Saturday, March 31, 2007


Obviously, I haven't posted much this week. It's been fairly busy for a spring break but that's okay - it's been a lot of fun. I have a backlog of things I want to post about but I thought I'd at least throw up an overview of March for the time being.

I finished a book started in February and then read 4 books this month, bringing my total for the year to 8. I do feel good about doubling my output from the first two months of the year but my goal of 40 seems unreachable. I should have 10 books done by this point to have a hope. Still, I should end up in the mid-30s if I can be a bit more productive. Not that it matters in the end, as long as I enjoy what I'm reading. And that's been the case so far in 2007.

I only read 10 stories in March - the second half of Fast Forward 1 - and that was back at the beginning of the month. One side effect of doubling my book-reading was a dropoff in reading F&SF and Asimov's...I now have three issues of each piled up to read. That should mean a higher total in April; the year-to-date total is 61, about 20 a month.

I read 24 comics - 20 single issues and 4 trades - to bring the year's total to 57. Pretty much an explosion of comics reading. 3 of those trades are part of my "Hellboy Project," which are some of the posts I need to do. April's total could be very different, as I'm pretty close to going back to reading only trades. It's been great reading stuff as it comes out but I just don't have the space to keep a pile of single issues and I'd like to have the good stuff in a collection anyway, so it makes sense just to wait. We'll see how it plays out.

I bought or downloaded 9 new CDs in March, bringing my total for the year to 24. Only two of those were downloads, actually, but a couple were only EPs so it's not as bad as it seems. Does it seem bad? Anyway, I also downloaded 3 separate songs (from M. Ward's To Go Home EP), bringing the song total to 7. I know for sure that one of the albums from this month - Arcade Fire's Neon Bible - will end up on my top ten of the year. It's that good.

I just saw "Blades of Glory" in the theater yesterday, which means I actually saw 2 movies in March! That's gotta be a record. And 3 movies in the theater for the year is really good by my usual standards.

As for DVDs? Hmmm. I've watched Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny and a good portion of the extras (just commentaries and the Best Buy bonus disc to go). I finally finished watching 24 Season 2 and a number of the extras (just commentaries and deleted scenes to go). Grant and I completed Superman Animated Series Volume 1 after about 7 months and Batman Animated Series Volume 1 after even longer; now we're into Justice League Unlimited Season 2. We saw The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe via Netflix and I can't remember if I watched another movie from Netflix or not, so I guess that's that.

What else? I'm still behind on magazines - I'm currently reading the Mar. 12 issue of Newsweek and last week's Entertainment Weekly. I just finished SI's Baseball Preview issue and have ESPN The Magazine's as well. Plus, those magazines I mentioned earlier.

That's March for you... more information than you could ever want to know about my pop culture habits.

I turned 36 on Thursday, which effectively ends "The Year of 35." A year ago I set out to start doing some of the things I'd always talked about doing but never did. I started with music and my year exceeded any expectations I might have had.

I wrote 11 songs this year - I finished one on Tuesday and another on my birthday.

Not only did I improve tremendously on the guitar, I also dusted off my piano skills (I think my freshman year was the last time I had lessons and played on any regular basis), learned how to play the bass, and have also played harmonica and the tambourine.

I started playing open mics and joined a band. I've played a bunch of shows, both in our full band lineup (3 of us) and a slimmer version (without a drummer).

It's been a fantastic year. Of course, I'm not going to stop now that I'm 36. I feel like I'm still just getting started. I want to record this year and play more shows and write more songs. I also want to start writing some fiction as well.

"The Year of 35" did its trick.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


I thought I was doing the second in a series of "Spring Break Shuffles" here but had forgotten the first part wouldn't post late Monday night. Oh well.

Sunday, March 25, 2007


Wow, 30 of these already? And that was even with time off...

