Saturday, January 31

Trailers, ahoy!: G.I. Joe, Land of the Lost, Year One, Star Trek, Transformers 2

The folks at have been having a field day on this Super Bowl Eve, posting a number of new trailers that will debut during the big game. Three of interest to me are nostalgia cash-in G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra, Harold Ramis historical flick Year One (with Jack Black, Michael Cera, David Cross, Paul Rudd, etc.), and Will Ferrell's Land of the Lost adaptation. Given the content of these trailers, my expectations are pretty low for all three.

G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra trailer

Land of the Lost trailer

Year One sneak peek clip

None of them are too exciting, in my humble opinion, though I'm looking forward to G.I. Joe a tad bit more.

Update, 2/1, 1:30 AM: Now the new Star Trek and Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen trailers are up too!

New Elephant Parade song - "Home"

I always enjoy what I hear from Brooklyn's Elephant Parade, and tonight they have been kind enough to send along their new single "Home." It's the first result I have heard from their recent time in the studio, and an endearing indie pop tune with horn flourishes.

Elephant Parade - Home

Details on their second album are forthcoming, but they do have some nifty new totebags available now as well as their enjoyable first album Bedroom Recordings.

Bill Hicks on The Late Show with David Letterman

Back in October 1993, comedian and gadfly Bill Hicks performed for the taping of Late Show with David Letterman. However, his performance was famously cut from the airing of the episode that night and never saw the light of day. Hicks, unfortunately, died of pancreatic cancer just months later. Last night, more than 15 years later, the show invited Hicks's mother to the show as it broadcast the clip for the first time.

TV Barn has more information on the Hicks performance and its history.

Thursday, January 29

C&T is three years old




Cable & Tweed is three years old today. Thanks to everyone who reads the site, contributes, or leaves comments. It's been fun, and I hope you're all on board for another year of music, comics, and my inane banter.

New Black Lips song - "Short Fuse"

I didn't cover the Black Lips' recent antics in India, but I am glad to see that Vice has revealed new music from the Atlanta band. "Short Fuse" is the second song to emerge from the forthcoming 200 Million Thousand (due February 24) and I like it a lot. They're not breaking much new ground here, but it's a rockin' track with punk vocals and a psychedelic edge.

Black Lips - Short Fuse

Since they fled India the band has reportedly been recording with King Khan, with the goal of releasing a joint album under the name The Defenders. They promise great things, and with those bands working together I expect they will deliver.

Note that the band's video contest for "Starting Over" discussed here recently is still going on.

Wednesday, January 28

Adron and Madeline Thursday night at Star Bar in Atlanta -- free!

If you have been reading C&T for any length of time, you probably know that Adron and Madeline are two of my favorite young artists. Adron made my best-of-2008 list for her debut album, and Madeline's White Flag (due in March) is likely to make that list for 2009. They're an amazingly talented couple of ladies, and on Thursday night both of them play the Star Community Bar in Atlanta's Little Five Points. The show is free and curated by C&T's friends at Have You Heard, who offer a great Atlanta-based music podcast. If you can make it to the show, I advise you to do so.

Adron - Airplanes
Madeline - White Flag

Thank Adam and the gang from Have You Heard while you're there.

Modest Mouse announce tour; Atlanta on March 7

Tour announcements from major acts continue to emerge, as Modest Mouse has unveiled the dates on their winter/spring outing. It begins on the west coast on February 22, and ends at Langerado. Along the way they will play at The Tabernacle in Atlanta on March 7. Tickets go on sale tomorrow, January 29.

Modest Mouse - Doin' the Cockroach
Modest Mouse - Interstate 8
Modest Mouse - Dramamine

Modest Mouse on tour:

2/22 Fox Theater, Oakland, CA
2/23 Fox Theatre, Visalia, CA
2/24 Hollywood Palladium, Los Angeles, CA
2/25 The Marquee, Tempe, AZ
2/26 Albuquerque Convention Center, Albuquerque, NM
2/28 Balch Fieldhouse, Boulder, CO
3/02 Uptown Theater, Kansas City, MO
3/03 Diamond Ballroom, Oklahoma City, OK
3/04 Stubb's, Austin, TX
3/06 The Lyric Oxford, Oxford, MS
3/07 The Tabernacle, Atlanta, GA
3/08 Langerado Music Festival, Miami, FL

Tuesday, January 27

'Watchmen Wear' revealed!

