Waiting a second

Did any of you guys know that we have Leap Seconds? Because I sure as hell didn't.

To: Elliott

I just got the advance of this little gem, and I'm amazed.

Portland artists covering Elliott Smith; from The Decemberists to small unknowns, all the Elliott biggies are on it; The Decemberist's version of 'Clementine' may very well be the saddest song I've ever heard, The Helio Sequence doing 'Satellite' is spot-on, To Live and Die in LA do a version of 'King's Crossing' that'll knock you down, and I'm not sure I ever expected to hear Elliott rapped, as in Lifesavas 'Happiness'.

This may very well be the best all-covers record I've ever heard (knocking both Discovered Covered and Cat Power's The Cover Record down on the small list. I'm still waiting to hear this, which looks amazing), and is definitely worth whatever is charged for it. Look for it next year.


Merry Day After

First off, let me say happy belated holiday wishes to you all; with the coming of Christmas came my family, one group at a time—by Sunday night I was neck deep in games with my two brothers and one sister (Jason, Stanton, and Dena), and ended up conversing with my soon-to-be-divorced brother, Jason, for several hours late into last night. I think it's good to sort of come to terms with who I am in this family, which is to say not the memory of me in years past.

Hope your respective holidays went well.


1. a. A fantastic sequence of haphazardly associative imagery, as seen in dreams or fever.
b.A constantly changing scene composed of numerous elements.

2.Fantastic imagery as represented in art.
3.I'm pleased to announce that Phantasmagoria and my label, Chesire Productions, are currently in conversations concerning a album release.

This makes me very happy. Nik and I began talking on a long trip where I was merch guy for his other band, McKinsey on their album-release tour this last summer. Then, out of nowhere, he dropped me a line via MySpace regarding his new project, and enquiring if I'd be interested in helping release it. The answer: yes, very much so. Check out their link and listen to their songs ('Workforce' and 'Everyone Working' will not get out of my head for the life of me).

Sweeny Todd

Wow. I had no idea, but the Angela Lansbury version of Sweeny Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street is on DVD. Finally.

I'm not sure when it happened (I haven't really looked into it for several years), but it's a recommended purchase.

Music Recommendations from a Machine

This is a crazy device. It was developed by The Music Genome Project, which, in itself, is an interesting bit of coolness.

Merry Day After

First off, let me say happy belated holiday wishes to you all; with the coming of Christmas came my family, one group at a time—by Sunday night I was neck deep in games with my two brothers and one sister (Jason, Stanton, and Dena), and ended up conversing with my soon-to-be-divorced brother, Jason, for several hours late into last night. I think it's good to sort of come to terms with who I am in this family, which is to say not the memory of me in years past.

Hope your respective holidays went well.


1. a. A fantastic sequence of haphazardly associative imagery, as seen in dreams or fever.
b.A constantly changing scene composed of numerous elements.

2.Fantastic imagery as represented in art.
3.I'm pleased to announce that Phantasmagoria and my label, Chesire Productions, are currently in conversations concerning a album release.

This makes me very happy. Nik and I began talking on a long trip where I was merch guy for his other band, McKinsey on their album-release tour this last summer. Then, out of nowhere, he dropped me a line via MySpace regarding his new project, and enquiring if I'd be interested in helping release it. The answer: yes, very much so. Check out their link and listen to their songs ('Workforce' and 'Everyone Working' will not get out of my head for the life of me).

Sweeny Todd

Wow. I had no idea, but the Angela Lansbury version of Sweeny Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street is on DVD. Finally.

I'm not sure when it happened (I haven't really looked into it for several years), but it's a recommended purchase.

Music Recommendations from a Machine

This is a crazy device. It was developed by The Music Genome Project, which, in itself, is an interesting bit of coolness.


Some fun Projects

A portrait of me through music

I recently found a stack of old burned CD's that were pivotal in my growth as both a music fan and creative entity. Titled 'The Chesire Mixes' (after my soon-to-be production company/record label that, even as a teenager {apparently}I dreamed of: Chesire Productions), these are my mix-tapes—starting when my brother got his first CD burner and stretching to as recent as two or three years back, they're a decent chronology of my musical interests.

As a treat (mostly for me, but also for you, dear reader), I thought I'd start listening to them and transcribing them into track-lists to see what pops up. I'll post one a week for the next few months (at least that's what I figure right now). A lot of the stuff is obviously dated; I think I may have been in the 7th grade when the first one was burned, and the last one is dated 2003.

I'm missing quite a few (if any of my friends from those years are reading this and have copies of any of the discs, drop me a line.), but we're still looking at 21 mixes, 1996(?)-2003 (ages 12-19). If possible, I'll link up some MP3's for y'all. I may need your help identifying some songs.

After identifying the tracks and giving a rundown of the discs, I'll be making a mix of songs that are important to me now that were released the year the original mixes were; a compendium that I wish I could send back to myself in those days. These new mixes will be posted the day after the originals, and will feature only songs released in the year the originals were made (discounting any songs that were on the original mix). I think that, doing this, I can both get a firmer grasp on my history (my memory is shit) and a firmer grasp on the musical time line, et al.

And, damn, this will be embarrassing. Keep posted—I'll begin in the new year.