1. Young Liars/TV On The Radio (8) - Last played on Dec. 22, 2006
2. Injustica/Kathleen Edwards (11) - Last played on Dec. 27, 2006
3. Cato As A Pun/Of Montreal (5) - Last played on Mar. 12, 2007
4. Living with the Masses/Sloan (9) - Last played on Mar. 8, 2007
5. Carolina/M. Ward (12) - Last played on Mar. 19, 2007
6. Family Happiness/The Mountain Goats (5) - Last played on Mar. 19, 2007
7. In A Radio Song/Okkervil River (8) - Last played on Mar. 13, 2007
8. Thirteen/Ben Kweller (9) - Last played on Oct. 26, 2006
9. For The Price Of A Cup Of Tea/Belle and Sebastian (9) - Last played on Mar. 17, 2007
10. Rubies/Destroyer (8) - Last played on Mar. 1, 2007

Boy, some definite trends today.

Friday, March 23, 2007


Spring break has arrived at the Steiner household. Both the Valpo (Grant) and Kankakee Valley school systems (Jill) are on vacation next week and since the Y is tied to Valpo, I am also on break. We don't have any big plans but will definitely enjoy the freedom to do whatever we want. We have limped into this break a bit, though - Grant's fever returned the other day and we took him to the doctor yesterday. Seems he has a sinus infection, so he missed 2 extra days of school. I went and picked up his homework today and it doesn't seem too bad, which means he won't have to spend a lot of time catching up next week.

We took advantage of him being home and finally finished Superman The Animated Series Volume 1. He got it for his birthday back in early August, so it's taken us a loooong time to get through it. Granted, we have allowed ourselves to get sidetracked with other DVD viewing projects but still. It feels good to finally finish it. It's a good show too - science fiction aspects and big villains and cool stories and great animation. All the hallmarks of the great DC animated show of the last 15 years. Next, we are planning on finishing Batman the Animated Series Volume 1, which we started before the Superman DVD. Sigh.

I got back to playing at Front Porch last night, which was good. I could have played Anneliesje's the other night too but I didn't sleep well early in the week. Actually, I haven't been sleeping well all week - one of my periodic bouts of insomnia. I had hoped I would have new songs written for my return to performing after the few week hiatus while Jill's show was running but I'm not there yet. That's one of my goals for the coming week, actually. That, and getting some sleep. So, if I don't post much next week, you'll know why. In any event, I'm happy I don't have to get in a pool for nine whole days!

Sunday, March 18, 2007


Back to the normal today. I filled out only one bracket for the NCAA tourney this year - I had 28 out of the first 32 games picked correctly. I had a couple losses yesterday and can get 12 out of the Sweet 16 at the most. The good news is all of my Elite 8 teams are still alive, so I could still end up with a respectable showing. We'll see. Anyway, here's today's music...

1. La Dame et la Lincorne/Shearwater (6)
2. Penny on the Train Track/Ben Kweller (9)
3. Summerteeth/Jeff Tweedy (3)
4. Angeles/Elliott Smith (14)
5. Fool Says/M. Ward (7)
6. Cream and Bastards Rise Reprise/Harvey Danger (10) - a reprise from yesterday's shuffling!
7. Watch Out For Me Ronnie/Yo La Tengo (6)
8. Shaken Baby/Pernice Brothers (8)
9. A King And Queen/Okkervil (10)
10. Eyes on the Prize/M. Ward (18)

Saturday, March 17, 2007


I decided to read all of the Hellboy trades to date in preparation for the upcoming mini-series, Darkness Calls. Hellboy has been one of the casualties of period of lower comics interest and I didn't read a number of the series, so I thought it would be good to catch up. I had started a similar project a couple years ago when the movie was coming out but I only got as far as the second trade (I think). Anyway, it's been a while so I had no qualms about starting at the beginning again.

Seed of Destruction is an anomaly in the Hellboy series in that it was scripted by John Byrne. Mike Mignola wrote the story, of course, but was a little unsure of taking on the full duties of writing. At the time of its original release, Hellboy was part of the Legend line from Dark Horse, which also included books from Byrne (Next Men, notably; Frank Miller (Sin City); Mike Allred (Madman); and others like Art Adams, whose Monkeyman & O'Brien backed up Hellboy early on. So, Byrne's presence was a natural one. As such, the tone may be slightly different here than in subsequent series but it all still works very well. Why? Mike Mignola.

