like soundtrack music, so I said, Yeah, that sounds cool, and then I waited for the pitch. His name was Danny Reels, he's a musician, CDs were 10 bucks, 5 bucks, 2 bucks (I don't remember) but I had no intention of parting with ANY cash, 'cause I'd been flat busted broke for awhile (four years give or take), but I gave Danny my pitch. I'll review this CD on a real live web site if you give it to me for FREE. That's how I roll. That's how I've always rolled. So now here's my part of the deal I struck up with Danny Reels on Milwaukee Avenue: Twelve tracks of programmed beats and instrumentation. A good chill out disc to create good ambience. A mellow but danceable platter that you will enjoy if you just put it on and forget it's on. Like Danny says on the first track. "My name is Danny Reels. Thank you for your interest in my music." You're welcome, Danny—P.C. Jones

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Mike Dixon's Top Ten List for 2010

Top Ten Record Albums of 2010

10. Melvins - The Bride Screamed Murder
9. The Ex - Catch My Shoe
8. Burzum - Belus
7. Soft Targets - Above the Arctic Circle
6. Sun City Girls - Funeral Mariachi
5. The Parting Gifts - Strychnine Dandelion
4. M.O.T.O. - No Way Street
3. Thee Oh Sees - Warm Slime
2. Krokus - Hoodoo
1. Endless Boogie - Full House Head

7" Review: Sex Church 7"

SEX CHURCH
209 b/w Paralyze 7" (HoZac)
From the opening fuzzy chord of "209", S. Church comes full-on with the fuzz. And just when you think things can't get any more fuzzed out... they do. They're from B.C. Canada. They have four members. They belong to a Sex Church. Is that the same as church sex? Church sex is cool, but it is very taboo among the congregation. For the clergy, not so much—Jayne Wayne [Sex Church]

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Top Ten Guest Stars on Hawaii Five-0 in 2010

10. Max Casella
9. D.L. Hughely
8. Peyton List
7. Kevin Sorbo
6. Wood Harris
5. Jason Scott Lee
4. Bijou Phillips
3. Martin Starr
2. Bronson Pinchot
1. Robert Loggia

From Shipping/Receiving

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Zine Review: How to Make Soap

HOW TO MAKE SOAP
Without Burning Your Face Off
Raleigh Briggs (Microcosm)

I gotta admit, up until a few days ago, I didn’t know squat about saponification. Hell, I didn't even know what saponification meant (it means soap makin'). Then I saw this zine on how to make soap and it got me thinking. I thought, wow that’s cool, I could make my own soap. Seems relatively easy too—not like rebuilding the transmission on a 1969 Chevy Nova or nuthin'. Then I thought, what am I nuts? I am never, ever, never gonna make soap. I don’t even use soap! But if I do get the urge to lather up someday and I want to use my own homemade brand of soapy suds, then I have this informative, easy to follow, entertaining and funny guide to help me through the process AND I won't burn my face off. Bonus! It all reminds me of a story about this guy who didn't bath for a whole year—Chris Auman

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Monday, December 27, 2010

Whose a Breadfan?


Very Best of

Neon Trees Will Save the Music Industry One Orange Crush at a Time

Apparently the music industry is collapsing or something.  Get ready for a whole lotta shit like this. Please discuss.

Vinly LP Review: Super Wild Horses

SUPER WILD HORSES
Fifteen LP (HoZac)
These Aussie ladies form an alternating guitar and drum duo capable of bashing out some pretty simple and sweet rock songs. Great vocal lines. Good hooks. Well worthy of multiple plays, and we're talking about getting off your ass just like our hairy, cave-dwelling ancestors did, and putting a needle on a record and then subsequently flipping said record. That's a workout, but worth it. The title track, "Fifteen" is a keeper, but the hits don't stop there. "Golden Town" is another track that takes a slightly different tack, but in the right direction (Superchunk perhaps?). "I Want You", "Adrian" also great simple tunes—Jayne Wayne [Super Wild Horses]
 
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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Vinyl Review: Radar Eyes 7"

RADAR EYES
Shakes b/w Not You Again 7" (HoZac)
For some reason I expected some punky rock from Radar Eyes. That's not what they're about. This seven inch contains more mid-tempo, reverb-ladden, fare. Yeah, there's a bit of a Ponys vibe going on here. It's in the Chicago garage rock vein exemplified by the aforementioned band, especially on the a-side "Shakes". "Not You Again" has an 80s British vibe to it and I like it. The cover is cool, Mike Lopez. I would like to hear more Eyes in the future—Sonar Lips [Radar Eyes]