Some cool publishers to check out

Being a writer on the internet is, quite possibly, the most depressing experience in the world. Online poetry is often limited to either horrendous scams or goth freshman-girl-poetry that is both trite and pointless. It's refreshing when you run into a pinnacle of good creative writing amongst so many pot-holes. Here are several such pinnacles.

Future Tense is a small press that has captivated me for years—run by writer Kevin Sempsell, the company has released some gems (most famously Zoe Trope's Please Don't Kill The Freshman, which was later republished, extended and edited, by Harper Collins sub-company, Harper Tempest, a youth-lit outlet), including books by Sempsell himself; the books are small, cheap, and good times.

Speaking of Kevin Sempsell-by-way-of-lead-in, I just discovered Word Riot, which is not only an online literary journal but also a small press, which recently released Sempsell's Beautiful Blemish. The site has some fantastic minifictions (titled 'flash-fiction' by the editors), which I've read a few of. They aren't bad. Neither is a lot of the poetry. So far, I'm completely impressed; no artist's work has really rang false and all the pieces seem completely earnest and well-written.

And, of course, there's always Nerve, who have released several anthologies of their fiction, not to mention an interesting looking book that hasn't been released.

I'm still waiting for some of my writer buddies to start blogging; when they do you'll be sure to garner a link from me—I've been writing and creating/collaborating with several fantastic poets and novelists (From designer Jeremy (#2) Wilkins and filmmaker Megan Robinson-Atkinson to print-maker Bill Lindmier and magical realist Chris Boat) that, if you were lucky enough to get the few issues printed, you'd recognize for their help in forming the '. . . And Stuff' 'zines.

'. . . And Stuff' has been away too long—both in print and in spirit. I've recently been discussing a possible online version of the 'zine with. . . well, myself. But #2 and I were considering purchasing some webspace for such a project. If there's anyone reading who knows of cheaper/better and/or free web-servers, tell me.

Mondays, Tuesdays, Happy Days

Atomic Hates Diamond

I've been hearing about how much Diamond Distributors sucked for a long time; I've been a comic nerd since I began reading and I've had some conversations with comic book store owners about them. Turns out, it's not only comic stores that are getting fucked. Atomic, if you don't know, is the place to order your independent books when not ordering from the publisher—I don't live anywhere near Baltimore, where they're located, so I've never seen the place in the flesh (read: brick), but I've never been disappointed by an order. I love the guys.

Some Hopeful Arrested Development News

Sounds like Arrested Development might be picked up by some other station instead of Fox, who has decided that the show's numerous accolades just aren't good enough.

Bloglines Saves Colin's Life, News at 11

Yeah. So I've been trying it out. And I love it. I'm up to 53 feeds and going, and I don't stop because it's so convenient just to load up Bloglines and read whatever has updated.

Tip: Don't load all your feeds at once. Ever. It doesn't matter if your computer is touchy or is God, when something goes wrong, you lose all the posts you haven't read—and that's a pain.

Another hip toystore

Magic Pony, at first glance, promises to be a pretty cool toy site—more designer toys in the style of my previous links to Kid Robot. They seem to be a bit more pricey than KR, but they do have a pretty good selection of toys from artists that aren't featured at KR.

Some Arts Fors Ya's

Largehearted Boy linked to Tiny Media Empire today, and it's pretty—art prints and show posters that are both stylish and gorgeous. Check it out.

/ has a web-counterpart

Since it's inception I've been a reader of / Magazine, a little quarterly devoted to photos, style, and indie chic. Turns out that they have a web-counterpart over at IRICC, a fun little designer site.

Clever Titles Are So Fucking Cool

Blog-mistress Bethanne (from Armchair Novelist and Clever Titles are So Last Summer, both excellent reads) has been having a week dedicated to side-projects over at CTASLS. Featured artists so far: Desaparecidos, The New Trust, Beep Beep, and Broken Spindles—the Creek bands I know well; fuck, I've listened to Business Casual enough times to recite it, rote, from memory. The New Trust is new for me, and I'll be checking them out.

Bad News, Bears and Sharks

Sounds like Bear Vs. Shark is breaking up. Just after the release of Terrorhawk. I'll be the first to admit that I'm not that big of a hardcore fan, nor have I heard a lot of BVS, but I did have a good time with the album as it played in the car and van while I was being merch guy on the McKinsey and Michael J Parkinsons tour this summer. So, officially, I've missed out on seeing them live. Fuck-cakes.

Christmas Sales on Literature

McSweeney's Quarterly Concern's Store is having a holiday sale, specifically on subscriptions.

McSweeney's, for those of you who have been living in a lit cave, is a quarterly publication where today's best writers are publishing some of their strongest stories. Edited by writer Dave Eggars, and featuring some astounding bookcraft, each volume is worth more than what's being charged.



Guided by a Jackass

Apparently, Guided by Voices: A Brief History author (James Greer, ex-bassist, ex-Spin writer) is a complete jackass reports Things I'd Rather Be Doing

Great, America, just great

Looks like we're building walls on the Mexican border. A sign of goodwealth between the U.S. And Mexico.

Oh, wait, no it's not.


Why can't America be more like the Brits?

Moby. . . in spaaaace

Yep. Moby's going to space.


I'm not linking this for the content. Mostly, I'm a little curious about that logo. “5 Million Readers a Month {insert yonic symbol} Men's Portal. Wow. Blatant.

Okay. I won't lie. Yonic or not, check out this bitchin' Lego video.