Mignola had done a variety of comics before Hellboy; I most remember his work on Cosmic Odyssey for DC, a grand cosmic adventure with many of DC's super-heroes, and Gotham by Gaslight, an Elseworlds book with Batman matching wits against Jack the Ripper. His work was always distinctive and very cool. With Hellboy, though, he took things to the next level. Just the look of Hellboy, with his giant stone hand and demonic look, was something new. That blocky yet fluid style. It's the look of a Lovecraft story come to life. It heads straight for the pleasure center of your brain and takes up space. And you just want more.

The story itself opens in 1944 and the closing days of World War II. Hitler has dispatched some Nazi minions to change the tide of the war in his favor, something called "Project Ragna Rok." The end result is the appearance in England of a young Hellboy. The scene shifts to about 50 years later, where Hellboy is the world's greatest paranormal investigator working for the Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense (B.P.R.D.). He comes to his "father's" aid, only to uncover a mystery that takes him to Cavendish Hall and an evil plot by the man who brought him to the world years earlier. Along the way we are also introduced to his colleagues Abe Sapien (who was sealed in a hospital vault the same day Lincoln was shot) and Liz Sherman. Together, they battle the forces of the sorceror.

The book is a great mix of the occult and tough-talking detective dialogue in the form of Hellboy. It's a world you want to visit again and again. We also get a couple short stories in the back, the earliest attempts at Hellboy stories, as well as a gallery with some of the Legends artists mentioned above and some others. I also have to mention the outstanding coloring of Mark Chiarello and Dave Stewart and Matt Hollingsworth on various aspects of the whole book. They know how to make Mignola's art sing. I'm looking forward to delving deeper into the series...

I went and saw "Zodiac" in the theater about 2 weeks ago, my second movie of the year. I went because the subject seemed interesting, because the cast looked really good, because I find David Fincher to be an intriguing director (though can you believe I've never seen "Fight Club?" I know, I know.), and because the advance reviews were pretty darn good. It was well worth the time and $6 (I go to matinees if I can help it).

The movie deals with the Zodiac killings of the 60s and 70s in California. We see some of those murders and they are very firghtening and mysterious, as we never actually see the killer. The killer bursts onto the scene by sending a letter claiming credit and a code to crack. This pulls in the various characters we follow throughout the movie - two detectives (played by Mark Ruffalo and Anthony Edwards), a reporter (Robert Downey Jr.), and a cartoonist (Jake Gyllenhal). How they deal with the case is as revealing as the actual tracking of the Zodiac killer itself.

The actors really carrying this along. Robert Downey Jr. is brilliant, as he often is. Same with Mark Ruffalo. And Jake Gyllenhal acquits himself very well as Robert Graysmith, the cartoonist who allows his life to be consumed with his need to know who the Zodiac really is (and whose book this movie was adapted from). There are good actors in a variety of smaller roles as well and they all do top-notch work.

Fincher is content to build the suspense and let the characters shine by working in a lot of mid to close range shots, letting the immediacy take over. There is one shot that you really notice - an overhead view of a taxi driving in the San Francisco streets that is filled with tension - but he just lets the creepy story do the work.

I liked this movie a lot and will definitely pick up the DVD down the line. You should try and catch it in the theaters, though. It's worth it.

Yes, it took me three weeks to get the last two books read - two weeks for the first one and then only one for the most recent. And yes, I have started on the next one...and it shouldn't take even a week to finish. In fact, I'll be surprised if I don't have it done by tomorrow. But anyway, here's what I've been reading...

