Friday, November 30

Friday Night Fights: Sucka Punch!!!

You know, getting your start as a supervillain can be tough. Especially if you really only have one villainesque skill, and you're not too creative when it comes to the whole alter-ego bit. Alas:

The villain.... revealed!

It also might help if your foe isn't a bespectacled opera enthusiast. Just sayin'.

For a heapin' helpin' of haymakers, hit up Bahlactus.

The short-lived villainy of The Puncher is chronicled in Jeffrey Brown's superhero parody Bighead, in which the title character also throws down with mummies, hippies, space monkeys, the British, and other makers of mischief.

Bonus mp3: Fujiya & Miyagi - Sucker Punch

Liars & No Age @ The EARL 2/14/08

No Age

According to the OK Productions Myspace, indie favorites Liars & No Age will be at The EARL in Atlanta on Valentine's Day. In preparation for the show, I plan on eating an entire heart shaped box of chocolates soaked in heroin.

Liars - Let's Not Wrestle Mt. Heart Attack
No Age - Neck Escaper [via Pitchfork]

Underneath The Covers 2 @ The 40 Watt 12/1/07

Dave here, Rich has asked me to guest blog for C&T as he is busy counting his bribes for decent grades. Blog suicide? Possibly.

For my first post I wanted to remind all you Athenians (Athenites???) about the benefit show taking place tomorrow night at the 40 watt. Its an interesting bill featuring many local favorites becoming a cover band for the night.

Here's the Lineup:
Dead Confederate as Sonic Youth
Patterson Hood as Bruce Springsteen
Deaf Judges with Pegasuses-XL as Beastie Boys
Still, Small Voice & the Joyful Noise as Elvis Costello & the Attractions
The High Caliber as The Jesus & Mary Chain

Patterson Hood

I'm especially excited for the return of the long dormant High Caliber. Everyone get there early as I believe that they are going on first.

Anything else going on this weekend???

Thursday, November 29

Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings on NPR's Fresh Air

The fabulous soul sounds of Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings are featured this week on NPR's Fresh Air, with host Terry Gross doing an extensive interview with Sharon and Dap-Kings leader Gabriel Roth. They also sample several of the band's songs, so it's a good listen for newbies and fans alike. You can hear the program at the NPR Music website.

Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings - 100 Days, 100 Nights

You can order Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings recordings from Daptone Records. Subscribe to the Fresh Air podcast via NPR.

The band will perform at Atlanta's Variety Playhouse on January 19 [per OK Productions]. Thanks to Dave for the info!

Monday, November 26

Keith John Adams pre-order extravaganza

British popster Keith John Adams has one heck of an offer for those who pre-order his forthcoming Unclever. Further details are online, but the first 40 folks who submit orders will get their very own KJA-penned tune -- all he asks you do is send along some info including a funny story you'd like to see immortalized in song. How cool is that? I hear about half of them are gone, so act quick if you want in on this action.

Keith John Adams - Never Look Down

Unclever was recorded right here in Athens, and is due on HHBTM in January.

Saturday, November 24

Frank Miller's 1776

You know I can't resist stuff like this, right? Robot Chicken meets 300 meets the American Revolution. Be still my heart.

George Washington punches a polar bear in the face. Game over.

The original graphic novel of Frank Miller's 300 is available online.

Mary O. Harrison - "Way of Walking"

That's Kim from Eskimo Bliss on the drums. Rock!

I don't know how many times I've seen her play out (umpteen-ish?), but lately I've been revisiting the demo from Atlanta songstress Mary O. Harrison. She writes engaging melodic pop, and I think my favorite tune on the demo changes every other time I play it. Right now it's "Way of Walking," an upbeat ode to a crush with a smile and gait to die for... and perhaps an unhealthy obsession with Marlan Brando.

Mary O. Harrison - Way of Walking

Mary O. recently recorded a full-length album produced by Jason NeSmith of Casper & the Cookies, and (to the best of my knowledge) is shopping around for a label. She plays at Atlanta (Oakhurst) bistro Kavarna on December 1.

