Sunday, May 31, 2009
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
hey! these two things are happening the same night, colliding into a single, blinding, steaming breaking of wind across your cheek, the first night of mocca!
also alas, ccc will not have a table at mocca this year, but some of us will be running around with new or old things.
Monday, May 25, 2009
I am at the very far left of this picture, horns up.
Yesterday I attended day 3 of the Maryland Deathfest. I really just wanted to see Absu and Aura Noir so I only went on Sunday (It's a three-day event with 55 bands from all over the world. I was told that fans came from 80 countries to see the show! It's huge!)
Before the show.
I had some beers and a cheeseburger and wandered around, checking out the many vendors.
I took a few photos indoors of the opening bands but they didn't really turn out. Also I wasn't very interested in the bands. The ones I wanted to see played on the stage outside next to the 83 overpass.
Absu has been one of my favorite bands for 8 or 9 years, and I'm so glad I got meet Proscriptor, the band's drummer/singer/lyricist and only original member. He and the rest of the band were way cool.
First outdoor band: The Red Chord. Bro-tastic technical Grind.
Absu setting up. The band's lyrics centered around both Sumerian and Celtic mythology. Themes include alchemy, numerology, spellcasting, warfare.
At the beginning of Absu's set they all stood still like this as an ambient track with ominous drums and sound effects played. Then they broke into the set and proceeded to rip the shit out of it. Surely the most killer thing I have ever seen.
Proscriptor plays amazingly fast, complex drum patterns while singing. The Brian Chippendale of metal! Between songs he stood up and ranted very theatrically in his rasping metal voice: "YOU WANT FUCKING THIRD STORM OF THE CYTHRAUL, WELL HERE YOU'LL FUCKING GET IT!!! HIGHLAND TYRANT ATTAAAAAAAAAAAAACK!!!!"
Zawicizuz killing it.
Ezizu killing it.
Aethyris killing it.
Next was Abscess. Filthy-as-shit old-school scumbag Death Metal. The drummer looks like G.G. Allin/Rob Halford and wears a leather collar.
Aura Noir from Norway. Raw-as-shit kick-your-teeth-in Blackened Thrash. Fucking crushed skulls.
I left early and did miss a few good bands but I mainly just wanted to see Absu. I had a blast.
Prowl the night, fuckers!
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
A few months ago my roommate Pete borrowed the first three volumes of Dragon Ball from a friend and I read them. I checked out the remainder of the 24-volume series from Baltimore’s Enoch Pratt Library, and what fun I had!
This series is pure lighthearted puerile joy and a real achievement of fantasy storytelling. Unlike most other manga and anime I’m familiar with, there is almost no melodrama, little or no engagement with the emotional lives or inner struggles of the main characters (see Naruto or Fullmetal Alchemist, where the young male protagonists have dark, agonizing pasts.) Not that there’s anything wrong with all that, but here you get a story of great levity, of pure high-flying cartoon fun.
The tale follows the boy Goku and his friends as they search for the seven Dragon Balls that, once obtained, grant a wish by the magical dragon Shenlong. I liked the DBZ show in middle school so I was familiar with all this. One thing I enjoyed about this manga’s storytelling is the way it cycled through a few different scenarios over and over while always remaining exciting: they search for the Dragon Balls, a threat appears, they battle, they meet a new ally, they go to the Tenkaichi Budokai martial arts tournament, they battle, they go to some cool new location (a futuristic city, an underwater cave), they battle, there’s a comic relief moment, a new threat appears, they reunite with an old character, and on and on.
So the moment-to-moment action of the story keeps your interest more than the plot’s long-term reach toward some conclusion (the Dragon Balls zip away to the far corners of the Earth after one makes a wish, so then they have to be sought out over and over again). I guess this “cycling” is a reflection of the comic’s original serial format in Shonen Jump magazine. I had the same feeling when reading the big Dark Horse volumes of Akira (though the larger, overarching plot is more prominent there) and of course serialized American superhero comics often work this in this cyclical way: the “plot” being a conglomeration of shorter scenarios strung together without end.
Dragon Ball is also really funny. A quirky, silly sexual humor pervades, centering around Goku’s boyish curiosity and the elderly Master Roshi’s creepy lechery (he hangs out alone and watches women’s exercise tapes). The characters also poke fun at the comic's very title.
And Toriyama’s character designs and draftsmanship are just awesome. Everything is scratched out in a loose, economical line and the characters often have a similar basic appearance (same eyes for instance) but with endless variations of costume, etc. and are often part human, part animal (Emperor Pilaf’s ninja dog sidekick is my favorite). The battle scenes are tense, over-the-top, and hard-hitting.
Yeah, just a super-fun series.
ATTN: Will the 12-year-old or whoever has had Death Note #5 checked out for the last three months please return that shit so I can read it? It's the only volume not on the library shelves!
Monday, May 11, 2009
HERE. the only CATALOGUE you NEED.
It TELLS you what to BUY.
SEE, unrestrained photoshop dabbling.
SLEEP WITH IT.
the only CATALOGUE YOU NEED.
et ad cat. promotional materials