Musical Things, Part Umpteen

Chronic—what—les of Narnia

Wow. Who knew that SNL was funny again? Not I.

Hey! I know those guys!

Rolling Stone posted their Top 50 of 2005. I was surprised to see a lot of the records on there—I mean, I love Sufjan, I mean, hell, who doesn't? But motherfuckin' Rolling Stone?

"Well we are big rock singers, we've got golden fingers
And we're loved everywhere we go
We sing about beauty and we sing about truth
At ten thousand dollars a show
We take all kind of pills to give us all kind of thrills
But the thrill we've never known
Is the thrill that'll get you when you get your picture
On the cover of the Rolling Stone

Rolling Stone
Wanna see my picture on the cover
Rolling Stone
Wanna buy five copies for my mother
Rolling Stone
Wanna see my smilin' face
On the cover of the Rolling Stone

I've got a freaky old lady name o' Cocaine Katy
Who embroiders on my jeans
I've got my poor old gray-haired Daddy
Drivin' my limousine
Now it's all designed to blow our minds
But our minds won't really be blown
Like the blow that'll get you when you get your picture
On the cover of the Rolling Stone

We got a lot of little teenage blue-eyed groupies
Who do anything we say
We got a genuine Indian guru
He's teachin' us a better way
We got all the friends that money can buy
So we never have to be alone
And we keep gettin' richer but we can't get our picture
On the cover of the Rolling Stone"

While looking up Dr. Hook, guess what I found?

Turns out that Shel Silverstein, noted children's poet and adult cartoonist (who I love) wrote “On the Cover of Rolling Stone”, which was recorded by Dr. Hook.

Guess what else he wrote.

No, g'wan. Guess.

“A Boy Named Sue” for our boy Johnny.

I shit you not.

Funniest quote of my day

—rather, it was the fact that she has her own LiveJournal, and let’s face it, they don’t give those out to just anyone.


So, while facing the slew of 'Top Albums of the Year” lists that are being thrown at me from every corner of the blogosphere, Indie Torrents has proved invaluable to my no-job having, unpublished ass.

The site is invite only (and don't hold your breath), and the admins are, by their own terms, 'fascist' in deleting accounts for low share ratios, but if you get the chance to check out the inner workings, do so. At the drop of a hat.

Thanks to the site, I've found various must own records. Plus, I've been able to keep my head above the water in the never-ending list of 'Great Albums', circa '2005


Sprite MMO's

The Indie-Game awards or somesuch

Recently, web-comic mainstay (and well-deserved highly popular) Penny Arcade linked to The Independent Games Festival. You know me and games, I don't play nearly as much as you would think

But, tempted by the promise of some cool indie-games, I checked some of them out. The stand out, right now, is this damned MMORPG Dofus, which has me hooked despite the large lack of quests in the beginner's stable.

The premise is pretty simple; you're a Final Fantasy Tactics style sprite-designed character running around in a Ragnarok Online-type world, fighting precious monsters to save the world.

A lot of what gets me with Dofus is the same stuff that initially attracted me to Ragnarok Online in that I loved the sprite-era, Final Fantasy on the SNES era RPG's and games. It's nice to see nostalgia-inspired games with current mechanics and concepts (Dofus features a diverse class cast, as well as a WoW-inspired profession system), that pretty much all computers will be able to handle (it's all flash based, actually).

The free trial of Dofus is actually a lot better than that of Ragnarok, too: instead of a time-limit, players have an allotted amount of territory they can cover—so many screens away from the central town, you hit a 'Trial-Players Cannot Pass' message and have to return from whence you came; considering the large amount of this area, and the time you'll be spending on the quests there, it's a worthy download and a good window into what paying for it would be like.

The downside is that for all the classes available, you still end up in the same quests during your first levels—fighting a lot of redundant monsters to pick up the things they drop (henceforth referred to, in proper gaming terminology, as 'drops'). After so many Arachnee's: Arachnee/, for instance, I stop caring whether or not I'll get the leg drops I need for my quest. And if I have to kill any more damn Tofu/ Tofu's I'll scream.

I'll be re-trying Ragnarok if anyone's interested in hooking up with me in either, just email me.

If you're willing to sink some time and very little hard drive space on some 'fun', I'd recommend it; it's fast, easy, and free (until you're hooked on it like the crack-cocaine it is). Just be wary of the French-to-English typos and Engrish involved.

The weekend took me by surprise; some belated update

A Softer World

So, it turns out that A Softer World (which was one of the top comics of 2005 over at The Webcomics Examiner that I linked to a while back) is, really, softly beautiful. Sometimes haunting, sometimes inspired, sometimes emo, sometimes funny. The comic is a hit, just like the award says, and it'll be one that I read at each update from now on. Each strip runs a little like a minifiction; a one sentence construction which are only loosely connected to the images (thought he images are great and well chosen, don't get me wrong). In other words, it's the perfect Colin strip. The minimalism is, by itself, something to be studied and adored; the concept behind each sentence is more powerful, of course, and I'd suggest reading this from a literary stand-point as well as a comic-reader.

Just can't stop linking .