Stomp and Stammer anniversary show 11/30 with Black Lips, Deerhunter, Selmanaires, Snowden

It's nice to have things to look forward to. This is on my list:

To celebrate the eleventh anniversary of music mag Stomp and Stammer, that publication is hosting four of Atlanta's most popular rock bands. The Black Lips, Deerhunter, The Selmanaires, and Snowden will share the stage at Variety Playhouse on November 30. Fifteen bucks covers it all, and tix are available now.

The Black Lips - Cold Hands
Deerhunter - Heatherwood [via Pitchfork]
The Selmanaires - Reason and Chance
Snowden - Anti-Anti

I believe this is one of the last few shows before Deerhunter goes on hiatus, if that's extra incentive.

The Black Lips and Deerhunter also play the Georgia Theatre in Athens on December 5.

Friday, November 23

Friday Night Fights: Sucka Punch!!!

So, you're a sentient mass of veggies in a Dixie swamp. You're minding your own business when the Last Son of Krypton, Man of Steel, etc., shows up in your 'hood. He's unshaven, weak, sick, and vulnerable. Homeboy is dying. Benevolent and compassionate, you bring the confused hero back from the brink. Then the fit hits the shan:

The reward for your altruism?



For the opening round of Friday Night Fights, kick it with Bahlactus.

Swamp Thing gets a knuckle sandwich for his trouble in DC Comics Presents #85, reprinted in the awesome DC Universe: The Stories of Alan Moore.

Bonus mp3: Lynyrd Skynyrd - Swamp Music

Zookeeper hit the South, Atlanta date 11/26

Very, very busy right now at C&T HQ, but I wanted to highlight the forthcoming Southern swing by Austin's Zookeeper. They're another in the current breed of innovative indie folk types, and it's been nice to see them getting attention lately. Their songs run the gamut from introspective to celebratory, with some lo-fi warblers along with polished tunes complete with horns. Good stuff.

Zookeeper - Snow in Berlin
Zookeeper - Ballad of My Friends

The Southern (sorta) dates:

11/24 The Proletariat, Houston, TX
11/26 The EARL, Atlanta, GA
11/27 Local 506, Chapel Hill, NC
11/28 Red and Black Bar, Washington, DC

They head to NY from DC and then jet to the midwest. The full tour is on their Myspace.

Tuesday, November 20

Feist in Music City tomorrow night, Nov. 21

Looks like I'll be taking a relatively unplanned trip to Nashville tomorrow to see Leslie Feist at the Historic Ryman Auditorium. Not too shabby.

Feist - 1 2 3 4 [live 4-15-2007]
Feist - Mushaboom [live 4-15-2007]

I plan to make my customary stop at Nashville's wonderful Grimey's, and I've already asked "Indie Pop Princess" Anna to recommend some local records to pick up. If you know some Nashville/Murfreesboro acts that deserve my attention, feel free to say so.

Monday, November 19

Six Organs of Admittance returns to Atlanta, January 21

Image by Joe McGarry for the L.A. Record

In a development sure to please Brandon from The Preakness, Ben Chasny's experimental indie folk act Six Organs of Admittance is coming back to The EARL in Atlanta on January 21. Their new guest-happy record, Shelter from the Ash, is due in stores tomorrow.

Six Organs of Admittance - Somewheere Between [courtesy SXSW]
Six Organs of Admittance - Home [courtesy]

Last week they debuted the new video for "Shelter from the Ash," which is now on YouTube.

Sunday, November 18

Dishes need love too

You know, I see a comic like this and I'm reminded how nice it is not to have a roommate. By Athens cartoonist Drew Weing...

I think I can hear those dishes singing from here...

Bell Biv Devoe - Do Me!

Drew and partner Eleanor Davis head up Little House Comics, and you can buy their wares online. I picked up several this morning, so reviews might be forthcoming if I get around to it.