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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

7" Review: Followed by Static 7"

FOLLOWED BY STATIC
Smiles b/w Bones 7" (Sundae Records)
Followed by Static get some help with a drum machine (a pretty tight machine) on "Smiles" and deliver up a driving, yet scratchy, four minute pop song. Not something you can dance to per se, but perhaps something you can shake something to, like a head or a hip. "Bones" brings it back down to the stripped down basics of bones, aching bones with a flesh and blood drummer—Joey T. Germ [Followed by Static]

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Comics Review: Pood #1

POOD #1
(Big If Comics)
Pood #1 comes in the form of good old fashioned funny pages in the Sunday comics tradition. That's not to say that these strips are the usual light-hearted fare that passes for comics these days. Nope. They're a little bit darker. Sixteen full page, multi-panel strips including "USApe" by Jim Rugg and Brian Maruca, "Cochlea and Eustachia" by Hans Rickheit (read the Reglar Wiglar interview with Hans) and "Baby Slithers" by Sara Edward-Corbett, among others—Chris Auman


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Monday, December 20, 2010

NEW in RW 1.4!!!

ARTIST
HANS RICKHEIT
Hans Rickheit is a riddle, wrapped in an enigma, enveloped in a nocturnal hallucinatory fantasy nightmare. That's the effect that his comics and graphic novels can have on a person at any rate. Influenced by the ancient, the archaic and the gothic side of Americana, Rickheit exposes our collective underbrain and pokes it real good.

Read the Interview!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

7" Review: Phantom Works EP 7"

PHANTOM WORKS
Sick Machine b/w Pure Error + Song Ate 7"
(no label)
Phantom Works are at it again. Now, you might be thinking to yourself, that just happened. Well, maybe it did. But let's give it a name, that just happened. Let's call that ROCK, that just happened. There's a lot of water out there and that's just the top of it, so Phantom Works dive right in with their noisy, aggressive, abrasive rock and roll scuba gear. That's a good tire. Recalling days spent in the growing sand pits mesmerized by some of the best pigfuck music (or turkyfuck as it's known down Florida way) to double back on a trailer track back behind...wherever. It's like the bossman gave you a bonus when you put on this angry, adrenaline-charged three song piece of vinyl music. I give it a triple gobble. Download code inside specially unmarked packages—Snake [Phantom Works]

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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Comics Review: Henry & Glen Forever

HENRY & GLEN FOREVER
Igloo Tornado (Cantankerous Titles)

"Henry from Black Flag!" yelled Danzig before "We Are 138" on the Misfits Evilive EP. Like a clarion call proclaiming their love . . . . er, uh, maybe not. Anyway, this book of mostly single panel comics is based on the comedic potential of an imagined relationship between these two classic punk front men.

So, regarding this book, you know, I asked myself, do these guys deserve this? I mean, they both started out in awesome bands (and yeah, I know Henry was in S.O.A., also great, before Black Flag, but I'm referring to Black Flag here) and in the interest of full disclosure (and just to brag!) I saw them both in 1983. And I saw the five piece Black Flag, with Dez on second guitar, which Joe Carducci considers the best line up. So, anyway, I have to admit, I was/am a big fan of these guys and their bands. However, as many musicians do, Henry and Glenn seemed to embark on a Sting-like career trajectory in which each new record they put out (Rollins Band, some Danzig stuff) had a diminished quality from the previous one. Eventually their classic material is almost eclipsed by their terrible new stuff. Also, Glenn probably lost the last shred of his sense of humor some time during Samhain. So, maybe Glenn deserves some ribbing. Henry sort of laid off the music in favor of his punk rock stand-up (uh . . . I mean 'spoken word') which I found to be funny about 50% of the time. Plus there was his talk show, his acting career, etc. So, maybe his actions don't automatically make him eligible for ridicule, but judging by his blurb on the cover of this book, I think he can take it.