Robert B. sends word via Patrick Dean that Watchmen costumes have been revealed on the movie's blog. I don't know whether to laugh, cry, or wonder how they got Mike Ditka circa 1985 to dress up as The Comedian.

See the whole line of "Watchmen Wear" on the movie's site. React as you see fit.

Gringo Star announce tour; Auburn 2/20, Atlanta 3/6

Photo by Skylar Reeves

Gringo Star are an Atlanta favorite, as well as dedicated road warriors. The band has just released new tour dates for February and March that will take them all over the place from the east coast to Texas. Fear not, locals -- they will be at The EARL in East Atlanta on March 6.

Gringo Star - All Y'all

The tour:

2/20 Auburn Univ. Beaux Arts Ball, Auburn, AL
2/25 Pianos, New York City, NY
2/26 Death By Audio, Brooklyn, NY
2/28 The Jinx, Savannah, GA
3/06 The Earl, Atlanta, GA
3/13 Black Owl, Muscle Shoals, AL
3/14 Sticky Fingers, Little Rock, AR
3/16 Palladium Loft, Dallas, TX (w/ King Khan & the Shrines)
3/17 The Warhol, San Antonio, TX (w/ King Khan & the Shrines)
3/18 SXSW Austin, TX
3/19 SXSW Austin, TX
3/20 SXSW Austin, TX
3/21 SXSW Austin, TX
3/22 City Art Supply, St. Louis, MO
3/24 Green Lantern, Lexington, KY
3/25 Subterranean, Chicago, IL
3/26 Northside Tavern, Cincinnati, OH
3/27 The Matinee, Cleveland, OH
3/28 The Bog, Scranton, PA
3/29 BAR, New Haven, CT
3/31 Mercury Lounge, New York, NY
4/02 The Khyber, Philadelphia, PA
4/03 New French Bar, Asheville, NC
4/04 Snug Harbor, Charlotte, NC
4/17 Head On The Door, Montgomery, AL
4/18 The Loft, Columbus, GA

Monday, January 26

Loch Lomond release pay-what-you-want 'Trumpets for Paper Children' EP for download

Portland's Loch Lomond have made great strides in the past couple years. To further introduce themselves to newbies and give fans a little treat, the band has released a pay-what-you-want online EP Trumpets for Paper Children via label Hush Records. It includes two songs from each of their albums, plus a new track called "Trumpet Song." It's available now from the Hush store.

A couple more Loch Lomond songs, courtesy of Hush Records.

Loch Lomond - Carl Sagan
Loch Lomond -Tic

Loch Lomond has some upcoming dates on the west coast. The dates are on their Myspace.

Death Cab for Cutie announce tour; play ATL on May 6

I've gone from Seth Cohen levels of Death Cab enthusiasm to a lower level of interest, but I was still glad to see they'll soon be on tour and in Atlanta. The band will appear at Atlanta's Fox Theater on May 6. The fan club pre-sale opens on January 28 at 3PM, and they go on sale to the general public on January 31. That's this Saturday.

Death Cab for Cutie - Photobooth [live 7-30-2005]

The band also plays Birmingham, Alabama, on May 5. The remaining dates are on their website.

Friday, January 23

Naked Jimmy Olsen digs Van Halen

So does Clark Kent, apparently. I really like the idea of Superman rocking out to Eddie and Diamond Dave, especially during the supermullet era. \m/

From Superman (vol. 2) #83 (November 1993) by Dan Jurgens and Joe Rubinstein.

Bonus mp3: Drive-By Truckers - Ain't Talkin' 'bout Love [Van Halen cover; live 4-15-2005]

Silver Jews call it quits?

David Berman of Silver Jews

Over on the Drag City message board for Silver Jews, it appears that David Berman is bringing the band to an end after their January 31 show. As a fan of the man and his music, I'm a bit stunned by the news. Berman says that he wants to move on to other endeavors rather than make a career of recording and touring, and that's his prerogative. I wish him the best, and hope he keeps us informed as he tries new things. I'd be dishonest, though, to say I'm not bummed out.