So, it turns out that Bloglines actually is the handiest tool in the world. Not only does it feed you your favorite blogs, but also it does some web-comics, which is extremely convenient given the rarity that some comics update on the given dates. I was really skeptical of the service until Jeremy #1 explained it to me and linked it for me; I'm still wary of it, but I've now added all my blogs and the comics that have RSS feeds, and I'm curious as to how it will work out for me. I've also deleted the original bookmarks I had as to force myself to give it a chance. As of now I've got 39 feeds (and counting). Oh boy.

Gretta Cohn, how I miss you

So, it turns out that Gretta Cohn (ex-Cursive, current stable musician for Saddle Creek) had a tour blog for the Bright Eyes/The Faint tour this past year over at the Village Voice. This, I didn't know. Silly me.

Thanks to Bloglines for finding it for me; the thing is becoming more and more useful. And now, I sit down to read Gretta.


Girls, Girls, MyHeavy, Girls

Jenna's Troubles With God

Apparently, Jenna Jameson is trouble dirty dancing in Arizona. I suppose that, when you're Jenna Jameson, you just can't get no respect. At least not from Right Wing kids.

Kristin Hersh, be my Valentine

Largehearted Boy gives us a link to a free 50 Foot Wave ep over at Throwing Music.

The state of being stateless
MyHeavey doesn't have a Wyoming. Go ahead, check. This state doesn't exist.

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Audrety Tautou, The Da Vinci Code

So, I suppose the real news is that the Da Vinci Code trailer is up. But, to me, it's the fact that Audrey Tautou is in it. I love her; she's my favorite foreign actress. And, if you've seen Amélie (and I bet that you have), you'll understand.

On the Da Vinci Code, I still haven't gotten around to reading it even tough everyone and their grandmother have recommended it. I think that's part of the problem; when you write for a (hopeful) living, when someone's grandma says that a book is brilliant, you kind of question whether or not that's a good thing. I mean, a lot of books are brilliant to grandmothers. But that doesn't mean I'd like them. But, with this one, I think I'll just have to suck it up and read it. Anyone have a copy to loan me?

(Plus, Leon is in the movie. With Tom Hanks. And when Ron Howard and Tom Hanks set out to make a blockbuster, they don't fuck around.)

SXSW 2006

Full band list here.

A Very Jenny X-Mas

Does anyone else remember these images of good cheer?


Kitty Lymph and Other Stories

Kitty Lymph and Other Stories

To Lymph or Not to Lymph?

The people over at the Strait Dope sure don't like cats. I've been rubbing my cat, Francine Fink, on her neck because it makes her love me more. It occurred to me that this is the precise type of rubbing that I do to my girlfriend when she's sick; to help move the lymph around from the swollen lymph nodes located at the bottom of the jaw. Suddenly, curiosity overran me—do cats have lymph nodes? Do many animals? I would assume that only mammals do. Mostly, all I've been able to turn up is a lot of information about the apparently mysterious 'cat scratch fever'. Which I thought was just a song lyric.
Editor's note: Not to worry, Amber assures me that Cat's have Lymph nodes.

Me and You and Gorgeous Music

I've already mentioned how amazing I felt 'Me and You and Everyone We Know' is. I did forget to mention, though, how beautiful the soundtrack is. It's easily the best soundtrack I've heard since 'The Life Aquatic', 'Eternal Sunshine', or 'The Virgin Suicides'. Largehearted Boy reported that you can stream the entire thing here, which I strongly urge you to do.

The Ballad of Peyo, the Smurfs, and Political Folly

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I noticed recently that some of Peyo's original smurf. comics are up on Amazon used. These comics were some of the most important things I read when I was a kid—they were epic and gorgeously executed, and my brother and I fought over who got to have them in their rooms constantly. I was shocked to see that my favorite one, King Smurf was there, too.

King Smurf (which was, apparently, also made into a cartoon) was a story that, thinking back, seems pretty epic and political for a comic-strip in the 40's-50's. In fact, had the Red Scare been going on decades later (during the latter part of the '70's and early 80's), we Americans would never have seen the Smurfs. I know, I know, there's the stupid commie-Smurf thing that all the young webernet kids are discussing these days, but based off of K.S., I think it's fairly certain.

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See, in King Smurf, Papa Smurf notices that he's out of 'Euphorbium', which he needs in his super-science experiment of the night. The next morning, he tells the Smurfs of the village that he's leaving for awhile and that they should behave themselves. Startled by their new lack of leader, the Smurfs quickly form a plan of action: democracy. They discover, though, that democracy is harder than they expected—everyone wants to vote for themselves. Once they narrow down the candidates to two (Smurf and Brainy Smurf), they get down to the election. After some hilarious escapades in the voting booths (spoiled ballots and Brainy's attempt to vote multiple times for himself), Smurf is decided to be the new leader. He then goes into his home and returns, decked out in gold, and announces that he is now King Smurf. A jump from Democracy to Monarchy. It seems that we're climbing down the political ladder now, doesn't it kids?

But that's not all! After several challenges (including Jokey Smurf making a fool out of the royal guard), King Smurf creates a prison and begins to willy-nilly throw all dissenters into it, thus turning Monarchy to Fascism. So, of course, there springs up a Smurf Liberation League (named the Rebels, of course) with a secret base in the forest, which King Smurf soon seeks out to destroy (the secret code to be a Rebel? Q: Why did the Smurf smurf the road? A: To Smurf to the other smurf). The Rebels free people from the royal prison, and soon an all-out Smurf war breaks out!