So, I'm going to say maybe they both deserve a little bit of abuse, despite the fact that there are plenty of actually gay punk people who, you know, might take some offense here. But, you're probably wondering about the content of the book, and yeah, I guess I laughed at some of the gags. Mostly when they referenced Misfits or Black Flag lyrics. And I assumed this would be more narrative, but it's a loosely tied together series of panels concerning the cohabiting Glenn and Henry and their neighbors Hall and Oates (these guys did not need to be in here) with some non sequitur stuff thrown in. I don't know, I think it could have worked better as a story—Chris Butler

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Book Review: Firebrands: Portraits from the Americas

FIREBRANDS: Portraits from the Americas
(Microcosm Publishing)
Produced by the artists and writers of the Justseeds Artists Cooperative, Firebrands is a compilation of seventy-eight short biographies accompanied by illustrations. Highlighting the lives and struggles of both well-known and lesser known activists, Firebrands is informative sure, but more than that, it's inspirational. The profiles here focus on Americans (North, South and Central) who have either worked, fought or died for social change in their communities. From such obvious candidates as W.E.B. Dubois and John Brown to more recent icons like Tupac Shakur (a surprising choice at first glance but completely justified), Firebrands is more in line with Howard Zinn's People’s History of the United States than with your basic Texas high school text book. Hopefully, this book will inspire all of us to learn more about these revolutionary individuals now that we've been given a glimpse, however brief, into their lives and accomplishments—Chris Auman

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Friday, December 17, 2010

Zine Review: The Curious Case of the Communist Jell-O Box

THE CURIOUS CASE OF THE COMMUNIST JELL-O BOX
Mia Partlow & Michael Hoerger (Microcosm)

During the trial of soon-to-be convicted (and executed) Soviet spies, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, much credence was given to the fact that a Jell-O box, torn in half, was used as a way for the accused conspirators to recognize one another for clandestine meetings. If the two pieces fit, then ba-da-boom; fellow spy. The fact that all this went down during the Red Scare gives some credence to the opinion that this was merely a show trial and a thinly-veiled public relations campaign to assure the American public that the U.S. was on top of the Soviet espionage situation. The authors of this poster-sized zine suggest that "Leftists should be as unsure of the Rosenberg's guilt as they are sure that the trial was used to deploy public sentiment against the left." While the punishment may not have fit the crime, I don't see the benefit of being unsure of their guilt or innocence and this publication is not the best place to become educated on the subject.

Being the first, last and only convicted spies executed in U.S. history certainly suggests that hysteria and paranoia reigned supreme during 1950's Cold War America. Of this there is no question. The intent of this publication, I suppose, is to point out the absurdity of the prosecution (read the political Right) convicting the Rosenberg (read political Left, I guess) with such an iconic American product as Jell-0 brand gelatin. Like a good zine, it got me thinking, but further research will have to wait until I finish the rest of these gol' dern zine reviews.

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NEW in RW 1.4!!!

DAVID GILL IS A TOTAL DICKHEAD
INTERVIEW W/ A PKD SCHOLAR
Dickhead? That certainly is a rude thing to say about a man, unless it's true of course. In this particular instance Dickhead refers to a fan of sci-fi legend, Philip K. Dick. Mr. Gill is a PKD scholar of the first order and therefore is worthy of the title. Nick Sondy reached Dave in Oakland to discuss all thing Android in Part 1 of this two part interview.

Read the Interview!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

7" Review: Outer Minds 7"














OUTER MINDS
Bloodshot Eye + Ordinary b/w Until You're Dead 7" (HoZac)
Your outer mind—that's the fleshy, porous, absorbident material called spongiforillium that God packs between your skull and your brain when he makes you. Well, this band Outer Minds will drill directly through your inner ear and into your outer mind as they playfully resurrect a jangley 60s psycho-delic vibe and a bibbity-bobbity beat that recalls a place in your sub conscience that was created about a thousand years before you were born. Deal with that hippies!—John Boehner [Outer Minds]

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Comics Review: Al Burian Goes to Hell

AL BURIAN GOES TO HELL
Al Burian (Migraine)

According to Al Burian, and I'll take his word for it, Al Burian Goes to Hell is a 'bootleg' comic that was published without his knowledge or permission. This according to Al's website. You can read the post here. The comic is what Al calls "homework", drawn for a college class when he was twenty-two. From what I gather, it was for some sort of literature class, and has been dubbed "a loose comic interpretation of Dante's Inferno." Al, like Dante, takes his own journey to hell also with the guidance of Virgil. Along the way Al meets John Hinckley, Lee Harvey Oswald and a few friends of his who offer little guidance for Al in his journey. Al's version of hell appears to be a somewhat existential wandering between work and questioning the meaning of his pathetic, angst filled existence. I have no idea what the actual assignment was, but Al Burian Goes to Hell is no doubt a creative approach to the subject so I hope he got at an A or at the very least a B+—Chris Auman


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NEW in RW 1.4!!!