Silver Jews - I'm Getting Back Into Getting Into You

The final Silver Jews show will be January 31 at Blueground Undergrass in Tennessee, and is already sold out. Hat tip to the Onion AV Club for the news.

Brian Jonestown Massacre to tour; tix for 4/10 in ATL now on sale

"Anenome" (from DIG!)

The Brian Jonestown Massacre had an epic meltdown at The EARL a few years back, and now I see that Anton and his mates will return to Atlanta on April 10. This time they're playing at the much larger Variety Playhouse, which we can all hope will be the site of no technical problems or intra-band fisticuffs. Tickets are available now.

It's hard to tell whether the band is better known for their music or their role in the documentary DiG!, but either way they're a hell of a rock band when they're on track.

Brian Jonestown Massacre on tour:

3/16 Club Nokia, Los Angeles, CA
3/17 The Fillmore, San Francisco, CA
3/20 crystal ballroom, portland, OR
3/21 Neumo's, Seattle, WA
3/24 Ogden Theater, Denver, CO
3/26 Turner Hall, Minneapolis, MN
3/28 The Metro, Chicago, IL
3/29 The Grog Shop, Cleveland, OH
3/30 Rex Theater, Pittsburgh, PA
4/01 Terminal 5, New York, NY
4/02 Paradise Theater, Boston, MA
4/03 Pearl Street, Northhampton, MA
4/04 Trocadero, Philadelphia, PA
4/06 9:30 Club, Washington, DC
4/07 Cat's Cradle, Carrboro, NC
4/08 Orange Peel, Asheville, NC
4/09 Exit/In, Nashville, TN
4/10 Variety Playhouse, Atlanta, GA
4/11 Hi Tone, Memphis, TN
4/13 Granada Theater, Dallas, TX
4/14 Emo’s, Austin, TX
4/16 Club House, tempe, AZ

Hear more from the band on Myspace.

Neko Case tix for Atlanta 4/2 on sale today

Neko Case has a new album due in March, and her tour in support of that effort visits Atlanta on April 2. She will appear at the Variety Playhouse, and tickets are available now. I've seen Neko live a few times now, and she always puts on a great show. Hopefully she'll have former Atlanta native Kelly Hogan along for the ride, per usual. Crooked Fingers will open the show.

Neko Case - People Got a Lotta Nerve
[from Middle Cyclone, due 3/3]

Brooklyn Vegan has more Neko tour dates, though Atlanta is oddly missing from the itinerary.

Jeff Lemire draws The Doom Patrol

I've been reading Grant Morrison's run on The Doom Patrol in trade paperbacks, and was glad to see this commissioned art show up on the blog of comics writer/artist Jeff Lemire.

See Lemire's superhero commissions on his blog. He promises more soon.

Thursday, January 22

Stephen Colbert's Remix Challenge

On a recent episode of The Colbert Report, Stephen interviewed Internet Law professor Lawrence Lessig. The guest argued that copyright laws should be updated to allow remixes of existing works, with the conversation then leading to a warning to Colbert not to remix the interview itself. Of course, the Internet responded by submitting a number of such remixes. In recognition of them, Stephen produced his own clip remixing the interview with Lessig with "a pumping k-hole groove."

More can be uploaded directly to Colbert Nation, where you can also watch the other entries.

The full interview with Lessig is online.

New 'Watchmen' viral video: Ten years of Dr. Manhattan

A new Watchmen viral video is making the rounds, purporting to be a March 11, 1970, broadcast of the NBS Nightly News. The topic is the tenth anniversary of Doctor Manhattan's emergence, and it's quite cool:

The mock cartoon bit kills me. If you haven't yet, you should read Watchmen.

Wednesday, January 21

Yes we can... kick your ass

Mark Weaver sends word via Twitter that a sweet Obama action figure has emerged in Japan. The best part? The hilarious photos of it online.

Maybe I should get one to fight my MODOK.