My fourth book of the year was the original SF anthology Fast Forward 1, edited by Lou Anders. Anders is the editor of the Pyr line, which has quickly become one of the best SF publishers around (River of Gods and Infoquake and Paragaea, to name a few). This book is also from Pyr and does not disappoint. There are 19 stories and 2 poems (both by Robyn Hitchcock, former lead singer of The Soft Boys and current solo artist) underneath yet another brilliant John Picacio cover (and I really need to buy that book on his work). There was only one story I didn't care for, which is a fantastic ratio for any anthology. The highlights include Paul Di Filippo's "Wikiworld," where a guy in love with an oyster pirate ends up running the government for a few days in a future where Wiki is the basis of all interactions from political to economical to social; Ken MacLeod's "Jesus Christ, Reanimator," a look at how things might go if Christ actual did return to today's world; and John Meaney's "Sideways From Now," about quantum linking and alternate realities and politics and loss (and I must start reading his novels). Almost all of the rest of the stories are at that high quality and I can't recommend it enough. The best part is the "1" in the title...I can't wait to read the second in the series and I hope that one day I'll actually have a story in Fast Forward as well.

My fifth book was Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill, which has gotten great reviews (and all of which mention how he is Stephen King's son). I have to say that I agreed with the reviews - it's a very good book. The setup is a middle-aged rock star, Judas Coyne, buys a ghost on the internet. It turns out that the ghost was sent to him for a reason and the ghost plan on destroying him. Judas will not go down lightly, however. We really get to know Judas and the woman he's with as they not only deal with the ghosts but the ghosts of their pasts. It's a character study and a horror novel and it all works very well. I hope that we get a domestic release of Hill's short story collection 20th Century Ghosts, which was released by PS Publishing and is hard to get a copy of. How about it, William Morrow?

52 #45 - Much more with Black Adam this issue, as Isis and Osiris are buried and BA goes on a rampage, destroying the country of Bialya (they harbor the Death, the last remaining Horseman). Nobody else in the DCU does much about it - Renee Montoya tries to help but Black Adam tells her to go back to Gotham and deal with Intergang there; Amanda Waller tries to send Atom-Smasher with a huge Suicide Squad group but he refuses. We also check in with The Great Ten and Dr. Sivana glorying in the fact Black Adam is heading Oolong Island way. This is obviously the start of World War III, which has its own separate mini-series concurrent with #50 of this series. If all the issues from now until then are mostly taken up with this Black Adam story, I will not be as interested. What's going on with Animal Man? Rip Hunter and Booster Gold vs. Skeets? The missing 52 seconds? I want to check in on all of this...hopefully, we will.

Teen Titans #44 - This is the second part of the "Titans East" storyline, where Deathstroke once again tries to destroy the Titans. We get Dethstroke versus his children (Jericho and Ravager); Wonder Girl versus Match; Kid Devil versus Kid Crusader; Raven versus The Joker's Daughter and another villainess whose name escapes me at the moment; Cyborg versus Risk; Martian Girl versus Sun Girl; and Robin versus Batgirl...with a twist at the end. It's interesting but I wouldn't recommend picking it up without having read the first part. Two more parts left, I believe.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer #1 - Ah, Buffy. Once upon a time, it was my favorite TV show (and still ranks as one of my all-time favorites. Up until this point, I haven't bothered reading any of the comics since they didn't really matter to the continuity of the show. With this new series, however, things have changed. This is the official "Season 8" of the show and Joss Whedon is at the helm, writing the first five issues and then overseeing things while other writers get a turn. Everything is here - the quips, Xander making comic book references, a brewing mystery, and the return of a character from the ruins of Sunnydale. Oh, and they do something that they never could have attempted on TV - somehow Dawn is a giant. This is all put together very well by the art team of Georges Jeanty and Andy Owens and the great colors of Dave Stewart. I highly recommend fans of the show to grab this and I can't wait to see where they go from here.

Superman #660 - This is another "done-in-one," most likely to allow Carlos Pacheco to get caught up and/or ahead on the book. It's told from The Prankster's POV and is a solid enough story, with good art by Mike Manley and Brett Blevins that helps to elevate the overall book. I enjoyed it but I didn't love it.

