Just recently I caused a small stir due to a post on facebook in which I wrongfully accused people who don’t read and who only watch movies of being sloths. That was rather harsh, I know, and I apologize for my hasty words. But like I did mention in my follow-up comments, I meant only those people who say that they’d rather watch the movie than read the book. To me, that’s a crime beyond words. Continue reading
These 3 Poisons is a band that I hold near and dear to my heart. Residing in Orange County, NY, Alex, Brendan, Brian, Mike, and Ryan are guys you want to have a beer with (or ten beers) all the while getting the vibe that you’re on deck with raucous, yet refined pirates. And of course you want to pop in one of their CDs and rage until your limbs fall off. I’m serious. Combining metal, hardcore and rock, they have a sound that cannot be pinned under one musical genre.
The most recent show I attended was on April 30th with Senses Fail at The Chance in Poughkeepsie, NY. After taking an elbow to the jaw while in the mosh pit, I realized not only do I need to brush up on my windmill, but also that these guys induced a ferocity upon the crowd that could only come from masters. Take a listen to one of the tracks off their latest EP, Three Sides to a Story, Your Side and tell me you don’t feel it too. “Sweet Needle of Death” has got to be my favorite, but you need to hear them all to know for yourself. Check out These 3 Poisons’ website where you can find out where they’re playing next, how to purchase their albums, and, of course, to see their lovely mugs. (You can also check out my sister from another mister, Mama Poison, who takes the raddest shots of these swashbucklers) Yargh, matey!
Lone-Star gems, Girl in a Coma are awesome. I feel as though I shouldn’t have to convince you, but if you are saying, “Who?” then I suppose I must, or you can go to their website to learn more about them, and to listen to their latest album featuring one of my favorites, “Pleasure and Pain”.
Fronted by Nina Diaz with her sister Phanie on drums and forever friend, Jenn Alva on bass, this trio packs a wallop of beauty with plenty of musical genius. I mean who really cares if a chick is pretty in the music business? It does, unfortunately, matter a great deal to the industry-types, but this is not why I’m featuring these lovelies.
On July 14th, 2011, the Girls are playing a free show at Coney Island with none other than rock legend, Joan Jett. If you’re in the NYC area, you should take the opportunity to see the show.I know I’m going to try like hell to get there.
I’ve known Brian Kenny for several years now, but what I did not know until recently was that he has a book out called Brian Kenny’s Witchcraft. His artwork can be described as nothing less than mystifying. His muse is obviously the occult, and his medium ink on paper, showcasing his love for shadow and light. You can find his work at Ward-Nasse Art Gallery and facebook . Preview and purchase Witchcraft and his other work, Horrors of the Abyss at Blurb.com
It was summer, 1999 and I had agreed to go to a house party with a guy I had just met. Sweet coincidence was that a co-worker of mine was in the car when he pulled up (luckily no weird, Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been scenario was to be had). Even sweeter was when after we had settled ourselves nicely onto the host’s couch, a tripped-out, dreamy sound hit my ears. Portishead. And the song was “Sour Times”.
Thus began my love of the band that hails from Bristol. Beth Gibbons vocals permeate the thick walls of your mind while Geoff Barrow and Adrian Utley provide the perfect mix of tradional instruments, DJ styling and musical sampling to give you a desirable, yet formidable feeling. My favorite track from Portishead that possesses this very attribute has got to be “Over”. Check it out.
In case you feel as I do check out their tour dates http://www.portishead.co.uk/2011/07/11/portishead-announce-north-american-tour-october-2011/
Maybe I’ll catch you in NY.
Sea of the Patchwork Cats by Carlton Mellick III begins with Conrad, a drunk, lonely, wretch of a man failing to commit suicide along with the rest of the human race. It would appear he is cursed from the very beginning, yet instead of succumbing to failure one last time, he unknowingly embarks on a watery adventure with several frozen female stow-aways who aren’t completely human.
When from his vessel (a mansion stocked with some food and certainly not enough liquor) he sees a strange dwelling shaped like conjoined women mysteriously located in the middle of the sea, he steers the house into the strangest drunken dream-like experience ever imagined.
In the sea structure that is called Nerve Works Conrad starts to transform from the self-loathing drunkard, despite still being able to get loaded as the house offers whatever he desires. Having to put up with three, cross-species of rather tempermental women, countless cats, and a mysterious female figure with an ominous, ghostly presence, Conrad struggles with his new self, one who is only required to enjoy himself.
What begins as a story about a drunk becomes a story about a man who gets a very weird second chance, as well as a re-creation story from one of the finest authors the Bizarro family can provide. Any true lover of fiction that goes beyond all genres would devour Carlton Mellick III’s Sea of the Patchwork Cats.
While Kevin seems to be just another single guy with a cat, in Piecemeal June, (Eraserhead Press, January 2008) Bizarro author Jordan Krall has a lot in store for his unwitting and rather sweet protagonist.
In a regular world, Kevin modestly lives above a porn shop, works at a pet store and has a friend who has yet to get a handle on being an adult. It’s from an alternative world of mutilated human body parts and three crab-monsters who enjoy nothing more than chomping on puppy legs like humans do pork rinds where June, the sex-doll is created. When Kevin’s cat, Mithra randomly brings her disjointed parts home, Kevin glues the pieces together and his mundane life is transformed.
What moves the book along is Krall’s ability to both disgust and fascinate his readers with imagery that is perverse and downright dirty in one paragraph, and vaguely romantic the next. The reader gets a sense from the beginning what is happening in Kevin’s town, while it takes him the entire book to see it, let alone even try to grasp some understanding of it. That being said, Krall still manages to have a bit of a stun-factor in the end, leaving one to go back and flip through the pages to find the hidden pieces that were there the entire time.
Short, yet not as simple as you’d think, Jordan Krall’s Piecemeal June is as provocative as it is sentimental, leaving love to grace the pages just as much as the bodily fluids. Don’t be surprised if you feel the need to rub one out right along with Macchu, Bacchu, and Frank.
In Athena Villaverde’s, Starfish Girl (Eraserhead Press, 2010), industrial fiction meets Hayao Miyazaki’s, Spirited Away (Studio Ghibli, 2001). Despite facing constant danger in an underwater town being devoured by a fungus that’s turning fish folk psychotic, and where half-men, half-sea creature mob goons donning mechanic appendages wreak havoc without consequence, the little starfish girl’s tenacity to find others who are “nice” is as steadfast as Chihiro’s devotion in Spirited Away to changing her parents back to their human form.
Unlike Chihiro, Ohime’s parents cannot be saved, and with their posthumous instructions for her to try and save humanity, she must set off on an adventure of her own in an unknown landscape that alternates between beautiful and noxious. Although considered by many reviewers as “cute” when compared to other titles in the Bizarro fiction genre, Starfish Girl proves to be just as cut-throat and perverse. Yet, Villaverde craftily placates the gore factor by splattering the blood on a backdrop of elaborate coral buildings and conch encrusted homes, and constantly introduces endearing characters who, however different from one another, have in common the desire for a peaceful and safe civilization.
Bizarro-veteran John Skipp has the right idea in describing Villaverde’s style as “emotional” since the budding author leaves no feeling untouched in the spectrum of human psychology. For any reader new to the genre, or Bizarro fans who are curious about Athena Villaverde’s Starfish Girl, the novel is as punchy as it is sweet, as innocent as it is ferocious, and damn well worth picking up.