Bonus mp3:

Mount Eerie - Samurai Sword [live 2-5-2002]

Of Montreal NYE show for download at You Ain't No Picasso

I rarely do a post just to link elsewhere, but this deserves it. Matt at You Ain't No Picasso has posted the Of Montreal set from New Year's Eve as mp3 files! Whether you were there with us at the Fabulous 40 Watt in Athens that night or want to hear it for the first time, you can listen to it now through your very own speakers. The songs ranged from sloppy to spot-on, but it was all a lot of fun.

Sunday, January 18

Wil Wheaton as the Blue Beetle on this week's 'Batman: The Brave and the Bold'

Some fun news for the geek crowd, as various online outlets report that Wil Wheaton will provide the voice of the Blue Beetle on the next episode of Batman team-up show Batman: The Brave and Bold. Wheaton will not portray the current Blue Beetle, Jaime Reyes, but his beloved predecessor Ted Kord. That's right -- two generations of the Blue Beetle in the same episode. Great to see Ted show up for some adventures.

World's Finest has some pictures and video clips from the episode, which airs this Friday, January 23. Batman: The Brave and the Bold is on Cartoon Network at 8PM EST.

Update: Video!

Saturday, January 17

Red band trailer for Paul Rudd's 'I Love You, Man'

The red band trailer for Paul Rudd's comedy I Love You, Man is up now. The film stars Paul Rudd, Andy Samberg, J.K. Simmons, Jon Favreau, Jaime Pressly, Aziz Ansari, Thomas Lennon, and a host of other funny people. Oh, and Lou Ferrigno. That's right.

View it at the film's website. You'll have to verify your age (ahem) before watching. Hat tip to

Madeline - 'White Flag'

New music from Athens singer-songwriter Madeline Adams is always reason to celebrate at C&T, so the release of her forthcoming White Flag (due March 10 from Orange Twin) has me quite excited. Fortunately, listening through the record only affirms that enthusiasm. White Flag is Madeline's third full-length album, and again showcases her gorgeous voice and songwriting. As solid as The Slow Bang was, the maturity here indicates substantial growth since that 2006 release. On White Flag, Madeline embraces both the playful and sentimental sides of her repertoire, going beyond the usual pop music fodder to evoke rural themes, the tabula rasa, and supernatural imagery. It's quite a feat.

Although it has plenty of country flair, White Flag is at its core a fine pop record. The title track is a frisky show-stopper with a great melody, piano, and horns, and "Black Out" blows me away even though I can't figure out what it's actually about. The sweet live favorite "You Can't Break My Heart" shows up here, and I'm bound to swoon for any song that celebrates love, spectacles, and vinyl records. Intimate highlights "Sorry" and "Belly of the Beast" conjure up romantic and familial love, respectively, and "This Train" has the twang required of all songs about non-crazy locomotives. It's not entirely cerebral -- she also riffs on The Bee-Gees and R.E.M. ("Jive Talking") and sings about wanting to be in a drunken stupor ("Durty South [Tie One On])."

Notably, White Flag features a wide sampling of the Athens scene as guests including John Fernandes (Elf Power, Olivia Tremor Control), Page and Claire Campbell (Hope for Agoldensummer), and Matt Stoessel (South San Gabriel). This is a damn good record, and one I highly recommend.

The White Flag tracklist, and two sample tracks:

01. Sorry
02. Telephone Daydream
03. Lit Elephants
04. This Train
05. Shotgun Wedding
06. Jive Talking
07. White Flag
08. Rain, Fire, and Brimstone
09. Belly of the Beast
10. You Can't Break My Heart
11. Durty South (Tie One On)
12. Mountain Heart
13. Black Out

Madeline on tour (see Myspace for more info):

1/24 The Go Bar, Athens, GA
1/29 The Star Bar, Atlanta, GA (with Adron!)
3/07 Cave 9, Birmingham, AL
3/09 The Dragon's Den, New Orleans, LA
3/11 - 4/01 AMERICAN TOUR W/ HAM1 (dates TBA)
4/04 - 4/22 EUROPEAN TOUR (venues TBA)

The Good Graces - 'Sunset Over Saxapahaw'

Atlanta indie folk/pop act The Good Graces is the new project from Kim Ware, the former drummer for Mary O. Harrison and the woman behind Eskimo Kiss Records. In The Good Graces she fulfills the secret dream of drummers everywhere, abandoning her kit in favor of a guitar and lead vocals (along with John McNicholas on guitar and Jim Combs on keys). The result is their catchy and compelling debut album Sunset Over Saxapahaw (which was released in October 2008) with explorations of relationships, self-worth, and bitter break-ups.