Wonder Woman #5 - Here's another fill-in, bridging the gap between the still incomplete opening story arc by Allan Heinberg and the new team of Jodi Picoult and Drew Johnson. It's a solid effort by Will Pfieffer and a number of artists but it's essentially treading water. I'll stick around to see what Picoult does and go from there.

Grant developed a fever after he got home from school yesterday and Jill has the closing of her show tonight, so I'm going to spend most of my St. Patrick's Day hanging with a sick kid (and reading and watching hoops, most likely). So, why not an extra shuffle for the weekend?

1. Will I Belong?/Sloan (9)
2. Ella's Arms/Warren Zanes (6)
3. Sidi Ifni/Cracker (7)
4. Pigs That Ran Straightaway Into The Water, Triumph Of/The Mountain Goats (8)
5. Passing the Hat/Cold War Kids (4)
6. Citrus/The Hold Steady (16)
7. Something's Wrong/Sloan (9)
8. I am Morris Townsend (No-Fi Transmission)/The Prayers and Tears of Arthur Digby Sellers (8)
9. A Side Wins/Sloan (7)
10. I'm Ready/The Twilight Singers (9)

Do you feel like doing more? I kinda do. I've been reading the Mar. 5 issue of Newsweek (yes, I'm still behind) and doing a bit of journaling but I feel like putting up a couple more posts. So, I'll keep this going while I do those posts and then everything will be up for perusal...

11. I Feel Like Going Home/Yo La Tengo (8)
12. Island Garden Song/The Mountain Goats (4)
13. New Year's Day/The Brokedown (13)
14. Nothing Up My Sleeve/Wilco (15)
15. Out On The Wing/Superchunk (7)
16. Rainy Streets/Superchunk (7)
17. Work Me/The Black Keys (8)

Okay, first post completed. Starting #2...

18. Neptune's Net/M. Ward (19)
19. Letter From Belgium/The Mountain Goats (9)
20. saving since september (ps 89:49)/The Prayers and Tears of Arthur Digby Sellers (18)
21. Gronlandic Edit/Of Montreal (6)
22. Cream and Bastards Rise Reprise/Harvey Danger (9)
23. Modesto Is Not That Sweet/The Hold Steady (18)

And there's #2 up. One more to go but I'm going to take a break to watch "Legion of Super-Heroes" first...well, that was a pretty good episode. I'm so happy the show is good - don't know if my fanboy heart could have taken a crappy show about the Legion. Anyway, it's back to posting...and I think I'll actually do 2 more yet.

24. The Pride/The Essex Green (11)
25. For The Price Of A Cup Of Tea/Belle and Sebastian (8)
26. I See The Rain/Matthew Sweet & Susanna Hoffs (3)
27. Blue Day/Heartless Bastards (7)
28. Black Buttons/Portastatic (11)

That's the third post up, with a slight pause to put away the comics I wrote about. Just one more to go...

29. Imposters/Canasta (8)
30. come, ye sinners, poor and needy (ps 109:22)/The Prayers and Tears of Arthur Digby Sellers (23)
31. Ana Lucia/Sloan (9)
32. Idylls Of The King/The Mountain Goats (9)
33. Ruby II/Amy Millan (8)
34. Windowsill/Arcade Fire (7)
35. The Past Is A Grotesque Animal/Of Montreal (6)

There's the last one up and it's not yet noon. Not bad for five posts. The big winners in today's shuffle were The Mountain Goats and Sloan, with four songs each. Time to publish this one and be done for the day, though I'll be back tomorrow with the usual "Sunday Shuffle," at least.

Monday, March 12, 2007


Year 2 of my eMusic service started off with some really good news. Erick Zeidenberg from the website saw my previous post and gifted me the 23 downloads I had accidentally lost out on. A very cool gesture and yet another reason to love eMusic. So, what did I pick up this time around? Read on...

Apples in Stereo/New Magnetic Wonder - My only exposure to the group prior to this was a track on the Powerpuff Girls soundtrack. Frankly, their type of pop is right up my alley and I feel they're another band that slipped through the cracks for me. Some really good songs on this record and some interesting musical filler.