The King's royal palace (which, of course, he made the Smurfs build ala concentration camp) is destroyed, and Papa Smurf shows up just in time to stop a Smurf-lynching. As soon as Papa Smurf returns, all the Smurfs return to normal and answer Papa's questions and do his bidding, being the perfect workers they were before. Eerily Orwellian, no?

These comics are amazing, right down to the smallest detail. I suppose I'm just waiting around for Fantagraphics to collect all of them in one handy series. If anyone knows if there's any other way to get these books, drop me a line because, while the prices of the used editions and Amazon are tempting, the unknown quality is not.

If anyone's feeling generous (like a buck-fifty type generous), my Amazon Book wishlist has them up. And while your at it, these are likewise awesome.

If not, buy them for yourselves. You'll love them. LOVE them.

(No Smurfs were smurfed during the smurfing of this story).


Cool Blog stuff and X-Mas just around the corner.

Blogging is fun

Pop Culture Crash has some pretty interesting things to say about Bugs Bunny.

I've been over to Blog Lines trying to figure out how the hell I want it to work.

The X-Men are awesome. I've been a comics fan since I taught myself to read with them. The X3 trailer is out and about, but I haven't been able to get it to work for my. Here are some pictures, though:

Some shocking news to the indie-community: The Decemberists sign to Capitol Records

"The idea of reaching a wider audience has become really attractive," Meloy said. "It just felt like we had tapped out the resources of Kill Rock Stars. We could have stayed on that label until the end of time, putting out proper Decemberists records that sold x amount of copies. But there was a general thought after this last tour that the music and the stage show were evolving. We felt like there was an opportunity for something bigger."

Sigh. Well, it worked out well for Death Cab, let's just hope it doesn't go all Cave-In on them.

Christmas gifts for everyone!

I've been tooling around the internet looking for a gift for some special people in my life. Rather than finding gifts for them, though, I've found all sorts of goodies that I want.

Atomic Books reported in their Blog recently that Penguin is no releasing classics with covers illustrated by cartoonists. Their first release is a copy of Voltaire's Candide, cover by Chris Ware . Apparently we can expect books illustrated by Art Spiegelman, Charles Burns, and Seth in the new year.

I'm guessing that Penguin was more than impressed with McSweeney's #13.


Check These badboys out. Designer flash drives meant to look like little critters. How cool is that?


Artist Tara McPherson has been a favorite of mine for quite a while now. She's got some fantastic Prints available, not to mention Merch and stuff.


Speaking of artists, Katsuya Terada has a book of his artwork out with Dark Horse. He draws pretty things.


Small press Buena Ventura has some fantastic looking small-run books available. A few look pretty interesting, from Tom Gauld's two volumes of 3 Very Small Comics to Julie Doucet's Sophia Punt: Collages (of Words) series. Plus a book by Adrian Tomine!


Plain Mabel is a little boutique of designer productions. They've got some pretty cool stuff, including patches, buttons, and stuffed toys.


Bigger Krissy has some cool unique, hand-made stuffed animals.


Arist/Designer Shawnimal has some cool prints and stickers at his own store, not to mention some buttons and things over at Plain Mabel.

Sugar Beats is another designer that makes handmade treasures. In this case, bags for the purse-holder in your family or relationship.


Kid Robot, who I referenced a few days ago, has scores and scores of awesome toys for the kid or collector in your hearts. Here are some of my favorites:

Kitty Zombie Wage/


This should be interesting

I've got the drop on this, which should prove to get a lot more hits than my blog, plus generate some interesting topics of discussion.

Webcomics make Colin happy

The Webcomics Examiner, which I didn't even know existed (much to my chagrin), has posted their best-of-2005 list here. Though I haven't seen a lot of these, a few (such as Kochalka's American Elf and Dorthy Gambrell's Cat and Girl) have been on my daily read list for a long time while others (Copper, Perry Bible Fellowship I've seen and loved from time to time (Copper was even featured in Flight, and Perry Bible is something Luke got me into over the summer.).

All the others look fantastic, and I've dog-eared the ones I'm really interested in reading. Once I do I'll tell you what I think.

Along those lines, web-animation

I've been watching a lot of flash animation via Newgrounds, and I think I've found some amazing winners.

Bitey is easily my new favorite animated anti-hero whose actions are reminiscent of the old-style cartoon characters such as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and Donald Duck. Though more chaotic. And mean-spirited (though I can't think of anyone as mean spirited as Daffy). Jeremy Gross introduced me to these, and is (partially) responsible for my being addicted to Newgrounds. The animator, Adam Phillips, has an amazing way with effects—his water in these episodes, by itself, marks real talent—and he should; he's employed by Disney as an effects animator. He worked on this treasure, which I truly love—I saw it with my dad in good ol' Ford Theater in Afton; quite the bonding experience. Anyway, yeah. Great animation, great character design, and fantastic plot-builds. Watch 'em.

Now somebody go buy me this.

Second, Minushi is an action-packed sci-fi epic in installments that will, at its completion, add up to a full-length film. I was highly impressed with this gem of work, mostly because a lot of the installment based flash cartoons really aren't that good, while this one is amazing. The dialogue/voice acting doesn't suck, for one, which is rare with such things. The characters are likeable, most even believable (all but Griffin, as of yet), and I can't complain as to the animation or score. Also, I'm in love with the Giant designs.