As The Good Graces, Ware's sound and delivery remind me most directly of acts like Liz Phair and (especially) The Mountain Goats, with her energy much more focused on capturing an emotional tone than a perfect performance. The lyrics tend to concentrate on romantic relationships, whether ongoing (e.g., "Already Broken"), or at their end (e.g., "Over It"). While this is a well-worn path for pop music, The Good Graces have delivered a very good record that examines these issues with a unique new voice. Ware is skilled at writing catchy hooks, and several of the album's songs are memorable after just a listen or two. "You and Me and Our Ghost" is a personal favorite, as is the ode to autobiography "Who We Are." It's a promising debut, and I hope there is more to come in the near future.

The tracklist for Sunset Over Saxapahaw, with tracks to sample:

01. Promise I Can't Keep
02. You and Me and Our Ghost
03. What's Wrong
04. Stuck Inside
05. Over It
06. Unhappy Ending
07. Already Broken
08. Who We Are
09. Disassembled
10. Real To Me

You can order Sunset Over Saxapahaw now.

The Good Graces live:

1/22 The Cave Chapel Hill, NC
1/23 The Flat Iron, Greensboro, NC
1/24 Evening Muse, Charlotte, NC
2/06 Atlanta Brewing Co., Atlanta, GA
4/04 Kavarna, Atlanta, GA

Friday, January 16

Music Tapes and Nana Grizol tour dates, Athens on March 7

Julian Koster of The Music Tapes at Athens Popfest 2008

Word in via Lance from The Flat Response that The Music Tapes and Nana Grizol have announced a month worth of joint tour dates. This should be a great chance to catch a pair of innovative and talented Athens bands. Hell, this is a bill that will even get the Classic City locals excited. They will be accompanied by musician and artist Brian Dewan.

The Music Tapes - Majesty [courtesy Spinner]
Nana Grizol - Voices Echo Down the Halls [courtesy SXSW]

The Music Tapes on tour with Nana Grizol and Brian Dewan:

2/10 Mohawk, Austin, TX
2/11 The Opolis, Norman, OK
2/13 Solar Culture Gallery, Tucson, AZ
2/14 TBA
2/15 Echoplex, Los Angeles, CA
2/17 Bottom of the Hill, San Francisco, CA
2/19 Vera Project, Seattle, WA
2/20 Department of Safety, Anacortes, WA
2/21 Backspace, Portland, OR
2/24 7th Street Entry, Minneapolis, MN
2/25 AV-aerie, Chicago, IL
2/26 The B-Side, Ann Arbor, MI
2/27 Lee's Palace, Toronto, ON
2/28 Big Orbit's Soundlab, Buffalo, NY
3/01 Maxwell's, Hoboken, NJ
3/02 Middle East - Upstairs, Cambridge, MA
3/03 The Bellhouse, Brooklyn, NY
3/04 First Unitarian Church - Basement, Philadelphia, PA
3/05 Cat's Cradle, Carrboro, NC
3/06 TBA
3/07 40 Watt Club, Athens, GA

The Music Tapes are supporting their Music Tapes for Clouds & Tornadoes, while Nana Grizol is touring behind their current album Love It Love It.

New Murder Mystery track - "The World"

I wrote a bit about Murder Mystery's debut album a year ago, and now they're back with a new self-produced single mixed by Roger Moutenot (Yo La Tengo, Lou Reed). "The World" is more melancholy than much of their debut, and actually reminds me more of Morrissey or Stephin Merritt than the Velvets and Television flavor of their earlier material.

Murder Mystery - The World

Another new song titled "Lost" is on their Myspace page.

The band also did a session for Daytrotter back in May that is still available.

Laura Gibson introduces forthcoming 'Beasts of Seasons'

Portland's Laura Gibson got a lot of attention last year by touring with Colin Meloy, and now her new album Beasts of Seasons is due on February 24. Her label, Hush Records, has just released a video of Gibson introducing the record from the Lone Fir pioneer cemetery in PDX. She plays the bulk of "Funeral Song" from the forthcoming record and explains how the cemetery served as her backdrop while writing.

