Youth Lagoon’s Wondrous Bughouse is a haunted circus of a record. It rivals Clinic’s Free Reign II for dark psychedelic masterpiece of the year.
The way MTV Geek’s Alex Zalben described Hawkeye to Jesse Thorn on Bullseyemade it sound like American Splendor with a bow and arrow. He wasn’t wrong. I just finished reading #10 and I’m ready for more.
Beautifully drawn and brilliantly written, Hawkeye’s life outside the Avengers is positively spellbinding. The issue dedicated to Hurricane Sandy may be one of the most moving tributes imagined. The artists comprising Team Hawkguy are doing something truly special.
After a binge viewing session while I was home sick during Watchathon (honest!), History Channel’s new show, Vikings, became one of my favorite shows on TV. The first season just ended, but if you’re looking for Sons of Anarchy set in the Dark Ages, then this is the show for you.
I wrote about renewing my iPhone vows about a month ago. I’m changing my mind. Why? A combination of curiosity and convenience.
I’m not going to discount the number of posts from influencers like Matthew Ingram, Guy Kawasaki and Robert Scoble, but the tipping point was really friends who’ve adopted Android with their latest phones. Whether they were entrenched Apple users or smartphone newbies, their move to Android was inspiring. It made it seem less intimidating to ditch the familiar for something a little more challenging. I mean, I haven’t thought seriously about a smartphone purchase since I first bought a smartphone nearly five years ago. I wasn’t going to make this decision without help.
Why now? It’s easier. Android apps have grown up. Most of my most used apps are available and those that aren’t can be replaced with comparable apps. More importantly, I’ve come to realize that my dependence on basics like Gmail and calendar are better solved with a native platform. I’m also unreasonably excited to try some of the UI tweaks, like Ubuntu-style app launchers and the like. Being able to reinvent the experience is something that will keep me interested as well.
It took a while, but with Free Reign II, Clinic have rediscovered the spooky, sleepy psychedelia that made Internal Wrangler and Walking With Thee so dark and magical.
The Thermals have a new album out in April on Saddle Creek. It’s called Desperate Ground. I’m really excited.
I started packing up my remaining CDs last night. I’ve finally realized that no matter how often I tell myself that I’ll rip them to a drive, or that I’ll fall in love with the medium all over again, they will only collect dust in a dark corner of my house. Don’t believe me? Look how many times I’ve lied to myself about it!
I’m ridding myself of a collection I’ve built over 20 years. With a little effort, I could turn the entire thing into a Spotify playlist in about an hour. It’s hard not to feel defeated. How often did I spend money better spent on food or clothes on music that I barely heard? I’m still finding unopened CDs with receipts that are a decade old. Now I’ll sell them for pennies on the dollar and be glad.
I’m doing my best to not be sentimental about it, but it’s brought back memories of trips to record stores around the world. My R.E.M. CDs have been with me since I lugged them to Denmark as a 17 year old! I can still remember how much I cherished the 40-odd albums I took on exchange. I remember when my collection ballooned to 120 carefully curated discs in grad school. I spent time manicuring it, trading in to trade up, budgeting as best I could to have a collection my peers would respect. It grew to nearly 1500 discs when I mothballed it in the walk-in closet. Now as I pack it up and prepare myself to sell it all, I shake my head with every obscure disc I find encased in shrink wrap.
If you or someone you know would like to own a music collection that immediately makes it seem like you came of age in the ‘90s, you might want to stop by AKA Music in the next couple weeks. It’s only fitting that I take them back to the place where I spent so much time and money on the music I’ve loved most.