Saturday, November 17

The Next to Last Festival, December 8-9, Athens

Sick of all the good festivals being in the summer? Well, here's a little fall/winter treat. A few weeks from now the Next to Last Festival will be held right here in Athens, Georgia. On December 8-9 a couple dozen bands, performance artists, craft traders, speakers, and all-around cool stuff will take over a plot of land just outside the city.

My understanding is that the lineup is still evolving, but already includes a number of national and local artists including Daedelus, Liz Janes, Circulatory System, Diane Cluck, Chris Schlarb, Dark Meat, Spenking, Hope for Agoldensummer, Grampall Jookabox, Geoff Reacher, Long Legged Woman, The Hot New Mexicans, Daniel Clay, and Deaf Judges. Apparently there's another big headliner yet to be announced as well. Admission if $15 a day, and $20 for the weekend. Full details are on the website, which is now live.

Some samples from participating artists...

Daedelus - Bright Stars
Liz Janes - Wonderkiller
Circulatory System - Yesterday's World
Diane Cluck - Easy to be Around
Chris Schlarb - Section I
Dark Meat - Angel of Meth
Spenking - Al Jazeera
Hope for Agoldensummer - Malt Liquor
Grampall Jookabox - Ponta
Geoff Reacher - Snarling Wheels of Sin
Hot New Mexicans - A Year in Half Life

Looks like a lot of fun. You'll have to pardon me if I'm off grading final exams between sets...

The Boss coming to Atlanta, April 25

Bruce Springsteen has announced new tour dates, available at Pitchfork, including an April 25 stop at Philips Arena in Atlanta. They go on sale at noon SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 17, via Ticketmaster. That's TODAY.

Tix are $67-$97 plus charges, so he may be taking "Pay Me My Money Down" a bit too literally.

Friday, November 16

Jens Lekman at Drunken Unicorn tonight

Been looking forward to this one for a while. Yay!

Never underestimate the confusion created by telling your students that you're going to see a Swedish pop star at the Drunken Unicorn. It's a thing of beauty.

Jens Lekman - The Opposite of Hallelujah
Jens Lekman - Friday Night at the Drive-In Bingo

Looking forward to some fish tacos at La Fonda before the show. Huzzah, Atlanta.

Wednesday, November 14

Smashing Pumpkins tix remain for Thurs., Fri. in Atlanta

So, I still don't like this whole fake Smashing Pumpkins tour, and Corgan's voice still drives me up a wall most of the time. However, I thought I should note that there are tickets available for their Fox Theater shows on Thursday and Friday in Atlanta. Buy 'em if you want. I'd rather be at Black Kids/Lolligags and/or Jens Lekman/Long Knives this week, but that's me. Go nuts.

Tuesday, November 13

Top Shelf seasonal sampler sale

Original image courtesy of Creative Loafing

Georgia's own Top Shelf Productions, one of the leading imprints in indie comics, is having a seasonal sale. They're offering a number of their graphic novels as free incentives with the purchase of books from their 2007 line. It's a nice chance to get a bonus book or two, and the first 100 orders get a free Top Shelf sampler.

If you've been looking for some bargains to check out graphic novels beyond the superhero genre, this is a nice opportunity.

Atlanta folks, do note that Top Shelf is having a tenth anniversary event at Criminal Records on Saturday, December 8. Andy Runton of Owly fame will be appearing and signing books. Ain't Owly adorable?

Black Kids, Lolligags to play Atlanta, Athens

Georgia folks take note -- Black Kids and The Lolligags are playing a pair of shows in our vicinity this week.

11/15 Black Kids, Lolligags, Judi Chicago @ Star Bar, Atlanta (L5P)
11/16 Black Kids, Lolligags @ Flicker Theatre, Athens

Come see Black Kids before they invade Europe. Advance tix suggested for the Athens show, available at Wuxtry.

Black Kids - I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance with You
The Lolligags - Wired Up

Two buzz bands, $5. Can't beat that.