Salad Fingers is delightfully terrifying, right down to its sound. The animator, David Firth has some fun stuff, too. A lot of creepy and/or funny animations. Plus, check out Devvo. He's fun. And creepy.

Largehearted Booknotes

Largehearted Boy has been one of the few blogs I read consistently. We get interesting news tid-bits, articles, and even a 'Tomorrow's Shopping Bag' feature on Monday with all the new-releases that the author is interested in. Today, I stumbled across a new portion of the Blog: the Booknotes series. I had read a few of them then promptly forgotten all but the premise—various writers write a little something for Largeheartedboy. Here's one that caught my eye. Bret Easton Ellis lists the songs that he thought of while writing Lunar Park.

Headline: Celebrities are, well, kinda boring

So, tooling around the 'Blogosphere', I happened on some pretty interested celeb news and or gossip. You now me, loving celebs and needing to know all about them.

First off, I Don't Like You in That Way reports that some guy (professional paparazzi-I-mean-photographer Peter Brandt) is being sued by Jennifer Aniston over some naughty nakkie pictures that he found himself with.

Quoth the guy, “She's the one who went out there topless. I didn't go looking for it." Brandt says he was only looking to take photos of Aniston and her new beau Vince Vaughn, and he denies that he was trespassing on her property, as the former Friends star's lawsuit asserts. He continues: "She has no fences around her backyard. I did not trespass. When I saw her come out topless, I go: 'Oh, God, this is not what I want, this is not what people want to buy anyway.' I haven't sold those pictures anywhere. "You know, they're suing me and all the publications who are publishing them, and I haven't sold them anywhere. Sending the topless pictures along with (the other photos) was maybe my mistake. But I wasn't intending to sell those."

Not even kidding. He actually seems to think people wouldn't pay for Jenn's nipples. And he wasn't trespassing. Legally, he's right, but I think it's kind of a person's prerogative to be able to be topless in their own backyard, no?

Paris Hilton is. . . akin to Christ?

Yeah, so some guy just made a giant Christmas monument in his front yard that features huge pictures of Paris. I don't know, but I kind of hate her. And so now I hate Christmas. Thanks, buddy.

Not even kidding

So, go drop a few hundred dollars on Brad Pitt's high school yearbook. Go ahead. I dare ya.

This isn't about celebrities

So, yeah, I just found this little gem. I haven't had time to read it, but it's in my blog bookmarks now, so I'll check it out.

Also, Tilly and the Wall had a recording blog. I'm not sure if they'll be posting on it again anytime soon, but it's a fun read. Give it a whirl.


I think I mispoke when I compared Rogue Wave's Out of the Shadow to Elliott Smith. After putting the album in and trying a re-listen, I think I'd rather say that it sounds like a Brian Wilson-inspired Elliott Smith-riff in a Shins song. I don't mean this to be disrespectable to any of the mentioned; in fact, I can kind of see the allure of Rogue Wave, in that sense--happy songs with Smith-like guitar produced indie-poppily. But what I meant was, is that the whole deal? Or am I overlooking a huge factor in the album? I suppose I haven't really listened to the lyrics (and God knows that I'm more of a lyric person than a vibe-person), so I'm kind of floundering on the acclaim of the record. Help me understand.

And, again, this isn't meant as a snide, sarcasm laced attack. Rather, I'm really curious and I'm wondering if Decended Like Vultures will be conclusive to any feelings I generate about the band and their music; or if I'd even care to try--there are other albums I'm certain I'll benefit from picking up.

Some New(ish) Releases

Low single

So, while looking for those David Cross links today, I found out that Low is releasing a new single/ep-thing, Tonight the Monkeys Die, which is to include (or does include. . . anyone know if this is out yet? The SubPop release date is a little screwed up, and it's not listed on Amazon) remixes of the song 'Monkey' by such great musicians as Bob Mould and Stephen Merrit.

Stephen Merrit

Speaking of Stephen Merrit, looks like he'll be releasing an album of original showtunes that he's composed for various productions by director Chen Shi-Zheng. The album will, conveniently, be entitled 'Showtunes'and be released by Nonesuch Records, which was the home of the last Magnetic Fields album, 'i'. Which is exciting. I'm of the opinion that, now that Elliott's gone, Stephen's one of the last proprietors of what I call Perfect-Pop, which, I think, is self-explanatory.

Rogue, er, Wave?.

So, it looks like Rouge Wave has a new one. I picked up Out of the Shadow on a whim a while back, and really didn't feel one way or the other about it. To me, it was Zach Rogue writing a lot of Elliott Smith inspired songs, complete with a band. Can anyone back this album up for me? Or give me a reason to check out its sequel?


Two Great Live-Action Thingies

Arrested Development Arrested

So, it looks like Fox isn't done jerking Arrested Development around. Nick informs me that they (Fox) still hasn't officially ordered a third season of the show, which has one 12 Emmy's and thirteen various other awards for excellent television programming in the comedy category. Of course, this is the network who canceled both Family Guy and Futurama out of their own ignorance; they deprived us of those shows until Adult Swim made them take notice and posthumously resurrected the former.

I had never really knew a lot about the show, aside from the fact that the great David Cross (who has never, ever, disappointed {and whose A.D. character is a Never Nude, and, therefore, the word-game namesake of this very site}) was in it and that Noelle was a huge fan of it. Then I caught a single episode (from the second season) and was hooked. I just, as of minutes ago, finished the first season, over two-thirds of it in one all-night, hazy dream marathon. I'm in love; the writing is crisp, the character synergy is fantastic, and the acting is superb. Plus: 'I feel sort of like a Mary with out a Peter and Paul' was something I never got over.