Of Montreal/Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? - I've been hearing good things about Of Montreal for a couple years now but always resisted giving them a try. A mistake. This is dramatic pop with a dancable beat and depressing lyrics and it works together wonderfully. I will definitely be grabbing more from them.

The Mountain Goats/The Coroner's Gambit - This album completes my collection as far as eMusic goes. The earliest album I have from them, it's a bit more lo-fi but still chock full of good songs from John Darnielle. I have not exhausted my obsession in the least.

M. Ward/Transfiguration of Vincent - Here's another did I wait so long to pick up this album? Much as I love the two I have, I think this is my new favorite M. Ward album on the strength of "Vincent O'Brien" and "Sad Sad Song" and "Helicopter" and his cover of Bowie's "Let's Dance." Brilliant stuff.

Explosions in the Sky/All Of A Sudden I Miss Everyone - I'm in love with their theme to "Friday Night Lights" (the TV show) and thought I'd explore some of their work. This is the new album, six tracks long, and it's all instrumental, something I've always been reluctant to pick up for myself. I do enjoy the dynamics and melodicism of the album and while I may not listen to it as much as other stuff, I'm glad I picked it up.

Camera Obscura/"Hands Up Baby" and "Alaska" - Two b-sides from the If Looks Could Kill single from an album I have.

The Decemberists/Everything I Try To Do, Nothing Seems To Turn Out Right" and "Sunshine" - Two b-sides from the Billy Liar single from an album that I do not yet own.

Arcade Fire/Neon Bible - I've been waiting for this one; after The Shins, it was my most anticipated record of the early part of the year (a title which now falls to Wilco's Sky Blue Sky, which I actually got to hear over the weekend...but that's for another post). It doesn't disappoint. I plan on doing a more in-depth review of this in the near future. In short? Buy it.

I was mistaken last week - the debut issue of "Season 8" of Buffy the Vampire Slayer comes out this week. But there was still plenty of interest in last week's batch of comics...

52 #44 - The focus stays in Khandaq as the rest of the Four Horseman show up to do battle with Black Adam and Isis, with another casualty that portends a different Black Adam will be around from now on - with dire consequences for the DCU. We check in with Renee Montoya at the end of the issue, as she takes up the mantle of The Question with heavy heart and reservations. It's another solid issue as we hurtle towards the conclusion of the series - only 8 issues and a side mini-series left.

Justice League of America #6 - Here's the end of the opening storyline by Brad Meltzer and Ed Benes (well, it will be truly concluded in the next issue). The soon-to-be League fights Amazo and Red Tornado battles against Solomon Grundy, with Reddy having to give up his newly-found humanity. It's a pretty decent payoff to the whole story and I'm interested to see where the book goes from here (a crossover with the JSA is looming, I know).

Criminal #5 - Another end to a story - this one is quite brutal, as Leo shows that he's not quite the coward everyone has made him out to be. It's a dark story and it doesn't end well for Leo, even if he wished for it to end badly in a different way. This is a great comic and I would recommend everyone pick up the upcoming trade of this "Coward" storyline. The book takes a month off and then comes back with a new story - looking forward to it!

Authority #2 - Months later, here's the second issue of the rebirth of this series by Grant Morrison and Gene Ha. We actually catch up with the group here and find that they appear to be in our world. Things fall apart by the end of the issue. This is the revolutionary take on the group you would expect from Morrison but I'm still enjoying it enough to keep on picking it up.

Captain America #25 - You may have heard about this one in the news, as it got a lot of coverage and actually spoiled the contents before it arrived in stores. I was lucky enough to be at the comics shop a little earlier than usual (we had band practice) and was able to snag one of the three remaining copies. It's a really good story by Ed Brubaker and Steve Epting's art is fantastic (he's long been underrated by the general comics-reading population). I've been meaning to pick up the trades of their run and now will have to make it a priority. I'm also going to keep reading.