LAMB OF GOD
INTERVIEW WITH JOHN CAMPBELL










Metal lords, Lamb Of God, have ruled this puny planet Earth for over fifteen years—that's ten years shy of a quarter of a century! Certainly nothing to sneeze at. To acknowledge this great feat of 'togethership', we sent Ace Reglar Wiglar Reporter, T. Bux on a mission to interview LOG bassist, John Campbell. Even though T. Bux lives in London and The Campbell lives in RVA USA, Bux succeeded in this mission with the help of some sort of Skype or Internet device or maybe it was a telephone.

Read the Interview!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

7" Review: Followed by Static 7"

FOLLOWED BY STATIC
Lullaby b/w AADC 7" (Rare Dust)
Followed by Static is an Austin band that is essentially a two piece although I suspect there may or not not be additional machines and humans involved at various points in time. This is their debut seven inch and as such, give us a glimpse into their brains and their sound. They may be followed by static but they are certainly preceded by feedback. Reverby vocals and scuzzy guitar licks give this band lo-fi appeal—P.C. Jones [Followed by Static]

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DVD Review: If It Ain't Cheap, It Ain't Punk

IF IT AIN'T CHEAP IN AIN'T PUNK
I could pretty much watch any documentary about any music group, era, scene or genre. (Seriously, it could be a Wham! biopic and I'd be into it.) If it Ain't Cheap is certainly no exception. This DVD is an interesting and well put together film that documents Plan-It-X Records and that label's Plan-It-X Fest that went down in Bloomington, Indiana back in 2006. The fest was a week-long orgy of music and DYI workshops that attracted like-minded punks from all over the country and the world. Lots of talking head interviews and live footage of bands I've never heard of (Ghost Mice, Operation: Cliff Clavin) and a few I have (Japanther, This Bike is a Pipe Bomb). All in all, a good flick for music fans regardless of their familiarity with the bands featured. Lot's of good bonus footage too—Tyler Sperry

7" Review: The Flips 7" EP

THE FLIPS
7" EP (HoZac)
The Flips aren't just a popular Croatian snack (imagine a peanut flavored Cheeto, yuck!) they're also a sexxy sextet from our beer soaked neighbor to the north. That'd be Wisconsin, you flat-land pukes! Milwaukee, in fact, and happy days are here again, Chachi, 'cause The Flips come correct with a rocking retro sound from the '60s. Before the hippies ruined everything with their acid, their acid rock and their weed, there was actually nice enjoyable music that was sung by real ladies. This is it—The Flipper [The Flips]
 
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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Magazine Review: Mad #505

MAD MAGAZINE #505
(DC Comics)

MAD Magazine was a huge influence on me as a kid, and not just an influence, but an inspiration as well. It inspired me to make my very first magazine, Crazy, when I was ten years old. Of course I soon discovered that Crazy Magazine already existed in the form of an inferior MAD-style parody rag, but I hardly cared about copyright infringement at that point. I also remember buying a copy of MAD at a grocery store in the very early eighties when a former teacher of mine was in line ahead of me. When he saw what I was spending my 75¢ on he feigned disapproval. "That stuff will rot your brain," he said. That was exactly what he was supposed to say! As an adult and as an authority figure, that was the reaction MAD Magazine was intended to elicit. He knew it and was happy to play his part.

I've checked in with MAD Magazine over the years. I like to see what technological advances Spy vs. Spy have made. I even got a subscription a few years back. There have been a few changes in recent years of course. Being bought by Time Warner was a big one. With Time Warner's acquisition came full color and advertisements. The tone and content, however, has stayed much the same, relatively speaking, and some of the old gang of idiots are still representin'. Al Jaffee still provides the "Mad Fold-in" for the back cover and Sergio Aragon├ęs is still filling in the margins with his drawings as well as contributing "A MAD look at Racial Profiling." Yep, MAD still manages to stick it to politicians, your teachers, your parents, your favorite celebrities and all the targets that still deserve it. "Teabagger Proof that Obama is a Terrorist/Socialist" is a good skewing of the current brand of right-wing hypocrisy. Hypocrisy being a problem shared by ALL political parties and politicians as MAD would be the first to point out. Of course the important gross out factor is still in play throughout the publication. Gotta appeal to your base I suppose.