"Peace on Earth" compilation at It's Hard to Find a Friend

I have a general dislike of Christmas music, but wanted to alert C&T's readers to a special project by a fellow blogger. Caleb at It's Hard to Find a Friend has curated a holiday album called "Peace on Earth" featuring exclusive tracks from several indie bands. It's only $7 for 18 tracks, and all proceeds go to Toys for Tots. You can buy it starting today.

The Long Winters - Sometimes You Have to Work on Christmas

Participants include Chris Walla (of Death Cab for Cutie), The Long Winters, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, Great Lake Swimmers, Rosie Thomas, American Music Club, and others. Good lineup, good cause.

Monday, November 12

Shut your mouth, pussycat

I know Monday night is supposed to be for Heroes and all, but this is so much better:

Franco Franchetti is... Italian Spiderman!

Hat tip to Occasional Superheroine for the find.

Beatbeat Whisper

It's been a while since I've featured something sweet and fragile, so it may be a nice time to spotlight Beatbeat Whisper. They're a duo from California's Bay Area who play looooovely indie folk. Press accounts have thrown around names like Devendra Banhart and Jolie Holland when describing their music, and the comparisons seem appropriate. They remind me a bit of Elephant Parade without being terribly quirky. Very nice acoustic stuff, a gentle blend of New Weird America and '70s singer-songwriter sensibilities.

Beatbeat Whisper - Up the Long Tracks
Beatbeat Whisper - Lulu
Beatbeat Whisper - Little Window

Their current, self-titled album is available online and you can hear more tracks at Myspace.

Sunday, November 11

Perpetual Groove bring da ruckus

Somebody shops at Spencer's...

While the band's name alone ("Groove"? Eek!) is enough to make me run in the other direction, Athens jamband Perpetual Groove apparently had a ball at their Halloween show. It's a great tradition for bands to bust out the covers on October 31, and these guys did a fine job of it. A few cuts from the band, live at Atlanta's Variety Playhouse:

Perpetual Groove - Piggy [NIN]
Perpetual Groove - Express Yourself [NWA]
Perpetual Groove - America, F**k Yeah [Team America]
Perpetual Groove - Killing in the Name [RATM]

Seriously... how much fun is that? It's enough to make me miss high school, until I remember how effing lame it was. The full show is available at the Live Music Archive.

Contest: 63 Crayons and Jupiter Watts CD giveaway!

Thanks to the generosity of C&T friend Cassinator (hi Cassie!), I have a couple fine albums by Georgia bands to give away. The CDs in question are The 63 Crayons' Spoils for Survivors and Jupiter Watts' current self-titled album. Good stuff, but I already have my own.

The 63 Crayons are from right here in Athens, and Jupiter Watts are a fine Atlanta band. Both have been featured on C&T before, so I'll spare the full bios. In short, 63 Crayons' are in the psych-pop/punk realm these days, while Jupiter Watts bring the melodic pop-rock with dueling guitarist/vocalists. I'm a fan.

The 63 Crayons - Revolution Fight Song
The Jupiter Watts - Nothing At All

If you'd like to enter to win the pair, send me an e-mail (not a comment) with "63JW" in the subject line. I'll pick a winner at random on Wednesday, November 14. Good luck!

Bonus mp3: The Jupiter Watts - Strange Things Happen Every Day

Thank a vet today

No music in this post, just a quick note to thank the veterans, reservists, and active duty folks out there for their service. I'd hate to let Veterans Day slide by without notice.

For those in Iraq and Afghanistan this year, stay safe. We're thinking of you stateside.

Saturday, November 10

Ozark Cousins

You know, if I keep getting enamored with bands like this I'll have to trade my Cubs hat for a Stetson.

Ozark Cousins are a Chicago band who've remained surprisingly under the radar given the quality and accessibility of their album -- it's really, really good and available as a free download on their website. It's an indie record to be sure, but I'm totally sucked in by the country and western flavor.