You can pre-order Beasts of Seasons from Hush.

From her previous album, If You Come to Greet Me:

Laura Gibson - Hands in Pockets

Thursday, January 15

New Elvis Perkins track - "Shampoo"

It's been a while since I checked in with Elvis Perkins, and now he has joined the flurry of artists releasing new singles to support forthcoming albums. Elvis Perkins in Dearland is due on March 10, but "Shampoo" is available now to download. It's a powerful bit of soulful indie folk, with great organ tones and ample harmonica from Perkins. It sounds like Elvis Perkins in Dearland will be a worthy successor to the great Ash Wednesday.

Elvis Perkins in Dearland - Shampoo

Tip of the hat to Baby, You Got a Stew Goin'!.

Around the horn

From Marvel Adventures: The Avengers #24

Best news all day -- Robot 6 says that the Watchmen lawsuit is settled according to The Hollywood Reporter. Woo!

For the Star Wars fans: the Han Solo-in-carbonite desk and Yoda guitar.

Ohmpark has info on the Scion Rock Fest coming to Atlanta on February 28. The bill features Mastodon, Boris, Harvey Milk, and much more. Not my thing, but maybe it's yours.

Pitchfork has a new track from M. Ward featuring She & Him bandmate Zooey Deschanel.

Ryan Adams is (supposedly) quitting music, and Pitchfork has the scoop.

Ryan Adams - Oh, My Sweet Carolina [live 5-11-2005]
Ryan Adams - Winding Wheel [2-15-2006]

Paste notes that Gentleman Jesse and Paul Collins begin a 10-date tour this month. It opens at The EARL in Atlanta on January 24.

Gentleman Jesse - You Don't Have To (If You Don't Want To)

Brooklyn Vegan has tour dates for Phosphorescent's upcoming tour, including a March 25 stop at Atlanta's Drunken Unicorn with Deer Tick.

Phosphorescent - I Am a Full Grown Man (I Will Lay in the Grass All Day)
Phosphorescent - Joe Tex, These Taming Blues
Phosphorescent - A Picture of Our Torn Up Praise
Deer Tick - Art Isn't Real (City of Sin)
Deer Tick - Diamond Rings

Casper & the Cookies have new tour dates, and they're available at Optical Atlas. They play the Caledonia Lounge in Athens on January 30.

Casper & the Cookies - You Love Me
Casper & the Cookies - Little King

The Yellow Stereo has a new interview with The Pains of Being Pure At Heart.

The Pains of Being Pure At Heart - Come Saturday [at Mediafire]

New Decemberists track - "The Rake's Song"

The Decemberists release a new album titled The Hazards Of Love on March 24. Today they released the first single via their website. It's titled "The Rake's Song," and if you dug The Crane Wife (my #1 record of 2006, incidentally) or generally enjoy the band's spunky side, you'll like this. I have a feeling it'll be getting a lot of play around C&T HQ.

The Decemberists - The Rake's Song

The Hazards of Love is now available for pre-order.

Wednesday, January 14

RIP Ricardo Montalban, 1920-2009

Pop culture lost another icon today, as Ricardo Montalban passed away at age 88. He was probably best known for starring in Fantasy Island in the mid-1970s, but for me his definitive role was his turn as Klingon villain Khan in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982).

"...Revenge is a dish best served cold. It is very cold in space..."

Montalban also appeared in just about every popular series of the 1970s, and was still doing voice work until recently. The Associated Press has a more extensive biography.

I wish that were an actual Cabinet position

You may have heard that Barack Obama appeared on the variant cover of this week's Amazing Spider-Man #583, which also included a short story featuring the president-elect. It's not too great, but it has a highlight or two. The best moment, in my humble opinion:

A second printing is due to hit comic shops next Wednesday, January 21. Images courtesy of Scans Daily.

Blitzen Trapper release "Furr" video, play 40 Watt on March 4 with Alela Diane

Portland's terrific Blitzen Trapper will play the 40 Watt in Athens on March 4 with support from Nevada City, California, product Alela Diane. I'm a fan of both, and am excited that they'll be touring together throughout the spring. For now, Blitzen Trapper has released a video of their song "Furr" from the album of the same name. It's a good one.