The Mighty Avengers #1 - I picked this up on a whim, having heard some good things about it online. I've always enjoyed Brian Michael Bendis' writing and have been a fan of the Avengers over the years, whether I was reading the book or not. This is now the second Avengers title and it spins out of Marvel's big Civil War book in which the super-hero population was split over heroes having to register with the government. This group is put together by the side that won, led by Iron Man. He picks Ms. Marvel to lead the new team and the issue intercuts their decision-making process with the new team's first battle against a slew of giant monsters. I thought it was pretty effective and Bendis even used a new technique for him (and one that has fallen out of favor) - the thought balloon. I always liked thought balloon. Art is by Frank Cho but what really clinches it for me is the presence of Wonder Man, always one of my favorite Avengers. I will probably come back for #2.

No, it wasn't all about "Lost" last week, though how good was last week's episode? Lots of interesting parts in the whole Dharma/Others plot and a good flashback with Sayid.

And no, I'm not referring to the hour we lost on Saturday night, a few weeks earlier than usual...but is everyone's body clock as screwed up as mine is? It's 7:12 but I'm tired like it's 10:12. Not good.

I am talking about the fact I didn't get to any posts last week and I didn't read much on the net last week and I didn't get to any e-mail. Last week was the runup to Jill's production of "Singin' in the Rain" and she got home before 10:00 only once. I'm used to being the only one here during weeks like that and it's so much easier now that Grant is 9 but I still get out of my usual rhythms and routines.

Did I at least get a lot done in regards to my pop culture intake? Not so much...

I did finish the book I was working on - after two weeks! I didn't get around to that review, though I hope to soon. I started another book but I'm only about 120 pages into it so far. I didn't begin my Hellboy project. I still haven't started on my Harry Potter project. I have two months worth of Asimov's and F&SF each to read, as well as a number of other magazines.

I didn't get around to looking at any of the extras on 24 Season 2. Grant and I did watch a number of episodes of Superman Animated Season 1, after a long break from that set. I also watched "Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny" with Graham - fun movie that I plan on reviewing once I can get around to looking at all the extras.

That's about it. I don't want to sound like I'm whining - I'm just surprised at how fast the week disappeared and how I keep falling further behind on what I want to accomplish. Well, there's always this week...

Sunday, March 11, 2007


It's the special "Lost Hour - Daylight Savings" edition!

1. Moral Centralia/Harvey Danger (26)
2. Written Invitation/The Whigs (9)
3. Automatic Situation/Joseph Arthur (11)
4. International Small Arms Traffic Blues/The Mountain Goats (9)
5. Getting Saved/Portastatic (10)
6. G Turns To D/Sloan (8)
7. Grudge Fuck (2006)/The Pernice Brothers (11)
8. Welcome, Ghosts/Explosions in the Sky (3)
9. A Dangerous Woman Up to a Point/Destroyer (12)
10. The Tain (all five parts)/The Decemberists (9)

Sunday, March 04, 2007


It's the "Before 7 A.M., Couldn't Stay Asleep, Counting Down to Jill's Production of "Singin' in the Rain" and Gs Livid Penny Playing a Wedding Reception, Going to See "Zodiac," Trying to Read As Much As Possible, Cleaning and Laundry Day Edition" of Sunday Shuffle...

1. Barfruit Blues/The Hold Steady (12)
2. Red Eye/Ben Kweller (9)
3. Song Of Our So-Called Friends/Okkervil River (6)
4. Cubs In Five/The Mountain Goats (7)
5. Baby I/Amy Millan (8)
6. Knuckles/The Hold Steady (16)
7. Alone (Alternate Version)/Wilco (5)
8. Let Me Roll It/Brendan Benson (12)
9. The First Vietnamese War/The Black Angels (10)
10. Robbers/Cold War Kids (4)

Saturday, March 03, 2007


Smaller week this time around...