Comparisons that came to mind include both Tom Petty and Death Cab for Cutie, but neither is quite right. Instrumental "Crescent Moon" even borders on post-rock or shoegaze territory before segueing into a chorus when pop song "The Bear" kicks in. It's eclectic without being schizophrenic, familiar without being cliché. There's room for growth, sure, but this one hell of an initial product. I really suggest getting the whole free album, but if you'd rather have an appetizer before the main course I'm happy to accommodate:

Ozark Cousins - Ozark Cousins
Ozark Cousins - The Bear
Ozark Cousins - Basghetti Western

I feel the need to point out that they have a band, album, and song all called "Ozark Cousins." Haven't seen that trick pulled since The Pains of Being Pure at Heart EP this summer. George Foreman (and his sons) would be proud.

Ozark Cousins were apparently also the subject/inspiration of a film that debuted recently. They make their live debut on December 12 at Schubas in Chicago. They might be alright with my Cubs hat after all. Unless they're Sox fans...

Peter Buck, comic book guy

From the Myspace archives of the fabulous Wuxtry Records here in Athens, Georgia...

Not only is that R.E.M.'s Peter Buck, but he's showing off a copy of Howard the Duck #1. Awesome.

R.E.M. - Superman

Note that the caption says Wuxtry was then located on Baxter rather than its current home at College & Clayton. I'm curious -- any locals know where that prior location was? Or was there a second shop?

As an aside, I completely forgot that a young Tim Robbins was in the Howard the Duck movie.

I bet he'd like to forget too.

Friday, November 9

The Beauty Shop

It's moments like this when checking some of my 2,989 unread e-mails totally pays off. Thanks to Wendy for the tip.

Looks like Kurt's not dead. He just moved to Illinois.

The Beauty Shop are a trio from Champaign who deserve some attention outside the Land of Lincoln. Their music is in the indie folk or Americana mold, but with punk influences that serve them well. If you've seen me rave about Sleepy Horses, Kid Dakota, Long Knives, or even Wilco, etc., you know I enjoy this sort of sound. Give 'em a spin:

The Beauty Shop - Like I Wasn't Even There
The Beauty Shop - Bad Place
The Beauty Shop - A Desperate Cry for Help

They have several releases available online.

The Beauty Shop were apparently in Athens just last month, and I had no idea. Grrr. They're currently out west and going back home through flyover country, so don't you make the same mistake.

Mark Olson vs. Kanye West: Rumble in the Land of the Midnight Sun

We've all heard about the stupid rivalry between 50 Cent and Kanye West, right? Well, the sales figures came in on that one long ago. Kanye, however, does not remain without challengers. The latest contender is Mark Olson of Jayhawks fame, who pledged to retire if his The Salvation Blues didn't outsell Kanye's Graduation in Norway. Ah, and victory indeed smiled upon good Mr. Olson.

An excerpt from tonight's release by his label, Hacktone Records:

The rock-solid numbers just don't lie: alt-country troubadour and founding member of The Jayhawks Mark Olson has outsold hip-hop popster Kanye West in Norway's hottest music feud.

Explains a relieved Olson, "I said I would retire - just plain stop making records - if I didn't outsell him in Norway. Luckily, my fans still believe in the power of romantic folk rock."

After a tense few weeks spent combing the blogosphere and eyeballing the charts, Olson heaved a sigh of relief, learning that his solo opus The Salvation Blues has clearly trumped West's Graduation, selling hundreds and hundreds and hundreds...and hundreds more copies to Norway's esteemed audiophiles. The beef is over and Norwegian music fans have declared Olson the undisputed winner.

As of press time, the defeated West has yet to comment. Critics are abuzz with speculation that Olson's Norwegian triumph in the sales wars may even push the embattled 50 Cent further towards retirement in the wake of West's Scandinavian flatline. The message is clear - Olson's got game and the hits will keep on comin'.

A fine showing for Norway's American roots folk sweetheart.