I can only hope that MAD still influences kids today like it has for the past fifty-plus years. I don't know what Harvy Kurtzman would think about the current era but I'd like to think he wouldn't be too disgusted with how his magazine has evolved. I'm probably wrong about that though. What, me worry? Bah!

Read more maga/zine reviews!

Classic Albums

Bread 'n' Water (Really Rad) 1982
Hey, bread & water is a friggin' feast compared to what they're used to at home! 27 heart-wrenching tunes of life behind bars: "Lights Out!", "They Ain't Got Cable Where I'm Goin' Lord," "Keep Your Hands Above the Sheets," plus 24 more! Soap on a rope isn't a luxury, it's a necessity! Just ask the Woodrows.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Classic Albums

Fried Bologna Box Set (Woodrow Hill) 1995
What do you have when 4 Woodrows get stranded in their house for 8 days with nothing but bologna, white bread and guitars and amps? The Fried Bologna Sessions; a five record set, one whole hour of music! When the music stopped the tape recorder didn't. See how far brotherly love goes when the liquor runs out--it ain't pretty, but neither are the Woodrows!












Woodrows Discography

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Classic Albums

Momma Didn't Raise No Fool (Woodrow Hill) 1981
Oh yes she did! In fact, she raised four of 'em, but we won't hold that against her. Sixteen infantile tunes including: "Bread Samich," "Big Boo Boo," "Nubby Rub," "No-No Fatty"!

Woodrows Discography

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Classic Albums

Beer, Brats and Broads (Woodrow Hill) 1981
The 3 B's! Live from the First Annual Beer, Brats and Broads Festival, the Woodrows bash out their favorite tunes for a very excited, very wasted crowd in a local cow pasture in Antigo, Wisconsin. All your favorites too, like "The Hide the Kielbasa Polka," "Whose Got My Pants?" "Road Loadin'," "F Reagan in the A," "Freak Patrol" and 135 more!

Monday, December 06, 2010

Classic Albums

Woodrow Beach (Woodrow Hill) 1981
Woodrow Beach ain't just off limits in the off-season, IT'S CLOSED ALL YEAR! That's ok, 'cause trust us, you wouldn't want to swim there anyway. Album features, "Drunk on the Beach," "High on the Beach," "Beach Blanket Bongs," "Beached Whale," "Sand in My Ass" and many, many more hits!

Woodrow Discography

The One TRUE Tron

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

This just in from Corporate...

An e-mail just came down from the upper levels of Giganta Corp: We are NOT on pace to break 2009's record of 142 blog posts. Corporate is FURIOUS. They say they don't care what we have to do, but we had damn well better have 150 posts by the end of this year and it'd be nice if we got some product placement for Pocket Swivels® in there somewhere.

At any rate, please enjoy this picture of a cat and a kitten relaxing in a sink. It's so cute it make me want to puke.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Week Fifty-Two for Ectopiary

Yesterday was the one year anniversary of comic artist, Hans Rickheit's on-going graphic novel, Ectopiary. Hans has been producing one page per week for the past year. He plans to produce as many as 600 before he's through, so plan on living for another ten years if you want to find out how it ends. Check out the first 52 weeks @ Ectopiary.com

And also be on the lookout for the Reglar Wiglar interview with Mr. Rickheit due out in December.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The History of Music Part 1: Asia

I’m probably going to catch a lot of heat from Asia fans for this blog post (just kidding, there are no living Asia fans left on the planet), but we need to be honest with ourselves. History is important to our future and understanding the mistakes we’ve made in the past will only make us stronger as we move forward as a civilization.

With an all-star line-up culled from some of the best prog rock units to wank their way out of the 70s and into the 80s (King Crimson, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Yes), Asia almost seemed like an anachronism in the musical landscape of the early 1980s. In 1982 the record buying public had a wolf-like hunger for the edgy, new wave stylings of your Billy Idols, your Polices, your Adam Ants and the rebellious rock and roll of your Stray Cats, your Pretenders and your The Clash.