Me and You and Miranda July

So, I should have mentioned this when the whole blog started (but, of course, this is Never News, where I can't be bothered to remember things), but a few weeks ago I got a hold of a copy of Me and You and Everyone We Know and fell head over heels for it. For one, it may be the sweetest film of its type I've ever seen (think Magnolia if it had been directed by Mirah), and for two, Miranda July is on the verge of visionary in all of her works—I had heard so much about her that when, at the end of the film, the writing/directing credit was given to her I immediately went and did some long-postponed downloading. I also stopped by her site and followed the links to her web works Learning to Love You More and How Will I Know Her?, both collaboration projects.

I think I'm in love with her.


Interesting news found on the 33 1/3 blog

Somebody's fucking the Smiths and their families and co-artists, even going so far as trying to seize Morrissey's Mom's and Sister's houses.

Here's Morrissey's statement on the matter:

"The latest statements from M Joyce on a BBC 6 radio interview as faithfully reported on the MorrisseySoLow site have been brought to my attention and I feel I should make this reply as an attempt to put the matter straight.

1. From '83 to '87 M Joyce happily and willingly received 10% of Smiths recording royalties.

2. In '89, as is documented, Joyce sued Morrissey & Marr for 25% of Smiths recording royalties.

3. In '96, Joyce took his claim to court - and on the basis of the 1890 Partnership Act the judge awarded Joyce 25%.

4. In '97, M Joyce was paid 215 thousand pounds from me, and 215 thousand pounds from Johnny Marr.

5. In '99, Joyce appeared on British television and made the statement: "There was no contract saying we were gonna get 25%."

6. In 2001, as a final payment of back royalties, Johnny Marr paid Joyce 260 thousand pounds, plus "costs." At this time I was in the US and was not served with court proceedings, so Joyce obtained a Default Judgment. He then put forward a claim from me for 688 thousand pounds - well above and beyond the amount Johnny Marr was ordered to pay. In my absence, the figure was not contested.

7. Since 2001, and because of the Default Judgment against me, Joyce has taken out Third Party Orders against the following societies: my personal bank account in England, Smiths royalties from Warner Music, my personal PRS royalties, my personal PPL royalties, and he has attempted to seize UK concert fees from venue to venue. This money, to date, totals 700 thousand pounds. This figure is in addition to the figures mentioned above.

8. By grabbing the full total of Smiths royalties from Warner Music (and this means that when the public buy a Smiths CD in the UK, the royalties go to Joyce, and have done so since 2001) Joyce has knowingly deprived Andy Rourke of his 10% Smiths royalties, and has deprived producers John Porter, Stephen Street, Grant Showbiz and Steve Lillywhite (for "Ask") of their entitlements. Joyce did not declare to the courts that others - namely, the above - were also beneficiaries to the Warner Music royalties.

9. In 2001, Joyce attempted to seize both my mother's house and my sister's house by claiming that I had taken my assets out of the UK; he made this claim even though he had direct access to all of the above – which are in the UK. Joyce eventually dropped both of these claims due to lack of evidence, and he refused to pay the 150 thousand pounds that it had cost me to defend his groundless claims. Joyce also dropped his claim as co-composer with Johnny M on Smiths compositions, and Joyce also dropped his claim for Producer royalties on Smiths recordings, and Joyce also dropped his claim for a share of Artwork payments given to me for providing Smiths record sleeves. There were, in fact, no payments to me for Smiths Artwork. Joyce made a further claim for 25% of all Smiths t-shirts sold during the '83 to '87 period, even though there was no evidence that any royalty for t-shirts had been received by either myself or Johnny Marr.

10. In legal fees alone, Joyce has cost me 600 thousand pounds - this is quite apart from any payments made to him, and is quite apart from any money seized by him. In total, Joyce has cost me 1 million, 515 thousand pounds. This is an approximate figure - it could even be higher.

11. The Joyce action is continuous. Because of his Default Judgment he continues to take my royalties, and the royalties of others mentioned above, from Warner Music - consequently I have not received record royalties since 2001.

12. Since 2001, the money claimed by Joyce is charged, to me, at 100 pounds a day in interest.

13. During the Smiths' lifetime, when Joyce willingly took a 10% royalty, he did not contribute towards any expenses of any kind, did not take on any Partnership duties or responsibilities, and he received his 10% as gross earnings.

The point I wish to make is this: Joyce is not poor, unless, living as he does in the Cheshire green-belt, he lives beyond his means. Somehow, he appears to believe that he should have equal financial status to both myself and to Johnny Marr, even though Joyce has done dramatically less than Johnny and I to attain the positions we now have.

Joyce is not poor because of one reason - me. His career now is the fictitious position of an unpaid ex-member of the Smiths. He has also pursued all of his claims on Legal Aid.

I don't make this statement in search of sympathy from anyone, but I wish that the people at MorrisseySoLow who support Joyce would at least get their facts right before they say anything. Even with his 10% share, Joyce was wealthy. Now, he is extremely wealthy.

What more does he want?