Mark Olson - Salvation Blues

Mark Olson's full length album The Salvation Blues is available from Amazon or other retailers.

Thursday, November 8

Oh, what a night

During their March "prom" shows at the 40 Watt in Athens, the boys in My Morning Jacket pulled a funny. To open the March 6 show, they played The Dells' "Oh, What a Night," a song I can imagine is quite suitable for a little dancing. That's all well and good, sure, but so what? Well, during the following night's encore they played another song with darn near the same title -- "December 1963 (Oh, What a Night)" by The Four Seasons. Almost too clever for their own good.

My Morning Jacket - Oh, What a Night [The Dells]
My Morning Jacket - December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night) [The Four Seasons]

The full shows (March 6 and March 7) are available at the Live Music Archive.

If the old school Enchantment Under the Sea Dance is more your speed...

My Morning Jacket - Johnny B. Goode [Marty McFly Chuck Berry]


Wednesday, November 7

Change-Bots After Dark

Been very busy lately, but took an hour or so tonight to read the newest Jeffrey Brown offering from Top Shelf Productions (Georgia's own!). Incredible Change-Bots is somewhere between a parody and tribute to The Transformers, borrowing heavily from that property's mythos.

In a setup that will sound familiar to Transformers fans, Incredible Change-Bots features two factions -- the Awesomebots and Fantasticons -- who flee their home planet of Electrocybercircuitron and crash on Earth. It plays up the ridiculous nature of the series, with more than a few 'guffaw' moments. It also features a surprisingly, uh, intimate moment that sure as heck caught me off guard.

Gasp! There are several more preview pages at Top Shelf.

Bonus mp3: Victor Lams - Robot Love

The Pipettes at Criminal Records, Vinyl this Friday

Just a reminder to all the Atlanta readers -- UK songbirds The Pipettes will be at Vinyl on Friday, November 9, sharing the stage with chanteuse Nicole Atkins and local popsters The Booze. Tix are $12, a fair price for a buzz-worthy lineup. Even if The Pipettes record initially hit overseas forever ago.

The Pipettes - Your Kisses Are Wasted on Me
The Pipettes - Why Did You Stay
Nicole Atkins - Carouselle
Nicole Atkins - Party's Over

ALSO, Lillian reports that The Pipettes are playing a free in-store show at Criminal Records this Friday at 7PM. Woo!

If all goes as planned, I'll be there for the festivities.

Fast Times at Piggly Wiggly

Alright folks, I have to ask. Is it just me, or is this video really, really creepy?

It's "Girl in the Checkout Line" by The Bourbon Dynasty, and it's either disturbing because (a) a middle-aged Roger Clinton doppelganger follows a young girl around the grocery or (b) there's some Lolita stuff going on. Either way, somebody should contact the authorities.

You might want to close your eyes while they're in the produce section. You've been warned.

Tuesday, November 6

Terry Eason - "Miracle Man"

Terry Eason is a pop artist from Minnesota, and one I might not have heard of if not for the excellent Minneapolis Public Radio 'Song of the Day' podcast. I'll admit that the track initially grabbed my attention because it shares its name with an enemy of the Fantastic Four, but I'm not sure Eason would mind. The City Pages of Minneapolis/St. Paul has likened him to both Tom Waits and They Might Be Giants, so the guy must have a sense of humor.

"Miracle Man" is a piano-based pop song with lyrics that don't quite match it's upbeat tone, but it's a nice first taste of Eason's output. Plus, I'm pretty sure it has kazoos. Winner!

Terry Eason - Miracle Man

His current release is Sentimental Vanity, which came out in October and is available from Jam Records.

C&T on Blog Fresh Radio

I'm on Blog Fresh Radio again this week, talking up Atlanta's own Anna Kramer. I've given her country-rock a good bit of attention here, and she's been a favorite for a couple years. Her new album hits in January on International Hits.

Anna Kramer & The Lost Cause - When You See Him

The show also features some other great bands I hadn't heard, so give it a listen.