All this mattered not to fans of generic music who were in for a delightful treat when Asia dropped their eponymous debut album in 1982. The lead-off track, “Heat of the Moment” became a monster hit for the group and ensured the album best selling status in the States. By duplicating, then watering down the formula that had worked so well for them on their first album, Asia managed to fart out two more albums into the musical mainstream; 1983's stunningly bland, Alpha and 1985's, even worse, Astra. The group disbanded soon after.

Inexplicably, Asia reformed in the early 90s and began recording studio albums again (Aqua, 1992; Aria, 1994; and Arena, 1996) and they are still alive and well in 2010 playing live shows all over the world, so bully for them. For me though, the beauty of Asia is that they managed to take everything I’ve ever hated about music and encapsualte it into tidy little packages with album art by Roger Dean. In fact, musical merits aside, Roger Dean is the singular saving grace of the band, just like he was for Yes as the designer of that band's logo and the creator of the Fragile album cover, among others.

In a historical sense, the grandiose, overly-produced arrangements and the pedestrian lyrics and themes of Asia, for me, best represents a decade that reveled in--nay, embraced excessive progressive cheesiness. I once knew an otherwise hip local DJ who would incorporate "Heat of the Moment" into his set. He did so without a trace of irony and with a straight face no less. He has since moved (presumably with his Asia records) to Brooklyn where they probably have Asia listening parties every night... as well they should.

That does it for this edition of THE HISTORY OF MUSIC PART ONE. I hope you enjoyed it.

NEXT: BLACK FLAG

Gobblin' all the way...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

R.I.P. Ronny's

Why Soft Targets Loved Ronny’s "Center for the Performing Arts" 

1) The Smell: Nothing smells like Ronny's
2) The Service: Tip the bartender--or don't, you will get the same service!
3) Ronny: He doesn't like you.
4) The Bathrooms: Wow!
5) The Dirt: Ronny's is full of dirt

"Fella's it's too rough to feed yah."

It's the 35th Anniverary of the Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. Please, join me in a moment of Lightfoot.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Ari Up...

and away.

RIP

I'm not a bigot. Having said that...

NPR severing ties means Juan can finally cross over to the darkside.

Juan Williams to Bill O'Reilly:

"Look, Bill, I'm not a bigot. You know the kind of books I've written about the civil rights movement in this country. But when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous."

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Arbys' Kills Facebook

You know what's gonna kill Facebook? It's not gonna be any lawsuit or legal feud between Mark Zuckerberg and the Winklevoss Twins.

No.

It won't be because Zuckerberg sells the company to Rupert Murdoch and making it as irrelevant as Myspace.

It won't.

It won't be because the site's users will grow tired of the continual invasions of their privacy even as the Facebook founder promises that no such thing is occurring, and even if it was, it's really no big deal.

No, it will be because Arby's has a Facebook page. Yeah, you can follow Arby's on Facebook. Let me say that again, YOU CAN FOLLOW ARBY'S ON FACEBOOK.

AND TWITTER!

'Arby's on Facebook' is the cultural bellwether signaling the end of Facebook. You read it here first, people.

You're welcome.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

This Week in Rock, Chicago!

MONDAY, AUG. 9, 1:30PM
Summer Slaughter 2010:
DECAPITATED, THE FACELESS, ALL SHALL PERISH, RED CHORD, VEIL OF MAYA, CEPHALIC CARNAGE, DECREPIT BIRTH, CARNIFE

HOUSE OF BLUES
329 N. Dearborn St.
312-923-2000/866-448-7849
Price: $23


TUESDAY, AUG. 10, 10PM
TURBO A.C.'S, STRANGER
COBRA LOUNGE
235 N. Ashland Ave.
312-226-6300
Price: Free!


WEDNESDAY, AUG. 11, 7:30PM
RECKLESS ONES, TRACER BULLET, THEE INVADERS, SHOTGUN GAMBLING, JOHNNY MURDER & THE 25 TO LIFE
REGGIES ROCK CLUB
2109 S. State St.
312-949-0121/866-468-3401
Price: 12 bucks

THURSDAY, AUG. 12, 6PM
AUTISTIC YOUTH, DAYLIGHT ROBBERY, MANIPULATION, POPULATION
RONNY’S
2101 N. California Ave.
Don't call Ronny, he'll call you
Price: somewhere around $5...