Downloads of the same, and more:

Blitzen Trapper - Furr
Blitzen Trapper - Summer Twin
Alela Diane - The Rifle
Alela Diane - Tatted Lace [live at CMJ 2006]

New Neko Case song - "People Got a Lotta Nerve"

Neko Case is one of my favorite musicians, and on March 3 she will release her new album Middle Cyclone. Today Anti- has released the first single from that record, "People Got a Lotta Nerve," as a free download. It's textbook Neko, with her soaring voice, great hooks, and a great country flair. It's probably also the first song to include the words "man-eater" that I will take seriously.

Neko Case - People Got a Lotta Nerve

Neko and her label are donating $5 to Best Friends Animal Society for every blog that posts this track, so please do spread it around. There is more information on the Anti- blog.

J. Jonah Jameson receives a lesson in rock 'n roll

Of course not. Only Chubby Checker carries a Spider-Signal.

From Amazing Spider-Man #6 (November 1963) by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, reprinted in Amazing Spider-Man Omnibus, Vol. 1.

Tuesday, January 13

Top this, lame 'G.I. Joe' movie

The Joes welcome their newest member, courtesy of Robot Chicken. It doesn't go so well.

Hat tip to Blog@Newsarama.

Nana Grizol: Pink Couch session

C&T's buddy at Optical Atlas reports that Athens band Nana Grizol recently recorded a Pink Couch session with If You Make It, and video is now available. Nice to see Madeline alongside Theo and Kate, as she wasn't on stage last time I saw The Griz.

The site promises a solo session from Madeline soon. Thanks again to E6 blog Optical Atlas for the tip!

Black Lips - "Starting Over" mp3 and video contest

Atlanta's Black Lips have a new album, 200 Million Thousand, due on February 24, and to celebrate they've released the first single and announced a contest to create its video. The band is inviting friends to submit their videos for jangly slow jam "Starting Over" to Vimeo between now and February 15.

The winner will have their video featured on, receive a signed 7" of "Short Fuse" and get a variety of additional Black Lips merchandise. You can get more details from Vimeo. The Black Lips will choose from among the top five vote-getters. The track, for your enjoyment or your soundtrack:

Black Lips - Starting Over

The Black Lips play the Variety Playhouse in Atlanta on February 27 as part of their American tour.

Jessie Kilguss - "A Little Place Behind My Eyes"

Things have been very busy lately with the holidays, travel, and the new semester, but I have found time for some new music. Among my favorites is the new album from Brooklyn's Jessie Kilguss, Nocturnal Drifter, released just last week. It's the sophomore album from Kilguss, though I haven't heard the first, and sounds to me like a nice blend of modern experimental pop by My Brightest Diamond, Jesca Hoop, etc., and the classic jazz-influenced vocals of a Joni Mitchell. "A Little Place Behind My Eyes" opens the record, and I enjoy it every time through.

Jessie Kilguss - A Little Place Behind My Eyes

Kilguss does not appear to have a full tour scheduled yet, but I'm eager for news on that front.

Wednesday, January 7

Off to New Orleans

Things will remain quiet here for a few more days, as I'm off to New Orleans for a professional conference. I doubt that I will be posting while I'm in The Big Easy. Whenever there is a contest between Muriel's, Commander's Palace, Pat O'Brien's, Cafe Du Monde, etc., and the laptop... the food is going to win.

Andrew Bird's Bowl of Fire - New Orleans Dog Parade

Tuesday, January 6

Japanese 'Watchmen' trailer with new footage

A new Japanese trailer for the Watchmen film, which we may all get to see one day unless Fox's lawyers get their way.

Hat tip to Ain't It Cool News.

Monday, January 5

What I've been reading

It's several days into 2009 as I return to blogging, and I hope everyone had a great holiday season. I've been doing a lot of traveling and entertaining, none of which has permitted a great deal of listening to new music. I have, however, been able to catch up on some graphic novels that I have put off for a while. Here are the books I have read over the past couple of weeks:

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic
by Alison Bechdel (2006, Houghton Mifflin)

This widely praised and very popular autobiographical graphic novel tells the author's story of growing up, and manages to be moving, provocative, and a real artistic achievement. Bechdel's story focuses on her family, but especially on her father -- a gay man living a straight life while running the community funeral home. The author also writes of her own homosexuality and how it relates to her father, with both rationality and familial love evident throughout. A great example of what graphic novels are capable of at their best.

