|19 May, 2013||Posted by Erik Carlson under Reviews||
One of my biggest pet peeves are the people out there who kvetch that, “There’s no good new music.” My response to them is simple: Are you honestly telling me that on an entire planet of people busting their humps to rock out or put 8 notes into new arrangements that nothing’ meets your standards? Are your tastes so painfully refined and your pitch so perfect that nothing any human has recorded in the past months merits your approval?
These are the people that eat at McBurgerland and microwave their foods because, “well, there are no good restaurants around” or complain that every writer since Dostoyevsky is a hack. You want a good record? They are being released every week from all over the globe. If you’re too lazy to find the gems, it is your fault. Hell, you don’t like the music out there? Pick up an instrument and make your own damn music.
Looking at the label’s stats on Facebook, Reltone still exists in relative obscurity but puts out enough energy to power a small city.
Diablo Dimes’ site calls him a ‘Honkytonk, hooked, hop, lushhead heebies, and a full orchestration at a barrelhouse!’ He has the confident sneer of a card-sharp and the foot stompin’ holler of a carnival barker. Tracks like “Dirty Dope Monkey Blues”, “So Long Blues” and “Down from Nothin’” will make you want to quit your jobs and just watch the world go by.
Los Bastadardos Magnificos are the band you’d expect when the devil comes to claim your soul -and not that wussy backmetal devil – but the one with horns, the red cape, and pointed beard. The one that made James I close all the playhouses down and ban music in England. This is the band that pirates pillage to and Vikings smash steins over each other’s heads while singing along. This is backwoods stomp and screech that makes the darkness quake.
Orb Mellon is gentleman of wealth and fame. Love & Violence is a collection of juke crooners. His voice slides amongst the guitar chords and drum beats like a viper in the woods. It’s the voice that told Eve, “Go ahead, its only an apple”.
Brownbird Rudy Relic – This busking troubadour of soul and modern juke joint blues turned me on to Reltones Records. I came across his stuff while link-hopping on the internet and was immediately blown away. Immediately I picked up both Chicano Dynamite, I am the Juke, downloaded several free bandcamp tracks, and ordered his limited ep of Misfits covers. Money well spent. This lone axeman has a voice which captures the spirit of the Blues and, at times (like in the track ‘Mr. Dreamer’) is eerily reminiscent of Otis Redding.
|10 May, 2013||Posted by Erik Carlson under podcast||
Planet Claire - The B-52′s for Tess
People From Another World – The Jive Five
Do-wop ditty about being saved from the ‘others’. A clever little metaphor wrapped in a perfect juke platter.
The Chicken Astronaut – Five Du-Tones for Steve Smith
Sharks Flying In - Flat Duo Jets for Liam Otten
The Dentures In Space – Treblemakers
The theremin holds only two purposes: alien sounds from B-movies and surf music.
War Of The Satellites - The Ventures for Mark Brown
Rocketship XL-3 – Man Or Astro-man? for Barney Dannelke
|6 May, 2013||Posted by Erik Carlson under Art||
This bad boy is all over the internet by now. It is the first 3A X Marvel figure and it is spectacular. Like most, I’m a huge fan of Ashley Wood’s work and his 3A toy line and like most I will be searching eBay like a madman as these triple in value on their first day of sale.
I’m looking forward to the potential of a Spider-Man or Storm. I think both characters could really use an Ashley Wood make-over.
|5 May, 2013||Posted by Erik Carlson under Uncategorized||
|4 May, 2013||Posted by Erik Carlson under Uncategorized||
Hello Bibliodiscophiles! Smile!
As you may or may not be aware, one of my favorite pieces of mayhem fiction is wrapping up this week. Duane Swierczynski’s Hardie series is coming to an end.
To celebrate, there’ll be a signing in Philadelphia on May 11 at Port Richmond Books. If you’re in the area, check it out.
|25 April, 2013||Posted by Erik Carlson under podcast||
Back on the Map – Slapshot
Slapshot has always been true Boston hardcore in my eyes. It was what the tough kids listened to in my school. Although, Boo is beyond caring about the music blaring from The Cellar I can imagine he’s the type of bouncer that these places brought in for Slapshot: aggressive but with a sense of what’s fun and what’s violence.
Caps and Bottles – The Dropkick Murphys
The Dropkick Murphys are Boston streetcore, oi punk, or commercial sell outs depending who you speak to. I don’t really care. I’ve seen them numerous times under both singers and Caps and Bottles is a song for all the kids who grew up in the shadow of the punks before them.
Shadows On The Street – The Trouble
The Trouble put out one album and numerous 7″s. Each defines growing up and trying to carve a place of one’s own; trying to be more than a number and accepting mortality. This track is about sticking together and being more than just an unknown.