Monday, November 5

Remember, remember the fifth of November...

From Alan Moore's classic graphic novel V for Vendetta...

Buy it!

Here's hoping C&T's UK friends have a swell Guy Fawkes Night.

Bonus mp3: Paul Melançon - Guy Fawkes Day

Saturday, November 3

Around the horn

Jonathan Coulton

Singer-songwriter/popster Jonathan Coulton will be at The Five Spot in Atlanta's Little Five Points on November 9.

Jonathan Coulton - Drinking With You
Jonathan Coulton - Kenesaw Mountain Landis

Ginger Envelope celebrates the release of their new CD, Edible Orchids, on November 15 at 40 Watt. Venice is Sinking opens.

Ginger Envelope - Failsafe
Venice is Sinking - Pulaski Heights


Tigercity will be at Lenny's in Atlanta on November 21 along with Sovus Radio.

Tigercity - Are You Sensation [via Spinner]

On November 23, Phil Elvrum's Mount Eerie will play at A Cappella Books in Atlanta.

Mount Eerie - The Pull


Legendary Athens band Pylon plays the Fabulous 40 Watt on December 7!

Pylon - Danger [link to Zshare]

Band of Horses will be at The EARL in Atlanta on 12/29 and 12/31 to ring in the new year.

Band of Horses - Is There a Ghost


The Tennesee Arts Commission Gallery in Nashville is featuring the work of Eric Powell (of "The Goon") through November 30.

USA Track and Field bans music players during races. LCD Soundsystem sales to plummet.

Jason Shiga's graphic novel Bookhunter, about militant library police, would be a nice gift for the book lover in your life.

In a 3-part series, Dial B for Blog reveals that Batman was a total ripoff. Scandalous!

Wonder where to keep your pepper spray while jogging? Your wrist, of course.

If I had known about this when I was 14, I would have totally paid $2.95 for it.

Made me LOL: "Stan Lee Presents Se7en." [at Progressive Ruin]

Friday, November 2

Casanova, Matt Fraction, and John Darnielle

Remember the Mountain Goats-centric playlist from comics badass Matt Fraction that I posted this week? In introducing it, I asked the following:

"Might we see some Mountain Goats references in upcoming issues of Casanova?"

Well, he didn't let me down. I read both Casanova #9 and #10 this week, and each has a nod to good ol' John Darnielle. There's a little Robert Schneider love as well. Mountain Goats fans will recognize the reference in Zephyr Quinn's pseudonym right off....

Easter eggs are fun.

Mountain Goats - Alpha Omega [live 10-19-2004]
Mountain Goats - Alpha Sun Hat [live 12-2-2006]
Mountain Goats - Spilling Toward Alpha [live 10-13-2005]

Issues #1-7 of Matt Fraction's Casanova are available as a hardcover collection.

Thursday, November 1

The Decemberists cancel tour, but buy their stuff anyway

Yes, I went to Of Montreal for Halloween. They dressed as Blue Man Group, played a few Prince covers, and had some cool David Barnes video. No, I don't have time to write about it at the moment. I do, however, want to mention what happened with The Decemberists today.

At 11:42 this morning I got an e-mail with the following subject line:

Well, good for them. Not coming to my neck of the woods, but the tour sounds fun. Huzzah, Decemberists!

Six hours later, at 5:43 this evening, came a stunning follow-up:

Oops! Apparently a band member is sick so they've canned the tour. Sucks for those who planned to go, but feces occurs. Hope whoever it is gets better soon.

Now, what I thought really took moxie was that even in spite of canceling an entire tour that fans were worked up about, they included the obligatory "buy our stuff" close in the e-mail:

Really, guys? Can't you send everyone a free B-side or something to apologize instead? Yikes.

Anyway, The Decemberists please my ears despite such shenanigans.

The Decemberists - The Soldiering Life
The Decemberists - The Engine Driver

Back to our regularly scheduled whatnot...