I have fought the Joyce action as much as I could over the years, but the simple truth is that, under British law, the word of a judge will not be overturned. In the absence of any evidence from the 1980s, the judge in this case relied upon the Partnership Act of 1890 to help Joyce win his claim. Joyce has exploited the judge's final verdict in order to get as much as he can from me, from Johnny Marr, and also from Andy Rourke.

Finally, Joyce does not have the legal right to sell unreleased Smiths material - it belongs to Warner Music. Joyce did not pay for the recording time under which any demo material was recorded. Furthermore, Joyce cannot sell any unreleased work by Johnny Marr or Andy Rourke without, at very least, their permission.

Thanks for reading this,

The whole thing is a little too nostalgic to the whole Jello Biafra vs. The Dead Kennedy's thing. On both points, I'm leaning more toward the frontmen--Morrissey, while not having the greatest solo career, is being worked over by a guy who quit the band. Jello is being worked over by the band that left him. Go figure.

Oboy! Thursday.


So, I've been seeing a lot of ads for this game, F.E.A.R. (First Encounter Assault Recon). Check out the trailer. I'm not really one for video games. Sure, I've played my fair share of Final Fantasy VI, Super Mario 3, Pokemon, and Tetris, but I wouldn't really call myself a video gamer. I played and beat Half Life back in the day, and was addicted to WoW for a long time.

But those ads hit me in the right place. I'm a big fan of scares, and I loved the Resident Evil games. I've seen my share of horror films. So it just made sense to try this game out.

And so I did.

And it's fucking creepy. I wouldn't say it's amazingly scary, but it knows how to throw its weight around. From gore to little girls, this has all the things that'll haunt your dreams.

Check it out.

Ellis finally gets a movie

Finally, novelist Bret Easton Ellis gets one of his novels optioned for a film.

This never happens. No. Seriously.

Okay, it should be said that Ellis' books have never made a poor movie translation; all the above films are films I would buy and own until the day I die if I had the money. Particularly Rules and Psycho.

Ellis has, for a long time running, been one of my favorite modern novelists. For good reason; he crafts terrifying moralist tales featuring protagonists you can't stand. All while writing the most precise, sharp prose. Here's a review I wrote for the novel in question, which can be found on Amazon.com (I needed them to stop recommending me shitty books):

Bret Easton Ellis is, at his core, a moralist. And, due to this, all of his stories are true terror tales; this just happens to be the first one that's marketed as such.

And, again, he returns to his best--creating a protagonist you cannot like, with horrible traits and an anti-social demeanor. The only difference here is that the unlikeable protagonist turns out to be Bret himself, living a terribly quaint suburbian life with his terribly quaint suburban family; his wife, a model/actress, is the only part of the family who doesn't quite fit the normal role of 50's era family-hood; she's a jetsetter, though that's the only difference; she still fixes breakfast and readies her kids for school.

Perhaps the most disturbing part of the novel is that it's not a novel about Bret being scared at all; it's a novel about fathers and sons, lost chances, and the inability to predict an outcome. Plus, there are some pretty terrifying moments relating to the Terby (a Furby-ish doll that belongs to Bret's fictitious daughter), lights, and the family dog.

I wouldn't rate this at the top of Ellis' writings, and I also wouldn't start reading here, if you're new to Ellis. This isn't his strongest work yet, though it is his most off-the-wall and mature book. Start with either The Rules of Attraction or The Informers, which will give you more of a sense of his prosaic style.

33 1/3 has a blog

The 33 1/3 series is a fantastic set of mini-books centered around the concept of writing about albums. I started with Colin Meloy's book about the Replacement's album Let it Be, and was both surprised at the fulfillment of the series' concept as well as Colin's brisk, fantastic writing; I purchased the album to go with the book and ended up falling in love with it. Just today, I received my copy of Kim Cooper's book on an album that I already consider one of my favorite albums of all time, Neutral Milk Hotel's In the Aeroplane Over the Sea. I'm excited to start it, as Kim Cooper is less of a story-teller than Colin Meloy (who spent his book telling the tale of how he fell in love with music; a sort of about the album by-way-of memoir). She's more a journalist; her fanzine Scram has been going on for years. I expect that this will be more about the band in question than anything else (which suits me fine, because NMH has never been that well documented).

A while back I found out that the series has its very own blog where you can follow up on their development and see what's coming next. Check it out, yo.


A Roboty X-Mas

Turns out that Kid Robot also has some holiday gift packs filled with all sorts of tasty treats. My personal favorites are the Mega Mini-Figure set, the plush pack. And, of course, you could always go for the standard gift certificate, though a few might be in order. Some of this stuff is pricey.

Some cheery webstuffs.

The Elected to release new album

The Elected have announced a new album to be released in January on SubPop. You can pre-order it from Amazon now, but not from SubPop.

Don't forget their first release, Me First.

The Elected is Blake from Rilo Kiley and his cohorts.


Bill Amend's Website
Turns out that good ol' Bill Amend, creator of long-running (and personal syndicated fave) comic-strip Fox Trot has his own personal website. I suppose that it's only exciting to the guys and gals who are real cartooning nerds, but Bill has some interesting things on there, like cell phone wallpapers, an interview with some guys about his WoW addiction, and some pretty interesting fanart.


Suicide Girls X-Mas
Suicide Girls has posted some handy gift packs at their store sure to please anyone on your list with pretty young alt-models in the buff.