The Best of the Spirit
by Will Eisner (2005, DC Comics)

The Best of the Spirit collects 22 key stories featuring the seminal character that originally appeared from 1940 to 1950. I read this in preparation for Frank Miller's The Spirit (a well-intentioned but very flawed film, to say the least), as I had little knowledge of the character beyond a few issues of Darwyn Cooke's recent series. Each tale is compact with subjects ranging from ordinary crime capers to a flying man and alien invaders. The Spirit's adversaries include a number of ordinary punks, a few ambitious baddies such as The Octopus, and a lot of stunning women.

Eisner's splash pages to begin each story are a consistent highlight, with wonderful art often more memorable than the stories themselves. The comics are entertaining enough, and often quite funny, but the format and pacing may be jarring for modern readers; I found the book more enjoyable when reading a few stories at a time rather than straight through. Modern readers should also be prepared for some racial characterizations that have not aged well, to say the least, as is common for comics of the era. I can see why The Spirit is adored by many comics fans and creators, but I won't be rushing to get too much more of this material for my personal library.

Marvel 1602
by Neil Gaiman and Andy Kubert (2005, Marvel Comics)

Attaching Neil Gaiman's name to a comics project increases the level of expectations a great deal, and while I enjoyed Marvel 1602 I don't think it reached the heights I had hoped. The premise of this series, which ran from 2003-2004, is a reworking of the Marvel Universe and many of its key characters set in the year 1602.

Sir Nicholas Fury (Nick Fury) and Dr. Stephen Strange are cast as aides to Queen Elizabeth, struggling here with King James of Scotland eager for her throne, while supporting players including Peter Parquagh (Peter Parker/Spider-Man), Matthew Murdoch (Matt Murdock/Daredevil), and others have key roles. Marvel's mutants show up as "Witchbreed" battling for survival, and key plot points revolve around Marvel's first family, a mysterious Native American hero, and a little girl who may be the source of Armageddon. The story is complimented by Andy Kubert's art and terrific scratchboard covers by Scott McKowen. Gaiman is even ambitious enough to make the story fit within Marvel continuity, something I did not expect when I began the book. A fun read all around, though I thought it fell a little flat toward the end.

Essex County Volume 1: Tales From The Farm
by Jeff Lemire (2007, Top Shelf Productions)

Jeff Lemire has been a breakout star in the indie comics set for a few years now, but this was my first effort to read his best-known work. Tales from the Farm is a story of young Lester's life in rural Canada, embracing his imagination and a troubled older friend while struggling with his mother's death and his uncle's efforts to be a surrogate parent. The highlight here is Lemire's stark and distinct art, with chunky lines and a lack of color emphasizing the intended mood. My only reservations are with the book's ending, which is somewhat ambiguous but sees Lester take a step toward better days.

New X-Men, Vol. 1
, by Grant Morrison and various (2008, Marvel Comics)
New X-Men, Vol. 2, by Grant Morrison and various (2008, Marvel Comics)
New X-Men, Vol. 3, by Grant Morrison and various (2008, Marvel Comics)

As a relative newbie to Morrison, his stuff has been a bit hit or miss for me. This 2001-2004 run on New X-Men, in which he revitalized the X-Men franchise, is fantastic. I managed to read all three thick volumes in a short time frame, which only added to the feeling of one great ride. Morrison gathers his team of choice, has them face off against three major villains and a number of minor enemies, and contributes several important events to the ongoing story of the X-Men.

The stories are best when Morrison is paired with artist Frank Quitely, though I also enjoyed the art by Phil Jiminez toward the end of the run. My favorite arc is probably the "Assault on Weapons Plus" story (New X-Men #139-145) in which Wolverine, Cyclops, and Fantomex combine forces -- I would really like to see more from Fantomex in the future. Although the art is a little uneven and some stories are more consequential than others, this is a great run by Morrison.