FRIDAY, AUG. 13, 6PM
CRYSTAL CASTLES, RUSKO, SINDEN, TWELVES, DESTRUCTO, ALEX ZELENKA
CONGRESS THEATER
2135 N. Milwaukee Ave.
773-276-1235
Price: $30

SATURDAY, AUG. 14, 5:30PM
FAMOUS LIKE YOU, JUST LEFT, MATHLETES, THEIVES & VILLAINS, TAKE COVER
SUBTERRANEAN
2011 W. North Ave.
773-278-6600/ 866-468-3401
Price: 10 bucks

SUNDAY, AUGUST 15, 9PM
MONDO GENERATOR, TWEAK BIRD, VIOLENT SOHO, RAMOVA
DOUBLE DOOR
1572 N. Milwaukee Ave.
773-489-3160/877-435-9849
PRICE: $10 & up

Sunday, August 01, 2010

This Week in Rock, Chicago!

MONDAY, AUG. 2, 12:00PM
VHS OR BETA DJS
PRITZKER PAVILLION
Michigan & Randolph
312-742-1168/773-525-2501
Price: Free


TUESDAY, AUG. 3, 8:30PM
SANCTIFIED GRUMBLERS
THE HIDEOUT
1354 W. Wabansia Ave.
773-227-4433
Price: 5 bucks


WEDNESDAY, AUG. 4, 9PM
BOB LOG III, THE PORKA TORTA
SCHUBA’S
3159 N. Southport Ave.
Chicago, IL 60657
773-525-2508
Price: 12 bucks

THURSDAY, AUG. 5, 7:30PM
DEVO, DIRTY PROJECTORS
CONGRESS THEATER
2135 N. Milwaukee Ave.
773-276-1235
Price: $35 & up

FRIDAY, AUG. 6, 10PM
WILD BEASTS, KISSAWAY TRAIL, LONE WOLF
EMPTY BOTTLE
1035 N. Western Ave.
773-276-3600/866-468-3401
Price: 15 bucks

SATURDAY, AUG. 7, 12PM
NEKROMANTIX, MUTILATORS!, HOWLERS, MASSACRES
REGGIES ROCK CLUB
2109 S. State St.
312-949-0121/866-468-3401
Price: 15 bucks

SUNDAY, AUGUST 8, 8PM
GUNNER'S DAUGHTER
CAIN MARKO

RONNY’S
2101 N. California Ave.
Don't call Ronny, he'll call you
Price: somewhere around $5...

Monday, July 26, 2010

This Week in Rock, Chicago!

MONDAY, JULY 26, 6:00PM
BOMB THE MUSIC INDUSTRY, THE GUNSHY, SANAWON
REGGIES ROCK CLUB
2109 S. State St.
312-949-0121/866-468-3401
Price: 10 bucks, all ages


TUESDAY, JULY 27, 8PM
SMASKING PUMPKINS, KILL HANNAH
METRO
3730 N. Clark St.
773-549-0203
Price: 10 bucks


WEDNESDAY, JULY 28, 8:30PM
PROTOMEN, SUPER 8 BIT BROTHERS, ADVENTURES OF DUANE & BRANDO
SUBTERRANEAN
2011 W. North Ave.
773-278-6600/ 866-468-3401
Price: 10 bucks

THURSDAY, JULY 29, 6:30PM
TORTOISE W/ ED WILKERSON, NICOLE MITCHELL & OTHERS
PRITZKER PAVILLION
Michigan & Randolph
312-742-1168/773-525-2501
Price: Free

FRIDAY, JULY 30, 6PM
KUNG FU VAMPIRE, PREP SCHOOL TRAGEDY, 2NANE, LIL SICC & INTREKIT, TRAKULA, MISSION: 16
BOTTOM LOUNGE
1375 W. Lake St.
312-666-6775/866-468-3401
Price: 13 bucks

SATURDAY, JULY 31, 12PM
Wicker Park Fest:
CAP'N JAZZ, MISSION OF BURMA, HOLY FUCK, PINEBENDER, INDIAN, LA RIOTS & MORE

WICKER PARK FEST
Milwaukee between North & Wood
Price: some sort of suggested donation probably

SUNDAY, AUGUST 1, 9PM
ARKANSAS WEIRDO POP: MEMPHIS PENCILS/MESSY SPARKLES
SILVIE'S LOUNGE
1902 W. Irving Park Rd.
773-871-6239
Price: 5 bucks

Sunday, July 18, 2010

This Week in Rock, Chicago!