Two Angry Kids – Street Dogs
“Hey You/Do you remember when/We were two angry kids” I’m not too sure that this song wasn’t written about Boo and Junior. At St. Gabriel’s Junior and Boo fight constantly for survival and place on the food chain. That line about sticking a finger and the chest and saying, “This is not a test” is pitch perfect for the novel.
Allston Mass - The Allstonians
From Quincy to Allston.
Allston is a great town. Boo lives there.
I admire a town that has a police station and hospital next to several Irish pubs. It’s like the civil engineers simply prepared for the worst.
Drunks And Children – The Mighty Mighty Bosstones
Boo drinks. He loses his head. He’s made mistakes, had his in’s and out’, his share of bad breaks, and, like most heroes, pushes through the crap.
|14 April, 2013||Posted by Erik Carlson under Reviews||
I was working for a rare book dealer when I came across a volume of the 1955 U.S. Congress Committee on the Judiciary Volume of Juvenile Delinquency: Comic Books, Motion Pictures, Obscene and Pornographic Materials, and Television Programs. It was a volume (some 1,000 pages) of committee transcriptions dealing with how these monstrosities will infect American youth like some horrible drug. It sought to curb the temptation set up by the comic industry by making crime and evil so damn seductive. For impact, there are transcripts from purveyors, priests, parents, and victims.
My favorite bit comes from the Code of Comics Magazine Association of America (adopted 26 Oct. 1954):
“The comic-book medium, having come of age on the American cultural scene, must measure up to its responsibilities…
To make a positive contribution to contemporary life , the industry must seek new areas for developing sound, wholesome entertainment.”
Of course transcipts continue to allude to an American tradition of decency and fairness. Since most of these Senators are from Mississippi, Arkansas, Missouri, and Texas, and this is pre-60′s Civil Rights, I was never sure whose vision of American tradition they wanted preserved. I can make good solid guesses though.
Anyway, when I saw that Max Allan Collins was releasing his third Jack and Maggie Starr novel through Hard Case Crime I was pretty damned thrilled. When it was revealed that it would be a fictional attack on Dr. Frederick Wertham (the McCarthy of Comic Books) I was down-right ecstatic. Wertham firmly believed that he could save the world from the savagery of comic-books and did his best to see the industry crippled. He would save The Children by waging a war on a magazine stands of filth threatening to destroy a generation of adolescents. So, an imaginary comeuppence at the hands of master story teller Max Allan Collins seemed like the best possible way to spend a few hours.
And it was.
Collins’ original fiction is a blast and I cannot speak enough about my love of his work. Quarry and Ms Tree are two of my all time favorite characters. His CSI tie-in novels are better than the shows. Hell, I even read the novelization of Waterworld because his name was on it. But his historical fiction rises above ‘em all. I find them so in-depth, well researched, and well-crafted, that I wish history teachers took such care and love for the eras they talk about. Sure, I know that this is fiction. I’m not pretending much of this is real, but I know that he creates such a gorgeous overview of the time that it drips with realism.
The most shocking part though, is the care that Collins takes to create Dr. Werner Frederick (the fictionalized Wertham) as a victim. Collins recognizes that in order to have a true crime the reader must give at least one care about the victim’s untimely death: Otherwise, most of the comic community would probably cheer, applaud, and stop reading midway through. Collins’ job, to make a victim of an industry’s greatest nemesis (until Tipper Gore of course) is nigh impossible. Especially considering that whenever the Starrs are on the page all attention turns to them (I’m convinced he could write a Russian play with just these two bantering and I’d read it). Not only does Frederick’s death need to mean something, but it should also seem more important than the charisma of the protagonists. It is the moment when Dr. Frederick is in his inner-city office confronting a boy with a knife that Collins wields his power as an author. It is a moment which highlights the fact that as misguided and destructive as Wertham was, he was still human.
Seduction of the Innocent is an absolute must-read for a fan of comic history, wise-cracking investigators, and fans of historical fiction.
|10 April, 2013||Posted by Erik Carlson under podcast||
No. 13 Baby – The Pixies
request for Brooke Hensley
Eye of Fatima (pt. 1) – Camper Van Beethoven
I have a soft spot for the Drugstore Cowboy-esq depravity of this song. There is a particularly brilliant storytelling moment when David Lowery sings about these mules being “a government experiment…to give some cowboys some acid” where the production dips into a psychedelic wave and recovers as if it was only the shadow of a hallucination. Brilliant songwriting.
I’ve always felt that The Mountain Goats track “Beat the Devil” was some sort of indirect sequel. There aren’t, to my knowledge, many songs about carting drugs across the US, so my thesis may be weak, but I think its valid. If there are other songs about drug trafficking that aren’t on the Miami Vice soundtrack, give me a message. I may have another show on my hands.
Other Voices – The Cure
request by Mark Brown
Nowhere Fast – The Smiths
Meat is Murder is The Smiths best album. I offer no supporting assertions, because none are needed. This is inarguable.
The cover is one of my top ten as well. Any argument? Bring it to the comment section.