52 #43 - J.G. Jones has been doing amazing covers for this series throughout but I am particularly enamored with this one, featuring Animal Man and done in a style akin to Brian Bolland, who was the cover artist for the great Animal Man series (available in three trades that are must reads). Animal Man is only featured briefly in the issue, as the yellow aliens put him back together again - I'm ready to see more of that storyline (which will have to happen soon). The bulk of this issue is spent on the Black Marvel Family (Black Adam, Isis, Osiris, and Sobek) and the Marvel Family (Captain, Mary, and Junior), as Osiris rebels against Black Adam and is talked down by the others (or is he?). The whole thing comes to a shocking end as well. So far, these various storylines are paying off well and this one promises to continue to next week (as well as the upcoming World War III mini). I should also mention the pencils of Dan Jurgens, who I've always enjoyed. Only 9 more issues left...

Action Comics #846 - Another late issue but another issue that was worth the wait in general. General Zod, Ursa, and Non go to the Fortress of Solitude and then to Metropolis to call out Superman. Zod and Ursa's son doesn't want to go with them. There are also some comedic bits before the big confrontation that work. And the ending is a good cliffhanger. It's too bad some of the momentum will be lost due to the lateness of Adam Kubert; his stuff does look good, at least. It's been a long time since I enjoyed both Superman books like this.

Supergirl and the Legion of Super-Heroes #27 - Lots of stuff going on here...lots of characters. I kept up with it pretty well and liked it well enough to keep reading; I'll definitely need to start catching up via trades. Not sure how I managed to go almost 7 years without buying any Legion comics - just goes to show where my head was at, I guess.

I also picked up Wizard, as I mentioned in earlier posts. It's not a very sophisticated comics magazine but I do enjoy looking at the coverage of mainstream comics - it's a way I can be somewhat informed without being able to read as much as I'd like to.

Next week sees the release of the new Buffy the Vampire Slayer series as well as the conclusion to the first arc of Criminal (and another 52!). Looking forward to those...

Friday, March 02, 2007


My Amazon box arrived this afternoon and now I have all 6 trades of Hellboy and will be able to reread everything (and in some cases, read for the first time) in preparation for the new mini-series that starts in April. I should also get the movie from Netflix, since I've never seen it (or the animated stuff). I'm looking forward to spending time in Hellboy's world over the next 6 weeks and I suppose I'll have to start catching up on the B.P.R.D. stuff after that. One thing at time, though.

Grant and I put the finishing touches on our viewing of The Simpsons Season 8 about 20 minutes ago, so we can finally cross that off the list. Tomorrow we'll pick up with Batman Season 1 or Superman Season 1 (the animated series, of course). The final Justice League Unlimited DVD comes out in a few weeks too.

I also watched the last couple episode of 24 Season 2 today. A good finish to a good season (the current season has a lot of parallels to this one, actually). I still have a half dozen commentaries and a ton of deleted scenes (I think it's 44) to watch before I can officially call myself done with the DVD - it'll take a few more days at least.

I did managed to finish the Feb. 12 issue of Newsweek yesterday and started on the Feb. 19 issue today. I got the new issue of ESPN The Magazine in the mail yesterday, so I still have a bunch to read (the comics fanboy in me is chomping at the bit to start on Wizard). I didn't even manage any stories in the book I'm reading yesterday, though I have one started at the moment.

I guess I've just been a bit scattered this week. I've been on shuffle mode in iTunes all week, so I wouldn't have to make any decision about what to listen to. I do hope to get some more reading accomplished this weekend and maybe get another song finished. It looks like we may actually have a full band practice next week, which would be fun (and necessary, since we're playing a wedding reception next weekend!).

Guess that's it...

Thursday, March 01, 2007


I got a package in the mail this afternoon - the final three EPs from Bishop Allen. That makes me very happy and makes up for not being able to go and play tonight. All I need now is the two Hellboy trades I ordered from Amazon and I'll be set. Oh, and you can look for some Bishop Allen discussion soon.

I also pledged a few bucks to KEXP this morning. They're having their pledge drive and I decided it was past time I contributed something. It's a great radio station and their online service is fantastic. They've given me so much over the past few years and I was happy to pay them back with at least some small amount.