MONDAY, JULY 19, 6:30PM
KID SISTER, KONONO NO. 1
PRITZKER PAVILLION
Michigan & Randolph
312-742-1168
Price: Free


TUESDAY, JULY 20, 8PM
ARIEL PINK'S HAUNTED GRAFFITI, PURO INSTINCT, MAGIC KIDS
LINCOLN HALL
2424 N. Lincoln Ave.
773-525-2501
Price: 14 bucks


WEDNESDAY, JULY 21, 8PM
B-52'S
RAVINIA
Green Bay & Lake Cook
847-266-5100
Price: 27 bucks

THURSDAY, JULY 22, 6PM
JOHNNY & THE LIMELIGHTS, MICKEY, BRIAN'S DIRTY BUSINESS
LAURIE'S PLANET OF SOUND
4639 N. Lincoln Ave.
773-271-3569
Price: Free In-Store 

FRIDAY, JULY 23, 7PM
COOL KIDS, THEOPHILUS LONDON
REGGIE'S ROCK ROOM
2109 South State Street
312-949-0121/866-468-3401
Price: 10 bucks


SATURDAY, JULY 24, 9PM
APOSTLE OF SOLITUDE, IRON TONGUE, DIRTY STREETS, KILLER MOON
METAL SHAKER
3394 N. Milwaukee Ave.
773-286-4482
Price: ???

SUNDAY, JULY 25, 9PM
THE REMEMBERWHENS
KELROY, TURBO CONTROLLER, WARHELLRIDE

DOUBLE DOOR
1572 N. Milwaukee Ave.
773-489-3160/877-435-9849
Price: 5 bucks

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

This Week in Rock, Chicago!

Sorry, so late...

MONDAY, JULY 12, 10PM
LOVER!, KING LOUIE'S MISSING MONUMENTS, SLEEPOVERS
HIDEOUT
1354 W. Wabansia Ave.
773-227-4433 or 866-468-3401
Price: 5 bucks


TUESDAY, JULY 13, 7PM
THE MINOR LEAGUE
HEARTSOUNDS, THE REVISION PLAN, YOUNG MOUNTAIN, TRUNKS & TALES

RONNY'S
2101 N. California Ave.
Don't call Ronny's, they'll call you.
Price: 7 bucks.


WEDNESDAY, JULY 14, 8PM
IN TALL BUILDINGS, VILLAGE, HONEST ENGINES, CHRASH
LINCOLN HALL
2424 N. Lincoln Ave.
773-525-2501
Price: 10 bucks

THURSDAY, JULY 15, 9:30PM
JACK OBLIVIAN & THE TENNESSEE TEARJERKERS, JOHN PAUL KEITH & THE ONE FOUR FIVES, MIDWEST BEAT
EMPTY BOTTLE
1035 N. Western Ave.
773-276-3600 or 866-468-3401
Price: 10 bucks.

FRIDAY, JULY 16, 8PM
4th ANNUAL METAL MERGENCE: Chicago's
Heavy Metal Conference
SOULS DEMISE, LAIR OF THE MINOTAUR, EARTHEN GRAVE, MINDWARP CHAMBER, FALSEFACED, MALAS, FIRST JASON!
REGGIE'S ROCK ROOM
2109 South State Street
773 857 2172
Price: 10 bucks


SATURDAY, JULY 17, 9PM
TESCO VEE'S HATE POLICE, WHITE FLAG, DAS KAPITAL, FESTER
ABBEY PUB
3420 W. Grace St.
773-463-5808 or 866-468-3401
Price: 12 bucks

SUNDAY, JULY 18, 9PM
NETHERFRIENDS, ALAYA CONSCIOUS, A LULL
DOUBLE DOOR
1572 N. Milwaukee Ave.
773-489-3160 or 877-435-9849
Price: 15 bucks

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CANCER
June 21-July 22

One Word Horoscope: Invest

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The Adventures of Jim Bob & Pencilneck
















Written by Bif LeBeau, the godfather of the Ridiculous Fiction movement, in the late 1980s before his mysterious disappearance, The Adventures of Jim Bob & Pencilneck chronicles the lives and misfortunes of two American kids growing up in the Heartland. The Reglar Wiglar will be running this exclusive serial in its entirety. Read Chapter Two now.